Every one of us has got a selection of bands that we like to keep track off. Whether they be giants of the genre of metal or tiny, tiny bands who’ve only an EP to their name, everybody’s got some. Veldes is one of the many in my little pocket of music that I keep tabs on, and I was super stoked to see another album coming from this Slovenian one-man band not even a year after his second full-length, “The Ember Breather”. Shame on me for I completely forgot to even think about this new piece upon its release given all the other pieces that I had on my plate at the time, and I sat down tonight to immediately rectify such a mistake. In no fucking way could I have been prepared for what’s held within the five tracks of “The Bitterness Prophecy”.
The idea of a band or even a single musician gaining experience in the area of expertise that’s being exercised and thus creating better songs, albums, etc., but what Veldes has done with this record is literal miles ahead of anything that the mastermind behind this name has done ever since his debut a scant four years ago. A split, two full-lengths, and two EPs may seem like chump change to some people out there, but with Veldes they went an incredibly long way to laying forth the path to such a gorgeous creation that came out in the form of “The Bitterness Prophecy”. Many would also go as far as to view atmospheric black metal as a style that’s been ridiculously oversaturated in the last few years to where there’s no good talent anymore that’s not boring, and to them, I’d present them this record. Simply because Veldes took a style that it’s been doing for years now, keep it relatively unchanged, and still manage to make something that’s on a whole other scale of beauty, mastery, and captivation for the style as a whole.
From the very beginning of the first track of “The Bitterness Prophecy”, you can instantly tell you’re in for something else. If you’re familiar with the style, it’s very entrancing that then leads to a glorious transition that feels very natural as Veldes masterfully goes from one distinct sound to the next. If you happen to be new to the whole sound, it’s quite the shift that shows both the power behind what Veldes is going for as well as the majesty that the work in trying to encapsulate. Now, take that thought and apply it to fucking all of “The Bitterness Prophecy”. Imagine perfect vocals that have just enough restraint on their power along with the perfect sound that becomes mesmerizing, strings that constantly swerve from rhythmic and irresistible to melancholy or somber, drums that have an immaculate sense of pacing that ties the whole of “The Bitterness Prophecy” together like a nicely tied bow, and just an overall atmosphere that cuts through to the very soul, enabling you to truly connect with what you’re hearing. Extremely few records have those in such high quality while not once dropping the ball, yet somehow the single man behind Veldes pulled it off without a hitch.
There have been several amazingly wonderful albums that have come out this year, but the silent bomb that is “The Bitterness Prophecy” that completely overtook me in body and spirit to bring me an experience that’s so much more than what I could’ve ever asked for from this band. I’ve always held Veldes in high regard after hearing the EP “Descent” back in 2015, and I’m incredibly fortunate I decided to keep tabs on this man. This cannot only be considered an album but a journey. One through the snow wastes, the heart, and to places where mind and spirit are one. An experience like none other and one that cannot be missed.
LISTEN to “The Bitterness Prophecy” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Veldes on Facebook here.