Round two of melodic black metal from Poland brought forth this band whose imagination outpaces their tolerance for the musical process.
flag of Poland Veles - Night on the Bare Mountain (1996)
Veles - Black Hateful Metal (1998)
Veles - The Black Ravens Flew Again (2004)
Night on the Bare Mountain
No Colours
Production: Raw, noisy, blarish.

Review: In the annals of melodic black metal, few bands achieve the extreme neo-psychedelic suspension of disbelief required to create an atmosphere of serenity and morbid determination, but here this is done through repeated figures in which central motifs are repeatedly transformed into their equivalent local to each figure. What is not forgotten is an essential, vital melodic and a basic structure to enclose in rhythm what is a majesty of simplicity and imagination.


1. Night on the Bare Mountain (Intro) (2:38)
2. The Winter Morning (3:35)
3. A Dark Dream (5:24)
4. The Final Battle (2:07)
5. Majesty of War (3:32)
6. My Bloodthirst (The Horrorstorm) (5:57)
7. Born of Darkness (4:55)
8. My Pagan Fatherland (Evil Power's Night) (5:02)
9. Forest of the Horrifying (Outro) (1:28)
Length: 34:40

Veles Night on the Bare Mountain - black metal 1996 No Colours
Copyright © 1996 No Colours

Warbling resonant guitars pace their phrasal development over a basic beat, and then form a recombinant structure in which different passages connect in careful calibration of interlude, often inverting and reappearing to complement a similar structure. Melodies emerge from sequential chords wrapped around a change of motion in the ascendancy of tone, providing a wide gap of sonic geometry through which simple but lengthy neo-medieval melodies soar and dive. Patterns flower to reveal their internal instabilities which permit their consumption through inertia, and in the place of any fallen phrase a resurgent complement to falling appears. The internal equilibrium of these pieces is not calibrated on energy matching energy, but levels of energy balancing each other enough to present a brief inequality in which the genesis of a melody is shaped and nurtured. The gentleness with which composition amalgamates belies the structural savagery in which the edge emotion of barely consonant melodies diverges into rapid change or abrupt conclusion.

While the second Veles album is perhaps the more clarified work in technique and form, this release, with its long pauses and absurdist folk-influenced song structures, brings out the feral mindset in which rippingly empty power chord riffing brings out tunneling sonic pseudopods of harmonized phrases in order to gain the range it needs to outmaneuver its own dry, sweet and sour end. For morbid listeners who do not mind the second tier of abstraction away from popular music, Veles is black metal which requires concentration and an active response to emotion twisted into wave form.

Black Hateful Metal
No Colours
Production: Raw with attention to both intensity and silence.

Review: The more refined of the two Veles works, this disc offers Graveland-esque melodic metal with neo-medieval melodies set to the rotating refrain of a poetic cycle, and in this capacity bends noise and harmony to the same hand of expressing a melancholy and dark, morbidly warlike mood. Through varied dynamics and often a heavy use of silence, these songs express a world beyond with their dark impetus.


1. The Triumph of Pagan Beliefs
2. The Dawn of the New Empire
3. Uralten
4. Broken Cross
5. The Spirit of Ancient Europe
6. The Temple of the Infernal Fire
7. Black Hateful Metal
8. Millennium of Disgrace
9. After the Battle
10. Winds of the Vampires
11. Majesty of War
12. The Pact
13. Forgotten Time - Honoured Custom
14. Black Flames Spread Warfare
15. Battle-Din
16. Epos
Length: 70:50

Veles Black Hateful Metal - black metal 1998 No Colours
Copyright © 1998 No Colours

Like many of the Polish bands, these warriors open their grimoire of aspirations to a former time with a Darkenesque introduction of repetitive simple harmonies around clusters of related melodies to render a landscape of tone, and in their arrangement and pacing are often similar to a more aggro Dead can Dance. Resonant tones resound in competitive structures while a basic theme emerges after the panoramic of motifs collides with its own impetus and resolves to a determined, even pace. What follows next is a sensible fusion between the basic power chord folk of the first Lord Wind album and the fluid immersion of melody that Behemoth put to good use on their first album. Themes are established in four-note chord runs in two-fingered speed picking noise channeling effect, and then mutated by interludes or accompaniment from acoustic guitars. Often lead picking uses a handful of notes to make sense of a previous tremolo powerchord interchange switching sides of a cyclic structure in exchange of momentums, or allows a basic melody to ride long before changing into a light picking rendition of the same. Lengthy interludes within and between some songs give texture to an otherwise mesmerizing release. Its rhythms resemble breathing and its tones the rising and falling of elemental organization schema, like the extermination of a lost tribe or the hunting of small creatures when the predators of the forest are in famine.

While this release showcases the majesty of a certain form of black metal when merged with folk music, its extremity in presentation often obscures what is strong music with distraction from focus and aesthetic overindulgence, where the music itself is strong enough to make an impression even in repetition. Among the giants of the Polish blackmetal movement, this release is the more formalized of two from a classic band.

Veles - The Black Ravens Flew Again Tracklist
1. Intro
2. The Loyalty for Country
3. We Chopped by Swords
4. Glory for Heroes
5. Circle of Wolves
6. Time of Revenge
7. The Song of Zarathustra
8. Outro
Length: 39:27
The Black Ravens Flew Again (Der Sieg, 2004)
To prove that a band can come back to fail (as if we lacked reminders in that department) Veles create a contemporary black metal album that updates their quasi-competent mystical style with a slicker melodic version, which for those with experience means they have become cheerleaders for the past with a style that is current but directionless in its desire to throw every possible type of riff and structure into the pot for a shotgun blast approach toward profundity: unsure of where to take a genre that has now become accepted and thus cannot delight in the forbidden fruits of occultism, amoralism and nationalism, they have rehashed what old ideas resemble to them now using the greater instrumental competence and more standard approach to songwriting inherited from more successful rock and metal bands. Songs fit together from a handful of three note/symmetrical opposition diminished minor key harmonization riffs which unite through the interlocking dependency of different tempos; it's an elaboration on the verse/chorus device known to radio listeners. "We Chopped by Swords" borrows a note-different riff from Behemoth's "Thy Winter Kingdom," and parts of other songs trigger memories of past glories of the flowing melodic style of black metal from Poland, but like a bad clone of Malevolent Creation or an East Coast Metalcore band, Veles throw the whole thing together like an omelette and wrap it up with rhythm, which makes for music that at first seems refreshing but upon contemplation appears as empty as radio rock. Maybe someday metal bands will learn that it is better to fade away with a reputation for quality than to burn out by following the same apish, predictable, humble, sycophantic path that every other moron does in modern society, and thus to disgust those who once imagined a vivacious tenacity for insight into existence lurked within their souls. With this latest album, Veles have done their part for world destruction -- by giving us a thousand copies of plastic junk destined for near-immediate landfill filing. The term "tool" could be used descriptively here.
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