Italian black metal act, Voland return with a brand new EP called ‘Царепоклонство – Il culto degli Zar’. The EP is the evolution of the sound of the band, the union of extreme metal aggression and orchestral symphony.
The lyrical theme of Царепоклонство – Il culto degli Zar is centred on events of Russian history, separated in time and very different from one another, yet presenting some common features.
“Il culto degli Zar” (“The Cult of the Tsars” in English) refers to the phenomenon of religious adoration surrounding the Russian emperors, to the point of sanctification in some cases. This is explained in the function of the Russian monarch, his role was not only that of protector of the empire and its people, but of the Orthodox faith as well, placing the political figure of the Tsar near the sacred sphere of religion.
The title of the album is to be understood in this sense and also with irony: the episodes selected by Voland talk about emperors who were loved and respected by some, but hated and opposed by others, with acts of rebellion, revolution and even regicide.
This double reading of historical phenomena has allowed the band to identify with multiple points of view, exploring atmospheres and feelings that are often opposed and very different.
The EP will be released physically (CD, cassette) by Xenoglossy Productions on July 2nd, 2021.
Voland really impressed us with their 2018 release, Voland 2. An EP that brought epic sounds without the epic lengths. This EP is a bit more of the same but has the black metaller’s stretching their musical muscles to produce something even grander and just as interesting.
The historical side of their music was a real seller on the previously reviewed release and it’s great to see that it is still a prominent feature here. Voland draw from Russia’s history and tell their stories through the medium of intense black metal and lavish symphonic wonder. It’s what captivates on the magnificent efforts that are Casa Ipatiev and Terza Roma.
The first two tracks on this EP confirming that time hasn’t changed just how fabulous Voland sound. In fact, the refinement that exists now is even more impressive. The latter is easily one of the finest pieces of music that Voland have released.
The other two tracks, Promontorio and Suite russe offer varying different depths. The former, methodical, one of the cleanest sounding efforts on the EP with sudden flares of black metal intensity. While the latter blends starry-eyed symphonic wonder, moving melodies and a commanding bout of heaviness. Stunning stuff.
It’s not quite done though as the EP comes with a pair of bonus tracks captured live in the studio. Dubina and Leningrad, a chance to hear a rawer and more natural Voland. A very welcome addition, especially when you take into account just how strong the four new tracks are.
More people need to be talking about Voland, they’re amazing.
Voland – Царепоклонство – Il culto degli Zar Full Track Listing:
1. Casa Ipatiev
2. Terza Roma
4. Suite russe
5. Dubina (Live in Studio – Bonus Track)
6. Leningrad (Live in Studio – Bonus Track)
Voland III: Царепоклонство - Il culto degli Zar (Xenoglossy Productions)
The Final Score - 10/10