I last reviewed Veilburner back in 2016 with their fourth album The Obscene Rite, so it’s about time that I did another one of their releases the justice it deserves by taking a closer look at their new material on VLBRNR.
Across 56 minutes Veilburner play an idiosyncratic and individual form of dissonant death metal, one that’s packed with blackened influences, harsh industrial edges, progressive explorations, and experimental tangents. VLBRNR is a feast of avant-garde extreme metal.
The songs are well-written, although they almost seem formed from unnaturally occurring fusions of diverse esoteric materials, rather than crafted by the hand of humans. Although they certainly present as something otherworldly and arcane, beneath the layered exterior the tracks are actually well-structured, with many classic songwriting components and tricks, albeit creatively applied and adorned with progressive splendour.
VLBRNR offers a warped version of still-mutating death metal, as if seen through a blackened and distorted interdimensional window. Some of the strangely affecting sounds on this album surely haven’t come from our plane of existence. With riffs that slide across the surface of reality like a envenomed blade, and drums that puncture its veil with precisely chaotic explosions of percussion, Veilburner’s music is expressive and multifaceted. It spans the spectrum of visible colours and seems to invent some new ones as the album unfolds, as if the density of its atypical musical weight is allowing something to cross over into our world from somewhere distinctly other.
I’m not sure I want to know how the recondite collective that is Veilburner created VLBRNR, as I’m sure that such obscure knowledge comes at a high price. Regardless, the entity is here, and we had all better drop to our knees in fealty.
Best absorbed fanatically over several ritualistic days, VLBRNR is an essential listen for acolytes of the unusual, yet potent, regions of the extreme metal underworld.