Veiled Front is one of Mark Van Fleet’s only solo works (that I can find – I’ll have a review up of his other release Alien Versions soon), but he’s been around in the noise community for a while. In fact, he was part of Sword Heaven and a bunch of other monikers – and I love jamming to Sword Heaven. On Veiled Front, the spastic drums/vocals/guitars/etc. of that former project are dropped in favor of tape manipulations, synth, and the clanging of miscellaneous machinery.
The release starts out with the excellent whir and warp of tapes, plodding along and fading within a wall of sound that best summarizes Veiled Front – it is an experiment in texture, and it should be apparent to the listener fairly quickly that the expert combinations of keyboards, tapes, and other sounds have been carefully constructed with an ear for the formulation of hypnotic noise.
It is “Verde Fog,” Veiled Front‘s third track, that hits hard – Van Fleet destroys the calm with blaring horns, the kind of thing that could be cloyingly dissonant. But they aren’t; instead, they’re another great moment in a series. And then the most despairing moment follows with the lengthy finale “Version Flop,” a weaving soundscape of melancholy notes that ends Veiled Front on a high that eventually can lead right back into the opener.
Mark Van Fleet’s solo work is as excellent as his group efforts, and it certainly is recommended you check out Veiled Front from Little Miracles. It’s a shorter, mesmerizing listen.