The Veils, "Total Depravity" (Nettwerk Records)
The Veils led by Finn Andrews deliver gloom and doom on "Total Depravity," an album packed with drama and dread, disturbing images and devilish sounds.
The song titles reflect the mood — "Here Come the Dead," ''House of Spirits," ''In the Blood," ''Do Your Bones Glow at Night?"
Opener "Axolotl" is named after a Mexican salamander and is full of low rumbles and electronic beeps and squeaks. For the first but not the last time on the album, Andrews speaks in rhymes echoing Bono's recitation on U2's "Bullet the Blue Sky." Within its context, the line about "Who needs the Devil when you've got the Lord?" sounds like a mantra repeated in the hope of surviving harrowing experiences, self-inflicted or not.
An electric piano and a whip-like drum beat give "Low Lays the Devil" a bluesy feel, while The "King of Chrome" is about a truck driver who "ain't seen his own mother since 1984 ...but he ain't never going home" and could be the star of a John Carpenter film.
"Iodine & Iron" and "In the Nightfall" offer some sonic respite and romantic sentiments, but it's no dewy-eyed scene — "Your love's been stripping me down like turpentine."
The Veils' fifth album delivers on its premise. If you're going to listen alone at night, keep the lights on.