Veneficum – In Tranquil Absurd (2010)


It’s been a while since we get the ‘holy shit’ look after listening to a release coming from an unsigned band, and recently Veneficum’s “In Tranquil Absurd” changed that. With a monumental Symphonic Black Metal sound, this American band managed to blow us away after a couple of songs. And while Veneficum does not have the budget to create the expensive orchestrations that bands like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir are capable of, they do manage to create an epic orchestral atmosphere using synthesizers.

Before you start thinking that we will talk about another clone band that is just trying to capitalize on what CoF and Dimmu have already done, you should give Veneficum a try and verify for your self that they are a quality band with an imposing sound. With the atmosphere being the main ‘attention grabber’, the band also shows great amount of skills in terms of cohesive songwriting, and ridiculously precise execution.

After the intro song “Expiation”, the band quickly explodes into a full-blown beast with “The Absolute Surrender”. This song features blasting drums, intricate guitar work, hellish screams, and the very well balanced atmospheric elements. The band does not fuck around and since this song sets the pace for a very frenetic release that has very dynamic songs. Since tracks like “Trauma Vortex” and “Desire-Design”, you can see the clear Dimmu Borgir and CoF influences, but you can also notice a blend of other bands like Shade Empire (in their “Sinthetic” area) and Abigail Williams. However, Veneficum manages to craft their own sound and do not feel like a copy of anybody else.

While aggression and instrument-playing skill will only take you so far, the band starts mixing things up exactly when you feel they are getting a bit old. With songs like “In Tranquil Absurd” and “Endurance of Aeons” we get a somewhat different pace, and trippy atmospheric elements that make the songs sound more dynamic and different from the first few. The atmospheric passage “Adjourn Lucidity” is another perfect pace changer and will let the listener regain control of their senses.

As we mentioned before, the drumming is massive and very well mixed in this album. We also get the guitar attacks that are very intricate and vary from the traditional BM riffing to more Melodic Death Metal sections, but always keep things interesting and brutal. The vocals are very powerful and standard for this type of album and get the job done nicely, especially on songs like “Paradox Breed”. Our favorite song has to be “In Return”, due to the experimentation with clean guitars and female vocals, making it one of the most diverse pieces of this album.

Overall, we think that “In Tranquil Absurd” should definitely get Veneficum in the global map. The band’s sound is very massive and features very dynamic songs that will never get boring, showing that the band has enough maturity to craft engaging albums. All musicians know their stuff and on this release they really show it to the max. If you are looking for something with more depth than your average symphonic BM band, look no further, you will be blown away by this release.

Band: Veneficum Album: In Tranquil Absurd
Label: Unsigned

Release: September 17th, 2010

Official Site myspace
Genre: Symphonic Black Meal

Country: USA

Rating: 93/100

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