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VULKAN

Heavy Prog • Sweden


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Vulkan biography
VULKAN are a heavy progressive band from Göteborg and Karlstad, Sweden. The current shape of the band was established in 2011, whereas between 2006 and 2011 they were called MORGEOUS GARVIN. Jimmy Bobby LINDBLAND (vocals), Johan NORBACK (drums), Mag MUNSON (guitars), David ENGSTROM (keyboards, synths and electronics) and Vincent ANDREN (bass) comprise VULKAN. They self-released their debut ''Mask of Air'' in November 2011, followed by the album ''Observants'' in 2016. MUNSON and ANDREN quit the band after the second album and replaced by Christian FREDRIKSSON (INFERIOR, ORB DESIGNER) and Oscar PETTERSON (DECEPTION) respectively. The new line-up has started working on new material.

VULKAN's influences come both from the classic 70's progressive rock and modern versions of heavy prog, particularly THE MARS VOLTA. They also cite FRANK ZAPPA, PINK FLOYD, MASTODON, JEFF BUCKLEY, and RADIOHEAD as inspirations among others. Their second album shows more influence from acts such as TOOL and KARNIVOOL.

Biography by aapatsos

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VULKAN discography


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

4.27 | 21 ratings
Mask of Air
2011
3.89 | 27 ratings
Observants
2016
3.80 | 42 ratings
Technatura
2020

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VULKAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Technatura by VULKAN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.80 | 42 ratings

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Technatura
Vulkan Heavy Prog

Review by Soul2Create

4 stars Vulkan is back! I loved their debut, but their second album left me cold, so I didn't know what to expect about this one. And now I can say: I am really liking it. If their first album reminded of The Mars Volta debut, and their second one used more organic rythms a la Tool, this one could be a fusion between those styles plus Haken and some psychedelic experimentation. Even if only the vocalist from the original line up is here, the band manages to create an excellent work that continues the path established in their first albums. Highly recommended to all fans of experimental heavy prog like Haken or Anekdoten. This band should be definetively more known in this site.
 Mask of Air by VULKAN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.27 | 21 ratings

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Mask of Air
Vulkan Heavy Prog

Review by Soul2Create

5 stars How this album is not among the best releases of the last ten years is beyond my understanding. This is heaven for any fan of challenging, adventurous prog rock with metal touches (without being prog metal). To me it is like a twin brother of De-loused in the comatorium by The Mars Volta, We have the same sense of experimentation, sound effects, intensity and even the vocals ressemble Cedric Bixler-Zavala. But Vulkan is not a clone band by any means, what we have here is a very original album. Do yourself a favour and go listen to it, you won't be dissapointed.
 Mask of Air by VULKAN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.27 | 21 ratings

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Mask of Air
Vulkan Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars VULKAN started all the way back in 2006 under the moniker Morgeous Garvin under which they completed a few recordings and kept until 2011 when the band decided to up the intensity level of the music and changed its name to VULKAN. The band was formed in Karlstad, Sweden and the first lineup of VULKAN was David Engström (keyboards, effects), Mag Munson (guitars), Jimmy Bob Lindblad (vocals), Johan Norbäck / drums) and Vincent Andrén (bass) with only Lindblad and Norbäck existing up to the present day.

Upon changing its name to VULKAN the band immediately changed its classic retro prog sound to include more heavy guitar heft and released its first album MASK OF AIR the same year of formation. This debut featured more of a classic prog sound laced with heavy rock often bordering on metal and for a few brief moments actually could qualify but for the most part MASK OF AIR is dedicated to the lengthy emotive prog tracks that intertwine spaced out atmospheres with stellar guitar, bass and drum rhythmic drive. One of the highlights of VULKAN's sound is the expressive vocals of lead single Jimmy Lindblad whose style gives an extra layer of emotive connection to the musical accompaniment.

It's not really clear who VULKAN sounds like. It's clearly a style of retro prog that implements a dash of King Crimson at their heaviest with Floydian space rock along with some of the symphonic prog styles of the 90s, perhaps the Flower Kings or similar acts but to my ears VULKAN stands out by existing somewhere in between all of these bands, borrowing elements from all but piecing it all together in a unique way. The tunes are melodic and multi-vocal harmonies are employed at key moments for extra emphasis on the melodic constructs which dominate the sonicscapes.

MASK OF AIR is a lengthy best sprawling on to almost the 77 minute mark and in its wake it leaves 10 tracks many of which are over 8 minutes and only a three that are below six. This is the type of prog you can get lost in. Tender lyrical deliveries offer a sense of melancholy only punctuated by an angsty heft that randomly generates the contrast in the form of bombast. VULKAN reminds me of alternative Wobbler in many regards only with less focus on the symphonic aspects and more on the guitar, bass and drum triumvirate that supports the dominant vocal style. Faux flute sounds also occur now and again and the album mainly simmers on mid-tempo rhythmic drives rather than turning up the heat.

VULKAN's debut is an interesting example of highly emotive psychedelic prog with a heavier edge. The mellotron sounds add a serious dose of retro dynamism whereas the heavier guitar sequences evoke a more contemporary stance. The album's melodies are instantly addictive but implement some interesting chord progressions to offer that in-the-prog-zone-4-sure feel. MASK OF AIR is a strong debut and would be followed by "Observants" in 2016 which got the band on the Pain of Salvation tour in 2018. While the band has shifted to an even more eccentric style of playing on their newer material, this more laid back traditional style of space rock and heavy prog is quite a pleasant listen and one that could become quite addictive on subsequent listens and offers the sweet satisfaction of a Porcupine Tree album.

 Technatura by VULKAN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.80 | 42 ratings

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Technatura
Vulkan Heavy Prog

Review by kurtrongey

4 stars These guys from Karlstad, Sweden have put together about as close to a perfect heavy prog album as I've heard in a long time, gracefully executed and free of the hokiness that taints the genre. The songs are conceptually substantial and sonically meaty. Great vocals in both English and Swedish. A well-rounded band with a strong rhythm section that's metrically inventive without being contrived or convoluted. Wonderful intermingling of keyboards and guitar, with numerous moments of fairly breathtaking beauty. If you're into this style, this could be your album of the year. I love it. Although the album's uniformly good, I'd go with "Bewildering Conception Of Truth" and "Sp'kskepp" as standout tracks.
 Technatura by VULKAN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.80 | 42 ratings

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Technatura
Vulkan Heavy Prog

Review by ssmarcus

3 stars Vulkan is a talented and energetic Swedish progressive hard rock and metal act that, given their talent and how long they've been around, should be more popular than they are. Their sound on Technatura can be described as alternative metal but with the technical and compositional chops of proper metal and prog acts. Their singer Jimmy Linblad is definitely the stand out element.

With all that said, there are a couple of flaws with the record that prevent me from giving it a higher rating. For starters, the songs really all start to sound the same after 'Sp'kskepp.' The instrumental psychedelic interludes are all forgettable. And while I give the group a lot of credit for opting to sing some tracks in their native language, the lyrics in English that I do understand really come off tone deaf in the current environment. Corona virus and the lockdowns it has instigated has emphasized to humanity the extent to which nature is still out to kill us and how much information technology (i.e. the 'second life in what we call a screen' in the record's opener) can help us maintain some normalcy despite the lock down. I really have no interest in their brand of "wake up sheeple" edginess given what's at steak at the moment.

 Observants by VULKAN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.89 | 27 ratings

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Observants
Vulkan Heavy Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Second release from the Swede alternative heavy proggers, after their very interesting debut 'Mask of Air', and another testimony that heavy prog is on the up. Switching slightly from the TMV-inspired debut to melodies that resemble mostly Tool and Karnivool, Vulkan deliver a mature (even if slightly short) piece of work.

The album is built around four mid-to-long duration compositions that start off shyly on the rhythm section and evolve on pounding riffs in the vein of The Kindred. The songs typically reach their peak towards the end with great vocal melodies that leave you wanting more. The tracks are built around the bass lines of Vincent Andren and the excellent keyboard interventions by David Engström. Indie/alternative elements from Radiohead and Muse make their appearance here and there and blend really well with Vulkan's modern alternative heavy prog style.

Despite the heavy burden from their influences, which leaves little room to manoeuvre on the originality front, the structure of the album, the variations and technical prowess of the band contribute to an excellent result. For friends of Tool, Karnivool, The Kindred, 'Observants' might make your top-list of 2016.

Best track: Consequence of Ignorance

4 (-) stars

Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition.

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