Veil of Light is back with his first release since the majestically morose Ξ album of last year (now sold out). The new 12" EP contains a quartet of songs that capture the artist's signature air of serene and complex industrial melancholy, yet widens the spectrum to include glimpses of, dare I say, joy and hope. All the more powerful, then, the main theme of dead serious exploration of the emotional torso, its appendages and circulatory system. The title, Head/Blood/Chest, inevitably brings to mind the seminal Throbbing Gristle album Journey Through a Body. But the kinship ends there. This is no experimental 1/2-inch tape cacophony. This is beautiful and evocative music, redolent with wonder. The bleak, yet confident, tone echoes like the early literary works of James Graham Ballard, particularly The Drowned World (1963). The ever-heating climate is going to sizzle the poles and submerge all major cities on Earth. We will return to the humid, reptilian lagoon from out of which we once evolved. As with Ballard, the lasting impression from Head/Blood/Chest is that, contrary to conventional wisdom, this is a good thing. A long overdue return to our archaeopsychic past.
Programme A opens with All You Have which, with its serene power, comes across as a sacred testament to all who believe in man and nature, while turning their back on the idolatry, falsehood and abuse courtesy of the so-called modern world. Musically, it seethes with gothic tradition in a way we have previously not heard from Veil of Light. Adonis, the following song, is a foreboding and unhurried, almost meditative, piece complete with bitcrunched pads and Terminator toms and hats. Foreboding, yet with a streak of benevolence that, as already stated, just makes it all even more mesmerizingly foreboding.
Programme B commences with the more pacey Purple. An animated, marching anthem for sadness. MMZ, the last song, is a somnambulistic but grippingly acute theme that opens with the sound of a staticky synthetic flugelhorn. A call to arms of the long-dormant autonomous systems of the body, that now want to rebel and exert self-expression after eons of stoical duty and obstinate regularity.
Head/Blood/Chest is a journey through an emotional as well as visceral landscape, that arrives at the conclusion that the two seemingly dualistic properties are, perhaps, made of the same basic stuff. A hauntingly atmospheric and heart-swelling dreamscape, magnetically etched into twelve inches of black vinyl.
released April 23, 2015
All instruments, voice, production: M
Mastering by Ruud Lekx
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