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When Euphoria Turns Into Despair. - 70%

Perplexed_Sjel, November 20th, 2009

Wall-of-noise black metal is a concept that has been in the vicinity of the scene for a number of years. Most die-hard fans will be accustomed to the use of heavy distortion to create a distinctive type of atmosphere, one that sparks a burst of imagery in the mind of snow storms, blizzards and other types of precarious weather conditions. It is not a new concept, nor does it require a great deal of technique to master, though it does rely heavily on the creator, or creators to become visionaries, inspiring a sense of endurance in the material itself, meaning that it can last a critics assault and move on from the short-term into the long-term memory. It’s a very simplistic sound that builds to a crescendo through thunderous blast beats and repetitious tremolo guitars. Alongside the fairly standard rasping vocal technique, this rather sums up the wall-of-noise approach nicely. However, every so often there is a band who comes into our lives and changes our perceptions on the order of things, even if only slightly, as Veineliis have done. I don’t consider this a ground breaking effort. It’s a good record, no doubt, but not amazing by any stretch of the imagination, though it has changed my opinion on a few things, like the fact that I should probably yearn for more experimentation, even on highly distorted records like this one.

This German one man band have partially changed how I view this love-it-or-hate-it spin-off of black metal. One man bands aren’t an unusual concept either, with a number of one man acts surfacing in recent years to show that they’re also capable of achieving maximum success through their own initiative. Being created by one man can either work for you, or against you massively. Perhaps more so than a band filled with musicians since, even if all bar one are totally unbearable, at least there is one talent to praise amidst the overbearing mediocrity. M.v.V. is the only man who can be held accountable if Veineliis fail to deliver and, thankfully, there is far more to praise about this depressive black metal act than there is to criticise. The claustrophobia present within this record is all due to the production. The sound quality doesn’t allow any sort of clean instrumentation to filter through the dirty atmospherics and this is crucial to the outcome of the record since it relies heavily on a consuming evil to wow the audience. Some of the slower breakdowns are akin to bands like Velvet Cacoon who use a beautiful wintry sound to depict the lyrical themes. The guitars are central to everything. Without those, this would be a useless entity.

These slower sections are however sparse, with the rolling double bass being almost an ever present feature of the instrumentation reminded me also of American band Judas Iscariot and the way in which ‘Thy Dying Light’ worked. By keeping up the heavy distortion throughout and rarely allowing the double bass blasts to take a break, the constant and consistent snow storm feel is always there to rely on when M.v.V. isn’t being experimental with his leading guitar riffs. Songs like ‘When Euphoria Turns Into Despair’ epitomise the sound of the band and the feeling of the music. This is clearly a very desolate record in both what it sounds like and in what it depicts to the provoked listener. The slower sections are, as per usual, where the best material tends to come from. ‘An Awoval’ is a good example of this, proving that M.v.V is occasionally good at writing more ambient leads through slightly cleaner and clearer soundscapes. Having said that, the pounding double bass is still a factor of this more expansive areas of the songs. Even still, the drumming is actually a plus point in regards to the records depths. The drumming is often very varied, though it may seem like all M.v.V uses is unrelenting double bass, which he doesn’t.

Although he isn’t up to the standards of a fellow German black metal drummer (Alexander of Nagelfar and The Ruins of Beverast), he is still capable of showing variation and a number of dynamics which add a different texture to the songs, instead of blasting snow storms all the time, which could get tedious. M.v.V actually has another project by the name of Schlaflos, a fully instrumental black metal band, so I assumed he must have perfected his drumming abilities for bands like this where using a drum machine wouldn’t be beneficial since there are no lyrics or vocals to focus on aside from the instrumental aspect. Although Veineliis may be his older, more mature project, he must realise his instrumental abilities, which may have been discovered through the maturing of this project, the apple of his eye - the sheer fact that he can play numerous instruments and well - were suited to an all instrumental affair. So, in conclusion, though this relies on some overused ideas within the wall-of-sound field, it still calls upon some level of experimentation and although this record is akin to a number of German bands’ sound, it is still well worth a listen.