Veonity – Sorrows – Album Review

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Artist: Veonity

Album Title: Sorrows

Label: Scarlet Records

Date of Release: 21 August 2020

When I reviewed ‘Legend Of The Starborn’ in late 2018, I literally gushed praise in its direction. I was new to the band and really enjoyed what I heard. I can be quoted as even saying: “After spending what seems like weeks listening to it, I have to say that ‘Legend Of The Starborn’ is arguably the best power metal record that I have heard for some time. Certainly throughout 2018, probably longer.”

But, and here’s the rub, I’ve barely listened to it since I wrote the review. Unlike other bands within the genre, I have not felt the compulsion to return to ‘Legend…’ on anything approaching a regular basis. Those that know me, know that I will generally add a physical purchase to my collection when I give it a favourable review. That’s why I’m flat broke most of the time. But in the case of Veonity, I didn’t. I held off for some reason and I never got around to doing anything about it as the months passed.

It is only now, when I am faced with the follow-up, that I have realised all this. And I’m left scratching my head, especially when listening to ‘Legend…’ again now in order to compare it to this new offering. It is a great record…just perhaps not as incredible as I felt a little under two years ago.

But enough of that, let’s turn our attention to album number four, ‘Sorrows’. First impressions were not favourable if I’m honest, especially with the artwork and apparent change in lyrical themes, from a more fantasy-based conceptual approach, to something altogether more ‘real’. The title suggests that this isn’t going to be an upbeat, ‘fun’ affair like their past material and lyrically, that’s very true. Human emotions and tribulations form the basis of the subject matter, but actually, as far as the music is concerned, there isn’t a great stylistic change.

As before, we are treated to some eminently catchy and hook-laden melodic power metal, with plenty of epic flourishes, such as lashing of keys, choral vocals and the usual vocal gymnastics courtesy of vocalist Anders Sköld, ranging from deep and low, to stratospherically high and back again without so much as a second thought.

However, ‘Sorrows’ does feel as if it’s a little heavier in tone to past efforts. The guitars of Sköld and Samuel Lundström sound that bit chunkier, in-your face, and abrasive for a start, whilst the rhythm section comprised of bassist Kristoffer Lidre and drummer Joel Kollberg comes across as being more muscular, favouring meaty beats and bass lines over the generally faster, galloping nature of past efforts. Take ‘War’ as an example, which draws prettily heavily on their compatriots Sabaton at points, whilst Veonity ruthlessly pound their enemies into the ground. There’s even an eyebrow-raising low and gravelly vocal performance from Sköld to underline the slightly-heightened menace of the song.

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‘Grace Or Damned’ is another example of the heavier approach, albeit laced in theatrical synths throughout. The guitars chug with menace in the verses, whilst the pace is picked up in the bridge and into the full-on power metal chorus, complete with choral vocals which are rousing yet also quite dark in tone. ‘Back Into The Dark’ then delivers some of the most muscular guitar riffs on the record, whilst then transitioning into one of the most soaring, quintessential power metal choruses I’ve heard this year as well as a great lead guitar sequence that pushes my buttons.

Possibly my favourite track on ‘Sorrows’ is ‘Acceptance’, which is arguably the darkest and brooding of the lot. However, the chorus that emerges is ridiculous and it is one of a handful of tracks on this record that I’m frequently pressing the repeat button. The note that Sköld hits at the end of the chorus is insane, whilst the lead guitar solos courtesy of Lundström are also highly entertaining.

Don’t expect this approach all the time mind you; there is still a fair amount of speed to be uncovered within the ten tracks here, particularly as demonstrated by the lightning-fast, pinched harmonics cheekiness of ‘Free Again’ that calls to mind Dragonforce and early Rhapsody (of Fire) in equal measure. It is about as epic, breathless and devil-may-care as it gets anywhere on the album, but importantly still shows that Veonity can let go of the brakes when the need arises. ‘Blinded Eyes Will See’ but more so ‘Where Our Memories Used To Grow’ also offer a fair amount of pace too, albeit blended with slower passages to accent the speed.

Then there’s the glorious closing track, ‘Fear Of Being Alive’ which, despite the apparently dark song title, is about as rousing, upbeat and heart-warming as this music can get. After a ballad-like intro, it moves into surprisingly heavy climes with a fair amount of pace before delivering a ridiculously cheesy, yet brilliantly catchy chorus, topped off by a choral vocal outro where the line ‘I will never surrender to fear’ is inescapably powerful and meaningful.

The accompanying press release also talks of a slight upturn in progressive elements here too, although I’m not sure I hear too much of this on ‘Sorrows’. Yes, there’s definitely a greater sense of variety amongst the songs, but to confuse this record with a full-on progressive metal affair is wrong and will only lead to disappointment if that’s your sole motivation for investigating these Swedes.

At the end of the day, dragons or no dragons, concepts or no concepts, it is hard to find a great deal to fault within ‘Sorrows’ if you’re looking for professionally-crafted and entertaining melodic power metal. The melodies are certainly memorable, several of the choruses will get lodged in your brain – trust me on that – and it is a satisfyingly heavy affair. I really enjoy ‘Sorrows’ and it gets better with every passing listen. However, only time will tell if it can ultimately reach the heights of ‘Legend Of The Starborn’.

The Score of Much Metal: 87%

Check out my reviews from 2020 right here:

Nyktophobia – What Lasts Forever
Ages – Uncrown
Awake By Design – Awake By Design
Black Crown Initiate – Violent Portraits Of Doomed Escape
Gaerea – Limbo
Buried Realm – Embodiment Of The Divine
Navian – Reset
Selenseas – The Outer Limits
Quantum – The Next Breath Of Air
Ensiferum – Thalassic
Long Distance Calling – How Do We Want To Live?
Airbag – A Day At The Beach
Re-Armed – Ignis Aeternum
Atavist – III: Absolution
Frost* – Others EP
Darker Half – If You Only Knew
Atavistia – The Winter Way
Astralborne – Eternity’s End
Centinex – Death In Pieces
Haken – Virus
Pile Of Priests – Pile Of Priests
Sorcerer – Lamenting Of The Innocent
Lesoir – Mosaic
Temnein – Tales: Of Humanity And Greed
Caligula’s Horse – Rise Radiant
…And Oceans – Cosmic World Mother
Vader – Solitude In Madness
Shrapnel – Palace For The Insane
Sinisthra – The Broad And Beaten Way
Paradise Lost – Obsidian
Naglfar – Cerecloth
Forgotten Tomb – Nihilistic Estrangement
Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn
Firewind – Firewind
An Autumn For Crippled Children – All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet
Havok – V
Helfró – Helfró
Victoria K – Essentia
Cryptex – Once Upon A Time
Thy Despair – The Song Of Desolation
Cirith Ungol – Forever Black
Igorrr – Spirituality and Distortion
Nightwish – Human. II: Nature.
Katatonia – City Burials
Wolfheart – Wolves Of Karelia
Asenblut – Die Wilde Jagd
Nicumo – Inertia
The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous
Omega Infinity – Solar Spectre
Symbolik – Emergence
Pure Reason Revolution – Eupnea
Irist – Order Of The Mind
Testament – Titans Of Creation
Ilium – Carcinogeist
Dawn Of Ouroboros – The Art Of Morphology
Torchia – The Coven
Novena – Eleventh Hour
Ashes Of Life – Seasons Within
Dynazty – The Dark Delight
Sutrah – Aletheia EP
Welicoruss – Siberian Heathen Horde
Myth Of I – Myth Of I
My Dying Bride – The Ghost Of Orion
Infirmum – Walls Of Sorrow
Inno – The Rain Under
Kvaen – The Funeral Pyre
Mindtech – Omnipresence
Dark Fortress – Spectres From The Old World
The Oneira – Injection
Night Crowned – Impius Viam
Dead Serenity – Beginnings EP
The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic
Deadrisen – Deadrisen
Blaze Of Perdition – The Harrowing Of Hearts
Godsticks – Inescapable
Isle Of The Cross – Excelsis
Demons & Wizards – III
Vredehammer – Viperous
H.E.A.T – H.E.A.T II
Psychotic Waltz – The God-Shaped Void
Into The Open – Destination Eternity
Lunarsea – Earthling/Terrestre
Pure Wrath – The Forlorn Soldier EP
Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering
Sepultura – Quadra
Dyscordia – Delete / Rewrite
Godthrymm – Reflections
On Thorns I Lay – Threnos
God Dethroned – Illuminati
Fragment Soul – A Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies
Mariana Semkina – Sleepwalking
Mini Album Reviews: Moloken, The Driftwood Sign & Midnight
Serenity – The Last Knight
Ihsahn – Telemark EP
Temperance – Viridian
Blasphemer – The Sixth Hour
Deathwhite – Grave Image
Marko Hietala – Pyre Of The Black Heart
SWMM – Trail Of The Fallen
Into Pandemonium – Darkest Rise EP
Bonded – Rest In Violence
Serious Black – Suite 226
Darktribe – Voici L’Homme
Brothers Of Metal – Emblas Saga
A Life Divided – Echoes
Thoughts Factory – Elements

You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here:

2019 reviews
2018 reviews
2017 reviews
2016 reviews
2015 reviews

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