Written by: Valkyrjiaa
Release Date: February 18th, 2022
Power Metal from Sweden
Label: Scarlet Records
FFO: Sabaton, Sonata Arctica, Gamma Ray, Majestica, Dragonland, and Twilight Force.
A musical story about the underworld threatening to destroy humanity and that only by recharging the so-called Masterstone and placing it on the Altar of Power will the world be saved from eternal darkness? COUNT ME IN!
I’m a sucker for fantasy epics in ANY fashion, short and sweet, or long sagas that take YEARS to complete and Veonity gives us just that with their Fifth album, Elements of Power as debuted on February 18th, 2022.
Veonity is meant to be “classical ultra-power metal” that uses this album to tell the story about a boy who happens to become a Hero who finally defeats the evil – once and for all! With dazzling guitars, bass-loaded drums, and brimming with epic solos, angelic choirs, and high metal screams at the center of every track, this album prides itself on the charming melodies of 90’s era German/Swedish style, letting no instrumental go untouched.
Composed of Anders Skold (Vocals, Guitar), Samuel Lundstrom (Lead Guitar), Kristoffer Lidre (Bass), and Joel Kollberg (Drums), VEONITY takes power metal to the next level with a mind-boggling blend of musical entanglements that leave listeners stunned.
Our story begins with “Beyond the Realm of Reality” like Sonata Arctica’s ‘Wolf and Raven’ with a dark melody that’s hastened by frightful guitar riffs and energized by dragging bass. It’s a swift track, making your head move along with every thunderous verse. Notes ride high before levelling onto the battlefield before you, putting the image of a fantasy tale on full display with blue sky highs, frightful mountain shreds, and steely battle drums. A truly jaw-dropping introduction to this album and the story at its heart that made me eagerly to venture through alongside our Hero.
The third track off the album, titled “Altar of Power” starts off with metal hair flying and head-banging all around. It’s got drums at its heart, with guitars at the ready to unleash a fury of wild riffs at any given chance. The melody of this track is persistent, with high-note vocals to match that had me pulled in from the very beginning. It’s a ‘raise your fist in the air’ anthem-like track that throws you into the Hero’s boots, preparing you to fight the good fight and bring forth peace upon the altar. It’s easy to get lost in the lyrically story on this track, with a raspy chorus that sends shivers down your spine and a fantasy sound that puts the story right before your very eyes.
“Elements of Power” features Dragony’s Siegfried Samer, creating an atmosphere of fear and dread upon its entry to this album. High-energy guitars quickly snap through, piercing the fog with hair-raising harmonies that warp into untamed solos that spread like a wildfire. This is power metal at its finest, with symphonics coming in and building on the speed and highs of an inspirational track. The addition of Siegfried’s vocals acts like a shadow to Anders, building the intensity of this track’s power to truly bring the ‘elements of power’ into one combined entity of mesmerizing solos and heart-pumping orchestration.
Blazing into the fight with fury is “Gargoyles of Black Steel” that tells the tale of flesh-hungry creations of the dark with shattering drums, and heavy bass. The dwindling vocals lows caress your ears, enhancing the atmosphere with a tension that’s quickly squashed by the light-hearted chorus. The touch of heaviness in this track is admirable, adding a new element to the power metallers and boosting the vibe of their story with a dark turn while keeping that hopeful high at its center.
“Dive into the Light” is a fast, unyielding track that throws you into battle headfirst. Anders puts his vocal prowess on display with a brilliant metal scream at the very beginning, amping up the energy of this song in mere moments. It’s reminiscent of Sonata Arctica’s ‘Victoria’s Secret’ with speed and high notes that urge you to dance down the road forward. Beautiful intervals of guitars make you toss your head back and forth, completely enveloped by the energy of this track and its dazzling musical explosion. This track alone makes me want to take the power stone to the altar and fight off the darkness all on my own.
Double-kickers come in full force on “Facing the Water” while guitars add gentle flare as to not overshadow their relentless. Vocals in this track are very Majestica in sound and portrayal, with notes held at extraordinary highs and perfectly executed. It’s a fast-paced, drum-heavy track that kicks this album up a notch to progress the ferocity of the story with unyielding passion, and hardened resolve. “The world will perish and die without the stone!” is one hell of a one-liner to linger on, truly evoking the seriousness that this story has at its heart. A gentle ballad-like midsection captivates us, as if to let us view the Hero and the decision he has to make – to take up the stone and cleanse the lands of darkness, or bow down against such a heavy burden, and let defeat take hold.
“Curse of the Barren Plains” is one hell of a musical adventure. The melody suckered me in to crank my speakers instantly with ferocious vocals adding to its passion. I cannot possibly explain my love for the backing instrumentals of this track and how its delicate composition of gentleness is contrasted so wonderfully by the intense metal elements that leave me in awe. Though we draw near the end of our Hero’s journey, this album does not let itself fall to fragility, instead offering us yet another bold composition of musical intricacies and vocal mastery. This – this song alone makes me crank this album up LOUD, throwing it on repeat as many times as my brain will allow until I’m screaming along.
The finale of our journey, and the end of our hero’s tale comes on “Return to the Land of Light”. Glittering steel, slicing from the edge of a sword through the darkness. Eyes spanning the shadows for movement, as one final battle remains, and victory is on the horizon. It’s yet another fine display of power metal with speed and vocals at high range, keeping the light-hearted atmosphere while simultaneously representing the battle that has finally come to an end. “I will see the sun again, I will live another day, I will break free from the clutches of the Underworld!” is one hell of a chorus to embrace and it’s beyond catchy with a beat that only energizes its power.
The Bottom Line
I’ve gotten to review many power metal albums and EPs early on in 2022 and this one is one that really takes power metal to heart. With energizing choruses, crushing melodies, and eye-widening solos, there is no shortage of musical decadence on this album. From beginning to end, there’s surprises at every turn, taking the storyline to heart to not only create image and atmosphere but, a soundtrack that fits right alongside. It’s put VEONITY on my radar for future releases, and of course, another playthrough for at least a few hours…or days to come.
Favourite Tracks: Elements of Power, Dive into the Light, Curse of the Barren Plains