One listen to Dissident Voices by Veil of Deception and it becomes very clear that metal is alive and well in Austria. Thunderous, pounding rhythm section, great riffs and solos, soaring and powerful vocals are found in abundance on this album, which blurs the line between the NWOBHM and power metal and adds bits from several other genres for good measure.
The band itself traces its roots back to 2013 in Vienna when guitarists Dejan Jorgovanovic and Gerd Metzl began jamming and exchanging riffs. Not long after, Erik Fristad joined on bass and vocalist Daniel Gallar answered an ad and after a quick audition was now a member of the band. After a brief search, Mike Günther was added on drums and the first iteration of the band was complete. The band’s debut album, Deception Unveiled came not long after and exposed the world the band’s blend of modern metal, groove, thrash, and stoner metal. Unfortunately, Erik left the band not long after recording and the band found current bassist Thomas Hava and the band pressed on playing shows and filming a couple of videos. When it came time for the second album, guitarist Gerd decided to leave the band and Dejan took over all guitar parts for the album Tearing Up the Roots. Concerts followed with the band even sharing the stage with the likes of Flotsam and Jetsam. For Dissident Voices, the band returns as a four piece and released the album on Roxx Records imprint, No Life Til Metal records.
Sometimes an intro track just works and Veil of Deception open up Dissident Voices with a good one. Ominous guitar chords ring out at a somewhat slow pace and Chris Schober’s drums in the background sound a lot like those in the opening of Slayer’s “Raining Blood” and the track itself has that sort of heavy dark feel as well before it fades into the opening fast riffs of “Missing Heartbeats”. The listener doesn’t have to wait long for Daniel Gallar’s vocals to come in, immediately bringing to mind Geddy Lee of all vocalists, at least to my ears and the combination of riffs and vocal tone remind me a bit of “Working Man” by Rush, but that fades quickly as the band roars to life with a faster, tougher pace that has definite thrash and hardcore influences. Those listening closely will hear some great bass and drum fills from Thomas Hava and Chris Schober, respectively and Dejan Jorgovanovic quickly asserts himself as a guitarist to be reckoned with, both in riffs and solos.
The band chose “Crooked Lines” as the song for their debut lyric video and the song does serve as a great introduction to the band. Fast opening riffs and a song that sound like early Anthrax. Schober’s drums and Hava’s bass really drive the song along and provide a solid backdrop for Dejan’s guitars. Gallar is largely on his own in terms of vocals but has the strength to carry it. Midway through the song things slow down to what could amount to an old school hardcore breakdown section which devolves further into a piece where Hava’s bass work carries the day and sets things up nicely for the solo.
The band slows things down a bit for much of the “Wrong Side of the Stick” and the mournful piano opening of an “End Coming to an End” but both tracks manage to shift to heavier sounds and a faster pace, providing a glimpse into how the band has matured in terms of songwriting as the seemingly disparate sections blend seamlessly.
Outside of those two songs and the piano instrumental “Memories in the Attic” which closes out the album, the rest is filled with driving rhythms, fast riffs, and various elements that bring to mind bands like Flotsam and Jetsam, old Queensryche, and Anthrax. The variety of approaches in song construction keeps the listener interested and on the first listen a bit surprised from time to time. For instance, the ambient storm backdrop to a clean guitar line in the beginning of “Forgotten Rain” had me expecting the song to go an entirely different direction than the thrashy, catchy riff-filled, essentially instrumental way it ends up.
Veil of Deception have managed to capture the essence of bands that have come before them like Anthrax and Black Sabbath and others, while crafting a unique sound that is all their own. Strong performances, great production, and creative songwriting all blend together into a great package and an incredibly solid metal album that you owe it to yourself to give a listen.
Written by John Jackson
1. Tragedy Brings Clarity
2. Missing Heartbeats
3. Crooked Lines
4. Wrong End of the Stick
5. Dissident Voices
6. End Coming to an End
7. The Tyranny of Hope
8. Forgotten Rain
9. Bonds of Disaffection
10. Would’ve Beens & Could’ve Beens
11. Memories in the Attic
Thomas Hava – Bass
Daniel Gallar – Vocals
Chris Schober – Drums
Dejan Jorgovanovic – Guitars
Release Date: May 31st. 2019
Record Label: No Life Til Metal Records, 2019
Lyric Video for ‘Crooked Lines’