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Old 04-02-2012, 11:44 AM
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Natrlhi Natrlhi is offline
Metal is proof that Satan loves us and wants us to be happy.
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 8,821

48. KEN Mode - Venerable

So my clue for this one was a bit vague, I admit. The band / album that I think is very similar to this is #51 on my list – American Heritage’s Sedentary. The main point of comparison is primarily in the vocals and the heavy sludge sound on both albums, plus the fact that the exact sonic flavor of both bands is very difficult to classify, genre-wise. Whereas I’d say AH is a sludge band with hardcore / metalcore leanings, I would be more inclined to say that KEN Mode is a sludge band with aspects of grindcore and / or post-hardcore mixed in. Also similarly to AH, this Canadian trio – of which brothers Jesse (guitar, vocals) and Shane (drums) Matthewson have been the only constant members – has been around for approximately a decade. They have released a few albums during that time (this being their fourth), and up until now, they haven’t been on my radar screen – but this album has changed that. The pace of the album is brisk, for the most part – the only time these cats slow down to some extent is when they’re building momentum for another brutal attack on the listener’s senses. For the most part, this is a frenetic ride of screaming mayhem, but all the while the attack is raging, there is a looming sense of organization and structure about it all. In listening to Venerable, I’m reminded in many ways of the inaugural album Serpents by the band Struck by Lightning (also a power trio), which is the new project of ex-Mouth of the Architect bassist Greg Lahm. Besides the nearly relentless assault of the tracks and the superb songwriting that has gone into each one, another point of comparison between Venerable and Serpents is the extremely thick bottom-end and the way that the bass guitar actually leads the songs on many occasions. In the case of SBL, it’s probably due to the fact that Lahm is the main songwriter, but here, the bassist position is one that has been filled and re-filled about four or five times (depending on whether you’re making a distinction between live and studio bassists). At any rate, the music itself is fantastic, the songwriting is excellent, and the superb production by Converge workhorse Kurt Ballou (seriously, does this guy ever SLEEP!??), is just so exceptional in that it allows this extremely heavy music to breathe freely, and thus have an extremely polished edge to go along with its massive heft.
9/2 Chelsea Wolfe
10/16 Kylesa / Inter Arma / Indian Handcrafts / Irata
11/13 Windhand / Monolord
12/30 Clutch
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