By George Van Doorn
At times, I feel really out-of-touch with the metal scene. Colorado’s VELNIAS have been around for 13 years and released three albums, and yet I’ve never heard of them. The latest of the three albums, Scion of Aether, is tough to describe. It’s part Primordial, part Black Sabbath, part Evoken, part Anathema, and, perhaps controversially, part Baroness too.
The intro, ‘Fissures within the Construct’, begins its life as a slow and doomy affair but builds in pace to a crescendo, all the while retaining a tinge of sadness. If I’m honest, I prefer it when Velnias play slower. They do ‘slow’ really well. There’s elements of folk music in the slower parts and you can feel the emotion in the music.
Velnias seem like a band whose writing process involves getting together in a rehearsal space, improvising, and seeing what comes out. Their music is very fluid and combines Doom, Death, Rock, and Folk music pretty seamlessly. You can probably guess that it, necessarily, teeters on experimental at times too. This is particularly striking on ‘Supernal Emergent’ which is, parenthetically, my favourite song on Scion of Aether. It has cracking basslines!
As with all experimentation, sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn’t. ‘Oblivion Horizon’ gets oddly chaotic about a quarter of the way through the song. But, it’s not a “good” chaotic. It’s a bit of a chore to get through. The song picks up again about half-way with a very cool riff.
Given that most songs on Scion of Aether clock in at around 10 minutes in length, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Scion Of Aether releases 27th March via Eisenwald. Pre-orders available now.
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