Album: The Veil of Darkness
Label: Osmose Productions
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: January 25th, 2019
Music is subjective. It’s a concept I try to keep in mind when I write these reviews. I try to take a fair, and generally non-biased listen to every record. I base my criteria on things like originality, chemistry and inspiration, or emotion in the music, and of course, proficiency of the musicians. But writing a review is still throwing your subjective opinion at the world, and writing one that is objectively ‘correct’, is for all purposes, impossible. With that in mind I’m going to open the flood gates and let my flawed, biased opinion out in this article.
The first wave of black metal came about in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, almost 30 years ago. And since then, thousands, upon thousands of unknown, old school style bedroom black metal bands have come out. And if I’m being honest, don’t need another one man black metal band trying to make another early Bathory album, get over it and write something original. I’m fine with going for an old school, raw sound, but eventually nostalgia just gets in the way of making something original or having any innovation in your project. This is something that plagues many subgenres of metal, but the worst offender is easily black metal.
While ‘The Veil of Darkness’ isn’t terrible, its not good. If I’m being frank, it’s just boring. As I listen to the album, very little really stands out. There are almost no dynamics to this album. From the beginning to the end is straight blast beats, simplistic riffs, a few tremolo guitar lines here and there, and not a whole lot else. The main redeeming feature is that every once in a while there is a really heavy, or groovy guitar riff able pokes its way through that’s engaging and catchy.
The vocals are, in my opinion the weakest part of the album. Such songs as ‘this is war’ and ‘stil six six six’ had me cringing at cheesy, cliché choruses. You can only scream “This is war” so many times before it gets very old, very quickly. I believe I’ve also mentioned my opinions on satanism in past reviews, but I don’t have an issue reiterating them; satanism is cheap, overdone, vapid, and edgy.
If I can find anything positive to say about the album, it’s that it definitely ends on a higher note than it began. ‘Our Crusade’ is a legitimately good song, with some catchy melodies, a very naturally flowing song structure, and some cool grooves. Throughout the album the vocal panning is well done, and I can appreciate the jumps between stereo vocals and vocals up front that give them some movement. The guitar tones throughout are warm and not muddy. The bass is audible for the most part. Which is kind of a miracle when it comes to black metal. So this album does have it’s aspects that I enjoyed. Listening to it actively is just not engaging for me.
Gorgon is band with an extremely long history, and a cult following. But in my mind, an old band having a legendary status doesn’t exempt their music from being judged just as harshly as a 2 year old band. Creativity is important, innovation is what makes a band stand out from the rest. I refuse to give a good rating to an album because it’s riding on a bands legacy. For fans of old school, raw black metal, it’s good, but don’t expect anything overly interesting or anything new brought to the table.
1. Son Of Perdition
2. Still Six Six Six
3. This Is War
4. The Veil Of Darkness
5. Border Of The Forest
6. Path Of Doom
7. The Roots Of My Fantasies
8. Burned For Him
9. Depraved Conception
10. Posthumous Bewitchment
11. Our Crusade
Total Playing Time: 42:30
“Being in death metal is like being a Janitor, I sweep all day.”