Veritates – Killing Time (Pure Steel Records)Tuesday, 14th January 2020
Delivering power metal without the clichés, German act Veritates issue a debut album for Killing Time that should cement the quartet in a scene desperate for more ‘meat and potatoes’ bands. Because as ardent followers of the power metal style know, there are different definitions or markers for the movement. Uplifting melodies, choirs, and major, bright chord progressions can deliver a ‘happier’ sound, but Veritates prefer to keep their tone and sound leaning on the more girthy side, possibly more US/traditional influenced as a result.
The steady rhythm guitar foundation comes from a more traditional sound – combining power and thrash-oriented riffs with that US finesse against Teutonic atmosphere, as songs like “Jerusalem Syndrome” and “Discovery” possess that mixture of cultural hooks and marching tempos with the right energy that puts them into Iced Earth/Dio meets Jag Panzer angles. Vocalist Andreas von Lipinski has an impressive multi-faceted range – full of vibrato and grit when necessary that probably gains him many Graham Bonnet comparisons right away on opener “The Past Is Dead” and continuing to the thrashy ender “Hasta La Muerte” that features some special guest vocals from André Grieder. The key to maintaining interest is in the steady supply of catchy, melodic guitar activities and then spreading out the supplementary parts into interesting tempo twists and strong choruses – and Veritates excels in all departments, sure to deliver steady headbanging, singalong moments. Even when stretching out for an 11-minute plus arrangement with “Hangmen Also Die”, the clean to heavy riffs Tom Winter chooses make sense, creating an edge of your seat aural drive not unless 80’s-period Iron Maiden (think Seventh Son) against Iced Earth, although some of the lower register verses from Tom reveal some of his ‘weaker’ tones that could be strengthened down the line.
Although not necessarily the favored power style to most of the public compared to say Powerwolf, Sabaton, or Helloween these days, there is a place for Veritates with those who enjoy the semi-progressive, dynamic strains that possesses more bite. As such, Killing Time is solid proof that newer bands can still execute strong material that should catch the right appeal given time and proper exposure.