Veonity – Sorrows Review

Not long ago, I began to question why I take power metal assignments from our Promo Pit. Looking back, power metal and I haven’t gotten along too well over my tenure here, and I’ve begun to feel like reviewing the style is simply inviting disappointment. At that point, however, I was already slated to review Sorrows, the fourth full-length from Veonity, a Swedish group I’d previously never heard of who began storming up the scene in 2013. Hope springs eternal, and all that, so I dove in despite my misgivings. I’m now pleased to say I have been rewarded with a renewed sense of optimism, in the form of hooks and ear-worms that have been my constant friends for the last little while.

I believe it was TheKenWord who coined the term “Theocragonforce-core,” and it feels appropriate to use it here too. Musically, and especially vocally, Veonity and Anders Sköld (guitars, vocals) channel a number of notable Euro-power groups including Dragonland, Theocracy, Dragonforce, and Sonata Arctica. With riffs at the forefront of things, hooks aplenty, and catchy vocal lines dominating the landscape, Sorrows is an album that offers a lot to sink your teeth into. For the most part, it’s fun album with serious enough undertones to avoid feeling cheesy or silly. The leads are fiery (Samuel Lundström), the double-bass drumming is welcome (Joel Kollberg), and the bass (Kristoffer Lidre) is both audible and impactful. In short, Veonity lay a strong foundation to build on for Sorrows, and it’s a great start.

Sorrows is not a symphonic power metal album, but is at its best when it emulates the style. “Where Our Memories Used to Grow” has one of the catchiest choruses on the album thanks to vocal layers, drawn-out annunciations, and a distinct quality of Theocracy to it. While the album does feature keyboards, they are uncommon and subtle, but songs like this one feel written for a symphonic-sympathetic1 audience. This is a style that works really well for Veonity, and similar tracks like “Free Again” and “Blinded Eyes Will See” make Sorrows feel at once adventurous and familiar. There’s nothing groundbreaking going on here — “Back in to the Dark” feels so much like a mid-career Sonata Arctica song that I just hear Tony Kakko in the vocal lines — but Sorrows does a great job at being inviting, safe, and fun, three things that work for any kind of power metal.

That Sorrows feels familiar and safe naturally bodes well for it, but it does feel, at times, like Veonity is playing things a little too safe. “Graced or Damned” is a strong intro for the album, but its chorus feels a touch generic, and a few songs later, it’s largely forgotten. On the other side of the disc, “War” makes an earnest attempt at heavier power metal, but it winds up feelings a bit jarring around the symphonic ear-worminess of “Center of the Storm.” There is plenty of variety in the riffs department, but I still wish the album was just slightly shorter than its 45-minute runtime. If all of this is starting to sound incredibly nitpicky, it probably is – the bottom line is that I like this album, and if it doesn’t always click fully with me, it’s still a solid an enjoyable slab of power metal.

Maybe I shouldn’t have ended that last paragraph with an all-encompassing concluding sentence; now I don’t know what to type out here, in my actual conclusion. I suppose the logical thing to do would be to say a few more nice things about Veonity and Sorrows, so here they are: this is a good album, and it has saved me from a lifetime of not picking up power metal from the Promo Pit. It’s fun, catchy, earnest, and has enough variety in it to stay continually interesting for its reasonable runtime. I’m not familiar with the band’s back catalog, but I think I’m going to have to check it out – if Sorrows is any indication, Veonity have a lot to offer the wonderful world of power metal, and I look forward to hearing more.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Scarlet Records
Websites: |
Released Worldwide: August 21, 2020

Show 1 footnote

  1. Go on. Say it twelve times fast. I know you want to.
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