Carried by the wings of success of the groups in which they were members in the past, Fluor, Nebo, Kontrakultura, Against Them All, Dismay, etc.), while at the same time looking for, and choosing the right way of their own original and recognizable musical expression, the members of VEIL seem to have reached the zenith of their musical creation. Even though I have had the same opinion for their previous project The Government, in which three members of the existing formation took part, they have still surpassed themselves with this project. Their success is gaining even more weight due to the fact that they did it the hard way. Choosing between easy and recognizable choruses of The Government, and sounds and lyrics that are difficult to remember of VEIL, they still opted for the latter. It is an indisputable fact that The Government is the predecessor of VEIL’s success, as it is an undeniable fact that the path taken by the group has been previously traced by the musical giants, such as Padot na Vizantija, Mizar, and Anastasija. However, they have found a way to distance themselves from these giants in a wise and skillful way. Perhaps not by accident, their close music collaborator is Goran Trajkovski, a member of all of the above-mentioned groups.
I have always appreciated, no matter which group is in question, when the relationship between the bass and the drums works flawlessly. In this case, it is obvious that the bassist Tome Spasovski and the drummer Sasho Ristevski are in synchronous musical cohesion. And that is the striking point of the group, i.e. the locomotive that moves the whole group in a predetermined direction. On the other hand, if they are the locomotive, then the guitarist, Zlatko Nikodinovski is the train driver, or more precisely, the driving force of the group, as they say. The musical form is completed by the keyboardist and back vocalist, Denis Alitovski with his refined, subtle, and unobtrusive interventions, like icing on the cake for the whole story. It is important to point out that at first, as an external collaborator on the album, and now as a permanent group member appears the guitarist Aleksandar Gulevski (Process, Sun, Fresh), a veteran of the Macedonian music scene, who with his knowledge as a graduate art historian and a Master’s degree in the Byzantine history, further enhances the group’s credibility.
Besides his role as a drummer, Sasho Ristevski is also in charge of the production, mix, remix, and mastering, while the guitarist Zlatko Nikodinovski is the main culprit for the visual and conceptual appearance of the group, i.e. the graphic and multimedia designer.
Nonetheless, the greatest attribute of the group is the lyrics, which are owned by the bassist Tome Spasovski. Listening to their music will not leave you indifferent, you may not even notice the lyrics. They are spotted in the foreground, surprisingly bold, with a clear and realistically-brutal message, at times intimidating, they are the guiding star and the core of all the music that revolves around them, creating a fusion, accompanied by a variety of contemporary music sounds, creating a modern sophisticated sound.
By analyzing their lyrics, we can state only one thing: it is unfortunate that this very group of young people, as silent witnesses of all this burden, takes the weight off our shoulders, and puts it on their own backs – expressing it through their own music, while at the same time, taking all the blame on themselves, for everything that has happened on this small piece of land on which we live for centuries.
If you ask me, the album Darkness (Crnilo) by the group VEIL is the best Macedonian rock album for 2021. The best music-artistic concept album (music, lyrics, graphics, video) in recent Macedonian rock history, visually depicted in only two colors: red and black, as the symbol of the group – the album cover and all the videos are in the two indicated colors. Through these two colors, both our and their feelings are fused into music. Their secret is that under this VEIL of these two colors there is a wide range of colors, in which everyone can recognize their favorite. My favorite colors are already found in the shouted: AngelsDemons (AngeliDemoni), War (Vojna), Silent (Nem), Unrisen (Nezalezna), and of course, the one considered an anthem, Parasite (Parazit). This does not mean that the other tracks that are an internal part of the album cannot take place as some of the favorites: Guilt (Vini), Hip (Kolk), Bot (Bot), Ditch (Jama), and No (Ne). All in all, a fantastic, noteworthy rock edition.
Having the privilege of listening to some of their new, still unpublished material, metaphorically speaking, I can conclude that there is still light at the end of the tunnel, and that there is hope for this country. Musically, the group is moving in the right direction with a bright future.
Relieved of the pressure imposed by the “first album”, VEIL plays with some already-known musical forms, easily navigating through new, undiscovered musical spaces, in already-known patterns and structures. At first glance, musically, all of that seems simple and easy, but textually, it is still dark and gloomy. This is a so-called skill, which is not known and, of course, not understood by everyone.
Finally, I would like to invite all of you to their their concert promotion of their album Darkness (Crnilo), in the club Vakum in Bitola, on February 18, 2022, at 23:00. Be there because in the future you will brag to your sons and daughters that you were part of this event. Buy their album and support the Macedonian independent music scene. You will not repent.
For all news related to their work, follow the group on their official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vel.veil.5, i.e. their official YouTube channel where you can see all their video releases: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKSYefBo-6r5M0y25a3hlSg/featured.
You can listen to their first album Darkness on their Bandcamp page: https://veil2020.bandcamp.com/album/-.
You can watch the video releases on the following links:
AngelsDemons (AngeliDemoni): https://youtu.be/v45WLfvf91s;
War (Vojna): https://youtu.be/3Ug8n-7Xugw;
Silent (Nem): https://youtu.be/ObZOhFCa3rI
Unrisen (Nezalezna): https://youtu.be/zDtKalfain8