Review Summary: Behind aggression and despair, somewhere lays true beauty…
Hardcore music has been going through somewhat of a much needed revival in recent years. Bands such as Defeater, Touche Amore and Pianos Become The Teeth have given the genre of melodic hardcore a lift; combining the already fast hardcore drum beats and complex riffs with intense vocals and emotionally charged lyrics.
All of the above-mentioned bands are from the US. Step forward Veils; a British quartet rising from the quiet town of Cornwall, England. With only their second EP to boot, Veils show us why they are a band to take notice of.
Ben Sullivan – Guitar
Nathan Retallack – Bass
Ollie Lello – Drums
Chlo Edwards – Vocals
The album artwork alone tells its own story, and gives a hint of what is to come in the music. Isolated, desolate and alone, a deer stares from a barren and snow covered landscape. Black and white, devoid of colour, don’t expect this album to be a bright and cheery affair. It isn’t.
‘’ Why are we still standing alone in the dark" ‘’
The EP kicks off with perhaps their most well known song; ‘Standing Alone (Isolation).’ A peaceful and brooding intro soon explodes into an assault of intense hardcore vocals and riffs. The ease at which Chlo’s harsh vocals fade into nothing, from aggression into despair is a true strength of this band.
‘’I’ve realised that we need to suffer, I’ve realised we need to let it feast, just to find salvation in our beautiful defeat.’’
‘Caves (Anxiety)’ wastes no time in reaching full speed as Chlo lets loose straight from the off, only slowing occasionally and briefly to create the dark and moody ambience present throughout this record.
‘’ Every gallop leads to a change in pace, every change leads to leap of faith.’’
‘Stallions (Adrenaline)’ continues where the two previous tracks left off. The lyrics are very much a focus for the band; aided by Chlo’s emotional vocals and the bands ability to switch from frantic hardcore riffs into calm interludes, the listener has a real insight into the emotions and intentions behind the record.
‘’My soul is a shipwreck an empty vessel that lost it’s pride, washed ashore by the raging tide.’’
‘Stonghold (Destruction)’ is the shortest track on the EP, typical of many other hardcore bands playing straight up hardcore. Fast and unrelenting; emotions pour out of Chlo’s mouth like nothing can stop them. No respite.
‘’If the death of chaos is the birth of clarity then bring me to the ground.’’
‘Surrender (Clarity)’ brings the EP to an end, and so ends the short journey we as listeners have just been on. Finally at peace, the track slowly builds up to the climax of the entire record.
Each individual track has been building towards this ‘clarity’, this clear state of mind, and the beauty of this moment is not lost on the band.
If this EP is anything to go by, Veils have a very bright future in the world of hardcore music. Multiple listens are a must to truly appreciate this record, and what it really means.
A dark and aggressive record for the most part, with meaningful and intense lyrics to support the whole ambience created; this is a band to check out for any fan of heavy music but especially for any fan of melodic hardcore.
Not without its faults, the music is not massively varied. But it is thought-provoking, a journey of personal struggle; and to me, music without emotion is rarely ever worth listening to...