The production value of this record is bigger, more bombastic, but what is more noticeable about it is the maturity in the band’s sound
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Odds are you’ve never heard of Voltar before. The band hails from El Salvador, a small central american country, whose music scene has been growing vibrantly in the last couple of decades. Voltar could easily be pigeonholed as a post-metal band, but it’s really more than that. A few days ago the band released their second album “Ven El Mundo Arder” (“They Watch The World In Flames”), a big step up from their previous effort “Black Mamba”. The production value of this record is bigger, more bombastic, but what is more noticeable about it is the maturity in the band’s sound.
Back in 2013 they released their first album, “Black Mamba”, a record that, for better or worse, lacked a certain clarity in direction. You didn’t know which way the band wanted to go. But they finally achieved cohesiveness in this second LP. The most important thing about the record is the dynamism in its sound, songs that are capable of creating timbre and texture, and slowly transition into riff heavy guitars and atmospheric synthesizers. Perfect example is the song “Shadows”, which starts with faded clean vocals and fingerpicked guitars making way to growls, metal riffs and an ethereal but droning synth. Even when the band heads toward common territory in the post-metal genre, it feels like they’re doing a thing of their own. You could compare them to the likes of Mouth of the Architect, yet what separates them from the heard are the little details in their music: the heavy use of synths, the faded but distorted vocals, the angular guitars reminiscent to those in post-punk and new wave. Voltar is a band that mixes a variety of genres and melds it into a specific sound. Other songs like “Cyborg”, feature pulsating synths, frosty guitars and a drum machine, it almost feels like a post-rock version of a darkwave song.
All in all, “Ven El Mundo Arder” is an enjoyable listen thanks to the range of dynamics the band incorporates. Every song is constantly building up to a high momentum giving them an epic quality. It’s an album both chaotic and ethereal.