Title: Black Celestial Orbs
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
Release Date: 16 March 2018
For some years the USBM has positioned itself as one of the most interesting black metal world scenes, if we take into account the proliferation of underground bands that have been battling and even setting trends since the mid 90’s. Veiled debuts, with its first full length, from the hosts of the incredible Iron Bonehead catalog, recorded at The Gray Studios in Stockholm, Sweden by Heljarmadr, (known for his work with Dark Funeral or Grá), with an album of Atmospheric Black Metal, dreamy and incredibly absorbing.
The first thing that catches us from “Black Celestial Orbs” are the open chords and the blast beats of “Luminous”, like a cold nocturnal breeze. The sound is giant and enveloping, although very polished and calculated. If your preference is the Lo-Fi Atmo Black of projects like Paysage d’Hiver or Bekëth Nexëhmü, you will not find it here.
Veiled seems to be more in tune with modern sound trends (there are some characteristics of the Cascadian Black Metal, referring to the big wall of sound, for example), but adding a minimalist touch of its own.
The duo’s recipe is simple, and works smoothly for the largest portion of the record. Hypnotic structures fed on the basis of two or three chords on blasts, occasional tremolo technique, to end in ethereal sections that function as small balms lost in the conglomerate of the sonorous universe of these celestial orbs. It is in those instrumental crescendos where the band achieves a quite particular identity quota, achieving climates that can function as trance inducers in the most patient listeners.
Only in the last two songs can the band be seen trying to stylistically approach less orthodox ideas. They even dare to introduce some jazzy patterns. The last track is entirely ambient, including haunted soundscapes of nocturnal nature and Niðafjöll reciting a poetry. Strangely, it works and, sincerely, it is in these moments where the band manages to stand out. They are probably ideas that can be perfected in future releases.
“Black Celestial Orbs” is a solid album, very well executed, with a correct sound and quite accessible. A promising work, from a band that could get to give much more in forthcoming releases. Recommended for those who are beginning to venture into the genre. 7/10. Sergio
7/10 Victory is possible