Lyricist: Maciej Kosinski.
Photographers: Kuba Sok¢lski; Mateusz Kowalski.
Poland's Votum have often been described as a progressive metal band, but truth be told, their second full-length album, Metafiction, usually falls outside of metal. While this 2010 release has some metallic moments here and there and includes the occasional death growl, most of Metafiction lacks that metallic quality -- probably a good 85 percent of it, in fact. But that is not to say that Metafiction isn't good. This is a satisfying, memorable effort regardless of the fact that only about 15 percent of it is actually relevant to metal. So if that other 85 percent isn't really metal, what it is exactly? Most of the material is best described as a mixture of progressive rock and alternative rock with a goth rock influence. Some 21st century prog bands have maintained a staunchly pre-'90s mindset, faithfully emulating the prog bands of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. But this atmospheric, highly melodic effort owes lot to '90s and 2000s alt-rock; no one will mistake Metafiction for a 1975 recording. Pink Floyd are an influence, but so are Porcupine Tree -- and Votum have a melancholy outlook that underscores their fondness for goth rock. Metafiction isn't goth rock in the strict sense; nor is it goth metal, but there is a definite goth influence on this 44-minute CD. If Votum want to be more relevant to metal and increase their headbanger appeal, they will need to have a lot more metallic content on future albums. They can maintain their melodic appeal and their goth-influenced melancholia, certainly, but the metallic crunch will have to increase. However, there is no law stating that Votum are obligated to be consistently metallic; they would still be worthwhile even if they abandoned the metal crunch altogether. Metal or not, Metafiction is a nicely crafted sophomore outing from Votum. ~ Alex Henderson