Release Date: 7th May
Record Label: Small Pond Recordings
For Fans Of: Emerson Lake and Palmer, Car Bomb, The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Listen back to many rock records from the 70s, whether it be the dark sprawling prog of Emerson, Lake and Palmer or the high octane proto-metal of Deep Purple, keyboards were an integral part of playing stuff heavy. After these genres evolved and splintered into the 80s, keyboards were no longer used for chug, but to add synthy ambiance. One of the things that make Leeds instrumental trio Voronoi brilliant, is that they’re capitalising on the missed potential of the keyboard as a heavy instrument.
Boasting both the ugly tonalities of jazz, the lurching heaviness of Meshuggah and epic post-rock song structures, it’s fair to say that Voronoi isn’t the most inviting band, yet they have an allure that stems far beyond the gimmick of a piano-prog-metal hybrid.
Each member gets a few moments to flex their chops, but The Last Three Seconds is at its best when Voronoi are locked tight as a unit. ‘The Nauseator’ lives up to its name with its elephant-like stumble slowly revving in speed in the most uncomfortable way. ‘Robots As Pathos’ starts with an ornate baroque section before stabbing with proggy synths and off-kilter drum patterns that swallow the listener whole. But the absolute gem of this record has to be the final track, ‘Home Could Be Lightyears away’. One tragic piano motif guides the track through dips and troughs, stark gaps of silence and the ominous crawl of a razor-sharp bassline leading to the most massive crescendo on the album, a sea of distorted guitars and synth.
Voronoi might benefit from a slightly tighter production job, and a tweak here and there to give their electronic elements a bit more depth, but overall, this record shows monumental potential. They are pushing prog forward in a way that very few bands are, and making something that’s oppressive but full of colour and vibrancy. In its best moments, it’s downright cosmic.
Recommended Track: Home Could Be Lightyears Away