I love driving at night. I don’t mean 9 p.m. I mean well after midnight when no one is on the road and you can soak in the darkness, the stars, and the soothing isolation, you left with the gears turning in your brain and reliving emotions and events that have permeated your life. There’s a sense of freedom from reality, a time to sink deep into your psyche and drink in whatever confronts you in the shadows.
The debut record from Veldune isn’t entirely devoted to night travel, but it’s a companion I want by my side next time I get to experience that journey. Comprised of artists who have played in bands as varied as Hammer of Misfortune, Sabbath Assembly, Dysrhythmia, Gorguts and plenty others comes this dark guest, traveling down highways, watching the steam rise, having misadventures in small towns with people you might never see again, and drinking in whatever it takes you put your mind at ease. The band—vocalist Jamie Myers, guitarist/synth player Kevin Hufnagel, bassist Johnny DeBlase, drummer Jeff Eber—has comprised a road record, something to assist you on your travels as you try to reach your destination, your psychological health hopefully intact.
“The Night Is for Dreamers” immediately immerses you in cold darkness as Myers sings about “a tremble as we touch” as the stars swim above your head. “In the pyre, I’m burning for your touch,” Myers calls in a mist of jazzy chill that’s eventually consumed by flame. “Willow Sways” starts with a breath as the bass plods and pushes the narrative to the edge. “The weeping willow sways,” Myers observes as the murk closes in, and moonlit streets make you question your safety and sanity. “This Time Around” opens with guitars slinking and the vibe melting like gold, flowing as Myers sees “madness in your likeness.” The track heats up from there, wood blocks echo in the night, and the guitars bubble, opening an elegant shadow that swallows you whole. “Chasing Down the Sun” is gothy and pulsing before the pace gets a little punchy. “On a trail with no end, a night with no day,” Myers levels as the leads begin to stimulate. Breezy dusk cools your flesh, the playing jolts, and everything fades into mystery.
“The Road Ahead” has guitars chiming as the mood increases and gets darker, feeling like the relaxing, somewhat disorienting nighttime drive that charges your soul. The playing drips coolly as psychedelic notes stretch out, Myers begging, “Lure me from this place,” as the color drains. “A Glimpse of Being” starts gently with Myers scolding, “We lost our way,” as things remain delicate. The pace picks up as the guitars get dreamier, soothing your wounds as all of the respective parts push harder, melting into the clouds. “Yearling Thunder” starts with the drums rousing and the guitars shimmering, making you shield your eyes from the light. Myers’ vocals reach a little higher as the dust settles, the darkness covers, and the vocals spiral, leaving you in a buzz. Closer “The Final Bow” starts in acoustics, the vocals haunting as a ’70s folk vibe is achieved and leaves an amber glow. “Give up the ghost, come take the final bow,” Myers urges as the spirits gather, bells chime, and the dark essence exists the room.
Veldune’s first recording is something that should be consumed exclusively at night, preferably after midnight ticks by and enters the early morning. That’s where these emotions are at their apex and bleed into your soul, which is the perfect time to absorb such impulses. If you’re on the open road, it’s an even better setting as it’s just you and the journey dealing with your own darkness together.
For more on the band or to buy the album, go here: https://veldune.bandcamp.com/releases