With just four tracks, only two of which could be considered songs in the traditional sense, my initial impression of “Fleshvoid To Naught” was dismay at what appeared to be an incoherent jumble of half formed ideas drowning in a swamp of atmospherics. Several listens over the course of the week have, however, led me to conclude that Obscuring Veil endeavour to forge soundscapes rather than songs. That said, I’m still not really sure that I get it.
“Abstraction” provides a short piano intro, complimented by spooky choral cries and vampiric hisses before “Do You Want To See the Knife” truly begins proceedings. Dominated by a wall of disembodied voices and distorted bass, the tremolo-picked guitars are so low in the mix that I only picked them out on my third listen through (quality headphones as opposed to a Bluetooth speaker make a hell of a difference!). Five minutes into a twelve minute ride we finally get out of second gear, as percussive gymnastics briefly segue into a solid backbeat and riffage, before drifting back into avant-garde meandering. There are further signs of coherence as we approach the two-thirds mark, short lived as the composition descends yet again into a maelstrom of ad hoc dirge.
“Obfuscation” does exactly as it says on the tin, with over four minutes of incoherence masking any semblance of sense that the listener might fathom from the discordant ringing and shrieks. Finishing off, “Spirit Me Away, O Murdered Star” takes a wild stab at structure to begin with, before settling back into the now familiar pattern of discord and improvisation over a further twelve minutes, eventually fading out in a cacophony of overdriven noise, buzzing and chanting.
Consisting members past and present of established black metal experimentalists such as Bethlehem, Ævangelist, Urgehal and Shining, the musicianship is obviously competent, and these guys have clearly set out to separate themselves from the standard atmospheric black metal tropes. If a parallel, maddeningly incorporeal universe to our own exists, then Obscuring Veil just provided the soundtrack. Not for the faint hearted or those craving structure, this is definitely something… else.