Is it me or are there way more bands that are prog or at least consider themselves to be prog? It almost seems in vogue to be prog. Return to Void are a prog rock band from Finland but something is really off. While the arrangements and instrumentation does feel like old 70s prog, the band themselves sound more like an 80s metal band playing or covering prog.
Vocalist Markku Pihlaja is a big part of the reason for this. He has a VERY raspy voice which sounds to me like Andi Deris of Helloween. I could hear him singing in Helloween versus trying to choke out this prog tinged songs. Overall, the band wind up feeling more like Deep Purple than Yes. I love Deep Purple but again, it seems more like the band was trying to hard and just missing the mark.
For example, “Lightbearer” sounds like a lost Purple track with that groovy Glover bassline. While the keys are always vintage, like “Vail of Confusion,” the riffs and vocals have more in common with Maiden than anything else. The other issue is that while the songs are good, I wouldn’t say that any are great.
All in all, Return to Void are doing what I would call a fair estimation of prog but something is lost along the way. This doesn’t feel natural to them as a whole. Parts of the music have the spirit but I don’t feel like everyone in the band has the same passion about prog maybe. If you wondered what Helloween jamming with Maiden on some Purple would sound like, “Return to Void” is the answer to that quandary.
1. Throughout The Ages
3. Vail Of Confusion
4. Consumer Heaven
5. Sight Of Immortal Sea
6. All The Darkness
7. Human Alien Hybrid
8. Fools King
10. Return To Void