Veilburner have produced a monster of an album. This is 60 minutes of blackened death metal, filtered through a corrupted lens of experimental dissonance and pseudo-industrial undertones.
In a way it’s difficult to separate the disparate influences at play in Veilburner’s sound, as at any one time you can hear all/many of the various types of extreme music in different aspects of their sound. The band seem to be the spiritual heirs to the rampant black metal experimentation of the 90s, and certainly remind me of that fertile time in more ways than one.
The Obscene Rite is not easy listening and will not appeal to everyone, but that’s exactly as it should be for this kind of dark art. Death metal’s forcefulness and black metal’s slithering malevolence are at the core of what makes this music work so well, but this is added to by dissonant riffs, an industrial coating of warped sounds, and extreme metal experimentation. This makes for a band that considers no melody, idea, riff or noise off the table if it could possibly convey the message that they want to get across and further the story that they are telling.
Veilburner are adept at conjuring and sustaining all manner of dark atmospheres, and The Obscene Rite is certainly not a straightforward album. There are elements of the avant-garde at play on here too, further allowing them the freedom to essentially do what they want with their sound, blurring the lines between genres and sub-genres with ease and contempt.
The vocals are the match of the music, with multiple styles of delivery, including some that are quite theatrical in performance.
With complex song structures and lengthier-than-the-norm song lengths, the band don’t hold back with their ambition on this release. It’s joyfully unconventional and atypical in delivery, marking them as a band that are playing extreme metal their way, with little outside influence.
Highly recommended for fans of individual, challenging music that definitely treads its own path.
The more I listen to this the higher I rate it.