Veilburner – A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy (Transcending Obscurity)

Thursday, 27th December 2018
Rating: 8.5/10

A slowly rising force since their beginnings in 2014, Pennsylvania’s Veilburner have often needed to work harder than most. The price of originality is that sometimes the audience isn’t quite sure of what to make of the end result, and while Veilburner are extreme metal through and through, they have always been a tough nut to crack when it comes to defining their sound. But as they continue further down the rabbit hole, they’ve gotten stronger and stronger.

A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy isn’t an easy listen. It’s occasionally eerie and strange, injecting some real personality into the material in switching between more notably extreme and atmospheric segments. Thankfully, what Veilburner does that makes them stand out, with more acts trying to delve into atmosphere, is to create something that’s both strange and otherworldly while being strangely inviting. While the more brutal moments conjure up some of these feelings as well (a hint of Akercocke’s madness somewhere in the mix – “Where Torment has Danced Before”), when the band really slows down and moves into the dark and sinister moods, they can provide something that’s either hellish or trippy. The mix-up between these two provides a sharp contrast and lets the band go further into territory that is uniquely their own. From the more melodic end on “Panoramic Phantoms” this comes in as something striking and catchy with a darker edge, or crazed and frantic on the title track, to the creepy vibes of “Glory Glory Grotesque,” really sets things up to move at will, but never without some sort of purpose or intrigue.

While Veilburner try to put a lot of different ideas into one album, they all work together to generate a stronger and more viable release in the end. No matter what your take is on it, A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy is an album that feels truly unique and interesting at every corner. An accomplishment in and of itself in today’s saturated marketplace, and one worth noting.

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