2015 has so far delivered some remarkable albums from artists that are defying the boundaries of genre; Taken by The Sun, Secrets of the Sky and Hope Drone have all stretched the possibilities of sludge, post metal and doom through progression, emotion and atmosphere, now MAKE join the party with the release of their sophomore album The Golden Veil. Here the three piece from North Carolina leave Post Metal in its wake by incorporating doom structures with atmospheric drone elements while extending that even further with passages of progressive death and black metal on ‘The Absurdist’ and ‘The Architect’ respectively.
The Golden Veil begins through a shower of static on the uncomfortably titled ‘I Was Sitting Quietly, Peeling Back My Skin’; after a while a plaintive acoustic section reminiscent of a Western movie score emerges; picture a silhouette of Clint Eastwood riding off into the sunset after enacting revenge; a sunset that fades quickly into a wash of feedback.
‘Breathe’ starts off with a strong and deliberate build of bass, drums and guitar, repetition is a stabilising force here which adds intensity and a level of suspense. While the restrictions of a bass, guitar and drum mix hamper most bands when attempting to build momentum and atmosphere, MAKE have the timing of instruments, riff patterns and vocals down to perfection. Due to the strength and potency of ‘Breathe’ you are expecting more of the same with ‘The Immortal’, however that ideal is quickly dissipated once the clean guitar strum and subsequent scenic vocal emerges. The confidence on display is staggering and while the message of ‘The Immortal’ is a contrary take on spiritual awakening, you can feel the conviction that exists within MAKE and that they mean business.
Large portions of The Golden Veil are without vocals, whether that be the three strategically placed instrumental tracks or the space and distance during songs. Countless artists make the mistake of over empowering the sound with words, instead MAKE do wonders with pedal effects, synthesisers and feedback. The one element that deserves special attention is the bass, it is a very rare occurrence to have this instrument highlighted so readily as it is on The Golden Veil. The Absurdist is a case in point, where the bass forms an integral lead eventually paired with the remnants of Isis’s spatial wanderings and the two and fro guitar liberties of A Perfect Circle.
The flow of the album is important to the concept of the record and obviously the linear method of deployment by MAKE, however there are moments that leave you scratching your head. Apart from a few fleeting glimpses of genre blending later in the album MAKE have largely shown all their cards after track three. The ending to ‘The Absurdist’ comes to a halt, seemingly prematurely and after a few seconds ‘The Architect’ starts a similar build to the one ‘The Immortal’ constructs. The flow is uncomfortable, but it is also majestic, powerful, thoughtful and part of the journey. This is another one of those records that reveals itself more and more with each listen.
Overall MAKE have released a must listen album for people that enjoy deep, powerful and thought provoking metal. Highly recommended for fans of Isis, The Atlas Moth, In Mourning and Pallbearer.
1. I Was Sitting Quietly, Peeling Back My Skin
3. The Immortal
4. We Are Coiled
6. The Architect
7. In the Final Moments, Uncoiling