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Venomized – Death Row

Death Row
by Thomas Kumke at 27 March 2022, 4:04 PM

VENOMIZED hailing from Quebec, Canada, were formed in 2017. It is in principle a solo project of Kevin Cross who is part of the local underground Metal scene in Canada for a long time. For fulfilling his dream to write a Death Metal album, he got help from his friend Alex Wolf who played all guitars and also did the mixing and mastering. “Death Row” is an independent release and it has a length of about 33 minutes.

Death Row” is a mixture of traditional and modern Death Metal. The traditional elements are largely based on the Florida Death Metal school. The album starts with “Suffocated”, a fast and direct track with tight guitar riffing, which has a few Thrash Metal vibes, a lot of blast-beats and double-bass drumming, and growling vocals at the low end of the guttural range. “Once Upon A Kill” continues with the same speed and rhythm initially, but has few more complex textures. It includes crunching bass lines and a lead guitar solo which is not overly playful and technical.

The Psychotic Chaos” is the first track at mid-tempo and the guitar work, the bass lines, and the drumming has more enhanced technicality. The guitar riffing is dark and provides a chilling atmosphere. “Desecrated Empire Of Suffering” offers more diversity in tempo, there are parts at blistering pace, which transition into mid-tempo parts. The drumming is essentially a blast-beat assault. The vocals are occasionally multi-layered, with some screams added to the mix. “Excessive Torture” is one of those tracks which start with a sluggish tempo with an almost stomping rhythm. There are frequent transitions to high speed parts. Highlight of the track is the contributing lead guitar solo.

God’s Disease” is a hammering track, which starts at insane speed with flesh-ripping guitar riffing. As the song is driven forward by the relentless double-bass drumming, the tempo is slightly slowed down and more technicality is introduced by the lead guitars and bass, including another good lead guitar solo. The technicality is maintained in “Of Deceit And Perversion”, where the lead guitars are the dominant element for most of the track. “Sadistic Massacre” has a grim start before it transitions into another hammering at incredible pace. Tempo and rhythm frequently change between highly paced and mid-tempo parts. The guitar riffing is kept simple and very direct throughout the track.

The Rusted Cross” has again more technical lead guitar parts, and there are frequent tempo changes going over the whole range from Deathcore inspired down-tempo parts, via mid-tempo parts towards highly paced parts. The song was uploaded as video with the YouTube link given below. “Kill The Living” closes the album and it is with more than five minutes playing time the longest track on the album. It includes longer instrumental guitar parts during the middle and towards the end of the track, which contribute to a gloomy atmosphere. The lead guitar solo is another highlight and it has almost neoclassical features.

I am not quite sure what to make out of “Death Row”. It is a Death Metal album which has a lot of traditional features, but also adds a few technical Death Metal and also Deathcore elements at times. In general, “Death Row” does not stand out from the big pile of Death Metal albums which are released year after year. Kevin Cross delivers a solo album that is raw, simple, and direct including the production. Is “Death Row” something to remember? I am not sure. However, Death Metal fans should give the album a listen and there will be many who will dig the album.

Songwriting:  6
Musicianship:  7
Memorability:  6
Production:  7

3 Star Rating

1. Suffocated
2. Once Upon A Kill
3. The Psychotic Chaos
4. Desecrated Empire Of Suffering
5. Excessive Torture
6. God’s Disease
7. Of Deceit And Perversion
8. Sadistic Massacre
9. The Rusted Cross
10. Kill The Living
Kevin Cross – Vocals, Bass, Drums
Alex Wolf – Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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