REVIEW: Beneath the Veil – Omega [EP/2014]

BtVa

Artist: Beneath the Veil

Album: Omega – EP

 

As a species, we humans are obsessed with the end—beyond that of a passing fascination or taciturn interest; we are fixated on it—dependent on the idea that if something has an origin it must have an ending. This ranges from the drastic and severe “what happens when we end?” to more trivial questions. Questions like what’s at the end of the book we’re reading? The movie we’re watching? What happens at the end of this review? Well, one of those can be answered—as the end of this review—as well as the entire duration—will be spent singing the praises of the sophomore release by Californian Colossuses Beneath the Veil—rightfully titled Omega. Omega is a masterful display of sinfully heavy down-tempo and hardcore so destructive and invasive that it sounds as if it could be the soundtrack to the end of the world—and the dawn of a new future for this increasingly popular hybrid blend of genres.

The listener is to Beneath the Veil what an ant is to a mammoth—as there is no example, no witty simile or pun that can aptly prepare one for the immense weight that is Omega. Like a leaden noose, the daunting, atmospheric introduction to “Nightmares” weighs heavily atop the listener’s shoulders, slacked and loose—until—without warning, the percussion kicks in and the deep, churning guitar lets loose, snapping the slipknot tight around the listener’s throat, nearly breaking their neck.

But that would be too easy.

Instead, “Nightmares” leaves leaden rope burn lining the listener’s jugular, forcing them to hang and bob in time with the track’s vicious grooves. Beneath the Veil attack with wave after wave of incessant, punishing heaviness that is meatier and more raw than uncooked steak. Guitars range from belligerently heavy and ardently in-your-face to riff-based and slithering, winding their way inside the listener’s head. Meanwhile, Jake Kelly’s percussive brilliance hammers and whales away at the listener, splintering bones and breaking their spirit in two.

It is only as the listener’s flesh because raw, blistered and split open that the venomous, hate-filled and obtrusive vocals make their way into the picture. Whether it is the assistance of Molotov Solution’s Nick Arthur and his gritty, bellowed low growl on “Revolution” or Kingmaker’s Riggs, and his high, shrieking scream on “Outcast,” the incredible guest vocals are just one aspect of Omega’s vocal onslaught worth noting. The truth is that while the guest screams and shouts add variety to the brief, intense EP, they are far from needed. Vocalist Sammy Alli does a wondrous job of creating a purely demoralizing atmosphere with gruff, hard-hitting and skull-splitting screams and shouts that will have the listener pulling their hair out and seeing red with sheer rage by the time the first track is through.

Between Kelley’s down-tempo and intense drumming and Alli’s grating and grotesque vocal onslaught, Omega is an immersive and demoralizing experience that is the pure culmination of all things bitter and brooding. “Omega” is a daunting and crushing journey through the end of the earth, while “Nightmares” is just that—a nightmare. More accurately, “Nightmares” is the listener’s worst nightmare. Every aspect of Beneath the Veil’s EP is heavier than an anvil made of dark matter. All of the elements of Omega combine to create an experience that will leave the listener broken far beyond repair. No amount of prayer, therapy, medicine or miracles can save the listener from the impending crush of Omega. It is the listener’s end.

Truly, Beneath the Veil provide the end of the world for the listener—with pummeling, pounding percussion and lacerating, low-down-and-dirty guitar work, and furious, anxious and strung-out vocals (that have lyrics to match), Omega is the end of all things, even as it ushers in a new age for beefy, brooding, breakdown-packed hardcore.

 

9.5/10

For Fans Of: Traitors, Genocide District, Extortionist, Obliterator

By: Connor Welsh