Venowl must hate journalists. It’s the only explanation – why else would they put out music simultaneously this compelling and this hard to positively describe, if not to frustrate the people whose job it is to do exactly that. I really want you to know how great Patterns Of Failure (self-released) is, but I have no idea how to put it across in words. Those devious bastards.
Starting with the crudest genre-labels then, the three long tracks on Patterns Of Failure essay an abstract, deconstructed form of Sludge/Doom which borders on outright Noise. Feedback-drenched guitars, drums and piercing shrieked vocals are the core musical building blocks, but how they are deployed is unusual even within their niche genre. Rather than mashed together into a sprawling whole as you might expect, each track follows its own discrete journey from beginning to end, moving through often very intricate shapes while retaining the same punishing tempo and pitch-black tone.
Time, then, for Lazy Journalism trick #2 – comparisons. There are a fair few bands that can be meaningfully name-dropped here, but none are a perfect match; Wormphlegm playing Ehnahre songs, or Grave Upheaval watching snuff movies at Khanate’s house with a crate of ketamine? Sabazius if they squeezed all eleven hours of Descent Of Man into fifty-five minutes?
The very best Noise music, I was told once by a fan of the genre, is that which sounds entirely structured in its chaos – creating the impression not of pure randomness but of an order which is too arcane for the listener to easily engage with, but yet is clearly there. That’s perhaps the greatest quality of Patterns Of Failure, along with the fact that something is always “happening” in the music. It would be too easy for an album like this to sit on its hands recycling empty feedback and looking smug, but there’s a real depth to what Venowl achieve here – a depth which captivates even as it frustrates the ability to describe it.
Quite simply – every other tactic having failed – Patterns Of Failure is one of the most distinctively horrible things you’ll hear all year.
Venowl on Facebook