After a four-year layoff, North Carolina natives Make are back with their second full length The Golden Veil. It’d be all too easy to compare them to bands like Isis and Neurosis here, and it’d also miss the point entirely. The album combines a near-limitless openness, a patient pacing that lets the songs breathe and, of course, an ample dose of pure heaviness. All told, it’s an absolute monster of an atmospheric doom album.
The Golden Veil is best absorbed while staring out over the ocean; there’s no better place to convey the scope and breadth of the music within. Lead off track “I Was Sitting Quietly, Peeling Back My Skin” begins with what I assume to be rain and gradually develops a hurricane-like intensity of white noise, before falling back into an acoustic passage that truly signifies the calm before the storm.
A lot can be said of the band’s use of repetition, and “Breathe” makes use of this to great effect. We hear it in the drums, and later the backing guitar tones, and little by little, the song paints an incredible picture across its first five-and-a-half minutes. The vocal interplay between Scott Endres and Spencer Lee are like a call and response of a two-headed Aaron Turner and do a great job of bringing a sense of drama into the final minutes of an already mesmerizing, hypnotic track.
“The Architect” is a slow burner of doom and atmospherics that nods to both Neurosis and YOB through slow, yet intricate guitar and drum work with an underbelly of rumbling bass that really pushes things forward. The vocals here are vicious and cross into black metal territory at times. It’s heavier than anything we’ve heard up to this point easily the highlight of the album.
After one more hypnotic trip through darkness with “In The Final Moments, Uncoiling,” the journey of The Golden Veil comes to a close. And one thing’s for sure: this album will positively hypnotize you, magnifying your moods and thoughts all the while. It’s definitely not an album you can just pull a track from and listen to; instead, take your time to sit with the almost-hour-long runtime and let it wash over you like a springtime rain. There have been many outstanding extreme releases this year but few will make you sit back and enjoy music’s quiet and introspective side quite like this one.