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Venus Syndrome – Cannibal Star

Venus Syndrome
Cannibal Star
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 13 November 2021, 9:24 AM

VENUS SYMDROME is a relatively new band hailing from France. They started off as a DREAM THEATER cover band. To date, they have released their debut full-length album, and this is their sophomore effort. “Cannibal Star” contains eleven tracks. “Ouverture” leads off the album. It begins with mood-setting tones…low and slow. Keys come in, and suddenly the room brightens. Grey clouds roll in and out of your vision, as the wind picks up. “Dark Side of the Sun” is a mid-tempo song the accentuates the vocalist. He has a raspy but well-controlled voice and can hit the ceiling when he wants to. The instrumentation is lacking just a bit here…a bit too thin. The melodies are fairly strong, however.

“Sideral Groove” opens with thick bass guitar notes, followed by some meter shifting in the rhythms, and some swirling keys. This song is a bit better crafted with a thicker mid-section and well-timed melodies. The darker passage however doesn’t really seem to fit well. “Sun Inside Me” is another mid-tempo song where the vocalist is featured more prominently. Through four tracks, they are on the cusp of really bringing things together, but just falling a bit short. “Golden Mind” begins with keyboards and raspy vocals. But again, that mid-tempo pace cancels nearly everything else. “Empire of the End” begins with charming piano notes among the heavy riff. The melodies here are just a bit odd…unconventional and messy. The piano notes are very nice, but just do not fit into the song.

“Cannibal Star” opens with a groovy, bluesy melody, and the band are sharper here. But it soon falls back into that similar mid-tempo pacing once again that makes it really hard to get into their music. Peaks of great melody shine through here, and I am starting to get frustrated with their lack of consistency. “Breaking the Black Stars” is a bit better constructed but they need to find a way to add some depth into the riffs and the keyboard parts. Again, there are moments of brilliance, but they just can’t find a way to sustain them. “Tunnel of Light” opens with pretty piano notes but a little phasing issues in the other instruments.

“Like a Monster” begins with thick, meaty bass guitar notes but again the riffs are too simple and too often based on open notes. Vocal harmonies are well done, however, as is the guitar solo. “Contaminate Me” closes the album. It’s another song that just doesn't quite capture what they are trying to get across. The chorus is well crafted, but they need to move away from the elementary guitar riffs and feature the keyboards more in my opinion.

Overall, this was a nice listen, but the album fell into some traps that kept it from getting off the ground. For instance, many of the songs suffered from the same mid-tempo pace. This mires down much of the ground they band made with melody and musicianship. The singer is probably the best member of the band, though the other members are sharp from time to time.  They do a pretty good job with the melodies here and there, but perhaps they just didn’t do a good enough job showcasing their prowess. It’s a good album, but they have a good deal of potential that was unused.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ouverture
2. Dark Side of the Sun
3. Sideral Groove
4. Sun Inside Me
5. Golden Mind
6. Empire of the End
7. Cannibal Star
8. Breaking the Black Stars
9. Tunnel of Light
10. Like a Monster
11. Contaminate Me
Lineup:
Florian Guidat – Bass
Thibaud Ponthet – Drums
Ayman Mokdad – Guitars
Rodolfo Lima Sproesser – Keyboards
Emmanuelson Ellipsis – Vocals
Record Label: Rockshots Records
     


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