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Venues - Aspire

by Jon Conant at 01 September 2018, 3:19 PM

Soft and melodic metalcore out of Germany VENUES are here with their debut album "Aspire", and for better or for worse they are definitely bringing a unique approach in 2018. Vocals are split between Robin on cleans and Nyves on screams, creating familiar contrast that we've heard before, further accentuated with an overall melodic approach where the less aggressive and more rock oriented guitars take a slight backseat to the emo synth waves over top of everything. They pull it off well enough. It's definitely stale and derivative from a certain point of view, but if you vibe with this style there's a lot to love.

They do some unexpected things and in an un-compromising way, they don't break out of their style unnecessarily. A great example is during typical breakdown moments after the 2nd chorus, while they do kind of do breakdowns, they are toned back a ton, staying very melodic, and the harsh vocals almost start to sound like rap ("We Are One" and "Lights" are great examples of this), and it all works together very cohesively. I can't say that I personally loved it from a style standpoint, daddy loves that nasty breakdown jam, but it was cool and unique and they didn't try to fuck around and dip their toes into both worlds. I respect the art of committing to their style, and if you do like that style, you're gonna be all over it. Even the heaviest breakdown in "Fading Away" is still more toned back, but it sounds great and that song is a highlight of the album for sure.

Other highlights for me included "Dilemma" which was aggressive and epic, and anchored everything nicely in the middle at track 6, especially after a soft beginning half and particularly balladic track 5 "The Epilogue". I also enjoyed "Nothing Less" and "Silence" quite a bit, providing a lot of depth in the back end of the album with trying out new atmospheres and bringing a different feeling of aggression and angst.

The vocals definitely are the highlight of this album. Robin and Nyves trade off between their styles with ease and it all sounds very seamless. The melodic and rap-like nature of their music is definitely the foundation of their sound, and it's anchored nicely with the vocals. There's not a lot going wrong, I'd love Nyves to be brought out in the mix in a different way, but that's just personal preference.

Overall, it's a solid debut from newcomers that want to bring something fresh to the table, and do success to an extent, falling within a certain range of style preference. They experiment quite a bit and try lots of things, but within that limited style, so it is less accessible in that way. The entire album is very melodic, very synth, very angst, and definitely catchy. Hopefully they keep trying new and innovative things and push their sound forward, I'd love to see them stay away from a sophomore slump the next time around and just keep growing. They've started things off on the right footing.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. We Are One
2. Lights
3. The Longing
4. Fading Away
5. The Epilogue
6. Dilemma
7. My True North
8. Star Children
9. Nothing Less
10. Shades Of Memory
11. Silence
12. Ignite
Nyves - Vocals
Robin - Vocals
Constantin - Guitar
Toni - Guitar
Flo - Bass
Dennis - Drums
Record Label: Arising Empire


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Edited 30 November 2022

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