Ventana
American Survival Guide Vol. 1


3.5
great

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
April 12th, 2009 | 48 replies | 8,105 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


Hailing from Cleveland, Ventana is an industrial band who has all the ingredients to be a mass success in the industrial scene, but is yet to break through because they formed in only 2004 and haven't had the sufficient time to build a big reputation for themselves. American Survival Guide Vol.1 is their debut, and so far their only effort. Blending the elements of modern day metal with hardcore techno dance beats, and industrial influences, American Survival Guide Vol.1 is an industrial album full of unpredictable twists and turns.

The album starts off with a track titled "Watch Us Burn". "Watch us Burn" starts with a nice, soothing intro but after 40 seconds it heavily blasts into the main part. The song gives the listener a good general idea what the album will sound like. Heavy guitar riffs, interesting drum patterns, real strong atmosphere and memorable choruses are the main keywords that define the overall sound of American Survival Guide Vol.1. The vocal work is sufficiently strong and while not all that melodic, it still does its duty to keep the song's interesting. If you are looking for great melodies, breathtaking electronic effects and a "fun" listen then Ventana is definitely not the industrial band for you. Ventana's straight in your face, heavy industrial is meant for listeners who enjoy the heavier side of industrial metal.

The most important factor in Ventana's music is the musicianship. The way that all the instruments are able to create a strong unified sound in industrial music is a rarity, but Ventana has mastered that art. While listening to the songs it is clear that the guys have really put much effort in this album and that they have done it with their hearts and also with their heads. Drums, guitar lines, bass, vocals and the electronic effects which are provided by Rick “St1tch” Thomas of Mushroomhead are all in perfect harmony. That in the other hand doesn't mean that the album is full of memorable melodies. There is plenty of atmosphere found in here, songs like "The Fallen Idol" and "Swords" burst out atmosphere in big doses, but the melodies in here are kept in the background. If it weren't for St1tch, this album would be quite unmelodious all the way through since the guitar lines are heavy, but lack any kind of melody in them and drumming, naturally, can't make an album melodic. Also the vocalist Jonny “Vegas” Sayre is not the most harmonic singer on the planet. St1tch is the man who adds some pretty neat programming/sampling effects and so creates the melodies found in this album. They are in the background and are overshadowed by the guitars, drums and vocals, but they are still present.

The true driving force behind this album are the guitars and drums. Various drum patters found in here are very interesting and surprisingly complex at times for industrial. Dan Fox is a talented drummer and thankfully he doesn't have that disease that is spreading in today's metal world and is called "the abusive overuse of double bass ". He does use the double bass at some points, but it never becomes tiring or boring. His beats are always very fitting, it doesn't matter if they are slow or fast and there is plenty of variation in his playing.

The guitarwork in here, like said above is very heavy, downtuned and mostly bass driven. It isn't very complex but is still very nice to listen to. Some riffs are, despite the lack of melody, very enthralling and even force to headbang a bit. Combined with the electronics, the guitars, drums and bass create a sound that could be described as a new wave of industrial which is heavy, tough and full of atmosphere. Not too complex, neither overly simplistic, a bit unmelodic, yet full of atmosphere and feeling, this sound could very well be the defined sound of industrial in the future. Only, there is the fact that Ventana has already crafted it for us today.

Recommended songs:
Watch Us Burn
Coming Apart
Stress Related
Swords
The Fallen Idol



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Had a blast writing it, hope you enjoy the review.

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2009



20812 Comments


The first paragraph is all over the place MetalStyles15. Firstly, get rid of that redundant 1st sentence of "Ventana - a industrial band known by only the selected few." Then add some words in the 2nd sentence to say "because they only formed in 2004". And then make certain that any time you call them an industrial band, it is actually prefixed by an "an" & not an "a".

Otherwise, a decent review & it will be interesting to see if Sputnik's resident Industrial expert Trey Spencer has heard of these guys.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Right, thanks for pointing that out, going to edit it right away. And yeah this will be interesting to see if Willie has heard of them, because these guys are really unknown.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2009



20812 Comments


You're welcome & the edits makes for a much better 1st paragraph.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks, constructive critisism is always welcome, its the only way to get better.

R6Rider
April 12th 2009



4068 Comments


Saw these guys live a while ago and they were pretty good.

They played one song that really caught my ear but I cant remember the name of it.

Digging: Arecibo - Lost In Consciousness

itchyandscratchy
April 12th 2009



314 Comments


safe geez

Zippermouth
April 12th 2009



1305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Metalstylesreview=fuckyeah

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks zipper, apreciated

EDIT: thanks for the pos'es everyone, my reviews about totally unknown artists get very little attention in general, so i'm happy to see that you like this.This Message Edited On 04.12.09

jingledeath
April 12th 2009



7104 Comments


great review man, will check this out if i can torrent it

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cheers Jingle, if you can't torrent it, I can give you a blogspot link.

jingledeath
April 12th 2009



7104 Comments


thanks but i found it already lol

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha ok then, hope you'll enjoy it.

KYZAR
April 13th 2009



513 Comments


I usually dont like industrial but this sounds like it could be interesting.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yesh, give it a go KYZAR, this isn't your typical industrial band. Check out the recommended songs, especially Swords, Stress Related and Watch us Burn. If you like those, then get the whole album.

Hollow
April 13th 2009



263 Comments


Album cover is interesting I can't rate it since I think I've never heard any industrial metal heh but the review is good, very good.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks Hollow. Yeah the album cover is somewhat politically charged, but the album, for my surprise is not really. I do think that industrial isn't your thing tho haha.

KYZAR
April 13th 2009



513 Comments


Yea this is definetly good, better that most industrial i've heard in awhile.

Zippermouth
April 13th 2009



1305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Where do I get this?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great, then download the whole album (if you haven't already)



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