For this one, I want to take a trip back to heavy metal city where the mustachioed man wearing the trench coat from my last Veilburner review resides. Turning the corner once again past the mainstream shops, I see the man and two masked men standing over his lifeless corpse. Oh shit, the Veilburner duo killed him. OH FUCK, I SHOULD RUN.

Once I was able to slow down and catch my bearings so to speak in a little shop whose name I don’t recall, the duo in question came out from the shadows, gave me a glossy, beautiful digipak version of their new album, as well as some shorts and a long sleeve shirt. Cool. What murder?

Of course, that brings us to the new Veilburner album VLBRNR, which is the name of the band minus vowels. There’s probably something to that, but I don’t know what it is. Disregard my nonsense and let’s focus on the very first track, which is called “VI (Vulgar Incantations).” I had thoughts this might just be an intro, then saw the 6-minute runtime. There are many things Veilburner does well and one of them is writing excellent, repetitive riffs and leads. I believe I mentioned in my review of their previous album that these riffs can sometimes be annoying, but then they get stuck in your head well after listening.

On the second track, “Envexomous Hex,” the vicious vocals are on display as well as some old school sci-fi sounding synth work, which appears a little over 2 minutes in. It just makes me think that I could really use getting abducted by aliens right now. On top of that, the excellent production shines on this one as the riffing is excellent and clear.

Moving much further ahead in the album is track 7, “Repulsed by the Light,” which is a feeling I understand well. It begins with an isolated bass (it coooouuuulllld be a guitar), then as the main riff kicks in, it has that same melody. That riff only lets up while the guitar solo is happening slightly over 2 minutes in. Then again with more soloing before the 4-minute mark. The end of this track is brilliant as it includes more soloing and an almost post-metal finish.

The last track is called “Ruin” and it has an industrial stomp with trademark skronky riffing on top. Of course, that doesn’t last because the band rarely stands still. Halfway in, the vocals take on more of what I would call an evil orator approach and marching, military esque drumbeat, followed by creepy synths end the album.

Veilburner make complicated, beautiful music for complicated, beautiful people. Am I including myself in this? Yes. It is, however, a lot to take in at 12 tracks and 56 minutes. It doesn’t seem like it, though. I may get assaulted by the boys themselves, but I put this is up there with Sires… as their best album. The songs are no less heavy or weird than what has been done before, but there’s a certain memorability to them and in some instances, dare I say “catchiness?” I did, so this is probably the last time you’ll hear from me, but please take my recommendation to listen to this album as an honor to my memory.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
December 19th, 2022


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