Houston-based progressive post-hardcore band Vox Vocis are no strangers to change. The group made a splash in their local scene in 2016 with their debut full-length In the Arms of the Sun, which drew from well-known prog acts like Coheed and Cambria and Closure in Moscow to create a dynamic, densely layered musical journey. Now, two years on from that album’s release, the band expands their reach and broadens their musical vision with the release of Star Meissa, one of the finest albums the genre has produced this year.
Every once in a while, a band emerges with a sound that both draws from a wide range of influences, yet feels fresh in its execution. Such a band doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel necessarily, but is able to stand out from the pack because they are more than the sum of their influences, and infuse their sound with a new vitality and distinctive voice. Houston progressive group Vox Vocis are one such band, and in a few short years they’ve gone from making a splash in their local scene, to now embarking on their first nationwide tour.
Less than a year ago, Slaves seemed like a project that was already on its last legs. Formed in 2014 around the controversial yet indisputably talented singer Jonny Craig, the band was initially branded as a fresh start for Craig, in music and in life. However, the band’s first two studio albums, devoid of much of the technicality and memorable arrangements of his prior bands Emarosa and Dance Gavin Dance, failed to leave a large impact. Beyond the music, Jonny Craig and the band quickly fell back into controversy and interpersonal drama, and after lead guitarist Alex Lyman became the latest member to depart, the band seemed to announce its breakup last April.