It has been around three years since Australian metallers Age Of Menace enticed and aroused ears their All Seeing Lie EP, a release which saw the band expanding their sound whilst finding a new creative ferocity to match it. Now the busy band has returned with its successor, the Venom EP; a release with the bite of a cobra and the nagging persistent of a rattler bound up in the band’s richest array of fiercely flavoursome incitement yet.
Formed in 2010, the Sydney quartet quickly whipped up local attention with their sound and live presence. A self-titled debut EP backed up their potent emergence the following year with its tracks soon catching ears and support of online radio shows and stations around the globe. All Seeing Lie turned the heat up further on the band’s growing reputation as their metal based sound revealed even bolder essences of heavy and varied rock ‘n’ roll in its character and imagination. Again fans and media at home and afar quickly caught on to its release and qualities whilst the band continued to forge a potent reputation with their explosive live shows. Now it seems it is time for the band to broadly whip things up again; something easy to imagine the band’s most varied and mature offering succeeding with in quick time.
Venom opens up with its title track, and the band’s new video/single. Immediately a spicy groove entangles ears, being quickly joined by jabbing beats and the dusty tones of vocalist Rob Smith. With a great spiky hook soon added, the song has ears and appetite swiftly involved; proceeding to weave a heavy rock hued metallic incitement with an essence of Perfect Circle meets Stone Temple Pilots to it. Smith’s voice and expression continues to lure the heart of the song and imagination of the listener out as the guitar of Pete Ross almost dances on the rhythmic frame around fiery melodic enterprise and ever alluring grooves. A great melodic calm adds to the unpredictable and eventful landscape of the song too, another twist to surprise and enthral within the excellent start to the EP.
The following Waiting To Strike shows an edge and volatility in its initial riffs alone, carrying an air of intimidation which then fuels the thicker wall of the same as an acidic veining of grooves grows. The bass of Adam Barns borders on carnivorous as it grumbles and prowls an already contagious encounter whilst the scything and tenacious beats of Adam Breakspear are as anthemic as they are disorientating. As impressive as its predecessor was, the track needs little time to eclipse it as heavy metal spicing breathes further invention into guitar imagination as a raw punk attitude and energy drives everything else.
With next single written all over it, the track takes best song honours upon Venom, though it is quickly rivalled by the rhythmically irritable and sonically adventurous Around The Sun. Lying somewhere between Korn and Dream Theater, the song springs from a spidery groove into a web of melodic and sonic invention, all crossing each other lattice style to fascinate as bold rhythms and a more aggressive virulence grabs body and spirit. It grumbles and seduces, trespasses and invites, from every angle and second in the course of creating another highly addictive and memorable proposition.
Where Are You brings the EP to a close; solemn keys laying down its first tempting as again a darker element lines their elegance before the band as one erupts in a tempest of hungry riffs, sturdy rhythms, and hearty vocal roars. With a progressive air to its thunderous climate and a reflective intimacy to its melodic and vocal melancholy, the track is arguably the EP’s boldest venture into new pastures but never compromises the renowned Age Of Menace snarl and raw power.
To be fair, every song within Venom casts a new direction and as suggested earlier, shows fresh maturity in sound through its array of striking proposals. Like so many others, we are always overjoyed to find something new from the boys from down under, Venom epitomising why whilst suggesting it is time that Age Of Menace was thrust into the biggest spotlights.
The Venom EP is out now via iTunes.
Pete RingMaster 10/05/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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