It has been over three years since North Carolina’s connoisseurs of fine doom/metal/prog/psych MAKE delivered a statement of intent with their debut record Trephine blowing all expectations and hopes away with immense destructive doom metal that shook the earth’s crust. Now with their follow up full length, the three-piece have taken all of the metal infused demonic riffs, deathly vocals, and utterly sublime post-metal glacial sound-scapes, and crafted them into a thing of eternal beauty.
The Golden Veil opens with the gloriously titled ‘I Was Sitting Quietly, Peeling Back My Skin’ which menacingly awakens the record into life as it plays on a collection of distorted sounds and alien motions before parting to acoustically lead you towards the death chant of the gut-wrenchingly heavy ‘Breathe’ in all of its layered percussion-led, death vocals, guitar-crushing savagery. The tracks highlights how MAKE have grown as a band and become an all round heavier beast, at times suffocatingly so, but then their beauty shows in a track such as the gentle psychedelic progressive ‘The Immortal’ with stunning clean vocals swaying in the wind. Comparisons are understandably drawn with the likes of Isis, but MAKE aren’t copyists; they’ve taken their post-metal sound and created a very concise record, turning drawn out meandering numbers into shorter songs, enhancing their impact, turning up the brutality, and the beauty that lies within.
The record continues in much the same vein, never letting you rest of notions of solitude or comfort, while songs such as ‘The Absurdist’ or ‘The Architect’ draw you in to their soul, what you find their is blackened embers floating away, laughing as they’ve pummelled your expectant body, one gentle guitar pluck after one crushing blow after one playful trippy heavy psych tone after another demonic scream at a time.
What Scott Endres, Spencer Lee, and Matt Stevenson have created here is quite extraordinary in its polar opposite assaults of space drifting laid-back beauty, and soul crushing heavy doom metal, blended perfectly together. Where a lot of bands always fail to live up to their debut record, MAKE are one of those bands that every other musician envies, an band that rather than chase the flame of their early offerings, instead build, grow, and learn from everything they do, push themselves out of their boundaries and comfort zones, to strive to improve and make the best record that they can. If The Golden Veil is going to prove to be the peak of the band’s output then it is a fitting testament, but if they are going to keep improving, holy shit are we in for the greatest record ever made next time.