Ensuring 2017 gets off to a powerful start, UK’s Ventenner are poised to release their new album; an encounter which from start to finish rapaciously devours ears and imagination. Increasingly irresistible with every passing slice of alternative metal, rock, and industrially infused electronic involvement, Invidia is the natural yet inventively bold offspring of the band’s previous successes across. When giving us the heads up last year about the forthcoming encounter, band founder Charlie Dawe (vocals/synth) suggested that “This one is set to be a lot heavier, more powerful and a superior record!” It needs little time and barely one listen to confirm his hopes and assessment are right on the money.
Variety and imagination has never been lacking in the Ventenner sound as evidenced by previous albums This Is The Reason of 2012 and the acclaimed Distorture two years later. Power and forceful enterprise has never been absent in the band’s music either since emerging initially as a solo project for Dawe in 2007. Ventenner’s last album alone was an encounter leaving “the senses beleaguered and imagination ablaze from start to finish”, its emotionally raw dystopian soundscapes seductive and compelling but indeed Invidia while embracing similar qualities taps into an almost primal yet involved intensity and abrasive energy which consumes the listener.
Produced by Esoteric vocalist/guitarist Greg Chandler, Invidia also unveils the most intricate tapestries of sound from the London based outfit yet starting with opener The Start Is The End. A synth resonates in ears first, it’s coaxing swiftly joined by the prowling tones of Dawe with restrained but striking rhythms alongside. As riffs and hooks bring their invention to the mix, the song breeds a Nine Inch Nails scented predation; exotic hues lining an emerging melodic suggestiveness within a controlled yet tempestuous proposal. Throughout, the song’s character is intrusive and raw yet magnetically infectious, traits blossoming throughout the album.
Break In Two reinforces the release’s impressive start, its resourceful entrance calmer yet just as instinctively invasive as its predecessor’s as a Gravity Kills meets Celldweller air grows and colludes with Ventenner’s openly distinct imagination. A gorgeous melodic hook caps off a mighty temptation, its prowess and potency matched by the sinister charm and emotive fire of next up Saligia. Almost devious in its weave of flirtatious melodies and sonic causticity, the song is pure addiction as industrial metal and electro punk merge for a hauntingly irritable raid on the senses.
A superb and masterfully woven conflict of textures makes up Enemy next, an outpouring of beauty and the beast sound and creativity lined not for the first or last time within Invidia by a Pitchshifter like essence while next up Be Still brings fresh crabbiness to ears as Ventenner again confirm their expertise at aligning melodic elegance and bordering on hostile emotional and musical tetchiness.
The former of the essences is embraced primarily by the bewitching Only The Empty Remain, though it too has a disgruntled undercurrent which erupts throughout before Circle while carrying a touch of Society One to itself, roars commandingly, making its mere two minutes another of the most powerful and essential moments within Invidia.
Dividing Seed just as enjoyably hits the spot, its web of guitar and synth intrusiveness as disarmingly seductive as it is cholerically bracing; essences further inventively twisted by successor Bruxism. A bear of a song with bone shuddering beats and senses binding vines of sonic invention around the emotional challenge of Dawe’s vocals and words, the track is sheer power but tempered by the disarming flow of melodic grace and harmonic beauty which breaks through the October File spiced tempest.
A predatory air is cast by Anamnesis, a trespass captivatingly countered by the reflective melodies and warm textures blossoming in voice and sound. Like two souls in dispute yet eager union, the track adds to the pinnacles of the release before being instantly matched by the imagination gripping landscape of closing track Omega. Its melancholic beauty immerses ears and thoughts in a haunting almost spatial flight accentuated by Dawe’s transfixing tones in a temptation which alone urges a swift return to the roar of the album.
Distorture impressed two years ago but has been easily eclipsed by Invidia, already one of this year’s important highlights. In many ways the Ventenner sound has come of age yet it is easy to still feel there is plenty more for they and us to discover.
Invidia is released via Hibernacula Records 20th January on CD and also digitally and on vinyl through http://www.ventenner.com/store
Pete RingMaster 10/01/2017
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