A Sire To The Ghouls Of Lunacy, Veilburner’s newest offering, comes out of nowhere with a genre-blurring attack. Playing in an experimental black/death hybrid style, Veilburner take the basic template of the genre and then proceeds to tear the playbook to shreds. “Introvertovoid” opens the album with a clean, progressive intro before slamming headlong into a thunderous blackened death maelstrom, sounding like the unholy offspring of Behemoth and Akercocke. While this is impressive in itself, it’s the next track, “Panoramic Phantoms,” that truly takes a left turn. Imagine the Deftones, Dimmu Borgir, and Mayhem having a jam session and you’re getting close. The cleanly sung outro is a gamble that pays off as well, and yet another element that doesn’t feel forced but organic.
Veilburner’s songwriting is a Frankenstein’s monster, with blackened death sitting beside goth, thrash, and prog, a twisted vision offering truly memorable songs. The musicianship is equally impressive, as seen on the massive title track, a churning pit of relentless drums and serpentine guitar and bass interplay. The use of keys and samples, particularly on “Glory Glory Grotesque,” is also a welcome surprise. The dual vocal stylings of Mephisto Deleterio (music and backing vocals) and Chrisom Infernium (main vocals) are another standout, and highlight the production on the mix as well. The cavernous effect on the vocals gives the album a feeling of grandeur and dread, and adds to the haunting atmosphere, while the instruments are represented equally and crystal clear but given just the right amount of grit.
As the keyboards fade on “Where Torment Has Danced Before,” two things are abundantly clear: Veilburner have crafted a fascinating mutation, and you may have to go back and adjust your 2018 top albums list. Time will tell, but A Sire To The Ghouls Of Lunacy has the potential to be a game changer.