Review Summary: This is a new progressive metal band that’s bound to be great, following Dream Theater’s steps, but making them their own.
Have you ever thought of what will happen if you put Dream Theater and Madonna in a blender and press the smoothie button? Have you ever wondered: Will it blend? Well, guess what? Yes, it blends! And it seems that someone has already done that for you. The band is called Venturia and they are rocking… prog rocking! The band hails from France although you wouldn’t notice, because lead singer Marc Ferreira is actually a New Yorker. “Enter A New Kingdom” is their debut album and they could not have chosen a better name, because this album opens new doors and boundaries for progressive rock. They have managed to fuse progressive rock with a bit pop music, and the result is a great album that rocks… or pops, whichever way you want to look at it.
The first thing that makes you realize that this is no ordinary band is the fact that they’ve got two vocal leaders: Marc Ferreira and Lydie Robin; the second thing: the opening track. It is by far the best of them all, starting with some really aggressive guitar and drums. Before the first minute goes by, you are able to listen to many different styles and progressions. That makes you wonder what this album will sound like, because after it’s done you can’t just figure out what will come next. The song has some really odd guitar parts, and oddly enough, they seem to fit perfectly well with the song. If you want to know what I’m talking about just listen to the solo on this one. This track has some incredible vocals by Ferreira, although I wish I could say the same thing about Mrs. Robin. She just sings Ok, not a big deal.
The next song is entitled “Unholy one”. The song is filled with cool but weird guitar/keyboard parts that become even weirder when Charly Shanona’s tries to emulate Diego Rapacchietti’s drums. The song has a pretty cool main riff and has lots of mood changes: dark song to slow ballad, slow ballad to weird stuff, and weird stuff to even weirder. Another great song on the track list is “Take me down”, which starts with a cool guitar riff and leads you into a slow tempo section followed by some incredible bass tapings nicely laid down by Thomas James. The chorus is one of those that lift you up and really get in you in those “spiritually elevated” states of mind. In this song you can really listen to the drums and the guitar doing almost the same thing (this actually goes on during the whole album), which gives the CD a very cool groove. People are often accustomed to the Guitar-Keyboard harmonies or the Guitar-Guitar ones. But Venturia does not do the ordinary thing, and manages to do Guitar-Drum “duets” quite well.
Since Venturia is a progressive metal band, they just had to have an instrumental track. It’s called “Candle of Hope” and its pretty damn good. One would have wished that Charly Shanona let his fingers loose some more and shred a bit, but instead we get a riff oriented instrumental. But that’s no problem-o, because this track is great. It sounds as if Shanona said to the rest of the guys (and gal): “You know guys (and gal), let’s make an instrumental that’s just plain fun”. And this instrumental is just that: fun!
This band seems to be scared of nothing, because they play with the music in a way I haven’t heard in a long time: they just have fun with it. They don’t play safe, and that definitely pays back. The odd time signatures that don’t sound forced (unlike the new prog wannabes), the weird drum/guitar duets and the delicious vocal combo makes it an extremely good album. The artsy French and the cool Americans have put together an album that is worth listening to if you like to lurk in the progressive metal world.
A new kingdom
Take me down
Candle of hope