Sovereign Nocturnal can be best described as very organic, and almost ritualistic down tempo masterpiece; channeled through the musical styles and mixtures of black, folk, and doom metal. Reminiscent slightly of works by bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, yet with a style all their own, the songs show a very immense musical maturity that their last release lacked slightly. Now grown up and all-powerful, Velnias drags us into their nocturnal world, whether by our will or theirs.
In undertaking a more doomy aesthetic to this release, the band had much more room to incorporate different ideas within this new release. The songs are longer, allowing more compositions and small details within each bellowing track. This being said, each song does not sound rushed at all, but more carefully drawn out.
From the beginning of the first track, one may note that there are very interesting stylistic approaches that the band began to take in order to enhance its already encasing atmosphere. With guitar distortion swelling to a point in which it almost sounds natural, and plenty of the drummer’s utilization of the toms to craft an almost tribal sound, one could easily assume that if they had not made this a metal album, it could have passed as a very effective ritualistic ambient release.
The first track is somewhat mellow and drawn out, perhaps done in order to ease the listener’s passing into their world. Then, throughout the second track, the pace begins to pick up, little by little. By the end of the second track, the drums end up not sounding like metal drumming at all, but moreover a percussive composition with the toms. By the end of the third track, it eases once again. It is as if the album gets progressive, and then smoothly mellows out for the listener’s safe departure back in the real world.
As far as the sound and the atmosphere, an album cannot get much more encasing than this. Once drawn into this dark, melodic, and epic world, it is uneasy to find your way out until the end. This being said, the atmosphere is almost impenetrable. Seemingly, the goal of this release was to bring the listener outside of his or her current state and join theirs, in their netherworld of nature and somber nostalgia. One can almost taste their reverence for an untainted world, and their disregard for the fallible and insipid modern society that disappoints them."
"Velnias is from Naperville, Illinois and the band is described as a blackened folk/doom band and while that is an accurate description, it doesn’t truly summarize what’s going on here. The band’s sound relies on a cross between Isis-ian post-metalry, Agalloch’s serene acoustic soundscapes and post-Mardraum Enslaved’s aural maelstrom. This reminds me of so many bands and albums but the music itself, for the most part, is very original and you could not pigeon-hole this band with any band or genre mentioned in this paragraph”