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Veritates - Killing Time Award winner

Veritates
Killing Time
by Rachel Montgomery at 20 January 2020, 10:49 PM

VERITATES is self-described as a traditional Heavy Metal band without clichés. Truthfully, on most of these songs, they’re so far gone from traditional I would not have guessed it was part of their repertoire. That’s not a bad thing; the album is wonderfully progressive with long, intricate songs with spot-on theming and tips and tricks to engage the most dedicated music fan.

“The Past Is Dead” begins with a complex, long instrumental opening that is full of ambiance, key changes, melody changes. Part of me wishes they left it an instrumental because while the vocals are good, they’re far back on the track. I can’t tell if this was intentional, to create a gothic, ethereal track, or if it’s just a production flaw, but my vote is to either bring the vocals forward or leave this track instrumental. While they’re hidden behind reverb and back on the track, the vocals are still good. The melody change in the chorus is noteworthy, as is the end of the chorus, where the guitars whine and rev up the music before going back down into the second verse. The strong drum work and rolls through the song are also impressive.

The guitars on this album are used to great effect. In “Killing Time”, when the guitars squeal and slow to a crawl for the instrumental break, it brings your focus back. Usually, the guitar solo picks up in intensity, but in that song, they slow down. “Awakening” is a song that carries amazing work. The intro melody feels like it’s floating or with slow, long notes interspersed with sweeps. Once again, the vocals are back, but there’s great technique, mainly, the echoing in the refrain before the chorus, which breaks from a slower verse into intensity. The call-and-response effect created by an echo adds an ethereal vibe to the song. Then, the drums go wild and the solo breaks out into a frenzy, departing from the melody into its own fast, powerful composition.

Of the songs on the album, “Jerusalem Syndrome” makes the best use of ambiance and complexities used throughout. The song starts with beautiful ambiance that transports the listener to an ancient, mystical world. The riff is intricate and almost sounds acoustic. The echoing vocals make me feel like I’m listening to chants and fits wonderfully with the other thematic elements. The song is peppered with intensity: drum rolls and high-octane riffs. The melody peaks at the end of the song with a soaring vocal line and flying guitars.

“Hangmen Also Die” is the 11-minute ballad in the middle of the album where their ability to engage the listener really shines through. Beginning with a slow, climbing riff against marching drums, the song picks up intensity, changes tempo, and has a key change, but the same riff keeps playing. The subtle changes keep the song moving and the pressure tense throughout. Then, a melody change and rain sound leads us into the verse and the thematic scene. Throughout its run, the song climbs in intensity as does the singer’s pitch; when he reaches his upper register, the vocals can sound a little fried, a common issue that vocalists have that can be cured with a little more practice and more warm-up before recording. When the intensity drops, so does his register, and he does well in the lower part of it. The soft refrain can go on in a while, but the tension keeps the song engaging until the solo breaks out into a frenzy with pounding drums and intense guitars.

The closing track is short. “Hasta la Muerte” is the most traditional metal song on the album. It begins with echoing guitars that sound like an outro; I expect them to fade before the vocals come on. Once they do, the song sounds like a traditional Heavy Metal song, going against the more progressive, complex songs we heard earlier. Also, as a Spanish speaker, the way they say “muerte” as moo-reh-tee sounds more like tongue in cheek. The guitar solo is a short burst of intensity before we’re treated to another verse. It’s a short song, but it’s jam-packed. It starts and ends abruptly.

If you like intricate music and thematic elements, this is a good album to listen to. If you don’t mind traditional elements thrown in, the entire album is worth a listen, but if you’re looking for progressive, complex stuff, “Jerusalem Syndrome” and “Hangmen Also Die” are good choices.

Songwriting: 9
Production: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Past Is Dead
2. Killing Time
3. Jerusalem Syndrome
4. Awakening
5. Hangmen Also Die
6. The Wild Hunt
7. Discovery
8. Hasta La Muerte
Lineup:
Andreas von Lipinski – Vocals
Tom Winter – Guitars
Jörg Belstler – Bass
Marcus Kniep – Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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Edited 19 February 2020
 

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