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Veilburner - Lurkers In The Capsule Of Skull Award winner

Lurkers In The Capsule Of Skull
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 23 August 2021, 6:37 AM

VEILBURNER is black/death metal band from Pennsylvania, United States.  They formed in 2014 and have five albums, with “Lurkers In The Capsule Of Skull,” being their latest and fifth. Dissonant, esoteric, blackened, experimental…there are many adjectives that can be used to describe VEILBURNER in general and “Lurkers In The Capsule Of Skull” specifically.  But what do any of those words means?  Of course, we can look them up but that doesn’t tell the whole story.   Those words mean something different to different people. Still others have to hear these words instead of reading about them.  I can tell someone all day this album is dissonant but until the music is actually heard, then the description won’t do much good to most people.

How about “controlled chaos?” Is it possible to control such a force of nature?  And if chaos can be controlled, then is it really chaotic anymore?  Or can such power be contained, to be unleashed at the ready like some sort of chained mystical beast? All these were questions I pondered during my time spent with this album. With that being said, those questions might give an idea of the music but doesn’t really explain it and are mostly for my own pondering.

But as a writer, I must do my best to describe this to potential fans who may haven’t heard of VEILBURNER.  So I will choose layered as the best descriptive word.  I like to think of this eight track album as having eight different layers across its 53 minute run time.  Each song has its own personality and approach to extreme metal and requires multiple listens to really grasp the full extent of the depth available to the listener.

It doesn’t stop there, however.  Within each song there are layers, multiple parts that seem disconnected but do build up towards something greater than the individual parts.  The good aspect is that “ Lurkers In The Capsule Of Skull,” manages to sound like a cohesive album instead of a random collection of songs.  The most important element to all this?  It is a highly enjoyable album that has many ways in which to be taken.  I can put this album on in my car, for example, and just enjoy the waves of endless maleficent tendencies as it washes over me.  I could also set down and dissect this album, piece by pieces which is what I did to attempt the writing of this review.  In essence, the band throws a lot of into these songs, including the many directions they take, but it also just plain rocks.

The album begins with “In The Tomb Of Dreaming Limbo,” complete with waves crashing against a short.  The waves seem gentle, which is the exact opposite of the sudden burst of frightening energy that attacks the mind at the :18 mark.  Within seconds, the band crams in hyper blast drums, bending riffs/bass, keys and harrowing growls/screams.  It seems overwhelming at first until it grabs and me, pulling along the ride.  The rapid fire riffing that begins around the 2:23, is a solid foundation that allows to be grasped upon for a moment of respite to center myself before another deep dive in.

After a biting guitar solo, ghostly shrieks and growls, backed by the instruments that threaten to rip you apart, make their presence known and give a sterling performance of tripped out darkness and theatrical madness. “Cursed, Disfigured, Amen!” is one of my favorite songs on the album because I swear it goes out of its way to make me feel uncomfortable.  This song has all the intensity and cult factors I could ever want in black and death metal but its also a very subversive beast.  The way the riffs sound and move…the drum patterns…everything is there to physically assault me in the face but there is this other dimensional undercurrent that seeks to grab me in a psychological way

Then halfway through the song that big groove hits and I find myself falling back to reality, focusing on the chaotic metal.  It doesn’t last long as an ambient piece with spooky keys and whispered vocals send me back into the unknown…before the song ends in a huge explosion that combines all the best aspects of the song together. I must talk about the title track as well.  At times, VEILBURNER’s music can get too out there and I lose focus for a bit but this song keeps it flowing smoothly and its track placement is perfect.  There is more of a focus on guitar riffs in this song and the drums are so unrelenting, I could almost swear a human isn’t behind the kit.  On top of this blackened death song, weird, ethereal noises hang around like ghosts floating above but it heightens the atmosphere to near catastrophic levels.  The song seems to get even more hungry for blood as it goes and the last couple minutes of riffing made my head spin.  “Lurkers In The Capsule Of Skull,” both the song and album itself is indeed controlled chaos or focus insanity—I’ll let you choose how the album destroys you.

Dissonance In Bloom,” ends the album and it does so on a strange note.  From the very beginning, the song sticks out with oddity.  This isn’t a bad thing at all, as long as you don’t mind your mind being melted, transported to another dimension and then rebuilt.  I find this song to be otherworldly, like some sort of test to try and figure out if humans are really meant for this world or not. The song manages to throw some groove into it even as the vocals stretch the limits of what should be possible.  In other moments, the song throws out these twangy notes that could be the snapping of brain synapses or the noise of losing your last remaining nerves.

My time with VEILBURNER’sLurkers In The Capsule Of Skull,” was a task of fearful environments, questions, and confusing thoughts but it was always interesting and kept me coming back for more.  This isn’t a journey for everyone but I highly suggest everyone takes it anyway.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9

4 Star Rating

1. In the Tomb of Dreaming Limbo
2. Nocturnal Gold
3. Cursed, Disfigured, Amen!
4. Lurkers in the Capsule of Skull
5. Para-Opaque
6. An Odyssey Through Cataclysm
7. Vault of Haunting Dissolve
8. Dissonance in Bloom
Mephisto Deleterio - All Instruments, Vocals (Backing)
Chrisom Infernium - Vocals
Record Label: Transcending Obscurity Records


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