By Dr. Abner Mality

Mysterious instrumental trio Aluk Todolo return with another baffling excursion into experimental rock music. I quite liked their last trip, “Occult Rock 1 & 2”, but “Voix” is a different beast. This is one big long jam.

Is it improvised or is it carefully constructed note by note? That’s a question many will debate after hearing this.My ears tell me the former, the press sheet indicates the latter. A.T. just plug in and take off into space, using the basic format of guitar, drums and bass. Although broken up into six “songs”, it’s really one big tune. More abstract than the “Occult Rock” stuff, this is long stretches of loud guitar tones and soundscapes looped over flowing bass-drum rhythms. Most is on the loud side, but there are stretches of quieter experimentation. I can’t say it is anything ground-breaking or even as unique as Aluk Todolo think it is, but it is listenable if you’re in the mood for a head trip. After a while, I started to tune out the guitar and focused on the amazingly groovy and locked in drumming and bass playing. That’s the real miracle of “Voix”, not the more in your face guitar playing. Those cats are locked in like laser guided smart bombs.

Contraty to expectations, the album kind of fades out quietly instead of roaring to a climax. You can file Aluk Todolo as heavy metal or noise rock, but frankly I found this closer to free jazz than anything else.