The heavy scene in Germany is real and a lot of amazing bands hail from the western European country. Venues, from Stuttgart, want to become a household name with their debut, Aspire (Aspiring Empires.)
With four years under their belt, Venues know what they are doing with this debut. At first listen, the vocals are soft, serene and then from out of nowhere they sucker punch your eardrums at full force. The different tones in the guitar work and how it parallels the drumming in first track ‘We Are One’ introduces you to the catchy heavy pop-rock vibes found throughout the album.
Lead vocalist Robin steals the show in this album, his voice has strong undertones that carry smoothly with a pop finesse to them, yet it is the guitar work by Toni and Constantin make the album strong, all of which is evident in ‘Lights’, where the song has a softer, melancholic ending.
‘The Longing’ showcases strong vocals as well but this time second vocalist Nyves comes in strong. The song is more hardcore and the different elements of the song shine through. Fans of Bullet For My Valentine would appreciate this track. The guitar solo here is keen to all the elements of hardcore that bring it to a climax at the end.
‘Fading Away’ is the song that brings the energy and groove. Epic vocals are harmonized with the progression of the guitars that are delivered with the metalcore angst—united with hard-hitting percussion. Metal fans will enjoy ‘Dilemma’ with its technical guitar and harder, vocals that take you into a hook in the chorus driven by the male vocals. The strings and clean rhythm in ‘My True North’ come in softly until the guitar turns it up a notch. Delivered in a perfect harmony and still aggressive enough, the song is catchy and simple enough to be enjoyable.
Venues are a toned down, post-hardcore version of Lacuna Coil and will remind you of Flyleaf at times, but with something new and fresh about them. Aspire is a combustion of strong vocals, great technical guitar melodies on solid drums that flow nicely from beginning to end.