Upon hearing any work by The Veil, the listener is immediately struck by the intense depth of vocalist Che DeBoehmler‘s intonations. His voice forms a patient, gothic focus on the act’s array of experimental metal tracks. Unlike many contemporary doom acts, The Veil’s powerful riffs support thoughtfully composed lyrics, delicate keyboard backings, and ample space for the band to splice new genres into their sound, expanding like the dark energy of the universe. Thus, The Veil’s interpretation of doom seems more fitting as a description of their themes rather than their instrumentation.
The band’s third release, Impermanence, is patchwork of forceful beauty. It is not knitted together by repeated musical motifs, but rather by an emotion lived out in a number of melodic approaches. With Impermanence, the Sydney doom-rockers explore time’s progression and the loneliness that mortality brings. Again, the somber dirge of DeBoehmler’s voice projects from an unlikely set of music styles. Post-punk themes find themselves expressed in black metal blast beats and synth-laden progressive tones. The rhythm—led by Dan Nahum—swings flawlessly from metal to samba, to dark indie dance sections. The aggression of Wayne McIntyre and DeBoehmler’s guitar-work on the heavier tracks is mellowed out by the post-rock leanings of their instrumentation and the eerie atmosphere of Vanessa Ritchie on the keyboard. For this album, John Ryan joins the group on the violin, contributing a certain appropriate, mournful element.
Despite the constant surprises that The Veil present in instrumental form, DeBoehmlet’s lyrics keep the album together as a unit. His rhetorical “what do you think it’s worth / when you are gone and there’s no one who’ll remember?” on “Impermanence” sets the tone for the record. Again, the despondent mortality arises in “Pilgrimage” as DeBoehmlet sings “I know my time’s been and gone / before any chance could come.” Due to the architecture of the record, the black metal riffs on “Sleepwalker” make perfect sense next to the cold, chamber melody of “Redemption.” Impermanence is a memento mori for man’s love, pain, loss, and reflection. All things must end and The Veil present a fitting soundtrack to this realization. Sorrowful drones are countered by intoxicating rock phases that fall in line with the multi-faceted theme of mortality.
Impermanence is self-released and features an artfully hand-crafted CD case by Parisian designers Metastazis that is equally deserving of praise for its beauty. At the same time, each album will one day perish into the earth, losing its memory of the sonorous tracks once belted from the magnetic disk. The thick guitars and organ will release their hold on existence as the album feeds the world in a much more literal sense.
With this third release, The Veil open their sound up to a multitude of influences and inspiration guided by the transpersonal experience of the cycle of existence. Their broad approach to doom metal meshes gothic and black metal leanings into an appropriately emotional experience. This is an album to think on during any moment of feeling. Like any memento mori, it gives a perspective on the present, a reminder of the clock we all live by and recognition of the communal struggle with our inevitable death.
04) The Ashen Trail
05) All the Same
08) Carry the Light