Coming into this year, I already had the bar set for the entire year with the latest offering from Arkheth being the pinnacle of the year thus far for me with the band’s extremely colorful take on experimental black metal being the perfect introduction to the metal of 2018 in my eyes. Now, from the very same label, we are getting a record that treads very much the same line as Arkheth but in a very different dimension as Veilburner is yet another experimental black act that’s far more hostile and aggressive, but nonetheless mesmerizing and intoxicating.
I’ve always been a fan of experimentation while also being very wary of it for a multitude of reasons. Mainly, the genre typically has musicians that bring in so many different foreign factors or play the instruments in a slightly to very unorthodox fashion, and those two can make the music in question either incredibly flavorful and exciting or an aural mess that falls flat. Almost immediately into the chaos of “A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy”, I could tell that Veilburner was another shining example of the former as they bring blackened death metal to an experimental region that’s very coveted and adored, but one that’s very hard to achieve. We don’t get the grand, super ultra-detailed work that a band like Tchornobog or Howls of Ebb might bust out, but there are so many layers to “A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy” that it takes so many spins just to hear most of them much less process them. It can be very difficult to translate that into a coherent album that’s actually enjoyable, but by the end of the second track, Veilburner shows they’re clear masters of their dark craft. Each of the eight tracks that we’re gifted with “A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy” presents to us one unique sensation after the other that I can only liken to that of seeing the very fabric of universe being peeled apart one by one as we gaze at the intrinsic detailing in each stitch from the darkest pits to the brightest star as we see in tracks like “Panoramic Phantoms” and “Upstream and Parallel”. You’ve seen me say that very rarely we get a record like this, and I still stand by that as we don’t get dark art like this often and I can’t help but applaud Veilburner with fervor as “A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy” is just what I needed to close out the year with.
There’s not a single dull moment to be had as Veilburner clearly understands the mammoth task of keeping the attention of the listener while still bringing a great level of complexity to the mix that can’t be ignored, and by the time you’re only halfway through “A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy”, you’re already further into the blissful vortex of light and darkness that you never knew you wanted to become enamored with and smothered by. I started 2018 with a grand display of experimental black metal, and it’s with Veilburner that I’m lucky enough to go into next year with yet another top-tier sample of the genre fresh on my lips and still ringing in my ears!
“A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy” releases on December 28th via Transcending Obscurity Records!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy” on Bandcamp here.
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