VENI DOMINE – Light
Never thought I would successfully take in the fusion of progressive rock and doom metal, but somehow, someway Sweden’s Veni Domine make this work on their 7th studio album "Light", their first in quite some time (as "Tongues" came out in 2007). Keyboardist Olov Andersson and bassist Klas Pettersson are the newest members, and you’ll get 9 songs of elongated arrangements, unique diversity in terms of softer, sparse passages building to this heavy crescendo and the one of a kind, melodic vocals from Fredrik Sjöholm.
Opening the album right away with the 11:53 "In Memoriam" that shuffles between exotic guitar/keyboard elements and Queensryche meets Solitude Aeturnus/ Pink Floyd parts, there’s no turning back at this heady, illuminating aural odyssey. Guitarist Torbjörn Weinesjö has a killer intuitive sensitivity when it comes to his chord/ riff combinations, and then unleashes these solo breaks that are straight progressive rock with feel and texture so far away from shredding it gives me goose bumps. Highlights are numerous: the reflective "Farewell" that contains 70’s organ mind bending, the seriously heavy staccato guitar sitting side by side with acoustic progressive brilliance on "Last Silence Before Eternity", or the somber "Waiting" where drummer Thomas Weinesjö and Fredrik carry the emotional impact of this throwback affair.
Progressive rock and doom metal when done right can contain impressive shades of color without becoming too excessive, over the top, or leading to boredom. At 67 minutes, "Light" is not an easy listening affair – you’ll need the necessary time to sink deeply into the depths of parts, layers, and songs these musicians put forth. Do not despair though, for the hooks, melodies, and catchy combinations will reverberate in the brain matter, making Veni Domine a winner in my book- and probably gain cult status since their 1989 start.