VENENUM - Venenum (SEPULCHRAL VOICE - LP 2012)
It is an undisputable fact that the German death metal scene has now became stronger than ever before in the past. And all these young wolves have managed to resurrect their scene in great way, after so many years of stagnation and simple dullness (for years I think only Fleshcrawl was really good death metal band from Germania, and behind their backs there few more mediocre bands and loads of shit crawling in the filth, unworthy and forgettable). I am not going to mention all these new band names now, but will focus on two. First is Excoriate - now sadly split up, whose "On Pestilent Winds..." LP was a real bone crusher. I am not sure at which point P.T. from Excoriate (also known from Hellish Crossfire) decided to form a new band, but in 2008 Venenum was born. The line up is completed with the ex-members of some other underground legions, whose names will not tell anything to most of you. Anyway, it is not important who's been playing where. The most major fact here is that Venenum with their debut EP simply slain.
Sepulchral Voice again did a great job, when releasing their LPs. I simply love the artwork, also because it is maybe not so usual for death metal bands, but just like in such bands as Invidious, Degial, Stench and Tribulation, it is rather unique, but fits the atmosphere of their music so perfectly (the slimy green colouring is awesome). I like the artwork, I like its haunting, horror atmosphere... it somehow reminds me some old horror satanic or whatever movies posters, but it just looks good! Morbid and profound!
The music counts most though and Venenum just knows how to catch the attention. Their death metal belongs to those few examples for the new quality within the old sounds. I mean, I mentioned some bands already (Invidious, Degial, Stench and Tribulation), plus I may add also such Ensnared, Vanhlegd, Repugnant, Vorum, Beyond... All these bands create a new sound, but based on some classic, old school patterns. They take a lot of influence from the classic death metal records, but just like in case of Venenum they're mixed with some influence from the 70's rock and heavy music. And it even has a small black metal feeling to it. As weird as it may sound to you, it does have a great sense and simply sounds awesome.
Starting with fantastic, very warm and organic, not digital and non plastic production, which fits so perfectly to such music, then with the ability to create a stunning eerie atmosphere... "Venenum" is death metal, with a great accent placed on haunting melodies and riffs, which are creating this sort of occult, obscure atmosphere, which makes you devour these sounds like in some kind of ritual frenzy. It's not necessarily a music to bang your skull and drink beers to, although you can surely do that as well, but I think it's more about contemplating it, letting its shadow surround you, freeze the blood and create some eerie visions. Yes, I am serious, as much as it sounds cheesy to you, this is how I receive these sounds. Of corpse “Venenum” is also aggressive, it’s a riff based music, with fantastic ghoulish vocals, some speedy parts, but also with a necessary share and worship for the classic Death’s “Scream Bloody Gore”, Autopsy new and old and early Morbid Angel influence.
The whole EP is based upon four killer anthems, which all have some interludes in between, so you can imagine that the whole is almost like a conceptual and very carefully planned and thought work. “Bewitched Craft” and “Lunar Tombfields” are surely my favourite anthems here, but seriously speaking the whole EP makes an enormous impression and is simply killer (OH, these riffs in “Sacrosanct Transcendence”!). For me it’s because of bands like Venenum the whole death metal scene became so interesting and unique again. They make new quality, created something new and fresh, all exciting again. Definitely a worthy recommendation!
Standout tracks: “Bewitched Craft”, “Lunar Tombfields”
Final rate: 95/100