Thursday, July 8, 2010

Veil of Thorns – Necrofuturist: Electronic industrial / Industrial Ambient

Reviewed by Gird_09

I recently did a review of Veil of Thorns' Salon Apocalypse for Heathen Harvest, and I hope this is not the last time I get to do it. Veil of Thorns is P. Emmerson Williams' project since 1991, but the project also includes a long list of other musicians who are clearly adept at their various instruments. Williams is an experienced musician who's worked on a number of projects in different styles, as well as a very skilled visual artist. This is his first release on the legendary label Inner-X-Musick, recently resurrected after a lengthy absence.

The foundation for Necrofuturist is something in the vein of Skinny Puppy's more ambient tracks, firmly rooted in electronic industrial soundscaping, but without the emphasis on sculpting through samples from various media. The focus lies more on dense layers of instruments and skillfull arrangements. The album contains elements of a flurry of genres, even hip hop, blues, jazz and country and a consistent foundation in experimental rock music. Track six, Wailing Glass (perfect title) even conjures up a hint of funky off beat italian prog ala Goblin, with a touch of pure California surf riding on top. If there is such a thing as progressive industrial it has to be Veil of Thorns.

I have said it before but one element that really makes Veil of Thorns stand out against any background is Williams voice. The disparate landscapes form a backdrop for his strange disharmonious singing. He manages to convey a clear sense of confusion and alienation, and his vocals are more reminiscent of David Bowie than the common post industrial fare. In addition deft instrumentation and production makes every Veil of Thorns release worth listening to – and we certainly hope there are still many of those in store.

All this adds up to just what the title promises: observations of a dead future. Debris of western civilization, both plundered and home grown, floats around in a rusted cityscape of sounds for the listener to observe, almost as a time traveller of sorts. Necrofuturist is something like an archaeological account of the current state of affairs, at times comforting, at other times claustrophobic and harrowing. Pure underground gold, which is exactly where gold is found.

It's impossible to review a Veil of Thorns album without atleast a passing mention of Williams artwork. The cover for this release fits the genereal theme of the recording, with its stylized skull and trademark red and white colors. Hopefully we'll get to do an exclusive review of some of Williams other artwork in a future update here at Kaliglimmer, so stay tuned for that.

1 Thought Pollution Evolution
2 Through the Fire
3 the Vandals Exquisite Corpse
4 the Lifeless Trio Kept Planning
5 Wailing Glass
6 Waltz
7 Pleasure in Nightmare
8 Giving Ascent
9 Dancing Revelation
10 Let Loose Into That Good Mourning
11 The Reflection
12 Deny Fascination
13 The Only One Left
13 Die as One
14 Entertainments Subsume Concern
15 Head Up Get Out
16 the Dead Channel

USA, Inner-X-Musick, 2009

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