Veil and Lamentation- “Demo I”

veil and lamentation

One of the greatest joys of running a website that focuses on such niche music as black metal is running into artists and labels as they’re just beginning and watching them blossom into something larger. Sometimes acts that seem prepared to unleash brilliance fizzle out after a great demo or two and sometimes I have the joy of covering an act from day one, watching their momentum grow with subsequent releases. Through the (sometimes jumbled and confusing) web of stuff on my Tumblr feed, I came across a new label from Toronto called Summer Isle. While their prior releases have certainly held my interest, a brief sample of Veil and Lamentation’s first demo was posted and felt like the perfect fit for my readers as an introduction to a promising new artist and label.

The three tracks on this debut demo clock in around ten minutes, so the listener really has time to take this one in over repeated visits. Appropriately enough, a song entitled “Root” sets things off as an introduction, growing up and into the first fully realized song, “Tower of Quartz,” a driving and messy offering that feels entirely up to date while still throwing a nod to classic second wave black metal sounds. Of particular note is Veil and Lamentation’s ability to utilize keys without creating something symphonic or bombastic, reminding me in many ways of the fascination I felt when I first heard Dressed in Streams or False. Now more than ever, raw black metal seems to eschew anything that might lend melody, which is a shame. Veil and Lamentation has a solid grasp on space and atmosphere in music without making things flowery or indulgent. Instead, there is a rawness and fury that is aided along by the incorporation of unorthodox elements, creating something unique and exciting. If the underground is about inventive and bold music, then I hope Veil and Lamentation soon rises to become one of the prominent faces of the underground.

I don’t expect copies of this tape will last long, but it’s well worth considering. I’ll admit I don’t yet have one in hand myself, but when I do it’s likely to be thrown into heavy rotation. While you’re checking this one out, give Moss Harvest and Crown Vetch a chance. Both have my total support and neither sounds quite like Veil and Lamentation. Diversity makes life more interesting, so jump on it.