Try listening to the Symphonic Gothic Metal by this up-and-coming Russian band with your eyes blindfolded. You will love the experience.
In case you don’t know (well, I’m pretty sure you don’t, and there’s nothing wrong with that), the Latin word “velaverunt” means “blindfolded”. For instance, you can find that word in the Bible, like in Lucas 22:64, “et velaverunt eum et percutiebant faciem eius et interrogabant eum dicentes prophetiza quis est qui te percussit?”, which in English means “and when they had blindfolded him, and smote him on the face, and asked him, saying: Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?” However, from now on Velaverante also means high-quality Symphonic Gothic Metal brought forth by this passionate band from the city of Kirov, Russia, located around 950km from the capital Moscow.
And when you listen to their debut EP, the excellent My Dark Images, you’ll perfectly understand why I’m saying that about Velaverante. For a top to bottom independent band, the attention they paid to all details, including the sound production and mixing, their outfits and the album art, is truly remarkable. Even minor details like the blindfolds that appear on the artwork of My Dark Images and on some of their promotional pictures prove how much they care about their creation, and of course, that’s beyond good for everyone who takes a listen at Velaverante.
That high level of professionalism is latent in the first track of the EP, Too Late, where the band offers the listener a very symphonic sounding similar to what Nightwish and Epica have mastered doing, but with the melancholic atmosphere found in Black and Doom Metal. The keyboards by Max Seleznyov and the robust operatic vocals by Anna Egorova keep the music ominous and dark, whilst drummer Irina Kropotova and guitarist Gleb Uraev seem more inspired by old school Gothic Metal the likes of Tristania. The second track, Insomnia, begins as obscure as the previous one, once again showcasing a superb performance by Anna on vocals, especially during the song’s captivating chorus. It’s unquestionably a beautiful Gothic Metal tune for fans of the dark side of music.
In my humble opinion, the best of the four tracks is Jailed, where a smooth piano intro is suddenly surrounded by the band’s strong and mournful notes, with highlights to all the emotion found on vocals (yet again with an awesome chorus). Not only that, its somber rhythm is as amazing as the biggest dark classics from Norwegian and British Gothic music, with Max boosting the band’s energy with his keyboard notes. And lastly, we have the most symphonic of all tracks, Chained No More, with deeper riffs and stronger beats, almost like a Metal Opera mainly due to the vocal performance by Anna blended with interesting medieval/epic notes.
Unfortunately, My Dark Images has only 15 minutes of music, making us eager for more of their music in the form of a possible full-length album in a not-so-distant future. In the meantime, let’s all go check their Facebook page, VK profile, YouTube channel (where you can find some excellent live videos by the band), and more important than all that, listen to their profound and skillfully engendered music on their official SoundCloud page. And if you have the guts to appreciate My Dark Images blindfolded, amplifying your sense of hearing to a whole new level, do not think twice and just go do it.
Best moments of the album: Jailed.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2015 Independent
1. Too Late 4:20
2. Insomnia 3:10
3. Jailed 4:18
4. Chained No More 3:34
Anna Egorova – vocals
Gleb Uraev – guitar
Oleg Starikov – bass
Max Seleznyov – keyboards
Irina Kropotova – drums