VOIGHT KAMPFF - Substance RÍve

Voight Kampff - Substance RÍve

10 songs
63:43 minutes
***** ****


Who would have thought that there are at last three bands around that are called Voight Kampff? One of them is from Canada and plays techno music, another one seems to be an American post punk band, and then there is a French technical thrash metal band that released their debut album in 2012 and is now back with its successor Substance RÍve. Although I have read my fair share of Philip K. Dick novels, I couldnít remember that the Voight-Kampff machine is a polygraph-like device in his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, although the nameís popularity might be because of the Blade Runner movie which I personally thought much inferior to the novel.

Instead of writing about the many merits of Mr. Dickís visionary science fiction novels, we should get back to Voight Kampff the metal band. Where their debut album already charted out the sound they would like to explore, itís only now, six years later, on their second album where they find the courage to really dig deep into their progressive mindset. Apart from two shorter instrumentals, the songs are all between five and ten minutes long, giving the quartet ample time to develop their structures, and while Voight Kampff are not your typical progressive band, they still have a gift to construct songs full of twists and turns that work because of the musiciansí incredible skills. The vocals are fierce screams, maybe not as virtuoso as the music, but still fit well with it all.

Lately I have noticed that lots of thrash metal bands that want to pay tribute to the groundbreaking spadework of Voivod have names starting with the letter "V": Vektor, Vexovoid, Vorbid and now Voight Kampff. But if would be unfair to dismiss the latter as mere copycats, because there are also other artists that have left a huge influence: the progressive death metal of bands like Death, Atheist and Cynic, but I also heard some parallels to Swiss prog thrashers Coroner, which should be taken as a huge compliment.

You might feel inclined to criticise Voight Kampff of not being accessible enough. And it is true, you have to listen repeated times to Substance RÍve before it really starts to stick with you. But you might also declare that as a hidden quality, because who wants to listen to a record that reveals all of its secrets at its first run-through? Voight Kampff may call their music techno thrash, as a tribute to the way that genre was called before it morphed into progressive metal, but what it all comes down to is that the ten songs on Substance RÍve offer high quality thrash metal that will make the listener discover new finesses over and over again.

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