by Matt Karpe
– Senior Columnist –
Two years after the release of the original album, The Veer Union have re-packaged their third record, fully remastering the 10 tracks that made the first cut, and adding three new numbers.
The album is just as good as before, and with the instrumentation bumped up a notch, Divide the Blackened Sky sounds heavier and fresher.
Every song on here has the same formula. The verses build up to catchy melodic choruses that are perfect for radio; you could literally pick any song of the 13 as potential singles such is the consistent quality on show.
“Bitter End” was and still is the standout song. The effective and spell casting guitar rhythms accompany the heavy drumming, as vocalist Crispin Earl’s multi-toned voice is showcased nicely, and add in one of those tasty choruses- here you have a great hard rock stormer.
“Buried In the Ground” just about tops two and a half minutes, yet still you feel this band couldn’t have made the song any better. Sometimes the shorter songs raise the tempo and become slightly hurried, but The Veer Union take their time with multi-layered verses and then another great and powerful chorus.
“Borderline,” “I Will Remain,” “Inside Our Scars”, they all ooze sheer class as the professionalism of the Vancouver band continue to make such a strong statement of intent.
The first of three new songs comes in midway through the album. “Safe and Sound” is a nice ballad, a mood changing tale of soul salvation, with some nice and gentle guitar tones as the drumming takes a sombre turn for a few minutes. Normally on a deluxe release, you expect to see the extra tracks at the end of the record, but with “Safe and Sound” brought in early, you can almost call it a genius move because it gives the listener a much needed breather before the chaos resumes.
The title track picks the pace up once more, another heavy number and Earl’s vocals soar again.
The other new songs are indeed left till the end. “The Antagonist” has an industrial feel to the intro, with a thumping drum beat and some nice metallic riffing. The song has a darker tone to it and is in a slightly different style to the rest of Divide… however it is still a good addition.
“No Hope Till Now” is the final song, with toned down guitar work whilst the drums stay at the same volume. There is a great guitar solo midway through which is a welcome listen as this is maybe one thing slightly lacking on the album.
Divide the Blackened Sky was a great hard rock album first time round, and it may just be possible that the deluxe version has bettered it. The choice of putting the ballad in the middle pays off well, because when you listen to the album all the way through, track seven is quite a nice point to take a breath and collect yourself for what else is to come.
If The Veer Union gained some new fans in 2012, then 2014 could see their popularity reach even greater heights.
Genre: Hard Rock, Alternative Metal
2. Bitter End
3. I Will Remain
4. Buried In the Ground
5. Inside Our Scars
6. Live Another Day
7. Safe and Sound
8. Divide the Blackened Sky
9. Silent Gun
10. Last Days Of Life
12. The Antagonist
13. No Hope Till Now
Record Label: Pavement Entertainment
Hardrock Haven Rating: 9/10