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Veles - Night on the Bare Mountain
Review: In the annals of melodic black metal, few bands achieve the extreme neo-psychedelic suspension of disbelief required to create an atmosphere of serenity and morbid determination, but here this is done through repeated figures in which central motifs are repeatedly transformed into their equivalent local to each figure. What is not forgotten is an essential, vital melodic and a basic structure to enclose in rhythm what is a majesty of simplicity and imagination.
Warbling resonant guitars pace their phrasal development over a basic beat, and then form a recombinant structure in which different passages connect in careful calibration of interlude, often inverting and reappearing to complement a similar structure. Melodies emerge from sequential chords wrapped around a change of motion in the ascendancy of tone, providing a wide gap of sonic geometry through which simple but lengthy neo-medieval melodies soar and dive. Patterns flower to reveal their internal instabilities which permit their consumption through inertia, and in the place of any fallen phrase a resurgent complement to falling appears. The internal equilibrium of these pieces is not calibrated on energy matching energy, but levels of energy balancing each other enough to present a brief inequality in which the genesis of a melody is shaped and nurtured. The gentleness with which composition amalgamates belies the structural savagery in which the edge emotion of barely consonant melodies diverges into rapid change or abrupt conclusion.
While the second Veles album is perhaps the more clarified work in technique and form, this release, with its long pauses and absurdist folk-influenced song structures, brings out the feral mindset in which rippingly empty power chord riffing brings out tunneling sonic pseudopods of harmonized phrases in order to gain the range it needs to outmaneuver its own dry, sweet and sour end. For morbid listeners who do not mind the second tier of abstraction away from popular music, Veles is black metal which requires concentration and an active response to emotion twisted into wave form.