Venowl: Patterns of Failure (Remaster)

Music is an expression of self  often used to convey stories and feelings to, in a sense, inspire the listener. Most music is short and catchy with great hooks and emotional expressions that the listener relates to or at least enjoys hearing.  However, there’s a small percentage that should simply be reduced to an art performance.  For example, Godspeed You! Black Emperor often perform with film loops in the background in order to reinforce certain images, feelings, “[putting] the whole into context”.

 

Venowl’s Patterns of Failure is similar to Godspeed You! Black Emperor in the sense that their music should also be an art performance because it seems very incomplete without an in-person presence or at least creating a listening setting for yourself that enhances the mood. While they don’t have many photos on Facebook of their live performances, the photos they do have are of dark, red-lit rooms which is a good way to listen and see them perform. This is black/sludge/noise and  is literally the filthiest, grimiest, most hellish, most malicious, most depressing music you can find. It’s some of the most painful and agonizing screams you’ll hear in music. The textures are abrasive, haunting, and outright crushing. The first play-through put me into a trance as I laid in my bed and couldn’t help but think of those black and white movie clips of bomber planes flying over Europe in Japan during WWII dropping bombs. The scenes of Tokyo engulfed in flames could not escape my mind. I had to shake it off and take a timeout because it just internally hurts. If this is their aim, they hit the nail right on the fucking head.

  

Obviously this isn’t for your average metalhead – blackened noise of this caliber can be pretty hard to approach with an open mind due it’s eviscerating nature so beware kids and don’t play this around your mom or you’ll be sent to Bible camp. As for issues with the music, more direction is needed. It doesn’t undulate at all and pick up the pace or slow down but is more of a constant death march towards the end. It would be more convincing if it felt like the listener was descending into enthralling madness like the last scenes of the anime of Berserk. If this was the case, the Tokyo engulfed in flames would instead have been photos of the Holocaust or browsing /r/watchpeopledie.  Anyway, regardless of the one issue, this is a pretty damn good release. The only other time music has caused such fucked feelings is when listening to a band from Texas who spent a half hour strangling each other with chains and screaming about abducting, raping, and murdering a girl. If anybody knows this band, link it in the comments. The name escapes me but they are on Metal Archives somewhere.

 

Venowl Official Facebook

Written by Cole Olson

Venowl: Patterns of Failure (Remaster)
Broken Limbs Recordings
4 / 5

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