Embracing a VENTENNER release has never been merely about listening. They have been propositions which have drawn deep thought and emotions just as keenly as simple attention, encounters which at times have been as cathartic to the listener as undoubtedly they have been to their creators. Each has presented new dilemmas in unpredictable landscapes of sound and imagination, each release casting individual challenges from within intimate inner turbulence and the UK outfit’s new offering, Signal Collapse, is no different. Again there is that certain VENTENNER intensity of sound and emotional dissonance and as we expected another new and fresh soundscape of incitement and inner examination to contemplate yet there proved nothing expectation could feed upon.
From the release of This Is The Reason, the London band’s 2012 debut album, VENTENNER has established and evolved a sound which has continually honed its unique presence. It is a proposition drawing on the untamed essences of industrial rock, doom darkness and electronic trespass with much more besides, embroiling them in its own dispute of sound and thought to cast some truly striking proposals such as Distorture (2014), Invidia (2017) and Hollow Storm (2020). Each has taken the band’s sound, creativity and the welcome challenge of listening to new heights of individuality and pleasure with rich and increasing acclaim accompanying all.
Signal Collapse courts another evolution in creative motion. VENTENNER initially emerged as a solo project before growing to a fuller line-up of members and the new album sees founder Charlie Dawe return to that stripped back core of imagination with the band’s long-time drummer, Luke Jacobs, alongside. It is also a release which finds the band’s sound explore a somewhat leaner and cleaner proposal yet is as atmospherically and emotional intense as ever. Again it is an outing which asks and examines inner questions, doubts and persecuting turbulence yet there is a sense of resolve in its reflection and a finding of calm in its emotional turmoil as again intimacy of its author and songwriting connected with personal reflections. It all unites for the most compelling and striking outing with the band, a release weaving a whole new realm of invention and imagination within the distinctive VENTENNER proposal, or to put it simply, their finest moment to date.
Even in their most traumatic and turbulent offerings, there has been an organic virulence which equally has found new depth and strength within Signal Collapse as swiftly proven by opener Awake. As if opening the eyes to a new world, if one soon heavy with tension and shadows, the song rises upon the senses before magnetically prowling their own darkness. As in his songwriting, Dawes vocally also ruminates with a cleaner but still dilemma strained delivery, his previous visceral snarls and growls calmed for a just as impacting tenebrific breath.
The great start also shows that even in its more restrained exploration, the VENTENNER sound is rich in unpredictable invention and imposing enterprise, the following Impact cementing that vison with its alt rock lean, industrial volatile contagion. It swings from quiet musing to dextrous ferocity, every outpouring of emotion and thought a wind of temptation before Extinct shares its brooding breath and emotional realisation. Viscerally fuelled within an almost dangerous calm, the song beguiled as it trespassed with its menacingly infectious intent.
Through the murky crawling doom of Plague with its pestilential calm and crystalline contemplation of beauty and the two fold rapture of Silver, the album only intensified its grip and impressive persuasion on ears and pleasure. Both songs presented new questions and unique resolutions to devour, their individual dilemmas of sound just as enthralling and enlivening with the latter a kaleidoscope of conflict and captivation.
Just as singular in its deliberation and proposal, the outstanding Oblivion rung the bells of magnetism and participation, the song’s tranquillity and uproar united with an easily drawn and matching response from within while Nerve Echo lured thoughts from the darkest depths to the heights of crepuscular euphoria with matching captivation.
Era brings the release to a close, its infection loaded saunter into view quickly followed by just as manipulative electronic lures and vocal incitement. It is another track which sublimely drew us in emotionally and physically, epitomising the pull and imagination of the truly striking release.
It can be said that VENTENNER have previously sculpted some ground breaking moments within the UK industrial scene but Signal Collapse goes further, it is quite simply a wake up world proposal from the frontline of the year’s most striking offerings.
Signal Collapse is released October 28th via SYNDICOL MUSIC; available across the usual stores.
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Pete RingMaster 27/10/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review
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