VERBERIS – Adumbration of the Veiled Logos (2022)REVIEW

Gnomon crafted from sinew, crisping in the harsh light of saintly Mors’ boggled eyes. — There can be no true delusion held without the fetishist’s duality of the sacred and profane. A constellatory reach, spider-webbed by way of clustering synapse grown within the infested human mind could run-on forever in artistic depiction of sickly, crooked vortices and angular darts attempting isonomic vision of numen and yet sustain little more than pinched-off cordage without the gape of the void (and its fill) imagined to scale. Our withering process, from the conditioning experience of maturation toward machine-like procreation, serves the flesh-urgent unending promise of fulfillment ’til all revelation beyond the lottery of miraculous transfiguration in inverse of reality, insanity, finally manifests near Death’s natural call. You will never know more enlightenment than the seeping of enthalpy as it drains back into the universe and, slowly ’til the transcendent divine mind is arisen alongside the Death’s-head and truly, all else is delusional self-manufacture. Gnostic magick, æther huffing pre-Socratic riddles and the wildly geometric spiritual-intellectual craft of Verberis align in biblical scale on the New Zealand-borne and now Germany set quartet’s second full-length album, an outsized personal Codex Arundel writ in exploration of the essence of spiritual desolation. The mind will seek to analyze the daunting experience set forth by ‘Adumbration of the Veiled Logos‘ and the deep-set black/death metal fused de-harmonization within will call for brain-surging examination by name yet none of it will reveal anything more than a mirror upon the vulgar ‘self’ until you’ve resigned to let the experience overtake your participatory role, and succumb.

Being well enough in tune with Iron Bonehead since the start of the 2010’s I’d discovered the work of Verberis in their infancy, specifically their ‘Vastitas‘ (2014) demo, which’d just gotten a cassette release in the middle of that year. At the time I think I’d compared the attack of the band to something like Verminous and the still fresh in mind ‘Roman Acupuncture‘ tape which’d still been an obsession years later. I was an instant fan and that demo ended up landing as #30 on my Best of 2014 list as a result. In hindsight and with consideration for the Katharsis-esque aggression and orthodox black metal infused debut full-length (‘Vexamen‘, 2016) from the band (which landed as #15 on my Best of 2016) it’d be fair to say their leap to LP status was a challenging, surprisingly deep-end statement from a band that’d appeared to be chaotic maniac craft and little else from the start. That debut had and still has great potential to be a revelation to those seeking a creative path beyond the aforementioned occult/orthodox Satanic breakthroughs of a certain era and their oft typical exhaustion in the last decade, it is well worth revisiting if you are not easily taxed by the erratic flow of experiential black metal and to some degree it provides precedence for the longform developments of ‘Adumbration of the Veiled Logos‘. With that said the true eureka of this inevitable expansion of craft came by way of their follow-up EP (‘Vorant Gnosis‘, 2018), a two part opus of duality and an album-length venture by today’s weakening standards. Familiarity with the greater discography and well, by extension enough patience for the ‘on their own terms‘ state of their creations is practical prerequisite for absorbing this second full-length with any sense.

In practical and direct terms this second full-length from the band, which is largely manifested by guitarist D.A. as acting visionary, is even more deeply enriched with thy aforementioned ‘ready prominent ‘orthodox black metal’ ideals of avant-garde pacing, irrational voicing, and violent guitar techniques which now includes some extended exploration of dissonance in-phrase, slower to resolve atmospheric builds, and less overtly stated harmonization of multi-guitar dug rhythms. This stylistic evolution might come across as the expected result beyond ‘Vexamen‘ on paper but it is not so cut-and-dry that you’ll feel it is safely churned out or, amiss. There’ll be no obscuration of this point due to the fact that this album features a far clearer, purposefully expansive rendering overall. All is crisply realized within a stained-glass n’ grimed over cathedral of resonance and extended unto dynamic richness fit for imaginative black/death metal cinematic reaches. Bass tones (ah via the fellowe from Creeping, probably) are likewise resonant, commanding in their gorgeously black buzzing, admirable prominence while rhythm guitar tones refract within immediately present yet distorted and distantly shot planar movement. The glassy ‘clean’ guitar tones achieved amidst the hell-blizzard of bass guitar and snarling rant that arrives with Side B (“Severed Paragon”, “Ennoia”) is enough to sell the absolute attendance this record serves in terms of fidelity and sound design as the song rolls through emotive, ethereal and destructive throes of said pieces. For my own taste there are no reasonable points of favor to process, the whole of this album is exceptionally crafted, yet I’d been entirely thrilled by the whole of Side B in terms of the larger event it is with consideration for Verberis‘ expanding repertoire.

There are three sides (Side D is blank) for this double LP experience and each side loosely presents justification for their assigned contents in relation to the other, this is largely due to the five pieces that amount to ‘Adumbration of the Veiled Logos‘ being more-or-less standalone excepting their shared goal, a personal spiritual goal of the artist which is best left to the lyrics per past releases. So, instead of digging into each piece with a pair of forceps and becoming lost in a naïve way I’d just as well appreciate the performances and tone of this album as a listening experience, or, a flood of terrifying energy, rather than overthink it too headily. Eh, well, as much as speculation may appear asinine in the long run I believe we can safely identify the fine work of one of my favorite band’s (Ulcerate) drummer, as he realizes a feat which very few are capable of herein with particularly shining work on “Adamantine Amidst Transience” (the most evocative piece of the lot by my mark) and the 20+ minute closer “I Am the Father and the Tomb of the Heavens”. The vocal performances almost assuredly come from the fellowe in Heresiarch though in an largely unfamiliar register ’til expression leans guttural, opener “Sepulchre of Shattered Saints” particularly impresses in terms of the weave of various vocal style into an insular narrative for the song though I don’t think any moment of the artists work is wasted or, simply filling space in any regard. This compliment extends to the whole of the album where yes, the near full hour of it all is extended to the point of fixation but with a great black sea’s-worth of immersive value and, much like Qrixkuor‘s brilliant record last year, a strong attention span will serve this album its due vexation.

Verberis finally make the mark intended within the storming black-bloodied pits of ‘Adumbration of the Veiled Logos‘ and it comes as a twisted cinematic event of self-actualization on a different plane altogether compared to the, well, not exactly pedestrian events of their past but here we find a voice that cannot be washed away with comparisons or, flippant hand gestures as it sinks in and overtakes. Each piece of this album is suggested as a reach for the numinous and this lands upon me not in the sense that we are given a showing of divine realization in wings-splaying gloriam but witnessing the reach, the struggle of limbs and the far-extension of a stirringly grand vision in situ. I’d greatly appreciated the cryptic, personal nature of this event as it’d allowed the mind to wander within these brilliant atmospheric climes rather than wonder too hard what it’d all meant. And sure, beyond the freeing bluster of its strokes the performative value of their compositions now achieve something undeniably virtuosic and world class in terms of valuable, sincere extreme metal. A very high recommendation.

Very high recommendation. (93/100)

Rating: 9 out of 10.
TITLE:Adumbration of the Veiled Logos
LABEL(S):Norma Evangelium Diabioli
RELEASE DATE:June 17th, 2022

Help Support Grizzly Butts’ goals with a donation:

Please consider donating directly to site costs and project funding using PayPal.