Veil of thorns is an act that rarely repeats itself, but with Cognitive Dissonance, they may surprise even some long time fans. Veil of Thorns approach has never been this stripped down, nor has their music been more complex. Stark, angular post-punk songs give way to a cello as it descends into madness. Spare jazz-inflected tone poems lead back into sanguine deathrock dust storms.
For nearly a decade now, most of the work of front man P. Emerson Williams has been focused inward. Dissemination of his wide, varied output took place through tales whispered in corners remote from. This conversation is part of the creative flow that forms his work.
Williams tackled the latest Veil of Thorns release by sharing the process in a new way. After having tracked the basic instrumental elements of the next Veil Of Thorns album, "Cognitive Dissonance", Veil of Thorns released podcasts created from the sonic raw material of the tracks as they progressed. Through the bands website, blog comments and emails the resulting conversation helped expand the bands vision while focusing the tale being told.
Inspired by scrambled radio signals coming through the guitar as he laid down the tracks, Williams created long form compositions using montage techniques derived from the work of Williams Burroughs and Bryon Gysin. Unlike the album itself, he layered, layered the layers and added extra layers to boot. His machines freaked out and became possessed in the process. Where podcasts are often in a format similar to radio shows, Veil of Thorns ranks among a select group of sound and video artists who are stretching the boundaries of the form into unique works of art.
Every Veil of Thorns song so far contain lyrics in the form of dreamlike fragments making one continuous tale. Cognitive Dissonance brings some of the underlying structure into focus. While they wove their tale they listened to the stories of others. In the spirit of our times they collected many apocalyptic tales. Ragnarok, Armageddon, the end of one life and the beginning of another forms one side of this archetypical narrative. Tales of the death of the ego, of the body, the breaking down of a belief offer a more insightful view.
Coming off collaborations with subQtaneous and Norwegian post Blackmetal band Manes, P. Emerson Williams took the experience of working with such gifted and unique artists and has re-emerged with a stronger and darker vision. Lyrically encompassing two universes and two realities, this stripped down, retro-futurist album ends up being more expansive and experienced than anything Veil of Thorns has released before. -gothville.com:
“If you put together old school goth rock, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and gothic-electro-industrial and came out with something all its own, you'd have Veil of Thorns.” -Kristofer Upjohn