Double Review: Veil of Light - "S/T" and Blessure Grave/Bestial Mouths Split

Veil of Light - Veil of Light
(2013 Belaten)

This is one of those times where you can make an assumption about music based on its album cover. The artwork for the debut EP of Switzerland's Veil of Light is quite similar to the cover of Dead Can Dance's 1993 LP Into the Labrynth. I don't think that's mere coincidence, as emulating the sound and attitude of early 80s goth bands like Death in June and This Mortal Coil seems to be the mission of this project and its labelmates. Veil of Light lies somewhere between Clan of Xymox and Bauhaus on the gothic scale, using sawtoothed guitar and regal synths to create a listening experience that can be both transportive and gut-churning. "Veins" is the top track that this tape has to offer, with its guttural, ever expanding walls of noise, skull-pounding drums and heavy bass. It's all tied together by sinister vocals that remind one of Ian Curtis. (That's probably the millionth Joy Division comparison I've made on this blog.) As dark as the packaging they come in, these 6 songs are sure to get you in the good kind of bad mood.

Blessure Grave/Bestial Mouths Split 7"
(Family Time/Silencio 2010)
Next up on the double-bill of gothic reviews is this split 7" by Blessure Grave, one of my current favorite post-punk acts, and Bestial Mouths, a band I had not heard of until I received this record. Being more familiar with Blessure Grave, I flipped to its side first, comprised of the song "No Clear Picture". The track opens ominously with a few stray acoustic notes, awkwardly transitioning into the heart of the song, noisy guitar propelled by the heart-like beating of a floor tom. Tobias Grave's singing is as passionate as ever, wailing into the microphone as if at the end of his rope. It's one of the better tracks Blessure Grave has to offer. I was not as impressed by the Bestial Mouths side of the release, though. Although I loved the vocals, instantly reminding me of Souxsie and the Banshees, I found the instrumentation hard to follow, the guitar sounding too distant, the drums out of control. Still, this is a good addition to any goth fan's record collection.