VENTURIA - HYBRID (2008, LION MUSIC)
Marc Ferreira - vocals
Lydie Robin - vocals
Charly Sahona - guitars, keyboards
Thomas James - bass
Diego Rapacchietti - drums
Back in 2006, Lion Music released a series of great albums from their roster. That year was one of their best in terms of quality releases. Two of those bands came from France, the first was Hauteville
, the second - Venturia. We haven't seen a follow-up from the former, but the latter return with their latest 'Hybrid', which follows on from their impressive 'The New Kingdom', which was reviewed by us at time, receiving a healthy 9/10 rating (see link below). The line-up remains intact, as does their unique modern prog metal sound. If you took away the heavy guitars of Charly Sahona, I'm certain that Venturia would sound completely different, and hence the album title 'Hybrid' is quite an appropriate term. There are loads of modern angles applied to this album much like an Architect's design operandi. The dual male/female vocal contrast adds further interest. Call it 'ying and yang', and overall there is more equal duality to the shared vocal approach than say a band like Nightwish
. To be fair, neither Marc Ferreira and Lydie Robin's voices are typical of the hard-core prog metal movement. Both have voices at the lighter (dare I say it) 'pop' end of the spectrum, it's just that the Venturia attack is based heavily on Sahona's guitar wotk and a big rhythm section.
It doesn't take long for Venturia to reach cruising speed, as 'Swearing Lies'
is quickly into gear courtesy of Sahona's super fast riffing. The tempo of this track changes quite a bit throughout, where the slower sections feature everything from bass popping, modern keyboard sequences and near spoken word vocal.
The shared vocal is apparent on 'Be The One'
, also the contrast between the two. In parts, Marc is nearly performing a rap improvisation, while Lydie provides the harmonic foil. The guitars and back-end are heavy as anything.
is captured fury at its best. The changeable sections within this track make for a colorful musical experience - including neat arpeggio sequences, French vocal interludes from Lydie, and some rapid fire drumming.
Opening up with a growling bass line, 'Pearls Of Dawn'
operates at half pace compared to the tracks gone before. Easily, this compares favorably with other modern commercial metal heard on radio currently.
The most unusual track on the album is 'Will You Save Me'
. The structure and layers are very deep. One moment we are in full on 'metal mode' with double kick drums blazing away, the next we are hearing symphonic elements with will 'o' the wisp vocals from Lydie. Change up's galore to be sure.
Continuing in the same vein is the melodic 'Sparkling Rain'
, which throws out comparisons to the magical British band Iona
, particularly Lydie's vocals. Nice track, certainly one of their less metal moments on the album.
Once you get past the stop/start intro of 'Hottest Ticket In Town'
, the track returns to the prog metal bombast of the earlier tacks. Sahona's lead guitar work is superb.
I enjoyed 'Love Gamers', mainly due to its racy nature, interesting vocal sections and the 'hot' (i.e. metallic) and 'cold' (milder moments) contrast.
'Why This Womens Life'
is Lydie Robin's 'moment' on the album. The title would suggest a feminine angle for this track, and so it proves. A dramatic affair, which features classical and symphonic elements wrapped around Lydie's passionate vocal delivery.
Just to ensure Venturia don't depart on a mellow note, 'Sublimated Dementia'
powers out of the 'Hybrid' musicverse with prog metal ambitions on overload, ensuring that a third payload (album) is on the cards in a year or twos time.
This is another solid release from this French outfit. Glad to see them back. Would be better to see them out playing live somewhere, rather than being stuck in a studio. Along with the latest Seventh Wonder
opus 'Mercy Falls', it seems Lion Music are back to the 2006 glories. Well done!
01 Swearing Lies
02 Be The One
03 Running Blind
04 Pearls Of Dawn
05 Will You Save Me
06 Sparkling Rain
07 Hottest Ticket In Town
08 Love Gamers
09 Why This Womens Life
10 Sublimated Dementia
Venturia - 2006 The New Kingdom
Venturia - 2008 Hybrid
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