There are plenty of fantastic bands that toil in the margins of relative obscurity. Some eventually find a wider audience and catapult themselves to various levels of fame, while others never reach that coveted status of instantly recognizable. It’s fitting, then, that Pennsylvania upstarts Veilburner signed with the aptly named juggernaut that is Transcending Obscurity Records for the release of their fourth full-length record, A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy. It’s a masterful album that I cannot wait to write more about, but today we’re pleased to bring you a morsel from its confines, “Upstream and Parallel”, a scintillating track from this project premiering exclusively here at Heavy Blog. If you’ve not heard this band before, prepare yourself. This track is about to incinerate your internal organs.
Veilburner, much like fellow avant-death/black luminaries Mitochondrion and Ævangelist, are a bit esoteric in their approach to these genres, melding death and black metal sounds with a healthy dollop of the absurd in a manner that makes their music distinctly their own while remaining wildly unpredictable. “Upstream and Parallel” is a near-perfect sample of all the elements that make this band the unique powerhouse they have become. Launching the track with a dramatic, melodically ascendant riff sequence that very rapidly morphs into a groove-heavy chug-fest, Veilburner make no claims to subtlety. They’re not just here to wow you with strangeness, they’re here to blow the roof off the place. The first two minutes of the track are simply relentless, churning out quality riff after quality riff in a rapid-fire blaze of glory. But Veilburner are too tricky to stick with one motif for long, gradually guiding the track into a warped, transfixing section of slightly slower, but no less potent, riffitude. The guitar tone here is just fantastic, vacillating between sharp, thrashy intensity and psych rock freak-out with ease. The latter of those two tones gets a full workout with just over a minute to go, with the melodic train flying off the tracks entirely as the weirdest aspects of the band’s sonic approach take center stage in a rhythmic, almost tribal outro that one could easily find on a The Ruins of Beverast record. The true miracle of this track and its wild evolution is that none of these disparate parts feel disjointed or out of place. “Upstream and Parallel” flows from sequence to sequence seamlessly, creating an atmosphere that is cohesive, yet never boring. In short, it’s the complete package.
If death and black metal that is unafraid to experiment with standard genre formulas and take bold sonic risks in songwriting, production, and performance is up your alley, this is the band for you. There’s absolutely no reason that Veilburner shouldn’t already be a household name for extreme metal fans, but this track leaves no doubt that their time of dominance has come. “Upstream and Parallel” further cements the band’s reputation as one of the most exciting experimental death/black metal bands working today, and can easily be categorized as essential listening. Look for their new record on December 28th, and pre-order it on Bandcamp now. Seriously. Right now.