Review: Velo Misere – Retrospectiva de la Fatalidad (Death Kvlt, Mar 1)

Retrospectiva de la Fatalidad (which translates to “Retrospective of the Fatality,” for us non-Spanish speakers, though you probably could have figured that out on your own) is a compilation comprised of the first two releases by Spanish raw black metal outfit Velo Misere. This is exactly the kind of stuff that hits the spot on a gloomy Saturday morning. The first four tracks, which come from the 2017 demo tape Compendio de Trágicos Presagios, pair an oppressive, nocturnal ambience with some truly superb songwriting. Breakneck blasting sections collapse under their own weight into more structured riffs, conjuring elemental images of howling winds and gathering clouds as agonized shrieks tear across the soundscape. While Velo Misere focus heavily on atmosphere, meandering riff repetition or extended ambient interludes aren’t something they bother with, instead devoting every second to the driving, even invigorating sense of momentum that reveals a glimmer of hope amidst the chaos. The tracks from Genealogía del Eterno Desasosiego, the band’s more recent release, delve even more deeply into the blanketing, droning auras that were only hinted at on Compendio, filtering even more well-composed songs through a shroud of dirt and darkness. Restrospectiva both delivers a wealth of superb black metal and documents the ruthlessly climbing trajectory of a very promising group of musicians, from whom I can’t wait to hear more.