Dark Fortress
Venereal Dawn


3.5
great

Review

by ExplosiveOranges USER (40 Reviews)
September 4th, 2014 | 66 replies


Release Date: 09/02/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dark Fortress bite off slightly more than they can chew.

Being in a black metal band isn’t easy. From the elaborate live performances (or lack thereof) to the constant debate over the definitive production style for the genre, few black metal bands ever really manage to gain a significant amount of recognition in their careers. For quite a while, Dark Fortress fell under that category. Thirteen years and four albums after their formation, they caught their first break in 2007, with their modestly successful album, Eidolon. Three years later, they released Ylem, an improvement over past albums, and a step forward creatively and commercially for the band. And now here we are, four years later, in 2014, with a new full-length, Venereal Dawn. With this album, Dark Fortress manage to continue their streak of solid black metal records, even in spite of a couple flaws.

When compared to Eidolon or even Ylem, you’ll notice that the production job on Venereal Dawn is significantly different. The sound and mixing is much clearer and more focused on the music itself than relying on atmosphere through ambience or fuzziness. Also, there are a number of tracks, including the title track, that utilize clean vocals, and even one track that contains female vocals. That’s by no means a detriment to the harsher vocal style of Morean, however, as he grunts and rasps his way through the ten tracks with ease. There’s also a stunning amount of variety within the songs, with some (“Betrayal and Vengeance”) focusing more on adding in proggier elements and guitar solos, and others (“Chrysalis”) going for the darker, more atmospheric black metal approach. The acoustic rendition of “The Deep” is also an excellent closer, even if it is on the album twice.

Here’s where the dividing line is going to be, however: There are so many ideas and experiments going on within the songs that some may find it to be too overwhelming or jumbled all over the place. And that’s entirely understandable. This isn’t by any means your run-of-the-mill black metal album with some melody thrown in here and there. With Venereal Dawn, Dark Fortress have embraced their creative side. Does it work out for the better? That entirely depends upon the listener’s preference. There’s a really strong Opeth/Enslaved vibe coming off from the music, so if you enjoy those bands, chances are that you’ll probably enjoy this. If you’re looking for an interesting take on the black metal genre, even if it does break a couple unspoken rules, then you’ll also likely enjoy this. If you’re seeking out that black metal album, the one to completely change the scope of things, or if you disliked the past few records from these guys, then this album is probably not the right one for you. Even so, however, Venereal Dawn is worth at least one listen, if only to find which side of the spectrum you fall underneath.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ExplosiveOranges
September 3rd 2014


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Title track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l5LGrbH-8k

Chrysalis: http://newnoisemagazine.com/exclusive-song-stream-dark-fortress-chrysalis/

Available for streaming on Spotify. Comments and criticism welcome.

Digging: Bloodbath - Grand Morbid Funeral

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 3rd 2014


16113 Comments


track you linked isn't bad makes me want to give the whole thing a decent listen, nice rev

Digging: H.P. Lovecraft - H.P. Lovecraft II

ExplosiveOranges
September 3rd 2014


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, mate. Don't know if you'll really dig, but it's worth a shot.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 3rd 2014


16113 Comments


i dig some black metal but this part you wrote "There are so many ideas and experiments going on within the songs" caught my eye the most

ExplosiveOranges
September 3rd 2014


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

We're not talking Burzum or some shit here, but like I said about 15 times here, it's kinda like a slightly more experimental version of Enslaved.

CaptainDooRight
September 3rd 2014


30251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sweet Pos'd

Gotta chack

Looks koo

ExplosiveOranges
September 3rd 2014


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, Cap. You'll probs dig. Btw, I don't know if I ever got the chance to tell you how much I enjoyed the new Trvth album.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
September 3rd 2014


1672 Comments


Nice, keep these BM reviews coming man. Pos

Digging: Some Some Unicorn - Some Some Unicorn and The Golden Periphery

ExplosiveOranges
September 3rd 2014


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gracias, amigo.

TalonsOfFire
September 3rd 2014


9090 Comments


Was planning on reviewing this today but you saved me the trouble, good job pos'd

Digging: Bloodbath - Grand Morbid Funeral

ExplosiveOranges
September 3rd 2014


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lol, thanks Talons. Did you dig the last few albums?

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
September 3rd 2014


6485 Comments


auto-pos now, will read this review a little later tonight.

Digging: The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

ExplosiveOranges
September 3rd 2014


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's the Judio I know and love. Also, dat dig.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
September 3rd 2014


6485 Comments


best album ever

THIS
IS
THE LOWERCASE PAINKILLAAAAAAAH

TalonsOfFire
September 3rd 2014


9090 Comments


Yeah I love eidolon and ylem lots of nostalgia might review all three of these at some point for fun

ExplosiveOranges
September 3rd 2014


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pfft, who reviews for fun? Also, lol at "Priest".

ScuroFantasma
September 3rd 2014


2428 Comments


"There’s a really strong Opeth/Enslaved vibe"

sweet, I'll check this out then. Great review as usual Explo.

Digging: Behemoth - The Satanist

JohnnyOnTheSpot
September 3rd 2014


1672 Comments


I'm gonna post in the meds thread and suggest your name gets changed to Explo

ExplosiveOranges
September 3rd 2014


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

DON'T DO IT JOHNNY

ScuroFantasma
September 3rd 2014


2428 Comments


It's either that or 'siveOranges'



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