March 14, 2018

Exclusive Full LP Stream + Interview - Veiled - Black Celestial Orbs.

Veiled was formed after the cessation of Gnosis of the Witch in 2015 and released their critically acclaimed demo, 'Omniscient Veil,' via Iron Bonehead Productions during the same year. Their debut album, 'Black Celestial Orbs,' is set to be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on the 16th of March and is available to stream in it's entirety below. 
With the debut album due, along with several scheduled live dates we had plenty to talk about when I caught up with founding member Niðafjöll for a second interview. 
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Niðafjöll for the time taken to answer these questions and for his support for The Lair of Filth
I would also like to thank PK from Iron Bonehead Productions and N.T.B. for permitting and arranging this album stream - greatly appreciated, thank you both!
Read on for a fascinating insight into Veiled along with that full album stream....

Interview by Trevor Proctor.

Hi Niðafjöll, I hope all’s well – thank you very much for agreeing to an interview with The Lair of Filth, your willingness to participate and the time taken to answer these questions is greatly appreciated. Veiled rose from the ashes of Gnosis of the Witch when Gnosis disbanded in 2015, I know there was much more significance to this than a mere name change, could you please tell us the reasons behind Gnosis of the Witch disbanding?

Hello Trevor! Thank you for your interest in our music, your support is always appreciated.
Gnosis of the Witch needed to end. It ran it’s course and no longer had any importance to me. Veiled was created to further explore the esoteric nature of the LHP from a personal standpoint, but without causing the music to take a back seat to the concept, or the message. Gnosis of the Witch was all about the concept and the music was second priority. Veiled is the exact opposite. The music needs to be the main importance, and the concept is a direct result of the music created.

At the time of disbandment Gnosis of the Witch had already released two Eps and a split 7” which was shared with Grá, along with several items of merchandise. I was, and remain, a fan of the band’s music, as I’m sure many others do – did you feel it was a risk in any way disbanding Gnosis of the Witch when the band seemed to be gaining attention and its fan base was growing significantly?

Not at all. Because to me, success and attention don’t matter when it isn’t doing anything for me on a personal level. I appreciate there were people out there who enjoyed what we did and supported us, but to me it was dying on the vine. It needed to be severed.

Have you ever had any regrets for disbanding Gnosis of the Witch and how did it feel to be starting all over again with a new band after several years of building Gnosis of the Witch from the ground up?

Absolutely not. Gnosis of the Witch needed to die, and I was more than happy to pull the trigger, it was a weight off my shoulders. Veiled was growing within me and it needed to be unleashed.

Lyrically and stylistically what are the main differences between the music and beliefs of Veiled in comparison to those of Gnosis of the Witch?

Gnosis of the Witch was heavily focused on my personal spiritual path, and because of this the concept and lyrical message became more important and the music severely lacked. This is still music, and if the music is mediocre, the lyrics don’t matter. So I separated my spiritual workings from my music and created Veiled. Veiled has taught me a lot about myself on a spiritual level because it forces me to look beyond and within at once.

Veiled’s debut demo, ‘Omniscient Veil’ was released in September 2015 – were any of the tracks written and intended for release as Gnosis of the Witch or were all four tracks written since Veiled’s formation?

Omniscient Veil’ was completely 100% a fresh creation for Veiled and had no ties whatsoever to Gnosis of the Witch. I feel that you can easily see the massive step up in songwriting and musicianship from the last Gnosis of the Witch EP to the first Veiled demo. The music took on a whole new persona and the atmospheric embrace is front and center.

Omniscient Veil’ was released on cassette by Iron Bonehead Productions – you’ve a long standing relationship with Iron Bonehead with your debut album also being released by the same label; was it an easy choice to stick with IBP and can you see this relationship continuing beyond the album’s release?

Of course! Iron Bonehead Productions has supported me and the music I write since we first came in contact back in 2013 and it has no signs of stopping anytime soon. We work well together, we know what drives each other to release the best possible product and in turn have become friends because of this partnership within music. IBP will forever be the home of Veiled for as long as PK will have us on his roster. Total support and respect to Iron Bonehead Productions!

The original Veiled drummer, Swartadauþaz, departed between the release of ‘Omniscient Veil’ and the writing of the new album – was it daunting in any way to be writing a debut album on your own and what led to his departure? Also, what do you feel are the advantages with writing all material on your own and did you encounter any disadvantages? 

Nope. Not at all. Swartadauþaz was the drummer, and had no hand in songwriting. Every band or project I have ever been in, and ever will be in, I am the sole songwriter and sole writer. This is just how I function as a musician. I have no issue with creative inputs and constructive criticism. The advantages are that I have a very specific vision for Veiled and nobody can recreate what I see and hear within myself other than myself. I don’t see any disadvantages personally because I know that I can count on myself to deliver the best possible results I can.

So, with a debut album written you traveled to Sweden in June 2017 to record the brilliance that is ‘Black Celestial Orbs’ - we’ll discuss the recording sessions for the album in a while but that must have been a hell of an adventure for you? Could you please tell us about the trip, was it your first time in Europe, what did you think of it and did you get much of a chance for sightseeing?

First off, I want to take a moment to thank Iron Bonehead Productions for making this happen. Without PK’s support, this wouldn’t have even been possible. Thank you sir. 
Also, I want to thank Heljarmadr and Dimman for their hospitality and their hard work and dedication to this process for helping me take my initial idea and turn it into a reality.

Traveling to Sweden was a dream come true to me. It was indeed my first time in Europe and the experience was incredible, a truly inspiring journey. The flight sucked of course, but once I landed in Stockholm it was taken back by how absolutely beautiful Sweden is. The most lush, green, nature I have ever seen. The mountains are impressive and forests are never ending. 
When we were not staring at four walls and being blasted by amplifiers and drums, Heljarmadr made it a point to make sure I got to see, smell, taste and feel the beautiful wonders of his homeland. From rune stones, to church ruins, to pagan monoliths and the old streets in Stockholm it was a blast. 
Heljarmadr and Dimman were very gracious enough to take me to the resting place of Quorthon so I could “meet” my hero and idol and spend a moment with him, even after death. That was very emotional for me and for that I will forever be in debt to those guys. Bathory is the entire reason I do what I do. Thank you brothers, I can’t put into words how much that meant to me on a personal level.

But, I think my favorite moment of the entire trip was when Heljarmadr and I took a night off and ventured out into the Swedish wilderness with a backpack of beer and food and hiked up the mountains onto a cliff top that oversees a long and vast river that was a heavy traveled route for the Vikings. It was awe-inspiring and was very much a moving experience. I can’t thank Heljarmadr enough for letting me experience that evening in the Swedish wilderness. Again, thank you brother.

I’m aware Heljarmadr (Dark Funeral, Grá, Cursed 13, Domgård)  was responsible for recording, mixing and mastering the album and you seem to have a long term friendship with him – how did this relationship begin and how did it feel to have such a legend record your album?

Yes! Heljarmadr was the man behind the desk and made it all happen. He also played bass on the debut album and added a lot of character to the dynamics of the record. I came in contact with Heljarmadr back in 2012, 2013 I believe, somewhere around that time. 
I was doing reviews and interviews for a webzine at the time and since I am a huge fan of Grá, I wrote him an email requesting an interview, it took off from there and we have been friends ever since. It feels very strange in the sense that Heljarmadr certainly has a reputation within the underground scene and now in a more focused spotlight with him being a member of Dark Funeral. But to me, on a personal level, Heljarmadr is my close friend and someone I consider a brother. We see each other as equals and there is no ego within our friendship. A class act and a great person. Cheers to you sir!

You’d previously indicated on your Facebook page the recording sessions were long, arduous and, I’m sure they were also potentially stressful – could you tell us about the recording process, the work and time that went into it and what did you do to relax after a long day’s recording? How many days were spent recording the album and did you return to the states happy with what had been achieved?

Honestly I can say that the entire process was not stressful at all. We were all very serious and devoted to making this the best possible record we could, and with that mentality we were extremely driven. We woke up every morning fairly early and spent a minimum of 10 hours a day in the studio. I was in Sweden for only a week so we put every minute of every hour to good use. Of course we would take frequent breaks to stretch our legs and clear our minds and get some fresh air and of course the ever important lunch break! 
But then, right back into the studio and right back to work. This was very much a work trip as opposed to a vacation. I definitely returned home with a huge sense of pride knowing that we did everything within our power to present something special to not only Iron Bonehead Productions, the fans of the black metal scene, but more importantly to ourselves. 

I’m sure Heljarmadr spent considerable time mixing and mastering ‘Black Celestial Orbs’, how happy are you with the final album, do you hope to work with him again in the future and how the hell did you manage to contain your excitement and anticipation while these final processes were taking place? 

Heljarmadr spent I believe a good few months on mixing, mastering (and of course editing haha) the album. The professionalism that he brought to this final process was absolutely mind-blowing. No stone was unturned, and no nook was unexplored. The album sounds the way it does because of him. Before I even left Sweden, we both exclaimed “When are we doing another record?” haha! I didn’t! I didn’t contain any of it and I waited with baiting breath for samples, rough drafts and eventually the final master. I am proud of the outcome! 

You originally “borrowed” Grá’s drummer Dimman for the recording process then he was officially announced as a full time member of Veiled in November last year – what led to this decision and will all future Veiled music be written by both members?

Dimman and I just work well together. We both have the exact same outlook on black metal music and the ideology behind it. We are cut from the same cloth, so to speak. Dimman and I certainly want to write more records together so we shall see what the future brings!

Were all guitars, bass and vocals performed by yourself on the album?

I performed all the guitars, and vocals. Heljarmadr played all the bass tracks, and did a mighty fine job of it!

What lyrical themes are central to ‘Black Celestial Orbs’ and are these themes you will continue to explore and document via Veiled’s music? Also, do these reflect a spiritual side to Veiled’s music.

The lyrics within ‘Black Celestial Orbs’ heavily draw upon cosmology and mysticism within the LHP. I’d rather not delve too deeply into the meaning behind them because I am a firm believer in the reader drawing their own conclusion. This is something I started on the demo and will absolutely continue within Veiled’s music. It certainly is a spiritual aspect of myself and as a practitioner.

During ‘Black Celestial Orbs’ there are some occasional mellow moments, moments not previously heard on Veiled or Gnosis of the Witch tracks, will we continue to hear moments like these and do they reflect a mellower side to your nature? 

We shall see! Nothing is planned, everything happens naturally and if the music calls for it, it will happen!

The final track, ‘Black Celestial Orbs II’ is a fully acoustic track that I feel is very reflective, was this intentional and could you explain the wording? Also, I’m sure the spoken word sections are performed by you?

Yes absolutely, this song was specifically crafted to bring the album full circle. The lyrics to this song pretty much sum up the entire album if I do say so myself. Yes, I did indeed perform the spoken word.

Veiled's music bears more resemblance to European Black Metal as opposed to U.S. Black Metal – do you agree and was this always the sound you intended pursuing? Also, which bands would you say have shaped and influenced the music of Veiled the most?

Considering my main influences are Bathory, Burzum, Katatonia and Darkthrone I definitely agree. These are the bands that mean the most to me as a listener, so naturally they subconsciously seep into my mind and influence the music I write. I do not go out of my way to sound like these bands in any way, so if any similarity or resemblance is found, it’s purely my inspirations shining through!

Veiled is set to make its live debut on the 29th of March and practice commenced in January – are you happy with progress, can you reveal any information about Veiled’s live members and how do you think it will feel performing Veiled’s music on-stage?

Yes! We are coming along very well and in good time! At the time of doing this interview, I do not have any information to give about the live members, but after this interview is posted the live line-up will be announced! I think it will feel very powerful! This is the music I want to write and play and I put everything I have into this, so to go on stage and unleash these songs is going to be a monumental feeling.

You’ve a few live appearances planned for Veiled this year – will future lives dates be a priority for the band and can we ever hope to see you perform in Europe? If you were to play live in Europe would Dimman be joining you to perform drums? 

Now the debut album is written, recorded and about to be released on March 16th, our main focus and priority will be strictly rehearsing and playing live shows. 
Right now, I want to focus on playing North America to establish ourselves within our own country, but of course if the right opportunity comes along I won’t hesitant to bring Veiled over to Europe! We have discussed this and yes if and when Veiled comes to Europe, Dimman will absolutely be behind the drum kit! Dimman and I are the two main members of Veiled and my live line-up are a very important extension of the two of us. 
Without them, Veiled wouldn’t be able to bring our music to the masses, so thank you gentlemen! Onward!

One of Veiled’s live performances is due to be at Satan's Unholy Abomination Festival Vol.6 in Maryland. One of the bands also featured on this billing is Uada, you seem to have a strong friendship with JS from the band – am I correct and if so could you tell us about this friendship? 

I have known Jake for ten years now and he is one of my closest friends. We just get on with each other on many different levels and we have an immense respect for each other as friends and musicians. We both have a deep burning fire to become noteworthy within the underground black metal scene and nothing will stop us!

Uada is a band that’s worked it’s ass off in recent years and we have witnessed their prominence and fan base grow significantly – do you feel they are starting to finally receive the recognition they deserve?

Absolutely! Uada is a no frills band with an admirable worth ethic and they deserve everything they have going for them! This is only the beginning and I am eager to watch their ascension!

Dark Funeral is embarking on an extensive U.S. tour in February and March, did you get to see the band live on any of the dates and how will it feel to be re-united with Heljarmadr ?

I actually just saw this show two nights ago, Dark Funeral was incredible! They did not disappoint in any way and it was an absolute pleasure to seen Heljarmadr again! We were fortunate to have time to hang out for a while and talk and catch up. I am very happy to see the US tour is doing so well! Cheers my friend!

I may be looking too far ahead here but have you any music written for future releases and have you any idea what your next release will be?

Definitely looking a little far ahead as I have no idea when I will begin writing the next album as my focus right now is solely on playing live. But, never say never...

With Veiled’s debut album just released and some live dates planned do you know what your plans are for the rest of 2018 and beyond?

2018 is going to be devoted to bring Veiled into a live setting and establishing ourselves within our local scene as well as North America. The time has come for Veiled to be noticed!

Niðafjöll, thank you very, very much for the time taken to answer these questions, your time and participation are greatly appreciated, any closing comments are all yours….

We are the fire of dying stars that once burned. The dust that drifts within the endless vacuums of nothingness. From eons of endless darkness. As above, so below.


Veiled's fantastic debut album, 'Black Celestial Orbs,' will be released on CD, LP and Digital formats on the 16th of March by Iron Bonehead Productions.

Veiled's demo is also currently available by following this link.

Previous releases by Gnosis of the Witch are still available here from Iron Bonehead Productions.

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