Review: “Unbound” by Veska
“Born of a vision of a world truly free, Unbound offers a path to liberation from the shackles placed upon us from birth. Be it spiritual or mundane, we are all to an extent bound by the delusions of the world around us. Unbound brings to the forefront that we have the power to break our chains and free ourselves. We need not seek any saving grace, for the strength to free ourselves lies within. Delve in and let Unbound guide you down your own path to truth” ~ Veska
Written and recorded between May and October of 2022, “Unbound” marks the sophomore album from Pennsylvanian Independent American Black Metal solo artist Veska. A prolific project, the brainchild of B. Bisceglia, has unleashed a couple of standalone tracks, a pair of EPs and a full length album titled “To Witness Death” since being conceived in May 2021 with minor deviations into the world of the Symphonic. The previous work has hints of influence from the likes of acts such as Watain on the Black Metal side but also a little of the Doom Metal of bands like Paradise Lost, so now he returns with nine fresh cuts to tickle your cerebral cortex and we feel compelled to review.
“Under Broken Sky” begins creating the atmosphere for the album with the sounds of a storm overhead, rain pouring down from the black skies above and distant thunder growing closer as steel chains rattle on stone slabs. “I Arise” then breaks free of those chains in brutal fashion as a warning to an unsuspecting world as Veska reigns terror on the ear drums with classic demonic vocals cut against Buzzsaw riffs and impressive Black Metal drumming, only breaking for a haunting melodic moment before the final onslaught. A vicious little ditty that carries the weight of a thousand curses, it brings the album to life with a spontaneous and almost discordant fashion, tearing up the rule book and throwing it along with the bullets into the fire, before running like hell. The lyrical themes become darker with “On Earth We’ll Reign“, as do the vocals with a sense of self awareness that approaches the philosophical and spits blood in its face. A rampaging, spitting, snarling menace of a track from start to finish it fills the poison chalice and forces you to drink with consummate ease while not quite reaching the levels of utter madness offered by Snorlax.
“Cross the Veil” continues in the same dishevelled vein, a tour de force of Black Metal drumming that confirms Veska’s credentials as a multi instrumentalist of impressive capabilities but the arty style of “Twilight of the Arcane“, bolstered by synths and spoken word moments grabs the attention for all together different reasons. The soundscape of the anti hero walking towards the flames of self immolation with echo and reverb cutting against surprisingly vibrant guitars is a step away from the previous work but a glorious one none the less. “Ascending” continues that march with some tasteful lead notes lifting from the gloom before things descend with skull splitting pace into “Never Were“. For this one Veska has reached banshee levels of throat shredding screeching, perhaps the depth meaning in the lyrical narrative giving him fuel for a harsher performance. An absolute rager from start to finish with a blitzkrieg of blast beats and speed metal riffs, it’s an anarchists dream before the dust settles for the mid tempo meandering that is “Light Bringer“. The vocals are just as flesh searing but the change tempo to offer something of a more sinister and menacing persuasion means Veska doesn’t fight fire with fire and instead crawls back to the surface bloodied and bruised. The deviation from the left hand path doesn’t come to an end there with some straight up Metal riffs slicing through the middle of “White Flame Ablaze” like a hot knife through butter. Purists? This ain’t one for them, but it could easily be a gateway into the void for those yet to be touched by the madness of Black Metal [7.5/10]
- Under Broken Sky
- I Arise
- On Earth We’ll Reign
- Cross the Veil
- Twilight of the Arcane
- Never Were
- White Flame Ablaze
“Unbound” by Veska is out 13th January 2023 and should be available over at bandcamp