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Venomous Echoes - Writhing Tomb Amongst The Stars review




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Band: Venomous Echoes
Album: Writhing Tomb Amongst The Stars
Style: Black metal
Release date: July 2023


01. Dialated Eye Of Cosms Within
02. Manifestations Of Manic Bestial Visions
03. Tomb Amongst The Stars
04. Writhing And Swirling Extremities
05. Swallowed Into The Eye Of Lies
06. Purification And Body Transformations
07. Unimaginable Being's Creation
08. Irrelevant Malformations Forgotten

With Blut Aus Nord's latest Disharmonium album unleashed upon the world, a new one-man band has emerged to give the experimental atmoblack masters a run for their money: Venomous Echoes. As such an ominous band name might suggest, their debut full-length album is one of the finest metal nightmares you'll encounter this year.

I'm a sucker for Lovecraft's horror stories. So, faced with song names like "Tomb Amongst The Stars" and seeing those writhing tendrils depicted in the eerie cover art, I had a hunch that I'd enjoy this album quite a bit. The Bandcamp page describes the premise of this album's theme, detailing a man trapped within a "putrid tomb" as tentacles continuously tear him apart and reassemble him "to create a better version of himself". This description of gory torture reminds me of the cover art of Autopsy's Severed Survival, depicting a man being torn limb from limb by metal hooks, or the Christlike figure of Lord Mantis's Pervertor having his intestines sucked dry by gruesome alien demons. The vocals on Writhing Tomb Amongst The Stars perfectly capture the deranged sounds of such a tortured man, offering a splendid mix of agonizing wails, lengthy screeches, bestial squeals, thunderous growls, and bone-chilling whispers.

The instrumentation and top-notch production create a cavernous, suffocating experience that makes the listener feel trapped and defeated. Yet, strangely, I find myself incapable of turning off any of the songs once the sonic descent into madness has begun. The style is a mix of blackened and brutal death metal, with the foreboding atmosphere of funeral doom, that relentlessly stomps the listener into submission. Journeying through the tracklist is frightening, yet very enthralling too. My only major complaint is how the final track ends. After the musical storm subsides, it features an audio sample of a conversation between three people about some "surrogate" that undermines the previously established supernatural atmosphere and leaves me more confused than satisfied. However, other than that last part, Venomous Echoes's debut album offers a surprising variety of interesting elements — many of which one can only discern and appreciate after multiple listens.

I'm no expert on dark ambient metal, but, from the few works I've listened to, they seem to be either too monotonously droning or too monotonously abrasive. Thankfully, Writhing Tomb Amongst The Stars isn't filled with uneventful ambience. Instead, it offers a balanced experience of crushing death metal pummeling, unnerving black metal riffing, and suspenseful atmosphere. Venomous Echoes greet your ears with a miasma of sounds and sensations: wild guitar solos contrasting visceral gutturals on track 1; eerie, tranquil melodies at the 4:08-minute mark on track 2 (that are strongly reminiscent of Blut Aus Nord's "Procession of the Dead Clowns"); a satisfyingly oppressive, humming guitar tone in the intro of track 3; disgusting, squelching noises to conclude track 3; and even an intro that could be mistaken for smooth jazz, followed by thunderous drumming, on track 4. This clashing of various sounds creates a deafening dissonance that is backed by underlying, undulating synths throughout. Exposed to this mesmerizing musicianship, I'm lulled into a trance, only to be awoken suddenly and finding myself utterly lost amidst the aural chaos five minutes into track 5. The musicianship is dense, yet the songwriting is quite creative, keeping me fully invested as I anticipate what the next surprise will be. Track 7 even presents vocals from the tentacled creature itself, offering its thanks to its abused victim with an ear-rending, craggy voice drenched in reverb.

In the album booklet, creator Vanweelden states that his album is "a story of body horror of a man going through a transformation, but in the end not changing at all". That might be true for the lyrical theme; after all, the final track is titled "Irrelevant Malformations Forgotten". The music, however, is surely something I will never forget. With its chaotic experimentation and nightmarish soundscapes, the album seems itself a horrifically deformed mutation of what we would ordinarily call music. Venomous Echoes have created some of the most hostile metal I've encountered that still simultaneously manages to remain thoroughly captivating. For those of you who enjoy having your soul ripped apart while your eardrums are battered to pulp, I recommend turning the volume up and soaking in the monstrous maelstrom. Writhing Tomb Amongst The Stars is an album that leaves no listener unchanged. I hope you can make it out alive.



This has been yours truly's 50th review.





Written on 28.08.2023 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 49 users
28.08.2023 - 02:44
Rating: 9
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Nice to see this style of black metal (the swirly, "cavernous," sort of psychedelic brand) has been getting some good expansion lately. At times that makes me skeptical as to whether or not it'll become an overdone sound, like all the Deathspell Omega clones out there now, but I think it's a much harder sound to ape. Something about psych BM nowadays though has a bit less of a "WOW!" factor for me than when I first heard Skaphe, Arizmenda, etc back in the mid - 2010s.

Anyway, great review and powerful debut for this one. One of those albums I can't imagine listening to during the day. Nighttime or thunderstorm jam only. Congrats on your 50th piece as well
----
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

~ II. VII
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28.08.2023 - 06:22
Nejde
Moderator
I'm a bit surprised that you did the review F3ynman since I recommended this album to Apothecary and X-Ray Rod when I found it. Thought it was more up their ally and that one of them would write it. But I see it still ended up in good hands. Very nice review for a thematically not so nice album
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07.09.2023 - 14:17
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Might be your longest review man.
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I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - "Speak English or Die"

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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07.09.2023 - 15:18
Rating: 8
F3ynman
Nocturnal Bro
Contributor
Written by Bad English on 07.09.2023 at 14:17

Might be your longest review man.

It's one of my longer ones. Longest, though? Not even close.
This Venomous Echoes review is 758 words long.
My Necropanther review was 761 words long.
My Acherontas review was 985 words long.
My Bolt Thrower review was 1,032 words long.
And my Japanische Kampfhörspiele review was 1,046 words long.

So, I think my Japanische Kampfhörspiele review is my longest review to date.
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15.09.2023 - 15:40
Rating: 8
musclassia
Staff
Written by F3ynman on 07.09.2023 at 15:18

Written by Bad English on 07.09.2023 at 14:17

Might be your longest review man.

It's one of my longer ones. Longest, though? Not even close.


He's commented that a few times on my reviews, normally when it's not been accurate

This album is fucked up, I missed it when it came out - demented black metal with some other death/extreme metal elements, atmospheric parts, and a wackiness to the songwriting. It's the kind of the album that I can't say I necessarily enjoy listening to, but which I find myself very impressed by while I am listening to it.
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15.09.2023 - 15:44
Nejde
Moderator
Written by musclassia on 15.09.2023 at 15:40

This album is fucked up, I missed it when it came out - demented black metal with some other death/extreme metal elements, atmospheric parts, and a wackiness to the songwriting. It's the kind of the album that I can't say I necessarily enjoy listening to, but which I find myself very impressed by while I am listening to it.


You're not meant to enjoy it. It should be an agonizing experience, but in a good way
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28.11.2023 - 11:19
Rating: 8
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Contributor
Excellent review for quite a remarkable album
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