At this point, the only reviews that I am writing are the ones that I am motivated to write. In other words, it has to be an album that I want you to know about. Here we have one: Vulkan – “Technatura.” I have a thing for Swedish bands which was partially why I decided to check out Vulkan. By the mid point of the big opening track “This Visual Hex,” I realized that I was not skipping ahead to check the next song but I wanted to listen to the rest. Ok Vulkan, you have my attention.
Their sound has elements of Katatonia, newer Opeth and even Soen by way of Tool. None of those influences are overt. Part of why I was drawn in was that the overall sound was not completely derivative of anyone else. It’s heavy psych rock with polyrhythms and some excellent grooves. Think The Mars Volta if they ever reigned things in a bit (a lot).
They do some experimenting here and there, the second track “Hunter-Prey” is short and a bit odd but I wouldn’t necessarily call it filler. In some ways, it’s like the shorter tracks that Tool does on their albums. Both “Klagans Snara” and the title track fall into this bucket as well. They aren’t tracks that I would seek out but as part of the whole they are fine.
It’s really a bright sounding album and the songs often take flight. The next tracks “Redemption Simulations” and “Bewildering Conception Of Truth” fit that mold and you find yourself hooked. I love the funky groove on “Rekviem” and the sway of tracks like “Spökskepp.” Like any great album, each song has its own uniqueness. Vocals are important to me and vocalist Jimmy Bob Lindblad has a very strong voice that I feel like reminds me of someone but I can’t place it. That’s a plus as well.
The album has many high points as I’ve mentioned and not the least of which is the 10 minute plus “The Royal Fallacy.” Like any really great longer song, it doesn’t feel as long as it is. The sections flow effortlessly and the song is just another jewel on this album. “Technatura” is a crowing achievement for Vulkan. Get it? Jewel. Crown. Anyway, this is one of those bands that people need to check out because they are not on a big label or a small one for that matter! Highly recommended!