|Review: Vielikan - Emotional Void|
Year released: 2009
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: December 17, 2009
Reviewed by: Mike Henn
Rated 3.9/5 (78%) (10 Votes)
Northern Africa isn't necessarily known for crushing Metal, but Vielikan certainly prove that such a thing exists. Hailing from Tunisia, Emotional Void is a decent 25 minute journey through darkness that's interesting while it lasts, but won't stick in your mind for months after the experience. While yes, the tag of "Progressive Death Metal" will invariably draw comparisons to the bewilderingly beloved Opeth, the influence keeps itself restrained enough to remain pure influence as opposed to straight up worship, which is definitely a good thing. The percussion generally keeps a very slow pace, and while double bass may kick up occasionally, Tarak Ghemguy's upper half keeps the flow at a snail's pace for most of the duration. The main issue with Emotional Void is that it just kind of I don't know, just happens.
No segments grab you by the balls and command your attention, there is no real sense of overwhelming atmosphere, and nothing is really retainable. The riffs are reminiscent of Gojira in the sense that they just kind of grind and chug along like an old fashioned locomotive on an endlessly looping track. The train chugs and chugs along, polluting the air and going nowhere, and most of the riffs are no different. Again, this isn't necessarily a riff based style they're going for, but the lack of any overpowering atmosphere leaves me nothing to think about except the guitar work. Thankfully, the overall feeling from track to track changes enough to keep them distinguishable. "Zero Affection" takes a Doom/Death style route in the vein of Evoken somewhat, "Black Marsh" has a couple clean breaks that warrant the dreaded Opeth comparison, and "A Vertiginous Fall" sounds straight off of From Mars to Sirius, further hammering home the unfortunate Gojira similarity.
You could do a whole hell of a lot worse than Vielikan (I guess you could be listening to Gojira, so this is a better choice by virtue of the fact that it isn't them), but there are much better ways to spend your time. Fans of the bands I've mentioned throughout the review should check this out, but if you never really liked any of them, nothing here will change your mind or enlighten you to the style.
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