Velnias
Sovereign Nocturnal


3.0
good

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (84 Reviews)
March 21st, 2009 | 29 replies | 7,619 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Post-blackened-doom metal that’s neither a hit nor miss.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

If you were to take a step back and gaze upon the metal scene today, you might notice how every sub-genre is absolutely over-saturated with talent and talentless bands trying to etch their mark into the mountain that heavy metal has become over the last ten years. Some of these bands absolutely hold true to the essence of what their idols were trying to create, pushing the boundaries further and expanding upon on a template that had originally set the bar high. Some of these bands clearly don’t have a clue when it comes to putting together their influences into something that isn’t blatant plagiarism or a false hope of outdoing their peers. And then there are bands such as U.S. post-blackened-doom band Velnias who fall somewhere in between these two categories. Velnias’s debut album Sovereign Nocturnal contains many fine qualities but just can’t quite distinguish itself from the pact of metal bands trying to stuff as many wonderful arrangements as possible into a single song.

Taking their name from a figure of the ancient Baltic Mytholog, which represents the natural world (source: http://www.metal-archives.com/index.php), the listener will have no trouble in establishing why the band would choose this name. Opting for a production that sounds much in vein with Opeth’s Morningrise; a frosty coating that clearly lets the clean parts ring out and loud parts sound meatier, Sovereign Nocturnal also plays out like an Opeth album too, utilizing the loud/ soft progressive dynamics that are compressed into three songs that all surpass the twelve minute mark. The “name-that-band” comparison game doesn’t stop there either as clearly shown on the twelve minute monster opener, ‘Into Arms of Oak’. Beginning with the hoot of an owl and Paradise Lost like, slowly tromping powerchords, the band gradually flows into an Ulver tinged black metal trance passage and follows up with a Neurosis sludge metal assault. Just when you think you’ve been thrown around with the many changing dynamics of the first eight minutes of the song, we are introduced to a folky passage that Agalloch has accomplished many times before (and done better on that fact as well). Top this off with a raspy black metal voice and you can picture the opening track on this disc.

With this description of the opening song, you can simply switch around these arrangements and you will begin to understand what Velnias is all about. It’s not that these arrangements feel forced together, but it’s the choice of their influences that they choose to mimic. Neurosis, Agalloch, Ulver and Opeth are all very much exciting bands when used sparingly and Sovereign Nocturnal is a prime example of too much of a good thing; not enough originality to push these influences into a new realm of metal. The ideas strung together feel drony, putting myself to sleep through some of the overdrawn passages and this could also be due to the choices of musical direction influenced by their forefathers. However, Velnias is onto something big here and their mighty ambition, as demonstrated on Sovereign Nocturnal, will only push them to tighten up their ideas on their sophomore album. This is still a solid debut and I would hope people’s interest in Velnias next endeavour might be sparked after one listen to this.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
March 21st 2009



19244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really wanting to enjoy this album but's too much of a good thing. I bet these guys will be jizzed on when they release their sophomore album.

As per usual, you know the drill. I've probably drilled most of you fine people on your grammar and whatnot, so please repay me the favour.

Sincerely,
the wiz!

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

fireaboveicebelow
March 21st 2009



6837 Comments


dude you're too hard on yourself this is a very good review, short and packed, but only thing I recommend is to try to keep out personalized words like I or me

Wizard
March 21st 2009



19244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know, I know but I felt this to be a more personal issue towards myself and therefore, I didn't really know how to word it accordingly. Thanks dude.

fireaboveicebelow
March 21st 2009



6837 Comments


no problem, though of course there are cases when it's ok to do it, and the last sentence of the second paragraph reads weird

Willie
Moderator
March 21st 2009



15894 Comments


Another good review, but the link leads to a "this band doesn't exist" page. I'm so swamped with music that 3s will probably never be got to.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

BallsToTheWall
March 21st 2009



44164 Comments


Wow, i'm so happy you reviewed this Karl. I was reccomended to this for fans of Agalloch, and I kind of see it more than Opeth tbh. Nice review though. Good album.

Zoo
March 21st 2009



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool review although I found this album to be mind-numbingly boring.

Wizard
March 21st 2009



19244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fixed the link, fixed the last sentence in the paragraph.

Thanks for the kind words guys.

Zoo, I found this really boring at first but it does grow a bit after a few listens.

BallsToTheWall
March 21st 2009



44164 Comments


You going to write one ip for Cobalt my main northman? I'm thinking about writing one for this old Katatonia/Primordial split. If I have time.

Wizard
March 21st 2009



19244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You bet your ass I will write a review for Gin. Damn I love Decibel magazine. They always show me the light.

rasputin
March 21st 2009



14520 Comments


Good review, thought I must say, the introduction is one of the most generic metal review introductions you could ever do. I know because I've used the same one many times before

Wizard
March 21st 2009



19244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hahahahah its true but I felt it was necessary towards this album. Give it a listen and see what I mean.

Thanks for the read.

BallsToTheWall
March 21st 2009



44164 Comments


I guess that leaves me as the only metalhead to not write a generic and pretenious intro paragraph. I guess i'll get to brainstorming now because I believe this will be tricky for me as I primarily enjoy using smaller words.

KYZAR
March 21st 2009



513 Comments


Looks decent enough but... o what ever ill give it a listen.

Wizard
March 22nd 2009



19244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's worth a listen.

DeafMetal
April 23rd 2010



8584 Comments


Should be:

Summary: Post-blackened-doom metal that’s neither a hit NOR miss.

Great review though man. Pumped to see these guys live with Alcest in a few days.

brutebeard
May 2nd 2010



1655 Comments


I disagree with the criticism for this. Saw these guys live and although they dragged at times, they managed to keep me entertained. So much emotion as the bassist screamed on his knees without a mic. Pretty well-written though, dude

Infernis
July 31st 2010



398 Comments


Saw them live and they were probably one of the best bands I've seen live as far as metal is concerned. It brought out the overall feel of this album incredibly well and it all flowed like one song. I just got it from them so I'll give it a few listens..

Brute, yeah the bassist does this almost ritualistic like rocking back and forth...certainly created this atmosphere for collapse.

brutebeard
August 2nd 2010



1655 Comments


@Infernis- true that. The bassist moves crowds. Its strategic the way they cut out the music so you can hear him yell acoustically too. Can't wait to jam out to their Digipak in the cold seasons

DeafMetal
August 2nd 2010



8584 Comments


Brutus: Save your cold weather talk for cold weather.



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