Velnias’ mountain-scaled black metal offers cavernous chance to escape with ‘Scion of Aether’

Taking just a quick break from the everything sucks-a-thon, what have you been doing to keep yourself distracted or entertained or at least off the brink of losing your mind? I’ve been getting lost in some sci-fi TV shows and listening to music, and it’s been a really nice time to get lost inside a record and take myself out of reality for a little bit.

Colorado-based atmospheric black metal band Velnias always has been one that presented music meant to conjure a mood or a mental adventure, and they follow up with passages that feel like journeys that would take you out of time for a bit. Their new record “Scion of Aether,” their first new album in eight years, drops at an opportune time, as having something to allow an escape is definitely something a lot of us need right now. In fact, my most recent listen was on the couch in early evening on a weekend day, and when the thing was over, I was surprised to look at my windows and realize it was dark. It just seemed to happen without me knowing because I was lost inside “Scion” and its utter vastness. The band—guitarist/vocalist P.J.V., guitarist D.M.J., bassist A.A.W., drummer AJ.S.—manage to use six tracks and almost 50 minutes to create music with the majesty of their natural surroundings and take their time to set up ambiance and spirits that live in the heart and DNA of their music.

“Fissures Within the Construct” starts building up as the guitars increase the drama, coming to life as a noise like a ticking clock taps as it leads into “Pariah of the Infinite” that runs 11:03 and immediately delivers dark tidings. The song takes its time to build as the skies increasingly darken, and the playing bursts open. As the spirit forms, guitars add texture as the vocals roar and the land quakes. The tempo brings chaos, while the track slowly ramps down and burns off. “Aurora Rune” stomps in heavily as the track gets aggressive and monstrous, with clean calls mixing with the beastly roars. The track turns into progressive waters while the growls gut, and the guitars blaze trails. Guitars liquify and rain down, thunderous feedback rings, and the track comes to an immersive end.

“Confluence of Entropic Umbra” is a quick, yet contemplative instrumental piece that brings solemnity and calm, leading into “Supernal Emergent” that trickles into the scene before it takes off, and charges explode along with massive growls and piercing yells. The bass coils as the band mashes away, and then a prog fury is unleashed while wild howls open fresh wounds. Group calls fill chests while the song barrels away, ending in a clean stream. “Oblivion Horizon – Null Terminus” is your 15:11-long closer that starts with guitars exploring surroundings, setting the stage for a sinister turn. Everything darkens as the hearty yells unload, and the pace builds dangerously, getting propulsive and downright nasty. The track keeps tending to the fire, letting it rise to the  of losing control, and then everything disappears into a strange haze that eats up the final third of the song, ending things in sweeping winds and swelling noise.

We all could use a distraction, something to take us out of the constant news cycle, the fear, and the panic, which are pretty normal reactions. Velnias have a master class in adventurous black metal with “Scion of Aether” to create that diversion from the outside world, one that contemplates each move and makes every moment count. It’s been a long road from their last record to this one, but it sure sounds like the steps they made along the way were worth every motion.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/VelniasCult/

To buy the album, go here: https://store.eisenton.de/en/

For more on the label, go here: https://www.eisenton.de/

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