Velnias, Sovereign Nocturnal LP

Finally, this essential album is getting pressed to wax. It's been a long time coming, and anyone who has heard this album would likely agree that it has screamed out for vinyl release since it's initial CD release in 2008. Bis Auf's Messer, which always does a commendable job with their vinyl, is pressing this right now, and it should be shipping by the end of April. I won't talk too much about the album myself, since if you haven't heard it, you're probably not paying attention anyway, but here are some kind words from the label:

"Velnias is from Naperville, Illinois [now located in Colorado, I believe] and the band is described as a
blackened folk/doom band and while that is an accurate description, it
doesn't truly summarize what's going on here. The band's sound relies on a
cross between Isis-ian post-metalry, Agalloch's serene acoustic soundscapes
and post-Mardraum Enslaved's aural maelstrom. This reminds me of so many
bands and albums but the music itself, for the most part, is very original
and you could not pigeon-hole this band with any band or genre mentioned in
this paragraph.”



"Sovereign Nocturnal" can be best described as very organic, and almost
ritualistic down tempo masterpiece; channeled through the musical styles and
mixtures of black, folk, and doom metal. Reminiscent slightly of works by
bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, yet with a style all their own, the
songs show a very immense musical maturity that their last release lacked
slightly. Now grown up and all-powerful, Velnias drags us into their
nocturnal world, whether by our will or theirs.


In undertaking a more doomy aesthetic to this release, the band had much
more room to incorporate different ideas within this new release. The songs
are longer, allowing more compositions and small details within each
bellowing track. This being said, each song does not sound rushed at all,
but more carefully drawn out.


From the beginning of the first track, one may note that there are very
interesting stylistic approaches that the band began to take in order to
enhance its already encasing atmosphere. With guitar distortion swelling to
a point in which it almost sounds natural, and plenty of the drummer's
utilization of the toms to craft an almost tribal sound, one could easily
assume that if they had not made this a metal album, it could have passed as
a very effective ritualistic ambient release.


The first track is somewhat mellow and drawn out, perhaps done in order to
ease the listener's passing into their world. Then, throughout the second
track, the pace begins to pick up, little by little. By the end of the
second track, the drums end up not sounding like metal drumming at all, but
moreover a percussive composition with the toms. By the end of the third
track, it eases once again. It is as if the album gets progressive, and then
smoothly mellows out for the listener's safe departure back in the real
world.


As far as the sound and the atmosphere, an album cannot get much more
encasing than this. Once drawn into this dark, melodic, and epic world, it
is uneasy to find your way out until the end. This being said, the
atmosphere is almost impenetrable. Seemingly, the goal of this release was
to bring the listener outside of his or her current state and join theirs,
in their netherworld of nature and somber nostalgia. One can almost taste
their reverence for an untainted world, and their disregard for the fallible
and insipid modern society that disappoints them."


Check out Velnias here, and Pre-order now from Bis Auf's Messer - the pre-orders will be getting the limited clear vinylI think the artwork for the vinyl edition from what you see above (the CD cover), but I'm not 100% sure on that...

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