K. Desecrator – Guitars (rhythm), bass, drums
Reioo Zweit Eveno – Guitars
J. Obscene – Guitars (lead, rhythm)
Max Abomination – Bass
R. Cadaver – Vocals
2. Veneficial Upheaval
3. Of Wolves And Ghosts
4. Ways To The Netherworld
5. Clavicula Salomonis
6. Summoned And Defiled
7. Subterranean Deathspell
8. Aghori’s Ashes Of The Dead
9. As Light Goes Astray
Venefixion are a French black metal band on Iron Bonehead, who will be releasing their highly anticipated debut LP, ‘A Sigh From Below’ on 1st October, 2021. Since forming in 2013, they have been perfecting their sound. They released a demo album in 2015 (called ‘Defixio’), an EP in 2016 (Armorican Deathrites), and a split release in 2019 (Passio Christi Part II / Necrophagous Abandon). All such shorter releases flexed the same muscles, and were delivered with confidence and swagger. However, whilst their upcoming album is equally as heavy, fierce and feral, it is more epic and ambitious.
Now… For the thousandth flipping time, what’s the point of copying bands like Immortal, pretty much exactly? I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned or at least implied screams, tremolo picked guitars and blast beats, (I think it’s in the hundreds) but there’s a pretty full list of what to expect in this album. Oh yes, and you get flashy shred guitar solos. To be fair, such solos tend not to feature in this form of music, so what we end up with is Immortal with nice guitar playing. Woohoo. This style of music clearly has a big effect on people, if it makes them spend years learning their instruments, only to get reviewed by disrespectful and ignorant people like me.
Track ‘Subterranean Deathspell’ is pretty interesting with its out of tune, clean guitars playing some particularly creepy ideas, but lasting less than two minutes, it’s more of an interlude than a song, and such ideas don’t come back. Please come back. I’m begging you. You know what does come back? All the cliches. Well done, Ven, you’ve got it exactly the wrong way round. On the plus side, there are some cool riffs in the style of Slayer to be heard, it’s not ALL tremolo picking. I misled you earlier and for that I apologise. There are some grim doomy moments, too, and the music is well composed.
To conclude, almost nothing here is even remotely new, apart from the new-ish solos and even newer out of tune guitars. I know that sounds very bad, but let’s be fair, this stuff is done just as well as the music from your favourite 90s black metal acts. If only Venefixion formed in the same era and sniffed dead animals on stage to make themselves sick, as was fashionable at the time. Maybe THEN, this album would end up being a classic. But to be clear, I can say with almost 100% certainty this album WON’T be a classic. I can say with 99% certainty only a select few will hear of these people again. This isn’t really recommended, but you can do worse.
Review by Simon Wiedemann