Vera : Carved appears to be a symphonic death metal band from Italy, founded in 2007. Their debut album ’Dies Irae’ was already promising and nice to listen to. It was released in 2013 and followed by the Days of Wrath tour. Now they release a sophomore album, again with a Latin title inspired by religion: ‘Kyrie Eleison’. The guys make a statement that they support Sea Shepherd in order to preserve life in the oceans and that makes them instantly sympathetic. Just like the debut, ‘Kyrie Eleison’ includes a concept and narrative overtones. These lessons of life are properly packed in very melodic death metal. This time no female guest singers (fortunately), but gravel-throated grunts as well as very sleek clean chants of front man Christian Guzzon, the reason why it reminds me a bit of Scar Symmetry.
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by the in Italy omnipresent producer Simone Mularoni (guitarist DGM) at the Domination Studios. For the orchestral arrangements they recruited Marco Mantovani, who gave the whole thing an adequate and agreeable sounding symphonic touch, working together with guitarist Damn Terzoni. They even go one step further by engaging violinist Federico Mecozzi in many of the songs. The five-piece has used these additional musicians in a wonderful manner, without losing the heaviness of this album. It opens with the instrumental ‘Viaticum’ in which serene pontifical choirs are heard in contrast with heavy riffs and graceful violin. Epic grandeur, typical for Italians, but fortunately they never exaggerate, so it never gets pompous. Not at all, since the next songs brim with chunky riffs and shifting from raucous to clean vocals. There is always room for amazing guitar solos of Damn Terzoni and Alessio Rossano. Many mood changes as well, such as sudden piano interludes or acoustic guitars and that keeps it interesting, although ‘The Burning Joke’ has some flaws. In ‘Heart Of Gaia’ they show their love for animals and that is a sensitive track, while ‘Faith’ happens to be mostly instrumental. In the last two longer songs, ‘The Hidden Ones’ and ‘Gamlann’ they abundantly show their skillfulness on their instruments and one may notice any progressive elements, but that’s only natural with a producer like Mularoni (I guess they are doing the best they can). This is a valuable successor of ‘Dies Irae’ and it is a pleasure to listen to. The bonus track ‘The Bad Touch’, cover of Bloodhound Gang, is a bit superfluous,, but it remains a catchy tune.