Voha - Official Website - Interview

Majestic Nightsky Symphonies

Croatia Country of Origin: Croatia

1. Reclaiming The Stellar Throne (Intro)
2. Raven Cry
3. Sorcerer Of Cosmical Destruction
4. Dance Of The Nebular Lights
5. Majestic Nightsky Symphony
6. Crimson Tears
7. And The Stardust I Shall Become (Outro)

Review by Vladimir on April 25, 2024.

Ever since the Croatian black metal band Voha released the Tama EP back in October 2022, I was really excited to see what Grof Vragovzov will put out next. Along the way he made two other projects, Innocentia and Pepel, but amidst all those “side-quests” of his, the new Voha album lay dormant for a while, shrouded in silence and mystery. When I saw the official cover art that teased the second album, I would probably lie to you if I said that I wasn’t hyped. Come 2024, Voha’s second full-length album Majestic Nightsky Symphonies was finally uploaded on the YouTube channel Black Metal Promotion, two days before the initial release date of April 25th. Although the game was set for the new majesty of an album, it would end up in some sort of limbo as it came across a couple issues that were concerning the labels Void Wanderer Productions and War Productions who were in charge of releasing it digitally and physically. Nevertheless, despite this issue, this album would luckily see the light of day as the prophecy foretold. Now that the dark lord has returned, has Voha managed once again to triumph with all the powers of darkness? Stay tuned to find out… 

The album intro 'Reclaiming The Stellar Throne' slowly sets up the mood of the album, filled with cosmic beauty, melancholy and stellar fantasy that surrounds the nightsky. Once the opening track ends, you will hear the mighty raven’s cry as the darkness descends with all the nocturnal forces expressed in the melodic tremolo riffs, symphonic keyboards, blast beats/double-bass drums and shouting harsh vocals. This album introduces a big departure from Voha’s earlier works, as it takes a more symphonic black metal approach, equivalent to that of bands such as Emperor, early Dimmu Borgir, Odium, Diabolic Masquerade, Limbonic Art, Obtained Enslavement, combined with the melodic black metal elements of Old Man’s Child, Sacramentum and Vinterland. The misanthropic atmosphere of Voha’s music has shifted towards a more epic and cosmic style with all the ambience and symphonics that dominate alongside the primary black metal aspect, which in itself is structurally more complex and richer, as it creates this incredibly mesmerizing effect that possesses you from the very get-go. The mesmerizing quality of Voha’s music is present throughout the entire album, keeping it strong and consistent from one track to another, without missing a beat or feeling a bit thinned out after a while. You can probably tell that the atmosphere is definitely the biggest highlight aside from all those symphonies and melodies, with a couple of ambient moments on the album that serve as interludes and nicely transition to the next chapter. This whole album feels like an epic journey with such a strong cinematic quality and classical music vibe, full of emotional roller coasters that hit hard, especially on the sixth track 'Crimson Tears' which nicely builds up the grand finale of the album that is concluded with the outro track 'And The Stardust I Shall Become'

The songwriting is very dynamic and well-thought-out with its overall complexity in the song arrangement, making every song stand out in its own way. Even though it’s a risky decision to change stylistically, Voha’s transition from classic black metal towards symphonic black metal worked out really well for me, and I was so stunned how drastically different it is compared to the predecessors Celestial Winter Sadness and Tama EP. I personally consider it to be a welcome change that works so much better due to being able to express more emotions and also create this layer of imagination that lives within the listener’s mind, almost like some sort of storytelling through music that creates powerful images as you listen to the songs. When I first heard 'Raven Cry', I suddenly felt like nothing else mattered in that moment besides the music, but that was just a taste of what is to come, because after that it gradually gets stronger and more interesting. I have a feeling that a lot of people will draw comparisons to Emperor’s magnificent debut "In The Nightside Eclipse" due to the style, atmosphere and the cover art, and although it would be understandable, considering its significant similarities, I think it’s probably a bit to surface level thinking because an approach such as this goes way deeper than that, due to the fact that Majestic Nightsky Symphonies takes a lot of queues from various symphonic, as well as melodic black metal bands with a classical musical background. Every musician is a composer, but not necessarily a classical music type of composer, however in the case of Grof Vragovzov, he seems to have a bit of those classical composer influences that have greatly inspired his riffs, melodies and especially the keyboard sections. Maybe a small problem that I had about the album was that in some ways it felt like it wasn’t enough, because you get so immersed and invested in the album that you become unaware of the fact that you’re midway through, but I think it’s not really that important because it definitely has a strong comeback quality to it that makes you revisit it frequently. The cover art designed by Ivan Radnić (Enchanted Sword) is magnificent with its sharp artstyle and predominant blue tone, very reminiscent to the works of Kristian „Necrolord“ Wåhlin who also uses a lot of blue colors in his paintings with powerful and rich backgrounds. The album’s production is pretty solid and moderately raw with its dry but misty sound, although the only small issue that I have about it is the drum sound, which at times sounds alright and sometimes a bit too thin and clicky, especially during the fast parts. Nevertheless, it doesn’t ruin the experience and it can be easily overlooked if you don’t really care all that much about the drum sound, unless you happen to be Fenriz from Darkthrone, then I have some bad news for you bro. 

My experience with this album is so hard to describe because I was simply left without words once it was all over, but I could say that the words „majestic“ and „symphonic“ are definitely close to describing my journey. This album is exactly as the title suggests, a nice collection of Majestic Nightsky Symphonies that are equally epic and wonderful from start to finish, represented in a very oldschool 90’s black metal style but in a more contemporary form. Voha made such a comeback that unexpectedly came out even greater than I could have ever imagined, and it also expanded the band’s sound so well to the point where you just can’t think of anything better that would take its place. Despite the troubles that Voha has faced before the album’s release, I think that it turned out to be a case of „no pain no gain“, where suffering is necessary in order to achieve something, or as I say it from my personal standpoint, boiling hot water always makes a fine tea. If you were lucky to tune in to this album’s premiere via Black Metal Promotion, then I am most certain that many of you enjoyed it, but in case you haven’t heard it yet, then you should definitely check it out as soon as possible. In the end, the dark lord has triumphantly reclaimed his stellar throne. 

Rating: 9 out of 10