“The Immortal” features some dreamy guitar layering and singing in a pleasant lower register before fading out and returning with a sludge section that has more in common with slower His Hero Is Gone than Isis or Neurosis.
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 20/07/2015
‘The Golden Veil’ LP//DD track listing:
1. I Was Sitting Quietly, Peeling Back My Skin
3. The Immortal
4. We Are Coiled*
5. The Absurdist
6. The Architect
7. In the Final Moments, Uncoiling*
* Digital Exlusive
Scott Endres | Guitar, Vocals
Spencer Lee | Bass, Vocals
Matt Stevenson | Drums
Still a relatively new band, MAKE has been around for five years, and while they’ve released a couple of EPs and a cover of Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs”, ‘The Golden Veil’ is their first full length album since 2011. The band specializes in droning, atmospheric sludge, though with this album, the non-metal ambient moments make up a much bigger chunk.
That isn’t always such a bad thing. The album opens with “I Was Sitting Quietly, Peeling Back My Skin”, a song that focuses on a sort of soft static distortion and ominous humming noise before settling into something of a dark, western acoustic song in the second half. It does a tremendous job of setting the stage and building anticipation for something massive in the following song. The problem is that the remaining material on the album never really meets that anticipation.
“Breathe” gets underway with a solitary, pounding drum beat. Right away, one of the issues that hampers the album somewhat becomes clear. The drum sound is somewhat incongruous with what the music is trying to accomplish. The drum sound, and the snare in particular, being pretty similar to that of Chuck Biscuits from the first Danzig album worked in the context of bluesy metal or on old Discharge albums. But in a more expansive sludge situation, it feels a bit dull and flat, taking some of the wind out of the album’s sails at key points throughout. If the drums were to have a more lively sound, and, again to be more specific: a bigger snare sound with snap and pop to it, the louder peaks of each song would carry that much more weight. Even when the songs hit an ebb in intensity, a more dynamic drum sound would be a noticeable improvement.
That’s not to say the album isn’t good or that it’s crippled by a normally minor recording choice. There’s plenty to dig into even if certain sound choices are less agreeable. Along with the aforementioned instrumental opener, “The Immortal” features some dreamy guitar layering and singing in a pleasant lower register before fading out and returning with a sludge section that has more in common with slower His Hero Is Gone than Isis or Neurosis.
Overall, the album is solid and enjoyable although it’s missing a couple of elements that keep it from really getting into the first tier of albums in this style. There’s plenty to latch onto and it’s always well done, but the big moments don’t hit hard enough and while the gentler moments are soothing and also make for some of the best material on the album, it also takes up a bit more time than it should.
Words by: Daniel Jackson
You can pick up digital and vinyl copies here.
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