V▲LH▲LL - Leaning On Shadows
Witch House Easily stemming as my favorite witch house act that has appeared out of the genre ever since it's emergence in the late 2000's, V▲LH▲LL has managed to stun and awe me time after time again with their releases. With my love for them beginning when I first heard their split with M‡ЯC▲LL▲, this release has easily been one of my most anticipated of 2014. Not only that, but after all their hard work, V▲LH▲LL has managed to secure a label with the fine folks over at Artoffact Records, sharing the spot with such esteemed artists as fellow witch house producers ∆aimon to the recent attention grabbing industrial metallers 3TEETH.

Leaning On Shadows is their most defined work to date, cracking out ten tracks hailing all sorts of influences not only from their niche witch house collective, but also from various forms of industrial and neofolk music. Unlike their previous full length release, R▲VENS & GH0STS, every single track on this album has not seen the light of day until now. Even DOWN IN THE WOODS, which originally appeared on the WOODS EP has a new coat of paint over it to make sure there's a new experience lurking around every corner you step around in this album.

The album begins with EINHARJAR and immediately throws us in both territory that I'm familiar with, but also into an arena that's new. Spanning nearly six minutes, the dark, deep pitched vocals that echo of a long forgotten ghost provoke images of a wind swept Nordic atmosphere. The brushes of winter breezes among the steady and hypnotizing beat absolutely spoke wonders unto my ears, and I could already tell this was the start of something beautiful. When the second set of vocals came in, beautiful, clean and a polar opposite to the almost growling voice, I was stunned once more.

TOWERS FALL continued the haunting soundtrack, the piano work mixed with the more dragging tone hit heavy enough to knock me off my feet again. The vocals were once more clean and pretty, this time doing away with the low pitched, ghostly like chords. Instead, we were treated to an amazing serenade that will likely stay in my head for quite some time now.

HVERGELMIR, in Norse Mythology, is a major spring and source of numerous rivers based in Niflheim, and is based at the primary roots of Yggdrasil. Anyway, to coincide with such an epic spring came an epic instrumental from this experimental electronic duo. With an almost martial industrial like drum rhythm to it with war horns echoing through the air, V▲LH▲LL did this mythological concept justice.

It was then that DOWN IN THE WOODS came along with its shiny new polished coat on. Shortened up by a few seconds, but with added effects to expand upon the original intention of crafting a children's song into something creepy, the new version is just as good as the canon. Even the vocals got an added kick with an additional growling sensation aboard (which, I will admit, caught me off guard and spooked me pretty bad.)

23 HOURS was covered in a three and a half minute song, incorporating a few wobbles with the dragging tones, and ambient effects were used to great response. A sort of dark and sacred sound emerged from all the sounds combined together, and it was lovely.

A bit of a faster beat formed in BORTOM FJALL, and it was accompanied by more chilling piano work. Clashing electronics and that ghostly growling voice accompanied the sounds as well, but the real ear catching phrases of the song were when the synths took over all and managed to dominate the song. Those parts were absolute bliss.

The intro of VAGSKAL reminded me of the sounds right before an enormous battle with swords and shields was about to take place. The Gods and Goddesses have blessed their warriors, and each army lines up in preparation for an all-or-nothing stake for their Holy land. Evoking such an image was powerful enough on its own, but the song in itself is even more strong, making for one of the best harmonies on record.

Charming and alluring, WATER HARP bathed in a peaceful presence and served as a sort of twisted lullaby in a sense.The dual vocal presentation from both partners of this act was rendered absolutely beautifully, and perhaps represented the best lyrical delivery I've heard thus far on the album.

RUNES IN CIRCLES didn't have ghostly vocals nor the beautiful chords, but rather sounding like a bard speaking a story over his presented music. It was absolutely wonderful to listen to, and once more solidified V▲LH▲LL as one of the best artists in the witch house field.

And, the final track on the album SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE gave off a chaotic piece rendered with riveting electronic notes and really deep pitched vocals that just fit not only the title of the song, but the overall feel of it. Metal clashes, ominous notes are presented, and this wonderful cataclysm served as a nice goodbye track at the end of the day.

That's where Leaning On Shadows ends in terms of auditory, but the fact remains that this album will be sticking with me spiritually for quite some time. Once more, V▲LH▲LL find themselves shining as bright as they can with such a wonderfully well crafted and creative album. For fans of V▲LH▲LL, you can expand the album with the fan package they have out via Artoffact Records. Not only does this package come with the CD version of Leaning On Shadows as well as a patch, but it also comes with the Shadows cassette, which promises two completely different tracks that will move along the journey you'll find yourself trapped within. But, even then, you can snatch yourself a regular digital copy of the album via the band's Bandcamp, and explore a new side of yourself with the aid of this magnificent album.
5
Brutal Resonance

V▲LH▲LL - Leaning On Shadows

Easily stemming as my favorite witch house act that has appeared out of the genre ever since it's emergence in the late 2000's, V▲LH▲LL has managed to stun and awe me time after time again with their releases. With my love for them beginning when I first heard their split with M‡ЯC▲LL▲, this release has easily been one of my most anticipated of 2014. Not only that, but after all their hard work, V▲LH▲LL has managed to secure a label with the fine folks over at Artoffact Records, sharing the spot with such esteemed artists as fellow witch house producers ∆aimon to the recent attention grabbing industrial metallers 3TEETH.

Leaning On Shadows is their most defined work to date, cracking out ten tracks hailing all sorts of influences not only from their niche witch house collective, but also from various forms of industrial and neofolk music. Unlike their previous full length release, R▲VENS & GH0STS, every single track on this album has not seen the light of day until now. Even DOWN IN THE WOODS, which originally appeared on the WOODS EP has a new coat of paint over it to make sure there's a new experience lurking around every corner you step around in this album.

The album begins with EINHARJAR and immediately throws us in both territory that I'm familiar with, but also into an arena that's new. Spanning nearly six minutes, the dark, deep pitched vocals that echo of a long forgotten ghost provoke images of a wind swept Nordic atmosphere. The brushes of winter breezes among the steady and hypnotizing beat absolutely spoke wonders unto my ears, and I could already tell this was the start of something beautiful. When the second set of vocals came in, beautiful, clean and a polar opposite to the almost growling voice, I was stunned once more.

TOWERS FALL continued the haunting soundtrack, the piano work mixed with the more dragging tone hit heavy enough to knock me off my feet again. The vocals were once more clean and pretty, this time doing away with the low pitched, ghostly like chords. Instead, we were treated to an amazing serenade that will likely stay in my head for quite some time now.

HVERGELMIR, in Norse Mythology, is a major spring and source of numerous rivers based in Niflheim, and is based at the primary roots of Yggdrasil. Anyway, to coincide with such an epic spring came an epic instrumental from this experimental electronic duo. With an almost martial industrial like drum rhythm to it with war horns echoing through the air, V▲LH▲LL did this mythological concept justice.

It was then that DOWN IN THE WOODS came along with its shiny new polished coat on. Shortened up by a few seconds, but with added effects to expand upon the original intention of crafting a children's song into something creepy, the new version is just as good as the canon. Even the vocals got an added kick with an additional growling sensation aboard (which, I will admit, caught me off guard and spooked me pretty bad.)

23 HOURS was covered in a three and a half minute song, incorporating a few wobbles with the dragging tones, and ambient effects were used to great response. A sort of dark and sacred sound emerged from all the sounds combined together, and it was lovely.

A bit of a faster beat formed in BORTOM FJALL, and it was accompanied by more chilling piano work. Clashing electronics and that ghostly growling voice accompanied the sounds as well, but the real ear catching phrases of the song were when the synths took over all and managed to dominate the song. Those parts were absolute bliss.

The intro of VAGSKAL reminded me of the sounds right before an enormous battle with swords and shields was about to take place. The Gods and Goddesses have blessed their warriors, and each army lines up in preparation for an all-or-nothing stake for their Holy land. Evoking such an image was powerful enough on its own, but the song in itself is even more strong, making for one of the best harmonies on record.

Charming and alluring, WATER HARP bathed in a peaceful presence and served as a sort of twisted lullaby in a sense.The dual vocal presentation from both partners of this act was rendered absolutely beautifully, and perhaps represented the best lyrical delivery I've heard thus far on the album.

RUNES IN CIRCLES didn't have ghostly vocals nor the beautiful chords, but rather sounding like a bard speaking a story over his presented music. It was absolutely wonderful to listen to, and once more solidified V▲LH▲LL as one of the best artists in the witch house field.

And, the final track on the album SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE gave off a chaotic piece rendered with riveting electronic notes and really deep pitched vocals that just fit not only the title of the song, but the overall feel of it. Metal clashes, ominous notes are presented, and this wonderful cataclysm served as a nice goodbye track at the end of the day.

That's where Leaning On Shadows ends in terms of auditory, but the fact remains that this album will be sticking with me spiritually for quite some time. Once more, V▲LH▲LL find themselves shining as bright as they can with such a wonderfully well crafted and creative album. For fans of V▲LH▲LL, you can expand the album with the fan package they have out via Artoffact Records. Not only does this package come with the CD version of Leaning On Shadows as well as a patch, but it also comes with the Shadows cassette, which promises two completely different tracks that will move along the journey you'll find yourself trapped within. But, even then, you can snatch yourself a regular digital copy of the album via the band's Bandcamp, and explore a new side of yourself with the aid of this magnificent album. Nov 06 2014

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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