KEN mode
Venerable


4.5
superb

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (81 Reviews)
March 16th, 2011 | 121 replies | 15,723 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A re-examination of metalcore.

8 of 9 thought this review was well written

I’m sure we’ve all read our fair share of reviews that begin by saying how much they “loathe” where metalcore has gone throughout the past ten years. Generally speaking, it’s mostly negative criticism that’s about as interesting to read as a five-day-old business section in a newspaper. To further bore the reader, the review than goes on to compare the horrible trash band to the likes of the fabulous three core bands of the sub-genre (Converge, Botch, Coalesce) that are not the untouchable deities hardcore metal fans have praised them to be. Before I start to fall into the typical-metalcore-review clichés, your attention should be drawn to the truth that quality metalcore still does exist without having to name-drop the big three. Mennonite, KEN mode’s third album, is an overlooked metalcore treasure that probably missed ship as a result of the amount of negative attention that metalcore fans were throwing at their beloved music instead of looking for new and innovative bands that are shape-shifting an otherwise stagnant sound. Venerable is KEN mode’s fourth album and first for death/black/ noise label Profound Lore Records, which is an odd choice for a label that is taking heavy metal into unexplored territory. At the same time, this also makes sense why they would be picked up by such an innovative label like Profound Lore due to Venerable’s fresh take on a sub-genre most often criticized for being generic and less forward-thinking.

Not to intentionally destroy the integrity of this review with a typical name-drop, but I would like to point out the bands large step-up from the noisy, hardcore excursions of their debut to their menacing huge sound on Venerable is courtesy of producer Kurt Ballou (Converge axeman/ main songwriter). Like Converge, Ballou knows how to beef up the production while maintaining an obnoxiously noise-packed guitar/ bass sound with a clobbering rhythm section. The rest is left up to KEN mode who cut plenty of swaths through decimating riffs, bass tumbling breaks, and a devastatingly brutal drum pounding. While this description holds up with amazing results throughout Venerable, the huge arsenal of riffs wouldn’t be so spectacular if it wasn’t for a keen knack in the bands song-writing department. When I mention song-writing, I mean KEN mode has a vast approach to dynamics that really makes this album come together so well. “Obeying The Iron Will” is a lesson in how to do post-hardcore properly with an infectious lead that takes the song into a face smashing breakdown (for those of you who are gay and still think breakdowns are still cool to talk about) and further ends in an intense crescendo riff frenzy that would leave any concert go’er exhausted in a live setting. This is just a few of many examples of vibrant musical direction the band has taken in achieving its ultra thick, heavy/ heady sound, but where the band really shines is the sharp contrasts in their sound. Hidden beneath the passages of the songs are disturbingly quite sections that are struck down by powerful blows of fury. The best use of this can be found on Venerable’s centerpiece ‘Never Was’ that stretches it’s eight minutes into a slow-paced grinder of bleak emptiness and mind-crushingly apocalyptic slaughter.

Venerable is more than a metalcore album, it’s an example as to where the sub-genre can pushed with stunning results. To add to the clichés of review writing for metalcore, I would like to add that when future discussions of metalcores big three are mentioned, hopefully KEN mode will become number four.



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user ratings (107)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
March 16th 2011



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So far, the only album of 2011 (in metal) worthy of praise and I really don't like metalcore that much.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2011



17114 Comments


joey showed me these guys a few weeks ago. good shit.

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

Wizard
March 16th 2011



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You would love this Adam.

accompliceofmydeath
March 16th 2011



4083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

(for those of you who are gay and still think breakdowns are still cool to talk about)
crap, I'm gay.

To add to the clichés of review writing for metalcore, I would like to add that when future discussions of metalcores big three are mentioned, hopefully KEN mode will become number four.

Doubt this will happen, but I'm interested in hearing this.


Digging: Crowbar - Crowbar

Willie
Moderator
March 16th 2011



15774 Comments


I've had this promo for awhile and never listened to it. I guess I'll give it a shot.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2011



15976 Comments


Metalcore, eh? Only metalcore I listen to regularly is Unearth and Heaven Shall Burn. Might give this a try, nice to see you still writing.

Digging: Tiamat - Wildhoney

Hep Kat
March 16th 2011



13992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i'm sold bbl with hopefully leet ratings


edit: 1 minute in and already i dig it

Digging: Casanovas In Heat - Belvidere b/w Destiny St.

ButcheredChildren
March 16th 2011



5591 Comments


yah I'll give this a listen

FelixCulpa
March 16th 2011



1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Heard of these guys from Riley Beckenridge (The drummer in Thrice), nevertheless they got a good thing going for them.

ButcheredChildren
March 16th 2011



5591 Comments


hate to neg you Wizard
but the first half of your introduction is cliché talking about cliché metalcore opinion

you definately got me interested in this album though so pos'd

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2011



17114 Comments


parts of this remind me of older Burst stuff before they decided to become Mastopeth.

ButcheredChildren
March 16th 2011



5591 Comments


it reminds me of their "In Coveting Way EP"
which should get more love than it does

Tyler
Emeritus
March 16th 2011



7924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This is awesome, and I'm glad someone reviewed it since I really haven't had time.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2011



15976 Comments


Listened to a track on youtube and it was good, will check out the entire album.

FelixCulpa
March 16th 2011



1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Obeying the iron will is such a great song.

Wizard
March 16th 2011



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

but the first half of your introduction is cliché talking about cliché metalcore opinion

You're the only person to get my sense of humour.

Thank you for the comments.

ButcheredChildren
March 16th 2011



5591 Comments


It helps to know how to read

pizzamachine
March 16th 2011



12568 Comments


Converege, Botch,

Uh-oh.



cvlts
March 16th 2011



8917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what? a 4.5 Wiz review of a metalcore album? i gotta hear this...

Digging: Pedro the Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend

Deathcar
March 16th 2011



1534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Riley from Thrice is always whoring these guys out, and the people repping it on here have good taste...so I think i'ma give this one a listen.

EDIT: yeah, so this is awesome.



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