Vouna – Atropos (Review)

Vouna - AtroposThis is the second album from US one-woman blackened doom band Vouna.

Atropos boasts 57 minutes of richly textured doom metal. It’s an old-school brand of doom that’s spliced through with elements of black and Gothic metal,  along with cinematic scope, epic grandeur, synth-laden atmosphere, and forlorn melodies. Think of My Dying Bride/Paradise Lost-influenced classic doom metal, then expand this with atmospheric black metal and funeral doom influences, and you’ll have a good idea of the dark majesty that is Atropos.

The music is heavy, both with crushing distortion and with weighty emotion. The latter aspect of Vouna’s sound is the most important; Atropos is undeniably metal, but it is metal played with a firm understanding of the portrayal of feeling and the creation of atmosphere.

The songs are layered with many levels of musical depth and luscious instrumentation. Each track draws the listener in and wraps them in swathes of blackened doom and gorgeous melancholy. A multitude of additional instruments appear across the release, such as harp, violin, and flute, some of which are played by guests.

The primary vocals are beautifully performed cleans that reach the heart by the most directly affecting methods. The singer delivers a captivating performance throughout. Her voice is exemplary, and is striking in its potency. She’s also joined by the singer of the mighty Wolves in the Throne Room on Vanish, who adds extra blackened bite where necessary.

The artist behind Vouna is highly talented, (and also in the excellent Eigenlicht), and Atropos is a magnificent record. Anyone who favours atmospheric blackened doom should make this album a priority.

Very highly recommended.

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