Tuesday 17 June 2014

Review: Veil Of Thorns – 'Eschaton & Celebration'

'Eschaton & Celebration'

Veil Of Thorns along with Choronzon have been the sonic vehicles for multimedia artist, writer, musician, composer, actor, radio host and 21st century renaissance man P. Emerson Williams for over a quarter of a century. Even if you haven't heard the name chances are that you will have come across some of his work at some point. The latest album under the Veil Of Thorns moniker, 'Eschaton & Celebration', continues Williams' unique brand of sonic alchemy, which blends psychedelia, post-punk and experimental electronica into a myriad of formulae that remain melodically pleasing whist going completely against the musical grain.

'Eschaton & Celebration' is an album of serious substance. Often the “experimental” adjective gets thrown around in desperation when another description evades the reviewer, but with Veil Of Thorns it is perhaps the most apt. P. Emerson Williams takes the listener through layers of swirling synthesizers, ethnically tinged instruments, pure melodic guitar, deep drones and loose structures all the while guided by his Peter Murphy-esque vocal style. Songs such as 'Pleasure Machine', 'Mask Our Fascination', 'Messenger Of Night' and 'Oh, this Suffering Was Glad' blend his ritualistic sound with a pure rock undercurrent that remains thought-provoking but ultimately accessible throughout. While deeper and more complex, tracks like 'An Edifice Tottering', 'Glass Chasm' and 'System Response' draw the listener in and refuse to let go.

'Eschaton & Celebration' is an album that goes where others fear to tread, and yet it remains compelling and ultimately accessible. There is no unnecessary harsh tones to the mix, and the production keeps everything in a dreamlike state.

'Eschaton & Celebration' is another great addition to what is an already impressive back catalogue of releases. For anyone who likes psychedelic or experimental music, this is a must-have album. Even if your idea of experimental doesn't extend beyond the instrumental interludes on a Tool album, there will be something here to get your teeth into.  

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