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Venus 5 – Venus 5

Venus 5
Venus 5
by Thomas Kumke at 04 July 2022, 6:03 AM

Formed in 2021, VENUS 5 is one of the Frontier Records rather unusual projects: take five female vocalists from five European countries and put them together with a few experienced Metal musicians and producers. The project is based on the well-known concept in Pop Music and adapted for Metal. While the name of the project is surely not the most creative one, some of the vocalists have their own band history. Swedish Terese “Tezzi” Persson (INFINITE & DIVINE) and Italy’s Greta Di Iacovo (SICK N’ BEAUTIFUL) are the front runners here. The quintet is completed by Slovenia’s Karmen Klinc, Serbia’s Jelena Milovanovic, and Albania’s Erina Seittlari. On the producing and songwriting end, Aldo Lonobile (SECRET SPHERE, SWEET OBLIVION), Jake E. (CYRHA, ex-AMARANTHE), and Stefan Helleblad (WITHIN TEMPTATION) are those to be mentioned. The album has a length of about 42 minutes and it was released via Italian Metal label Frontier Records.

Lioness” is the opener of the album, and it starts with powerful guitar riffing underpinned by electronic keyboard effects at mid-tempo. The melodies are catchy particularly during the chorus sections. The electronic/Pop elements are present throughout the track, but kept more in the background. Dominating instruments are the guitars. The vocals are Rock oriented, ranging from deeper to higher pitched tunes, and are very well suited to the heaviness to the track. “The Simulation” is a bit slower than mid-tempo and carried by the crunching bass lines. While the bass is the leading instrument, the guitars join in during the chorus section. “The Simulation” include a contributing lead guitar solo. “Nothing But A Heartache” is the first ballad-esque song on the album. It is slow, at a measured tempo with epic, sing-along chorus vocal lines and it has acoustic guitar and piano contributions.

Bride With Opened Eyes” starts with electronic samples, before it transitions into powerful and epic guitar riffs accompanied by orchestral arrangements. The arrangements are driven by the strings, but stay mostly in the background. The vocal melodies remind a lot on AMARANTHE with the difference that the vocals are deeper than those of Elize Ryd. “Monster Under Your Bed” is one of those tracks that is driven by the catchiness of the vocal melodies. The guitar riffing is heavy and the vocals during the verse parts contain some harsh vocal lines and are a bit more distinguishable compared to the other tracks. “Monster Under Your Bed” has also some symphonic features. While the song is meant to be an easy-to-listen track, it contains a couple of breaks with oriental vibes that do not really fit in. Without those breaks, it would have been a perfect anthem.

Inside” starts slow, but transitions into a mid-tempo track. Driven by the guitars, bass, and drums, there are a few strings and a piano supporting the track in the background. The short lead guitar solo perfectly fits in. “Tom And Ms Amy Lee” is another catchy track at mid-tempo with sing-along choruses and nice melodies. Perhaps one word on the vocals. To me, all five vocalists sound very similar without distinct vocal features. In principle, the album could have been recorded with one vocalist and a few background singers. I feel that this is a missed opportunity. The album (or the band) would have benefitted from a few vocalists with more contrasting clean voices/techniques.

Because Of You” is a guitar driven song with orchestral arrangements which are a bit more prominent. “We Are Dynamite” starts with electronic effects, before a mix of powerful guitar riffing and keyboard parts take over. It is one of the heavier songs on the album and highlight is the extended lead guitar solo. Played at mid-tempo, the song is written to be a sing-along track and no surprise, it is the official single release of the album with the YouTube link given below. “Save You” is another one of the slower songs and it could be a song on any AMARANTHE album, if the vocals were more distinctive. It is a good song with cool melodies and the lead guitars being the highlight of the track. The album closes with “Bury Me” and the keyboard parts take center stage here beside the guitars. The main vocals are more versatile here and include a few harsh vocal lines. “Bury Me” is one of the few tracks where the vocals are dominant and are the highlight of the song.

VENUS 5 is an interesting experiment. The songwriting line-up gave some ideas what to expect from the debut album and “Venus 5” is an easy-to-listen and catchy melodic Metal album which includes a lot of elements of the songwriter’s previous experiences. They take a well-tried approach to melodic Metal with symphonic elements. The songs are well written as far as the melodic and instrumental parts are concerned. VENUS 5, however, is about the five vocalists, and unfortunately, they are often not the focal point of the songs. With five vocalists, I would have hoped for more versatility, more distinguishable voices. With a couple of exceptions, they pretty much sounded the same. The album is well produced. Leaving the five-vocalist concept aside, “Venus 5” is still a good album and some of the songs have their moments. Whether the VENUS 5 project is a long lasting one, remains to be seen.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Lioness
2. The Simulation
3. Nothing But A Heartache
4. Bride With Blackened Eyes
5. Monster Under Your Bed
6. Inside
7. Tom And Ms Amy Lee
8. Because Of You
9. We Are Dynamite
10. Save You
11. Bury Me
Lineup:
Terese “Tezzi” Persson – Vocals
Greta Di Iacovo (a.k.a. Herma) – Vocals
Karmen Klinc – Vocals
Jelena Milovanovic – Vocals
Erina Seittlari – Vocals
Stefan Helleblad – Guitars
Aldo Lonobile ­ Guitars
Gabriele Robotti ­ Guitars
Alfonso Mocerino – Drums
Dann Arisi – Bass
Antonio Agate ­ Keyboards, Piano, Electronic Arrangements
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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