Veuve – Fathom (2019)

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Italian power stoner rockers VEUVE have been messing around since 2014, following up on a self-produced debut EP and their 2016 full-length album, Yard, the band takes a new step and will release their hotly anticipated, sophomore album on May 31st with Argonauta Records!

Fathom will once again worship VEUVE’s refreshing mix of fuzzy seventies-fashioned riffs in the likes of mother Sabbath, father Kyuss and the big brother Hawkind, infinite kraut-rock drifts into modern post-metal trails.

My take on things:

“Radars Are High” is a robust rock track with a catchy riff and a guitar fuzz rhythm line. A period correct guitar solo emerges near the end of the track. The guitar work on this track is engaging and solid. The vocals are harmonic and suit the sound that they are going for. It’s 7 minutes long, which surprised me a little when I saw it, but it doesn’t feel that long.

“Taste Of Mud” continues the theme of longer tracks, weighing in at 8 minutes. The opening feels like a story is about to be told, of the ilk of Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin. This goes for the first 2 minutes and when the vocals start, they are suitably subdued. It’s an easy rock groove and is very pleasant. It then transforms into a more driving sound, with some more clever guitar work.

“Following” kicks off acoustically with a simple riff that segues into a tribal pattern, that builds again into a fuller rock sound. Quiet, staccato lyrics appear 3 minutes into the 6 minute track and things then take off into something much grander. All through, the same musical patterns anchors this track, to great effect. It is simple, but very effective.

“Death Of The Cosmonaut” starts with someone counting down to a rocket launch. The pace here is a good bit faster and the guitar solo is followed by a bass solo. This track is light on lyrics – the instruments do the talking. It lives up to the band’s description of some of their work as ‘spacey escapes’.

“Low In The Air” starts slow, low and groovy. It questions whether things are real, or just a a part of the madness. A harmonica solo pops up in this track and it feels right. It’s a relaxed and calm song that at the 5 minute mark out of 7 sheds its skin emerges as something bigger and stronger, with distorted guitars driving it to a new level.

“The Unseen” starts with a tribal rhythm with a return to low and slow vocals. Things heat up again 2 minutes in, with the musical intensity raised. It’s another example of this band’s template – composed opening, significant increase in presence, pausing in the middle and then setting up instrumental interludes and solos, then rousing out with vocals and a return to the pattern established earlier. Again, it feels spacey and flowing, like a jam session. It fades away at the end with stand-alone layered vocals, a great end to this track.

“Into The Smoke” starts with fuzz guitars front and centre, slipping back into an acoustic Iron Maiden-like riff. The subject matter of the serpent is pure ‘70s style also and sone slick synthesiser work adds to the tale. It’s a slower track that fades out into a barren wind-like ending that rounds off the record well. It’s almost like the dust and tumbleweeds blow in…

This album wouldn’t be out of place in the ‘70s, with its wailing guitar solos, dreamy vocals and bias towards the instruments doing a lot of the talking. The tracks are all between 5 and 8 minutes in duration, but with the instrumental interludes, they don’t feel that long. In many parts, it’s brash, cocky and happy in its own skin. It harks back to a simpler style of music and feels fresh for that.

I struggled for a long time to match it to a contemporary artist, because the sound and vocal style really reminded me of something… Then it came to me – they are not unlike “Ghost”!

It’s a record that is easy to be engaged with as if you want to be. You can hang on every note, or just let the calm nature of it melt into the background.

7/10

Review by Greg Noble

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