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Votum biography
VOTUM is a progressive-metal band formed in Warszawa, Poland, in 2002.

Their first works were more in the traditional heavy metal style. They released a demo called "Bow to the Sound" in 2002.

In 2006 the band released a single, "Jestern", attached to the Heavy Metal Pages magazine. Later that year, the band experimented several line-up changes, which also brought about a change in style, hich now aimed more towards the progressive, the atmospheric and the experimental.

The band's line-up is:

Maciej Kosinski - vocal
Aleksander Salamonik - guitar
Adam Kaczmarek - guitar
Zbigniew Szatkowski - keyboards
Bartek Turkowski - bass
Adam Lukaszek - drums

In 2008, the band released their first full-length, the eight-song progressive opus "Time Must Have a Stop." The album has received excellent reviews in their native country and abroad, thanks to the intelligent and atmospheric music.

According to the band, "VOTUM pays the utmost attention to song lyrics which, like the music, function as a sort of a binding material for the compositions. In addition, rich visual setting is provided by Mindfield Art Group and serves as a background for the pieces. The merging of music, lyrics and visual art work, as well as the ensuing emotional expression, have been the key concepts for the creation of the new album. Our main concern is not any particular style of music, but the atmosphere pouring out of it." (Paragraph taken from the band's MySpace website).

VOTUM's style is very much influenced by bands like RIVERSIDE, PORCUPINE TREE, PINK FLOYD, and also by metal bands as OPETH.

Why this artist must be listed in :
Approved by Team of Collaborators.

Bow to the Sound, demo (2002)
Jestem, single (2006)
Time Must Have a Stop, studio album (2008)

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$10.46 (used)
Harvest MoonHarvest Moon
$14.96 (used)
Armoury Records 2010
$2.75 (used)
Time Must Have a StopTime Must Have a Stop
$8.99 (used)
Time Must Have a Stop by Votum (2009-01-13)Time Must Have a Stop by Votum (2009-01-13)
$124.42 (used)
Metafiction by VotumMetafiction by Votum
Mystic Production
:ktonik: by Votum (2016-02-26):ktonik: by Votum (2016-02-26)
Inner Wound Recordings
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VOTUM discography

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VOTUM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.93 | 85 ratings
Time Must Have a Stop
4.01 | 78 ratings
4.06 | 163 ratings
Harvest Moon
3.61 | 64 ratings

VOTUM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VOTUM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

VOTUM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VOTUM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

VOTUM Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 :Ktonik: by VOTUM album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.61 | 64 ratings

Votum Progressive Metal

Review by andyread

3 stars This Polish band has crafted two of my favourite albums of the past decade (Harvest Home and the stunning Metafiction).

Sadly they parted ways with their singer a couple of years ago. As he was the chief reason for their appeal, I was worried as to whether I would still connect.

Admirably the band decided not to recruit a copy-cat frontman, and Ktonik signals a very different, modern, down-tuned, heavier direction. This should be treated as a new album from a new band.

Thus existing fans should tread with caution. It has its moments and is a very good album for its style. However I feel that overall Ktonik is an album seeking a new audience.

 :Ktonik: by VOTUM album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.61 | 64 ratings

Votum Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars Another stellar Votum release. This is darker and heavier than Harvest Moon, but just as good. If you want a great Progressive Metal release this year, do not miss out on :Ktonik: There is a lineup change from the previous release, where they change vocalists and go with Bartosz Sobieraj on this new album. While Maciej Kosinski did a great job on Harvest Moon, Bartosz Sobieraj is showing that he has the chops as well. Standout tracks for me are the first single in Satellite, the incredible Spiral with the trippy effects, and Last Word ending the album on a positive note. There are no bad tracks, and anyone into Progressive Metal should pick this up. With Redemption, Dream Theater, Headspace, and Votum releasing albums this year, the genre is alive and kicking.
 Harvest Moon by VOTUM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 163 ratings

Harvest Moon
Votum Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars It is a shame that there are not more reviews for this album, because it is an awesome Progressive Metal album deserving to be one of the top choices in the genre. They may define themselves as atmospheric Progressive metal, and that label does fit since they are not a hard hitting metal outfit. Expect lush pianos, slow passages, and many changes in tempo throughout the album. There is a lot to love about this release, and the variety along with superb vocals and lyrics make this a must buy for fans of progressive rock and progressive metal. Cobwebs, Steps In the Gloom, and Numb are standout tracks if I had to choose some, but they are all excellent. The musicianship is top notch throughout the album, and I especially love the bass playing on Steps In the Gloom. I am a fan of this style of Progressive Metal, and I eagerly await their next release. Votum is making very special music.
 Harvest Moon by VOTUM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 163 ratings

Harvest Moon
Votum Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars When I reviewed Votum's 2008 debut I managed to include references to bands as diverse as Therion, Nightwish, Negură Bunget, Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, as well as of course mentioning Riverside as these guys are also Polish. Back then I said that however you wanted to describe them, it was essential you search them out. A few years down the line and they are back with their third album, and with Millenium and Riverside also releasing superb works in recent months it appears that 2013 is going to be a bumper year for afficianados of the Polisg prog scene. Somehow the band have managed to become even more diverse yet at the same time have brought in control and a restrained power that makes this a wonderfully rich album.

There are times when they bring in the power of Opeth, but move to RPWL and folk influences without even batting an eye. This is music that popintedly refuses to stick in any particular subgenre and is happy to meander all over the place wherever it needs to be. It is going to appreciate to those who want their prog to have bite, and there is a section in 'Cobwebs' where they are a straight out metal band, nothing more or less. But, for the most part it is the threat of darkness as opposed to a straight metallic attack that gives this the edge. Sure, they can be Dream Theater when they want to be, or they can be full on emotional Anathema, with harmony vocals and gentleness and picked guitars. Or not.

If you have yet to come across Votum then you need to increase your musical education as this is a great piece of work.

 Harvest Moon by VOTUM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 163 ratings

Harvest Moon
Votum Progressive Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Another heavy prog band from Poland. There sure is some great music coming out of Eastern Europe! And this one clocks in at no less than 69 mintues!

Harvest Moon kicks off with a real gem--a piece that betrays very little of the heavier, more metal-oriented stuff to come.

1. "Vicious Circle" [8:13] takes the listener on such a nice ride through quite a diverse range of soundscapes. It starts off with a slow picking acoustic guitar that is backed by a cool organ sound. When drums and bass finally join in a great electric guitar solo completes the intro section. Settling into a very steady slow pace, the vocalist enters with a very strong, soulful presence. As things amp up at the chorus everything is working so well: no over play or show-boating. Then there is an ominous lull, which fulfills all expectations when a heavier section kicks in (with some great lead guitar arpeggios and bass and drums). At 4:45 we are back to lull. A very delicate 'distant' el guitar and organ play a little before the beginning section is recreated (with a bit more play from the organist). This time, however, the solo section is much expanded and displays much more energy and technical instrument play-- especially from the drums, bass, and lead guitar. Vocals rejoin to complete the song but the ride plays out with a minute of very eery space noise. [9/10]

2. "Cobwebs" [5:01] sounds quite a bit like it could have come off of PEARL JAM's Ten despite the presence of some growl/screams and engineering effects. Luckily, the music is not detracted by the screams. A great song for the Octane Radio listeners. [8/10]

3. "First Felt Pain" (6:52) starts out with a very heavy modern metal sound (stereotypically signalled by the machine gun riffs from the kick drum). But that's just the first minute. At 1:05 a pause is filled with a fast strumming acoustic guitar before the heavy rhythms rejoin in a flow that supports the vocals (which are surprisingly melodic). The instrumental solo sections are still steeped in modern heavy metal. At 3:45 an emotional acoustic section ensues that feels so powerful and heartfelt--including the guitar solo and engineering effects (panning b- vox). At the six-minute mark, all sound drops away leaving some layers of very eery industrial noises which play out to the end. Very effective! Incredibly unpredictable song. (9/10)

4. "New Made Man" (5:27) has a very familiar classic rock feel to it, a simpler, more straightforward song structure, but, when put into the context of this whole album, it holds a very stunning presence. It sounds very much, to my ears, like a cross between early DAVID BOWIE and the Aussie glam rockers, ICEHOUSE--or THE RE-FLEX. At 3:10 the song breaks down to arpeggiated acoustic guitar and some random sounding tickling of the piano ivories. Very pretty! Quite a melodic gem! (9/10)

5. "Numb" (5:01) is a gentler, almost LUNATIC SOUL song with layered vocal harmonies sung over a very simply picked acoustic guitar and some hand percussives. The final minute and fifteen seconds plays out with some "windy"-sounding synth washes. Overall, "Numb" sounds a lot like a Southern Rock classic from the likes of THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND or THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND or even KANSAS or BLIND FAITH, TRAFFIC, or THE ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION. Again, another surprise in terms of this band's musical dexterity. An excellent song. (9/10)

6. "Ember Night" (6:58) "slows" things down to a very standard heavy metal pace. Unfortunately, for the first 3:35, the song does very little musically to make it stand out from the rest of the metal scene--and certainly does little to help it hold up to the album's previous stellar five songs. The jazzy lull from 3:34 to 5:15 does nothing new or exciting. A return to the harmony vocals and the first sections of music add nothing--continue to bore me. It just never engages or does anything special. (6/10)

7. "Bruises" (7:43) begins with some acoustic guitar play over some synthesizer washes. The vocal and rhythm section kick in to establish a slow, almost piano jazz song. Then the music begins to build--first the more insistent rhythm from the bass and drums, then the lead guitar starts to warm up--but then everything drops out to leave just a soft piano and the vocalist-- who, though heart-felt, seems weak of voice. Staccato acoustic guitar strumming restarts the song--ushering in the full-scale heaviness of the band. Now the vocal fits better! But, then, the soft piano (and, this time, drum) supported emotional vocal section returns--this time to much better effect. At 5:28 when the full power of the song is finally released it is working: great drumming, great chord sequences, great vocal performances (including b-vox) and great melodies. The final 45 seconds allows the piano, delicate drum play, and whispered voice to bring the song to decay. (9/10)

8. "Steps in the Gloom" (7:51) begins with synth wash and reverb-electric guitar notes, soon joined by delicate piano play and soft-jazz kind of drum and bass play. When electric guitar starts to play in the second minute the electronic keyboards are doing some very interesting things. The vocalist enters around 1:45 sounding quite relaxed and laid back. His emotions are soon amped up as the band kicks into a section of driving sound. Back to softer, and even ambient section reminiscent of some of the things DAVID SYLVIAN, RYUICHI SAKAMOTO and TREVOR HORN were doing in the 80s. Awesome strumming and soloing from electric guitars around the five-minute mark. And the bass play! This guy is getting off, too! Best instrumental section of the album! The final 90 seconds is a kind of SEAL/"Crazy" return to the song's main vocal followed by an ambient outro. An odd song that defies categorization. One of the album's best. (9/10)

9. "Dead Ringer" (6:52) begins with a rolling bass line and steady, strong drum pace to back what sounds like a DAVID BOWIE-like vocal performance. The heavier chorus section betrays a different path (though Bowie had his metal-like moments--and may have used this stylistic approach were he peaking in the post-90s Prog Metal era.) Cool guitar work at the 3:10 mark followed by hollowed out section with rock-steady drum, muted bass, and slow, muted vocals. Excellent! It then rebuilds to full-scale onslaught on our senses. I love the powerful, firm-but-understated drum-work throughout this song! The song 'ends' at the six- minute mark while another cinematic display of ambient synth play carries the song out to its end 52 seconds later. My favorite song of the album. (10/10)

10. "Coda" (6:32) begins like a cross between PEARL JAM and TOOL before shifting into a brief delicate section. AT 1:45 the synths and electric guitars enter with some really new, fresh sounds, the song's feel and rhythm and tempo shifts, the industrial synth takes over for a bit, then it all comes racing back into a full-out metal bang. For 30 seconds. A 30-second spacey section is talked over in a BONO-like voice before the band climbs back into banging mode--with some nice (though stereotypic) support vocal harmonies. This could be a ARJEN LUCASSEN song! Were I one to key in on lyrics, the story here might prove to be quite interesting. Yet another eery space wash synth journey plays out the final minute of this song. (8/10)

11. "Numb - A Reprise" (2:35) ends the album with a return to the acoustic side of this band of talented and creative songwriters and rock solid performers. (8/10)

This album is a real shocker to me in that I find myself liking it far more than this year's new release from fellow prog countrymates, RIVERSIDE. There is much more dynamic energy here--as if VOTUM really cares about every note of their music, as if they are really into their music--into engaging and at the same time hyping up their audience. As much as I appreciate the creativity and leadership of MARIUZ DUDA and RIVERSIDE, I have to say that with Harvest Moon, a new band has usurped the crown of Poland's prog scene. That band is named VOTUM.

Hail to the new king! Long live the king!

Pretty darn near a perfect album and definitely a masterpiece of creative, energetic progressive rock music.

 Harvest Moon by VOTUM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 163 ratings

Harvest Moon
Votum Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars While everyone (including myself) is swooning over Riverside's newest release, another Polish band quietly released their third album. Votum released "Harvest Moon" in close proximity to Riverside's SONGS, and I honestly don't know if this will hurt them or not. However, I do know that it will produce much comparison between the albums.

Votum is Progski---that combination of dark rock and prog rock that seems to be so abundant in Poland. Votum is certainly influenced by Riverside, and it could be seen on Votum's first two releases. Yet, I believe that Votum has created their own niche in Progski. This niche is giving Riverside fans what they want to hear. What do I mean? I mean that Votum gives us the melancholy vocals and ambiance; the high-tuned, towering guitars; the driving bass lines; the spacey, beautiful keys; and the amazing drums that Riverside presented in their Reality Dream trilogy. Yet, Riverside has moved on to other sounds (excellent ones, at that), and Votum is filling that craving and adding twists of their own devise as well. I can't be any more pleased with that.

"Harvest Moon" continues the Votum tradition of giving melancholy atmospheres, some well-done prog metal sections, and (most importantly to them) soul-splitting lyrics. Yes, Votum has some of the best lyrics in the business. They really grab your heart by the neck and force you to feel something. I really admire this aspect of the band. So, the high points of Votum's albums often have to deal more with emotional impact than with musical genius. Thus, the high points of this album are "Cobwebs", "New Made Man" (my favorite), "Dead Ringer", and "Coda" (not to be confused with Riverside's final track on their latest album). "New Made Man" has especially amazed me its raw emotional content. So, Votum has once again created a masterpiece of emotive story-telling.

That is not to say that the musicianship is unworthy of discussion, however. The guitarmanship is as amazing as ever, and I felt that the drums were a step up from their previous outings (way better than any that Riverside has ever produced). Indeed, the band has stepped up the metal portions considerably this time (people complained about their last albums' focus on ballads), and they really bring it at points---tastefully, just like everything else. The one part that really stood out to me this time is the bass. The bass lines on this album are phenomenal, and they really create a somber mood that completely envelops the listener. These bass lines culminate on "Dead Ringer" that opens with an amazing bass line that will stick with you for a long time. Lastly, the vocals, while taking some time to get used to, are emotive and wonderfully performed.

So, as 2013 has begun, we already are getting some amazing prog. I urge fans of Riverside, Porcupine Tree, heavy prog, and prog metal to give this band and album a try. Votum doesn't have the instantly recognizable name, but their music begs to change this fact. This album, like their others, is an experience in emotion, angst, desperation, and melancholy; It truly is powerful, and beats Riverside at their own game in several spots. I hope to see more from this band for many years to come.

 Metafiction by VOTUM album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.01 | 78 ratings

Votum Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Votum is a band with much potential. I recently discovered them, and I fell in love with their melancholy, profound music in the vein of Riverside. Votum indeed is profound. While their music style tends to be softer, deeper, and moodier; their lyrical content is a punch in the gut. They do resemble Riverside in some slight ways, but no more than how some progressive metal bands resemble Dream Theater---the comparison is there, but is of little consequence.

More specifically, Votum has a great mix of music here. I have not purchased their first album yet (though I plan to), and I have heard that it is heavier than "Metafiction". That being said, this album is full of ballads with a few heavier songs thrown in the mix. This does not pull the album down at all, although I will admit that during the first few listens I was wishing for some heavier songs. I must point out, however, that this wish was merely because Votum is so good at the heavy stuff. There are two heavier songs on this album, and both of them are fantastic and very progressive. Overall, though, props should be given to the vocalist and the drummer here. The vocals are outstanding; they are technically incredible as well as emotionally vulnerable. The emotion really comes through here, and this is something I love. The drummer is also to be commended. He concocts some great and unique beats, and does not try to steal the show when the emphasis is on the lyrics or the breathy vocals. All the musicians in this band are exceptional, however.

The theme of this album centers on the idea that we have more than we know. It tells the sad story of a suicidal man who does not stop to see all that he has in the love of his wife and family---and he has even more than that (as seen in the final track). This concept is very profound, and it causes one to stop and "smell the roses".

Track List:

1. "Falling Dream": This is a great opening track that will really grow on you after 4 or 5 listens. It presents the primary theme of the album quite well, but also gives you an idea of the musical concept as well. 9/10.

2. "Glassy Essence": This is easily one of the best tracks on the album. The chorus is incredible, and the medium tempo keeps thing melancholy. 10/10.

3. "Home": This is another great song that presents a lot of emotion, and it provides some great prog rock as well. 8/10.

4. "Faces": This is probably my least favorite song on the album. It is a slow ballad, but there is little in the way of interesting lyrical content or music. The vocals are incredible, to be sure. It is not filler, and it is still enjoyable, however. 6/10.

5. "Stranger than Fiction": This is one of the two heavier tracks on the album, and even involves some screaming at the end. It is really well done, and the drummer really stands out here. 9/10.

6. "Indifferent": This is another slower song on the album that really brings the emotional punch. Again, the vocals are amazing, and the raw humanity here is gut-wrenching. The final act has a faster tempo that perfectly complements the rest of the song. 8/10.

7. "December 20th": This is the best song on the album. It is heavy at parts, breathy in some areas, and amazing as a whole. Not only is musical expertise present, but the vocals and the concept of the album both come to fruition. We see the end of the story, and an emotion low is reached. This is an outstanding track. 10/10.

Overall, this is an exceptional album that just missed "essential" status. I am looking forward to their first album; and, according to the Facebook page, they have a new album coming soon. I will certainly buy this immediately. Votum's "Metafiction" is highly recommended.

 Time Must Have a Stop by VOTUM album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.93 | 85 ratings

Time Must Have a Stop
Votum Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars I have been lucky to hear many Polish prog bands over the years, and this 2008 debut from Votum has brought another into my area of knowledge. Now, Poland isn't a country that many Western progheads would necessarily think of as being a hotbed, but over the years there have been some great bands (think SBB, Collage, Satelite to name just a few) and of course Riverside has made a huge impression on everyone. With this release, Votum deserve very much to be spoken about in the same sentence. When one looks at the CD cover the impression is one of darkness and menace, and isn't hard to imagine that the music inside is Black Metal, but instead we have one of the most atmospheric and interesting debuts from recent years that I have heard.

Yes, when they decide that the time is right they can punch out the heavy metal riffs and give us some symphonic passages that wouldn't sound out of place with Therion or Nightwish, but often it is the 'menacing threat' that takes this forward. It is simply one of the most atmospheric albums I have heard, and while there are times when it sounds more like Negură Bunget than Pink Floyd or Porcupine Tree, it is also true that all these bands have obviously had an influence. The vocals are in English, and for the most part are melodic without too much of an accent.

This isn't going to be for everyone, as it straddles so many genres and sub-genres, but I urge anyone interested in hearing great rock music, whatever label people saddle it with, to search it out. m or

 Time Must Have a Stop by VOTUM album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.93 | 85 ratings

Time Must Have a Stop
Votum Progressive Metal

Review by usa prog music

4 stars I'm about to let the cat out of the bag, air some of our dirty laundry, and other (mixed) metaphors as well! The review process starts out with an email from our commander-in- chief, Jill Hughes. She'll list groups available and we scurry off in our trucks and visit the closest series of tubes to find snippets of sound and get a taste for what we have at our fingertips. When we choose, she sends us all sorts of information about the group along with the music we're to examine.

When Votum's Time Must Have a Stop came around, I found some samples and liked what I heard so I requested it. And, when the package arrived it was Christmas morning with shreds of envelope flying about the room. Enclosed, in addition to the CD, was a description of the band which seemed to indicate that they were largely a metal-focused band. We all have our preferences; mine tend to shy away from the heavier, harder sounds that others find far more palatable. It was therefore with some trepidation that I listened to the album in preparation for this review.

And, I was most pleasantly surprised.

This is quite possibly the best album I've heard in months, including those I've reviewed for this site. Trying to pigeonhole them into a specific genre (e.g., progressive metal or progressive rock) does them a disservice. This is not to say they lack progressive features, just that they're versatility is what makes this album such a great one to listen to. Seamlessly they shift from a progressive sound to an atmospheric track and on to an acoustic piece. I find myself favorably comparing them to Pagan's Mind, Akashic, Pink Floyd, Octavia Sperati, Ayreon and others without being able to focus on any one specific influence.

Of the album's eight tracks, some are undeniably progressive. Chiefly, tracks 2, 5, 7, and 10 will appeal to fans of rhythmic guitar, melodic keyboards, and top-notch percussion. In particular, the fifth track, "The Hunt is On", is a stellar composition providing a two-minute introduction highlighting the precision of the instrumentalists before the vocalist, Maciej Kosinski, joins. Expertly mastered, the vocals on this track?and the others?are never lost in the instrumental foundation which support them and the careful listener will be able to pick apart the polyphonic structure of the melodies behind Kosinski.

This album is a must have if you enjoy variety; complex, interesting lyrics; and a layered approach to instrumentation. The progressive, epic structure of the fifth track leads effortlessly into a more atmospheric, acoustic track on the sixth ("Away"), which transitions into "Looking at Me Now", quite possibly the heaviest track on the album. Each song is unique in some capacity producing a sound that'll keep you coming back for more.

A votum is a prayer wherein a person seeks to beseech from a higher power a gift or boon in return for a sacrifice of some kind. If Time Must Have a Stop is indicative of Votum's future works, I'll be glad to perform whatever they require to speed their production processes along.

 Metafiction by VOTUM album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.01 | 78 ratings

Votum Progressive Metal

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Slower, softer, deeper.

Yes, this album is different than Time Must Have a Stop. Yes, the tendency to aim towards ballads is obvious and yes, it disappoint me a teeny tiny bit.

By no means the album is bad, it's just a change of pace. The band founded it's niche into slower and less claustrophobic atmosphere, instead of burning fuel on the Riverside tangent they experiment on the first album. If your ears don't like to be rubbed the wrong way, you will enjoy this album because it won't mess with your hair often. But then...why so many ballads?

I frankly didn't expect songs structures like those: rythms done by pop-modern keyboards without solos, singing mostly in lower tones, almost whispering at times, a minimum of anger...should I say this is a more romantic album? Yes, yes I do.

Think of heavier Enchant.

..and oh, the screams are more belivable this time; no sodas involved this time.

Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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