Sometimes there’s that band one discovers by complete happenstance, and can’t help but wonder why they aren’t more acclaimed. Multinational progressive death metal Raising the Veil definitely fit this bill. In fact, progressive death metal as a genre is generally underserved, because bands that have that level of proficiency often choose to focus more on the flashy aspect of technical playing and not intricacies of songwriting, which is another area where Raising the Veil shines. Bosonic Quantvm Phenomena is their debut, but they’re not exactly a bunch of nobodies, as on drums we have Romain Goulon of Necrophagist fame, and vocal duties are handled by George “Misanthrope” Wilfinger, who has been in many bands since the early 90s. Regardless of the band’s credentials, what’s important is their music, and there’s definitely a lot to be enjoyed in Raising the Veil’s weird sound. Also worth mentioning is that this album was made possible via crowdfunding, so good job to the fans.
The band are hard to quantify in terms of what other bands they sound like, because there doesn’t seem to be a particularly distinct influence – instead we have a mixture of interesting, often oddball elements. The songs are generally mid-to-mid-high-tempo, but there’s enough variety to keep things interesting. The guitar work ranges from catchy to technical, groovy or jazzy and weird. There are often additional elements thrown into the sound like vocoders, spacey-sounding synths, prominent bass solos and pained clean vocals which contrast with the regular growls. The drumming, as expected from a master like Goulon, accentuates it all and elevates the rest of the music. The production isn’t the most crisp and refined, but it works well enough for the music. Alright, that was a very technical and detached description of what the band sound like, but what do they really evoke in the listener? That’s what really matters here.
Well, what they evoke is an odd sense of alienation, like listening to Cynic‘s classic album Focus (the vocoders and production definitely help with that). The band frequently employ stop-go riffs where they create and release tension in a micro scale, which not only gives the music a sense of tension but also makes it catchier. The band handle mood expertly, as they appeal to the listener’s sense of familiarity with comfortable melodies that wouldn’t be alien to melodic death or black metal, then they put a weird spin on it that sounds jazzy or just off-kilter. The sensation of a journey is well-established in this album, as songs have a compelling arc of progression that’s backed by enjoying and interesting riffs. While Raising the Veil aren’t masters of avant-garde experimentation or a bustling fount of creativity, they have solid, compelling songs that are a blast to listen to and sound quite unique while being just odd enough to keep the listener hooked without turning them off.
All in all, Bosonic Quantvm Phenomena is a fresh, intriguing and well-crafted album. Blending a broad mix of elements to create approachable yet alien-sounding death metal, Raising the Veil have carved themselves an interesting niche with their deliberate, pulsating riffs accentuated by sci-fi concepts and instrumentation. A very strong debut like this from a new band deserves more recognition, as the band clearly have a lot to express and should continue to hone their craft. There’s nothing that really sounds like them, so they’re definitely worth exploring.
Raising the Veil – Bosonic Quantvm Phenomena gets…