Released: 2006, Lion Music
Where has this band been all my life? Even though they were formed in 2000, Venturia's first album is here in 2006, and I just can't get enough. Despite a slight poppy flavor, the technical prog structure and awesome melodies are what makes Venturia one of the greater brand new prog bands on the scene.
Track one, "New Kingdom," can be described in one word: amazing. The male and female vocals compliment each other perfectly, and the label's comparison of Marc Ferreira's voice to pop group Savage Garden's vocalist is quite accurate. Trust me, that's a good thing. There's a taste of Dream Theater virtuosity here as well. This song just sets the stage for what is to come.
There's such a variety of styles here. They go from simple rock, to super heavy, to crazy technical, to soft acoustic, all throughout this album. When a band can do that without it sounding like they took random parts and stuck them together, that's true songwriting skill. A great example of this is "Words of Silence." Just when you're thinking this might be a boring slow song, they pick it up with some heavy prog.
There is very little negative to say about THE NEW KINGDOM. The only thing that stands out in my mind is one tiny but very sloppy guitar solo moment in the middle of the instrumental, "Candle of Hope Through a Night of Fears." Otherwise, Venturia's first album is a star among all releases of 2006.