(9/10) Venenum isn't really new in the world of metal since their first EP was already released in the beginning of this decade. At this early stage the songs on this first disc showed some potential and it's amazing what the four guys achieved between then and now. Six years after the EP have enlightened the underground it's the debut, "Trance of Death”, that gets shipped to the record shops these days. Venenum evolved to a mature death metal outfit that creates an intensity and density that is mind-blowing.
A cello starts the album. It's a gloomy introduction that creates anxiety, acting as a step towards the acoustic inferno that follows. "Merging Nebular Drapes" is the first pitch black track and it's a furious one too. Raging guitars and well placed breaks dominate the scene, creating a first 'wow' effect. The fast paced "The Nature of the Ground" is next and if you expect a moment to rest I have to disappoint you. This track is even more intense and it feels like the first three songs building up to the Grande Finale that comes in three chapters. "Trance of Death", the 'title track', is actually a trilogy that begins with "Reflections". Seven minutes of brutal death metal, that what's the song is about. What makes this number, but also the other ones, to something very special is the fact the Venenum doesn't stick to a one dimensional approach. Instead of blindfolded going for a full blast setup, the quartet adds breaks that are spot-on like e.g in the middle part of "Reflection".
The song blends into part II which is an instrumental that's kept a bit more sphereful. It's a nicely placed counterpart to "Reflection" and "There are Other Worlds..." and acts as a five minutes interlude before the true masterpiece ends "Trance of Death". The final chapter is a 14 minutes milestone that combines everything the band stands for. An acoustic start gets blown away by a first harsh metal attack that brings the blistering heat of hell closer to the listener. It's this constant interaction of sphereful soundscapes and raging metal blasts that creates arcs of suspense. This closer is an epic journey that captivating.
"Trance of Death" is a death metal release that is belonging to the best ones so far this year and can easily compete with latest genre related albums. Considering the fact that this longplayer is the debut shows the potential of this quartet from Germany. Thumbs up.
- Merging Nebular Drapes
- The Nature of the Ground
- Cold Threat
- Trance of Death Part I: reflection
- Trance of Death Part II: Metanoia Journey
- Trance of Death Part III: There are Other Worlds...
Label: Sepulchral Voice Records
Genre: Epic Death Metal
Release Date EU: March 17th, 2017