Review of Veilburner - "Lurkers in the Capsule of Skull"

In one of the neglected, cobwebbed corners of the metal world lurks an entity so rare and so abstruse that few attempt to even seek out its existence, let alone try to harness its power for their own creative purposes. But every so often, the right visionaries arrive who can tame, break, and bend the will of the savage beast known as dissonance to their own ingenious ends; and when it is done properly, the results can be purely astonishing.

Case in point: the collected works of Pennsylvania’s discordantly gnostic duo known as Veilburner. Although their often inharmonious, cacophonous sound is admittedly not for all tastes, to those of us who find beauty in an artist’s ability to form melodies and harmonies out of severely disconnected notes and pitch-bent progressions, Veilburner is well on their way to joining their contemporaries in Suffering Hour in becoming some of the underground’s hottest dissonant metal acts.

Harsh, haunting, and unapologetically unrepentant, Veilburner have been honing their hostile chops since 2014, releasing nothing but full-length albums for the entirety of the past seven years. Consequently, Lurkers in the Capsule of Skull already represents album number five for Veilburner, whose prolific output is only outmatched by their overtly unusual sound.

Due out this Friday from Transcending Obscurity Records, Lurkers in the Capsule of Skull contains fifty-three minutes’ worth of mind-melting music that is so inscrutably complex it may as well come with its own codebook, and yet, is also remarkably accessible despite its tumultuous intricacies. Combining melodic and progressive aspects with chunky lumps of black and death metal and then enshrouding it all in a diaphanous membrane of unnatural discord, Veilburner have shown upon this album that they are one of the modern masters of dissonant metal.

With its sweeping operatic peaks and despairing valleys, kaleidoscopic visuals, and overall premise of contorting violence into art itself, Lurkers in the Capsule of Skull listens much like a musical parallel to some surrealistic Italian arthouse horror film like Suspiria or The Beyond…and it fucking slays!

Weird, wild, and thoroughly chilling throughout, Veilburner’s latest effort contains eight killer compositions that wend and weave their way into a cohesive whole that is amply satisfying when consumed entirely, but to highlight some of the standouts on this phenomenal album, be sure not to skip “Nocturnal Gold”, “Cursed, Disfigured, Amen!”, the mesmerizing “Para-Opaque”, or the sneakily melodic barrage of “Vault of Haunting Dissolve”.

Truly though, crammed into every nook and cranny of this album are new, surprising soundscapes to be discovered and you’d really be doing yourself a disservice by not checking out Veilburner’s Lurkers in the Capsule of Skull in its entirety; however, since it doesn’t officially drop until Friday, here is a sample from this amazing LP, “Nocturnal Gold”, and if you’re as blown away as Hated One, you can follow the links provided at the bottom to support the band further and preorder your own copy of this madness! Enjoy! \m/

Rating: 98 / 100 (A+)

Release Date: September 24th, 2021

Genre: Dissonant Blackened Death

FFO: Deathspell Omega, Imperial Triumphant, Serpent Column, Schammasch, Suffering Hour, Blut aus Nord, Ulcerate, Akercocke

Veilburner Links: Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp, Transcending Obscurity Records


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