Monday 16 January 2023

Veilcaste - Precipice (Album Review)

Release Date: February 10th 2023. Record Label: Wise Blood Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Precipice: Tracklisting

Asunder Skies

Dust & Bone

Drag Me Down

For Us

Relapse In Reason

A Grasp Of Air

Empty Hell


Gabe Whitcomb - Bass

Chris Cruz - Drums

Brian Wyrick - Guitars

John Rau - Guitars/Vocals

Dustin Mendel - Vocals


Precipice is the new album from Doom/Sludge Heavy Hitters Veilcaste. The band used to be known as Conjurer and I've reviewed their albums in the past. The band changed their name perhaps to avoid being mistaken for the UK Doom/Sludge Metal band with the same name. Anyway, we're here with Veilcaste and this album marks a darker and heavier transition for the band into "GLOOM & DOOM'' riff merchants that sees the band follow the same creative path as bands such as YOB, CONAN, Neurosis and Mastodon.

The album is very progressive which you can hear from the excellent opening track Asunder Skies. With Veilcaste playing heavy down-tuned Sludge/Doom Metal with YOB-esque grooves moving into areas of distorted Psychedelia and other sludgy compounds. The vocals are aggressive with an almost hardcore feel to them but it's the music that remains Veilcaste greatest strength with an abundance of different styles that can be quite melodic in places despite the gloomy nature of the whole album. I can also detect a slight Alice In Chains vibe with how the lyrics are written and certain parts of the song does have that early AIC vibe but I could be looking far too much into things again.

Second song Dust & Bone opens with a solid progressive rock/metal instrumental work that moves quickly into heavier areas of Doom/Sludge Metal with frantic guitar work leading the way. Veilcaste bring a darker and distorted sense of GLOOMY FUZZ into their music. The instrumental work has a wicked "chainsaw" effect with the sublime vocals from Dustin switching to a more cleaner and emotionally charged vocal delivery allowing this song to be one of the standout tracks on the album. The grooves are slightly extended in places but Veilcaste do play some of the best riffs on the album. There's a few subtle Psychedelic sounds being added towards the end of the song which shows you the full creative force of the band.

Third song Drag Me Down opens with Mastodon-esque guitars for a cool extended instrumental passage before harsh vocals appear to change the narrative and tone of the song. This is Veilcaste in full DOOM METAL mode with a Post-Metal sound appearing that also brings a darker style of Psychedelic Rock/Metal for Veilcaste to play with. Elements of Psych Rock and Spaced Out Rock appear for another one of the standout tracks. The lyrics are bleak yet again with the harsh Sludge grooves being quite forceful in places that move Veilcaste further into the AMPLIFIER WORSHIP field with some mighty fine DOWN-TUNED moments appearing along the way.

Fourth song For Us is another track where Veilcaste uses the LOW & SLOW approach with a deliberate slow pace leading the way. Dustin's vocals are bang on point yet again with superb lyrics that have a menacing quality to them. The music is more Sludge based than Doom but Veilcaste do switch between both areas within this track. Harsh grooves have that distorted sound to them with Veilcaste playing one of the riffiest tracks on the album.

The final three songs Relapse In Reason, A Grasp Of Air and Empty Hell sees Veilcaste enhance and improve  their Doom/Sludge grooves compared to the first half. The music is perhaps more SONIC based with the band bringing the heaviest riffs and vocals on this part of the album especially on Relapse In Reason and Empty Hell.  A Grasp Of Air is no slouch in that department either.

Precipice is an exciting and thrilling release from Veilcaste. Backed by superb production values, this album also benefits by excellent songwriting that impressed me greatly. This all helps Precipice to be an essential album to own and hopefully showcases another exciting chapter for Veilcaste to fully explore and perhaps reap the rewards for their hard work.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Sure Shot Worx and Wise Blood Records for the promo. 

Precipice will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Wise Blood Records USA Store and Wise Blood Records EU Store from February 10th 2023.


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