The Sturm und Drang of Velladon’s “SMILE” is Like a Musical Zen Parable About Information Overload

Velladon “SMILE” cover (cropped)

Velladon may have quit his bands Vampillia and Violent Magic Orchestra (aka VMO) in 2019 but his gift for otherworldly composition remains intact for his solo efforts. Whereas those bands blended classical music structures with the brutality of extreme metal, Velladon’s music for his new album Wisdom Truth (released on June 3, 2020) is more in the realm of ambient and noise. Lead track “SMILE” is initially glitchy and disorienting and returns to that, like someone rapidly changing television stations that seem only to get in malfunctioning feeds, but those extreme bursts of textured sound are spread throughout a transcendent, tranquil passages. Some of those are like floating through a space occupied by decayed radio signals, others are distorted washes, yet others a blissfully gentle melodic drone. Given the context of Acid Thermal’s video treatment for the song one gets the impression of Velladon having tried to take in the grand sweep of human history with snippets borrowed and expressed as a commentary on the angst of the present. In that way it’s like an abstract Zen parable about information overload and how it might distort our perception of events around us. The rapid shifts in tone, tempo and texture in a steady flow are like Sturm und Drang cast in post-industrial sounds. Watch the video for “SMILE” on YouTube and connect with Velladon at the links below.