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Nairolf - The Veil of Ashes (self-released)

5 February 2024

All the best bands are hard to categorize; after all, if it were a simple process to put a band in this box or that genre, then it must be because you have heard it all before. It stands to reason. And that is precisely why I love “The Veil of Ashes”, my first taste of, Ontario-based Nairolf. It’s not just that the music shifts around as the track progresses; it connects some of the sounds of the past with more modern creativity.

It isn’t hard to hear the echoes of bands like The Cure in those darkly understated verses, nor the sound of grunge’s power in the choruses. But there is also something fresh and creative in the sonic paths of shimmering minimalism that the song wanders along , the perfect place to rise to maximum effect into more bombastic and brutal guitar salvos.

As is often the way, the creative building blocks might be instantly recognizable: brooding and bruised bass lines, guitars that are able to both chime and charm yet also groove and grind, simple, unfussy yet practical rock beats and a voice that is able to whisper intimately and roar anthemically. Yet, it is how those elements are arranged and combined that turns them from just being just more tried and tested song-crafting into something ear-catching and beguiling.

And that is what Nairolf does so elegantly and eloquently here.