As a classic Death Metal fan, my ideal Death Metal meal is played hard and fast, with no BS getting in the way. Sometimes I like it straightforward and sometimes I like it with the additional melodic and technical flavors that were introduced by various Death Metal subgenres over the years, but there is one subgenre of Death Metal that I could never really digest: the Blackened Death Metal. While it seems that it has it all – Melody, technique, even energy to some extent – something is missing for me there, and those pseudo-atmospheric slow passages just make me yell “Bring back my blast beats!”, and put something faster to relax.
It was for these reasons that when I was reading a review on DAEMONIC: The Art of Dantallian on metallibrary.ru
and ran into the words “Belorussian Behemoth”, my curiosity index about this album didn’t seem to rise. As I read on, it said “This album wasn’t just made according to the rules of Polish Death Metal, it moves forward” – and at that point I thought – maybe that is exactly what is missing there for me? Maybe the development that those guys will bring is what I’m looking for?
The band’s Bandcamp site presents the impressive artwork of their latest album, and as it seemed that Veld take things seriously (Listening to a couple of songs on Bandcamp confirmed this impression), I just got the album and listened to it.
And so, here is what’s in store for us.
First of all, it will be very difficult to convince me that all the weird instrumental/atmospheric/psychedelic tracks that metal bands occasionally put on their albums are nothing but fillers that would do the best to improve the
album with their absence. Of course, there are exceptions like Chuck Schuldiner‘s Voice of the Soul, but the vast majority of these tracks have neither voice nor soul.
How many of you listened to Call of Ktulu, the outro track of Metallica‘s Ride The Lightning, untill the end? Or how much will you miss The Last Call from Testament’s Low? Wouldn’t you prefer to have actual Metal songs instead of most of the tedious tribal instrumental tracks on Soulfly albums? All this rant is due to the lazy start of the album, which begins with 2 minute of an acoustic intro track, after which the first song presents additional 20 seconds of a slow intro. Add another two minutes of more generic acoustic instrumental parts on the 5th track of the album, and you have a total of 4:20 minutes of a filler, which makes about 9% of the album.
If I bothered counting all this, it is probably because I didn’t find anything else to complain about. Even though the album kicks in with energy only at the 3rd track – Constant Suffering – which happens to be my favorite on the album, the rest of the tracks on the album roll over you like an amphibious, heavily armored vehicle that
drives forward through the swamps with a throttle pedal firmly pressed into the floor; the fast double bass over the mid-tempo fat sounding riffs, creates a massive wall of sound, and with the addition of typical-to-the-genre kind of growling vocals, it forms a solid and heavy Death Metal album. The influence of Behemoth is still very apparent here, and since the lineup of Veld includes two musicians from Poland, this influence of the flagmen of the Polish metal scene is inevitable. And yet, Veld do add some spice of their own on top of the standards of the genre, which makes DAEMONIC: The Art Of Dantallian stand out, and also to be the longest-living blackened death metal album in my playlist.
Namely, it is the interesting incorporation of modern Death Metal rhythmic and harmonic elements, often heard in the music of bands such as Meshuggah or Decapitated, into the basic core of Blackened Death Metal. For me this combination definitely added something that was missing for me in Blackened Death Metal as a genre, and if you’re also part of the “Behemoth is overrated” camp, this album is definitely worth a shot for you if you want to try and hear the genre from a different perspective.