Austrian metallers Venator have served up an excellent NWOTHM debut album in the form of Echoes from the Gutter.
Formed in 2016 the band has produced an EP, Predator, a shared album with Angel Blade and two singles.
After laying the foundations with these releases now is the time for greater exposure and hopefully world domination.
Venator line up with Stefan Glasner on bass, Jakob Steidl on drums, Leon Ehrengruber on lead guitar, Anton Holzner on rhythm guitar and Johannes Huemer on vocals.
From the off it is clear which path the band wants to follow. It is one littered with hard and heavy riffs, soaring melody and fist pumping pace. There are more quiet and delicate moments but they perfectly fit into the whole narrative and detract from the metal.
“The Seventh Seal” for example has all of it. Riffing, melody, pathos and great solos.
Johannes Huemer’s vocals are perfect for this type of metal, strong yet not overpowering and are not too forward in the mix. His vocals have a hint of a Blackie Lawless feel to them with the sandpaper rasp and slight vibrato.
The (numerous) highlights of the album for me are the excellent Leon Ehrengruber guitar solos. Each one fits its track perfectly and are a joy to behold. No uber-twiddling here, just superbly paced excellence.
Each track has something to get your teeth into, whether its a cool twin-guitar run, a moment of reflection or balls out metal this album has it all.
The closing track “Streets of Gold” is the best track on the album. Pace, rhythm, melody aplenty and yet another cool solo. Maybe the most mainstream of all the tracks but it’s catchy as hell.
Out now in the UK via Dying Victims Productions this is a must-have for all NWOTHM fans.
If Venator represents the future of metal then the world is in safe hands that’s for sure.
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