Sweden’s Veonity quickly carved a name for themselves among fans of ultra-power metal with superb albums like 2018’s Legend of the Starborn; the sky (and beyond) really seemed to be the limit for these lads at that point, but the comparatively drab nature of it’s follow up Sorrows (still seen by the majority of their fans as a pretty good album, it should be said) saw them temporarily head off the rails a little. Will 2022 see the band back heading for the stars again, or will they continue to plough a darker, gutter-bound furrow?
After a few listens to new album, Elements of Power, one thing is clear: The Space Vikings are back! The rampantly anthemic Gargoyles of Black Steel sees the boys back in the Euro power saddle, and how! Every single corpse of this kind of music has been loving exhumed and reanimated for you listening pleasure here, as by turns, Freedom Call, HammerFall, Helloween and Stratovarius all flash across the listeners mind. It’s a riotous, fun-packed piece of nostalgic heavy metal fun, and if the rest of the album doesn’t quite match it’s exuberant gallop, it’s not far behind in terms of sheer enjoyment.
Dive Into The Light and closing track Return To The Land of Light are both up there among the best tracks this band has yet come up with, too, with the latter in particular reminding the listener just what a powerful, versatile voice Anders Sköld really has. At times the ‘pile it high’ nature of the arrangements means that the overall sound becomes almost too busy as guitarist Samuel Lundström battles against the rhythm section of Kristoffer Lidre and Joel Kollberg AND the wall of keyboard orchestration, so it becomes doubly important that Sköld has the power to cut through the sturm und drang, giving the ear something to latch on to during the music’s most chaotic moments. That he does, time and again, is a real testament to the man’s power and ability!
Whilst ‘return to form’ is perhaps pushing it a bit, I’m sure the decision to return to a sci-fi/concept/storytelling format will please fans who may not have been sure of the apparent change of direction evident on Sorrows; This new album probably won’t attract too many new followers to the fold – you either love this style of music or you don’t like it at all, really – it’s going to keep those that do love Veonity very happily engaged indeed.
Elements of Power releases on February 18th.