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Sovereign Nocturnal
May 2014
Released: 2014, Eisenwald Release
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

Hailing from Canada, Blackened Doom innovators Velnias have become a highly revered sect of musicians on the underground since 2006. Having shared stages with the likes of Aggaloch and Mournful Congregation, the reissued release of Sovereign Nocturnal is one that upon its release should no doubt create a similar impact from when it first hit the masses back in 2008.

Opening with the sound of an ‘Owl’ and sweeping wind, the slow drum beats lead into a gritty sounding guitars that build within the first few minutes. The savage sounding vocals rip away with plenty of raw energy and deep throated husks. The clean melodies weave into the mix around halfway through with an eerie sense of foreboding. The shrieks return at full force as the heavy drum pounds relentlessly away in the background, giving everything a murky sounding core.

Next up, ‘Risen of the Moor’ begins with guitar delicacies and tense sounding drum work. The charging riffs speed up as the infernal growls pervade throughout. This track feels slightly faster in pace but equally as dense as the intensity scales toward an all out drum attack with a strongly prominent bass running alongside the dark led vitality. The final few moments disperse into a sinister sounding bass run and an almost tribal led drum solo that plunges you even deeper into the abyss.

Closing off with, ‘Sovereign Nocturnal’, the coursing vocals remain as bleak as ever with guttural tones as the guitars plough through with a steady progression before crashing down with some intense drum lashing. The track delves into some interesting progressive melodies that are darted amidst the more violent sounds and snarls. The speedy drums and droning guitars pick up around halfway through leading everything into climactic territory as the blood hungry growls tear away into the record’s departure.

The first thing that stood out for this album is the duration that the songs play through, each one hitting about the 10 minute mark. Ordinarily I would say that this is an attribute that may alienate certain listeners, but in this instance I’d go against that assumption. The reason for this is that each track is loaded with so much intensity and creative song writing ideas that you barely notice the time elapse between one song to the next. Everything feels top quality and the band certainly don’t run out of ways to keep your ears hooked into the void that their music conjures. This was a great release that should see the band propel themselves further with a sound that is wholly their own.

Review by Ben Spencer
Track Listing

1. Into Arms of Oak
2. Risen of the Moor
3. Sovereign Nocturnal


PJV - Guitars, Vocals
AJS - Drums
PSR - Guitars
JCB - Bass

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