Released: 2014, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
German melodic black metal veterans Dark Fortress have celebrated their 20th anniversary with the release of seventh studio album VENEREAL DAWN. If you’re a lover of the melodic and atmospheric this is one release you want to listen to as it has the band’s signature sound down to a tee.
The opening track will remind you of Cradle of Filth’s early days without the keyboards and it takes the band’s fairly anti-christian aesthetic to a new level with a whole choir of backing singers. Fans of all occult themed music will love ‘Lloigor’ and ‘Chrysalis’ for their ghoulish presentation and elements of the gothic.
A prevailing theme of the album centres around a worshipper losing their life and soul to whichever god or Gnostic ritual they got caught up in and are now trapped on the left hand path. ‘Betrayal of Vengeance’ mixes very gentle elements of shoegazing and has a nice wall of sound to paint the grim picture of the album’s concepts.
Later tracks ‘The Deep’, ‘Odem’ and ‘Luciform’ have a more traditional black metal sound with plenty of shredded tremolos and catchy as hell blast beats. I also enjoyed the piano on end track ‘On Fever Wings’ so the foundations of the album hold up firm.
The only things I didn’t like were the lengths of the song. 11 minutes is ok for an opening track but I don’t think it’ll keep the listener hooked long enough to make them want to jump onto the next one. Plus I felt the openings on each track were all too similar. But I enjoyed how the album leaps from a more raw vibe to complete melodies of esoteric activity. One very pleasing output from a very well meaning band.
Review by Demitri Levantis