On their crushing new album Scion of Aether, the Nederland, Colorado-area black metal group Velnias present a doom-infused, roaring revelation of the ferocity at the core of their work. The music feels quite well-suited to the “scenic mountain town” in which the project is apparently based. While maintaining the thick grandiosity of classic black metal, the band stretch out their approach as if perusing a twisting wilderness expanse. The tunes feel simultaneously crushing and huge, like a cohesively orchestrated experience of the bruising wilderness in which to step.
From the beginning moments, Velnias present very heavy metal riffing with a roaring intensity that helps develop a uniquely engaging, beastly thickness in the sound. There’s a real fist pumping cacophony amidst the songs. The riffing repeatedly launches into huge, cratering blasts that feel like rearing back to roar at the heavens, in a sense. The riffs and roared vocals feel like they’re an animalistic call ominously ripping across a plain and piercing the previous silence.
The band aptly incorporate a wide variety of dynamics, developing the album’s experience into a full-fledged immersion. On track three, called “Aurora Rune,” the melody picks up its pace and evolves into a gallop, but the soulful ferocity remains. On the flip side, track four — called “Confluence of Entropic Umbra” — features a soft guitar strumming-driven interlude, but there’s soul here too. The gradually intensifying, gently rocking melody, which mirrors structure from elsewhere on the album, feels like a moment of poignant contemplation into which the more direct physical energy of the rest of the album has been funneled.
As the album progresses through “Supernal Emergent” and beyond, the galloping and often fierce but accessibly proceeding melodies feel like finding the spiritual core amidst a roaring physical onslaught. As such, they’re refreshing-feeling to immerse in, like a brisk splash of chilly water when parched for hydration. The lengthy but consistently energetic concluding track, which clocks in at more than fifteen minutes, feels like an especially poignant closer for Scion of Aether. It’s like the huge intensity of black metal gets expanded broadly into a slightly less frigid, more open concoction. Here, Velnias have presented a great barren openness, calling for a journey.
Check out the music below! It’s available via Eisenwald.