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Limelight: Vola

Danish quartet Vola with Beatles melodies, Meshuggah riffs and an accomplished debut.

Vola’s debut album Inmazes is very much the finished product. It probably helps that Vola’s frontman Asger Mygind has just completed a masters at Copenhagen’s Rhythmic Music Conservatory, which takes a vocational approach to music education.

“It’s been really cool to focus solely on music for so many years,” says Mygind. “My college is not so much about theory but more about writing songs and helping you get into the music business.”

The Conservatory has taught Mygind well. Starburn, one of the leading tracks on the new album, is a swelling mass of catchy verses and huge choruses, while the album as a whole is indebted to the creative wisdom of Steven Wilson, set to a brooding backdrop of crunchy, downtuned Meshuggah-esque riffs and lush, layered vocals. This compound of tech-prog and pop-inspired melodies positions Inmazes perfectly between the classic era of prog and new-age futurism.

“I’ve tried to get the same explosiveness and catchiness as the bands I listen to,” Mygind says as he reels off a list of favourite Wilson/Porcupine Tree albums, citing In Absentia and Insurgentes among his most cherished. He also namechecks Devin Townsend for those “very big soundscapes”, and Opeth crop up, but the “softer side… like Damnation.” Meanwhile, The Beatles are heralded as the key to Mygind’s pursuit of a truly catchy song.

I’ve tried to get the same explosiveness and catchiness as the bands I listen to.

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