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Black Passage - The Veil

Black Passage
The Veil
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 24 June 2019, 4:59 AM

From their Facebook page, “Based in the Bay Area, CA, BLACK PASSAGE is a project comprised of a group of up and coming, yet seasoned musicians. Having all members associated with the metal, rock and punk scenes for ten+ years, the group seeks to combine and utilize this cumulative experience to create a distinct yet relatable sound. While the bands songs are primarily written by guitarist Kevin Wilson, each member contributes a unique yet mature facet of the BLACK PASSAGE sound. With their first release featuring members of FALLUJAH, WOLF KING, BEHOLD THE DESECRATION, and ANISOPTERA, there is no shortage of talent, or musical diversity. It is through this diversity, experience and innovative thinking that has become a staple of the newly formed group and has gained the attention of many even before the release. Each element of BLACK PASSAGE is aimed at relating to fans through the darkest points of relation in life, a way to once again reclaim authenticity in the metal community. “The Veil” contains twelve tracks.

“Lost” opens the album, with clean guitars, creating a simple but pleasant atmosphere, and the feeling that something looms behind your back in the dark. It fades into “Left to Waste.” It opens with some melodious moments and some odd chord progressions, like newer OPETH. Some fierce death vocals come into the fold, along with some Proggy moments in the meter. From there, the death vocals take over. “Lamenting Ghost” is a short three-minute track, with a similar sound. There is dissonance in the guitar chords, but the clean vocals are full of melody. The juxtaposition is interesting. The death vocals give the song a gritty edge. “Tables Turned” opens with discordant guitars that seem to lack much in the melody department. The drums roll way with the sound of thunder coming in, while the death vocals are absolutely raging and intense. The clean vocals remind me of ALICE IN CHAINS. What a unique mix.

“The Veil” features soft guitars that are melancholy and depressing. Atmosphere builds in the background, slowly. The final minute is big and full, like an explosion of sound. “In Place of Us” opens with a GORIJA like sound…screeching guitars with soft and smooth clean vocals. The death vocals are intense and provide the aggressive side of their music. “Silent Home” is a bit longer, at close to five minutes in length. It has an ominous opening, with shades of mystery, and doleful clean vocals. When the main riff hits, it’s all over the place, dripping with Proggy elements. “Trapped” has a slow rhythm, and that odd alternating between clean and death vocals. “Trapped” is a spot-on moniker, because you feel caught between two worlds.

“The Broken Hand” is the longest on the album, at close to six minutes in length. A trippy guitar part opens the song, with drawn out clean vocals.  The death vocals usher in a harsher sound. The guitars are full on dissonant here, leaving melody by the wayside. A quiet passage occupies about a minute of the middle of the song. “Deception of Anguish” features more dissonance and the drumming skills of Serrano. He hits the beats precisely when he needs to, accenting the song with sharp, technical skills. “Bringer of Light” features some trippy and weird guitar parts and some raging death vocals. Again, the clean vocals remind me of the Grunge scene in the 90’s. It’s quite an odd combination. “Bleed for You” bring that dark mysterious sound back into the fold. There is that trademark back and forth between clean and death vocals that are difficult to bridge.

Overall, this was a very unique listening experience. I wasn’t sure however that I totally got it. Competing elements take away from the music here in my opinion, and I can’t find a central theme to grab on to. They are super talented, there is no denying that. They however need more time together to find their sound…what really makes them what they are. With this much talent you know it’s just a matter of time.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 9
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Lost
2. Left to Waste
3. Lamenting Goat
4. Tables Turned
5. The Veil
6. In Place of Us
7. Silent Home
8. Trapped
9. Broken Hand
10. Depiction of Anguish
11. Bringer of Light
12. Bleed for You
Lineup:
Julian Zidarevich – Vocals
Kevin Wilson – Guitar
Robby Perry – Guitar
Brian Mojica – Bass
Joseph Serrano – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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