Being one who is partial to symphonic black metal and in particular Limbonic Art and Emperor with whose style this Slovakian band has been compared, this album was of great interest before I’d even heard a note. This is Aeon Winds second album release, with several splits sandwiching the debut “Those Who Will Remain Silent Forever” (2012).

From quiet beginnings we are swept along a dark and symphonic path before the winds die down and rise again majestically. “Of Times Forgotten” is the instrumental opener. “A Cosmic Sky Ablaze” is black and turbulent as expected. Hearing this took me back 20 years, but it is no less welcome, assuming you don’t mind listening to a world on fire and being ripped asunder. The heavy pomp runs into “Beyond All Heavy Places”. The screams capture the violent world we’re in. I was less convinced by the spoken words and pleas, which would never be able to impose themselves on this ferocity.

Then there’s the question of the totality of this album. Atmospheric as this is, I had difficulties in transporting myself to another world while listening to it. The instrumental input is dark and heavy, and supported by the symphonic vein but not so much so that the firepower is overpowering. Drums trigger and the vocalist growls nastily but I was finding tracks like “Dawn of the Untamed Moon” and “Legacy of the Unconquered Sun” aimless and even languid. The ante is upped with the title track, but frantic as it is, the ingredients are the same, however hard Aeon Winds try to fan the flames. The choral chant at the end is cliched. The periodic instrumental interludes are the most interesting parts for me, but didn’t heighten the experience to make me want to go through it again. “To Embrace The Void” is another blast through an obscure world, and precedes the atmospheric instrumental melancholia of “… Ands Woods Forlorn”, which closes this ultimately distant and quite ordinary work.

I like the style and the intention of this, but “Stormveiled” for me lacks spark and intensity, especially when held up against Aeon Winds peers of the same musical genre. I was disappointed.

(5/10 Andrew Doherty)