The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the most recognized atmospheric metal bands in the United States. Based in Olympia, Washington, Vouna is looking to join those ranks with the release of their debut self-titled album. All song writing and vocals for the album are composed and performed by the band’s mastermind, Yianna Bekris. Set to be unleashed on November 9th via Wolves In The Throne Room’s Artemisia Records, Vouna travels back in time to the foundations of symphonic doom.
Sculpted around classic synthesizer tones and heavy drums, the album tells a story of the journey to becoming the last person on Earth. It reflects images of nature reclaiming its place on Earth as humankind disappears. Cinematic tones are prominent in the mix, creating a sense of mourning and sorrowful atmosphere from start to finish.
The album begins with the track “A Place to Rest.” Alluring, clean vocals tear at the listener’s heart as the track unfolds. Operatic in style, but despondent in tone, Yianna Bekris delivers a unique and memorable vocal performance. Cut from the cloth of traditional doom, the vocals are backed by slow churning guitars and crushing drums. The layered build-up of the instruments comes to an abrupt halt as the song transitions into aggressive blast beats and melodic tremolo picking. The album then flows effortlessly into the instrumental offering, “Cattle.” Continuing with the symphonic tone, this track incorporates beautiful acoustic guitar melodies that are reminiscent of traditional folk music. Barebones and unfiltered, “Cattle” lets the instrumentation paint the atmosphere for the listener.
“Last Dream” incorporates another operatic vocal intro that is strikingly similar to the one heard in ”A Place to Rest.” For me, the highlight of the album is “Drowning City.” The seven minute track incorporates both inviting folk melodies and crushing doom offerings. Still driven by symphonic keyboards, “Drowning City” holds your attention from beginning to end. Vouna closes with the track “You Took Me.” The vocals on this track are another highlight for me. A sense of gothic rock and roll consumes the track, as heavy drums and mid-tempo guitar ring out. “You Took Me” leaves the audience wanting more, the way any good album closer should.
Vouna leaves behind a trail of destruction and human degradation. With a foundation of old-school synthesizer tones and haunting vocals, this atmospheric doom offering will surely grab the attention of fans worldwide.
– Corey Smith