theveils_gangsThe Veils being one of those bands that people either fall helplessly and deeply in love with or revile, let me nail my colours to the mast straight off and 'fess up to being of the former persuasion. First two albums The Runaway Found and - more so still - Nux Vomica offered a beguiling, emotionally, and slightly gothic sequence of songs, all delivered in that voice, courtesy of the fragile yet intense frontman Finn Andrews. So it was with enthusiasm that I volunteered for reviewing duties for this third release from the band.And - where it works - there is much here that stands up to the best bits of their back catalogue. Standout tracks 'Sit Down', 'The House She Lived In' (companion-piece to Nux Vomica's 'The House Where We All Live', perhaps?) and 'Begin Again' all have in common the way they slowly grow on the listener, gradually beguiling and entrancing you a little more with each listen. They also all benefit from an outstanding melody, beautifully delivered, and rousing piano accompaniment.This is an album that seems to be mired in grief and an anger occasionally spilling over into violence. The lyrics often give the impression that it is themed around a relationship break up, with lyrics featuring love, and hearts (often breaking) a common recurrence: "Don't want me, love / Then let me go" ('Sun Gangs'); "Go wash your heart in the river till the water runs clear", "Oh, I just wanna say goodbye" ('The Letter');"There's nothing keeping / My heart from breaking" ('It Hits Deep'); and "No rest for my heart" ('Larkspur'). Andrews' voice is at it's most beautiful when putting across this grief, and is on its finest, anthemic, form on 'Sit Down', 'Sun Gangs' and 'Begin Again'. Elsewhere it is successfully and urgently deployed to convey a fierce anger, most dramatically on the abrasive and jarring 'Killed By The Boom', all dissonant chords (with echoes of The Beatles' 'Taxman' and/or The Jam's 'Start!') and half-spoken barely contained fury; but also on 'Three Sisters' (that sometimes tips a little towards the O.T.T. or a little melodramatic) and the tortured, tormented-sounding 'Larkspur'.The sense of underlying violence also emerges through the lyrics: winds are "roaring", characters have need of "a box to scream in", the almost-mythical sounding three sisters are seen "burning" and the mysterious subject of 'The House You Lived In' is remembered with her "lawn ablaze" and her "razor blade drawn".This high drama does bring along with it some less enjoyable aspects. 'The Letter' skirts the edges of stadium rock, reminding me a little of Echo and the Bunnymen (if I was being generous) or U2 (if being less so). 'Three Sisters' is too histrionic for my tastes, whereas 'Scarecrow', conversely, is just too dour and sombre. 'Larkspur', a track resembling an exorcism conducted to the rhythm of Battles' 'Atlas', feels overlong and overegged.Despite the above qualifications, though, this still adds up to a pretty hypnotic and compelling album. It does not make for a completely easy listen - nor should one want it to - but it contains tracks that shine out, with their own eerie dark and troubling light, that are likely to stay with you for a long time to come.79%The Veils on Myspace