Wilderun - Veil Of Imagination review
|Album:||Veil Of Imagination|
|Release date:||November 2019|
01. The Unimaginable Zero Summer
02. O Resolution!
03. Sleeping Ambassadors Of The Sun
04. Scentless Core (Budding)
05. Far From Where Dreams Unfurl
06. Scentless Core (Fading)
07. The Tyranny Of Imagination
08. When The Fire And The Rose Were One
It is really not often I look at an album that is more than an hour long in runtime and think "Too short". In Veil Of Imagination's case, I wish it went forever and ever.
Ok, maybe not forever and ever, but listening to it I really feel like I step a bit outside of time itself. I prefer not to look at the tracklist in the meantime so I don't know how much is left. It's quite akin to seeing a good film in the cinema where you don't have the option of pausing it or seeing how much is left so you're just there in the moment enjoying (hopefully) the film. It is not just for that that I'm using a movie as a comparison, but also because Veil Of Imagination is one of the most cinematic albums I've ever heard. Generally when I think of an album being cinematic, I might think of an album that would work as a movie's soundtrack, and definitely I do find a lot of albums that could work as that, but the problem is that an album's soundtrack works in conjunction with the movie itself. Veil Of Imagination is the soundtrack and the movie too. And I don't even need to pay attention to the lyrics to keep up with the story, because everything about the album screams the feeling of a story. And if I had to find the closest time I felt something this close to this feeling, or rather what listening to this album reminds me of, is watching the first Hobbit movie when it came in the cinema, back when I was too young to have proper standards and see how contrived it was. But in my youthful glee, I felt what I feel now listening to Veil Of Imagination.
Normally I would've had the first paragraph be something about the background of the album and band, some lineup changes, what lead to it being made and so on and so on. Sure, I highly advise you to listen to the amazing and underappreciated two records that Wilderun released before this one to see how a more underdeveloped version of the sound of this record would merge with a lot more folk influence. They're great and definitely some of the best and most original folk metal albums in recent years. But they're not Veil Of Imagination. After first listening to it and deciding to review it, I kept close attention to the comments that would pop up on the album's thread, and boy am I glad that they're finally getting the attention and acclaim they deserve. As of the writing of this review, they have almost 200 votes, almost a 9 rating, and the highest 2019 rating. And you know what? It's not enough.
I was filled with similar glee and high praise when reviewing the new Insomnium, and to their credit, they came up with a great album, but that felt like a great Insomnium album, maybe their best, but nothing too far from what they've done before or them taking the genre itself further. As great as the music itself was, it could only go so far. Wilderun instead feels not only like a perfectly written and immensely engaging record, but also one of a scope that hasn't been made before. If you look at the score division of my fellow reviewers, you'll note that it is usually one field that suffers the most: originality. Veil Of Imagination is definitely not an out-there avant-garde mash of sounds that has never been done before. But it's probably the furthest album from a rehash that I've heard lately. Sure, some folks may overestimate Opeth's influence on the more melodic / progressive death metal parts, and admittedly those are pretty obvious, but they're not rehashes or blatant copy-pastes that some folks might accuse them of being.
This is a symphonic metal album. Sorry, that's just how it is. Ok, not just that, but that is still the main component. The same way that Olden Tales & Deathly Trails washed the "folk metal" label of the Korpiklaani-clone stereotype, Veil Of Imagination ought to wash the "symphonic metal" label of the Nightwish-clone stereotype. If in a void someone asked me what symphonic metal should sound like, this would be my answer. A metal album that doesn't feel like its orchestra is just something extra to overlay over the riffs or for interludes and so on, on Veil Of Imagination, the metal parts and the symphonic parts are still clearly separated but each are so well integrated and balanced and written that the synergy between them only further enhances the cinematic and immersive quality of the record, with the amazing ebb and flow that these two have together. The transitions are so seamless that you never feel like you're listening to songs or to movements, but one complete piece. It's almost like a Devin Townsend record but with good production and less penis jokes.
Oh, it's over? Time for another replay.
||Written on 17.11.2019 by|
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