Album Review: Veriteras – The Dark Horizon (Self Released)

United States, Seattle based melodic death metal quartet, Veriteras, are back with their second full-length album, The Dark Horizon, due for release April 11th.

Veriteras is an old-school melodic death metal band based in Seattle, Washington. Formed in 2018, they are inspired by the Scandinavian melodic death scene (early-era In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Kalmah), and strive to write heavy songs with powerful and memorable melodies. After releasing two EPs in 2020 (Banished) and 2021 (Citadel), they debuted their first LP Shadow of Death in 2022, and toured Finland in support of the album. Now they are proud to present their follow-up LP, The Dark Horizon.

Speaking about the new release, guitarist Santtu Winter states:

“The Dark Horizon really leans in on our old school melodic death metal roots, and as a result has a more blackened melodic death metal sound compared to our previous release, Shadow of Death. There’s more tremelo picking, more blast beats, but still holding on to a very melodic core. We’re very happy with how the album ended up, and we grew a ton through the process. The songwriting is more mature, the lyrics are stronger because Sean wrote most of them instead of me, the musicianship is better, and the mix is fantastic. We’re all super excited to be sharing this album with the world, and hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it!”

The Dark Horizon is recorded by Don Gunn at The Office Studio in Seattle and is mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö at Unisound Studio in Germany. It comes with album artwork by Sean Osterberg and features a few different guest spots including a solo from Adonis Reed-Boulos (Inpathos) and another from Eligio Tapia (Crepuscle). There are also additional vocals from Maria Mannisto, a Washington based soprano, and tambourine performed by Jeff Smith (bassist emeritus and first-chair tambourinist).

Veriteras is Santtu Winter on guitar, Sean Osterberg on guitar and vocals, Jason Gooselaw on drums and Major Bruno on bass.

Veriteras The Dark Horizon band
Photo Credit: J. Donovan Malley

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The Dark Horizon comes with 9 tracks on it and takes no time in kicking straight in with Certainty. It’s a fast and heavy start with some meaty guitars and drums and has a very satisfying production, it sounds really full and enveloping. When vocals join in, they are very harsh and not for away from being black metal in style. Musically though, it stays firmly in the melodeath camp with some massive riffs but also with a catchy feel and moments of melody. In this track, they mostly come in the background and bridges but add a layer of beauty to an otherwise nasty and snarly track.

As we work our way though The Dark Horizon, Veriteras deliver punch after punch of real quality. Of course they tick the box in terms of what you would expect from a melodeath band and it’s great. It’s also very heavy and definitely more in line with the old school of melodeath, yet with a modern production and delivery. Songs like Celestial Darkness absolutely kill it with the speed and intensity of the drums and riffs. Barking vocals and a sped up tempo – it’s a pit destroyer of a track. Last Rites is another that just goes for the jugular and doesn’t let go. The vocals are so harsh, I love it, and the drums – man that dude can hit serious speed.

Even within all of the heaviness, Veriteras have done a really good job of making songs catchy. Celstial Darkness is a great example of this – one of the fastest tracks on The Dark Horizon but weaving in catchy as hell riffs and melody that you just find yourself headbanging without even thinking about it. Abyss has a chorus that absolutely kills it in terms of being catchy and memorable. Sanctuary in it’s moment of slight calm, has a gorgeous meandering melody playing out alongside the crunching vocals that will stick with you. Manufactured Dreams will have you on board quickly too – catchy little intro, shout of “go” and then chaos. This stuff is talking to my very soul.

Melody is such a huge part of this genre’s sound and the best bands in this circle manage to blend melody into their tracks seamlessly and make it enhancing, not at odds with the core sound. Veriteras have clearly mastered that. Abyss, one of the singles, weaves in magic from the guitars with clean lines peering through the darkness and then delivering banging solos at just the right time. Check out that intro to Sanctuary – it’s gorgeous. It does turn into a vicious beast of a track after that intro but the solo that comes back in is absolute blazing brilliance. Then, they come back in later with an even bigger solo with plenty of dual harmonies to lead us out. That’s a proper track, that is.

And just to add a little additional spice, like we needed any more, moments of difference like the unexpected almost folk like cleans in Last Rites will have your jaw dropping in admiration and surprise. Or how about the sudden blast of piano/keys that appears in Manufactured Dreams, or the sudden gang vocal shout. Little moments, but moments that elevate songs from very good to utter genius.

Moving on though, Blinding has an intro that feels utterly epic, such is the sound of the guitars. In fact this whole song screams epic. The guitars and drums, when they hit that sort of sweeping section are astonishing. It amazes me how Veriteras have managed to make a song so vicious, so brutal but so beautiful too. It oozes emotion and class – the whole of The Dark Horizon does. Retrograde carries the quality on as we reach the end of the album. You won’t be surprised to know that I find it to be another top quality song with some really full melodic lines and another impressive performance from the drum and bass foundation.

We close out this exceptional album with Light in the Darkness and it’s another massive song. It hits so hard in the verses – the drums, the bass and riffs are just reaching ridiculous speeds. The vocals rip and snarl with power and menace and the lead guitars add layers of melodic depth. It’s really well written, really showing a band working very harmoniously. As much as I love it, and I do, wait for the sudden breather to let the guitar shine, just for a second or two, and then be prepared to punch the air in triumph.

The melody grows, the power and intensity grows and then bang, female soprano vocals. Not in a clean section either, as I would have expected, but when the song is at it’s heaviest. A little back and forth then with the cleans and the heavy vocals brings us through to the end and makes sure you will not be able to forget this song any time soon.

A memorable song to close but The Dark Horizon is a memorable album in every way. It’s seriously heavy, intensly aggressive but equally catchy and classy. The lead guitars, either in solos or melodic lines in verses and chorus’ are special. The drums are astonishing, the riffs are killer and the vocals are fire and fury. All these components are then bundled together in songs that are really well written, and excitingly structured. The songs flow, the album flows – it all just feels like everything came together perfectly and we, the listener, are the beneficiaries. Veriteras have really hit the mark here in an album that is up there with the very best of the year and deserves huge praise and respect.

You can preorder a copy of The Dark Horizon from Veriteras on Bandcamp, here.

Veriteras Links



  • Brendan Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Heavy Metal and reading, two things I have always loved so they are the two areas you will find most of my reviews. Post apocalyptic is my jam and I always have a book on the go and have for decades now. From a metal perspective, age has softened my inadequacies and I now operate with an open mind, loving many bands from many sub genres but having a particular admiration for the UK underground scene. In my other time, when not focused on Dad duties and work, I try to support the craft beer movement by drinking as much of it as I can and you will also find me out on the streets, walking. I love walking, I love exploring new places and snapping nature photos as I go.

Veriteras - The Dark Horizon (Self Released)

By Artist: Veriteras

Album name: The Dark Horizon

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