Fireworks

Band Of Volunteers - 'Divination' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ac/11/69/2758_bandofvolunteersdivination_1348249662.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 21, 2012    
 
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More of a chore than a pleasure.

Described optimistically as “Bringing light to dark places”, Band Of Volunteers is a power trio fronted by Norway’s Anders L Rasmussen, who sings, plays guitar and writes the majority of the material. ‘Divination’ is their third album, but sadly it hasn’t made me want to seek out the other two.

On the surface, the band are pretty competent, their musical style sandwiched somewhere between Rush and AC/DC, going so far as to cover the latter’s ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’. Unfortunately the track is let down by Rasmussen’s poor vocals, something that dogs the album from start to finish. ‘Devil’s Lullaby’, for example, made me want to punch the speakers as his voice wandered up and down whatever scales it could find, usually deciding on the one that set my teeth most on edge. Without any trace of irony, sarcasm or even mean spiritedness, I can honestly say he sounds drunk. The music is pretty good for the most part, and they even have a good stab at progginess with the nine minute ‘A Caravan To A Strange Land’, and the instrumental parts positively shine with solid basslines and a nice heavy riff. Even the vocals pass muster, and I wish the rest of the album was as good. It’s not, though.

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In the end, listening to ‘Divination’ is more of a chore than a pleasure, with the occasional high (‘Tonight’, ‘Ghost’, ‘A Caravan To A Strange Land’) wiped out by some truly soul destroying vocals and repetitive, gloomy songwriting.

A band that would be immeasurably improved by the addition of a lively, talented vocalist, Band Of Volunteers don’t currently pass muster.

Alan Holloway

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