In December 2018 our writer Andy Synn compiled reviews of all the albums released as of that date by Pennsylvania’s Veilburner, including their then-latest (and then-finest) record, A Sire To the Ghouls of Lunacy. In tracing the band’s evolution, he characterized the music as “warped and twisted, tumultuously technical and deviously discordant Black/Death Metal which doesn’t really sound exactly like anyone, or anything, else out there.”
And now here we are, two and a half years later, even more copiously surrounded by bands who have embraced “dissonant death metal” as their dominant style, and yet what Andy wrote at the end of 2018 still holds true: Veilburner still don’t really sound like anyone, or anything, else out there. Their newest album, Lurkers in the Capsule of Skull (set for a September 24 release by Transcending Obscurity Records), is abundant proof of that.
The new full-length is relentlessly fascinating and mood-altering, both horrifying and mesmerizing, ingenious as well as deranged, and thoroughly gripping from start to finish. Although only time will tell, it has all the earmarks of a record that will be remembered for a long time after it emerges in all its fiendishly spine-tingling and skin-chilling glory. As a further sign of this, today we’re premiering a stunning album track named “Vault of Haunting Dissolve“.
The squirming harmonized riff that opens the song turns out to be a sharp hook, despite how twisted it is, and other hooks derive from the skipping and darting drum rhythms that surface and reappear as the song proceeds along its increasingly maniacal path. These are two of the atypical features of the song (atypical within the realms of dissonant black/death) that make it stand out, as well as providing recurring themes, but they’re not alone.
To those, we should add the vocal shift from horrifying howls, cauterizing screams, and gruesome roars to wild wailing cries in one of the song’s most eye-popping moments, as well as the unearthly reverberations of a guitar solo that’s somehow both freakishly exotic and hypnotic.
And perhaps what makes the song stand out the most is that for all its unexpected and frightening contortions — and there are many — it’s remarkably addictive. The music blares, screams, convulses, inflicts thunderous stomps, rings like mangled chimes, and slithers like an over-full viper nest, but the songwriting holds it together with a musical plot, one in which that opening riff turns out to be the vital through-line.
Through the player below you’ll be able to check out three other previously released tracks from Lurkers in the Capsule of Skull. The album comes recommended by the label for fans of Imperial Triumphant, Sigh, Blut aus Nord, Portal, Deathspell Omega, Esoctrilihum, and Norse.
Transcending Obscurity will release the album on vinyl, CD, and digital formats, with apparel.