Reviewed: October 2021
Released: 2021, Iron Bonehead Productions
Reviewer: Kira Levine
After releasing a split with Belgium’s Possession two years ago, Venefixion are unleashing their first full-length record, named A Sigh From Below. Founded in France, the metal quintet have had a productive eight years.
“On the boil since their formation in 2013, the French cult of VENEFIXION have been patiently perfecting their Metal of Death over the course of three wisely parceled-out short-lengths: 2015’s Defixio demo, 2016’s Amorican Deathrites EP, and a split mini-album with Belgian comrades POSSESSION in 2019, all courtesy of IRON BONEHEAD. Within those quick-hitting blasts of morbidity exists a refreshingly rotten style of death metal – undeniably ancient, but strangely also modern, arriving at a timeless sound that still suggests more morbid mastery.”
The intro is surprisingly futuresque, with most excitement from following track “Veneficial Upheaval” caused by the vocals and some riffs towards the end.
“Of Wolves And Ghosts” is a lot more riveting, and it is plain to see why it was chosen as the first single from the release. There’s plenty of variation here, while also creating an accurate representation of the song title. Lyrically, “Summoned And Defiled” is a highlight, with some interesting tempo changes to match. In the same fashion as track two, the solos arrive just before the track closes, which makes the instrumentation quite predictable.
“Subterranean Deathspell,” a rather beautiful piece, feels a little stranded on its own among these heavy tracks. It definitely could have added some intrigue to a previous track (such as “Ways To The Netherworld” or “Clavicula Salomonis“), had it been worked into one of them. Penultimate song “Aghori’s Ashes Of The Dead” livens things up again, but ceases to bring anything strikingly new to A Sigh From Below.
“As Light Goes Away” does its job as an album closer by being the most grandiose of the nine songs, and even the vocal performance becomes more varied. At over seven minutes long, it really expands on what “Of Wolves And Ghosts” has to offer.
While this won’t be the most original LP you will hear this year, it is worth a listen if you like bands such as Necrowretch, Tribulation, and Vampire (Swe).
A Sigh From Below is out now! Available from Venefixion‘s Bandcamp.
2. Veneficial Upheaval
3. Of Wolves And Ghosts
4. Ways To The Netherworld
5. Clavicula Salomonis
6. Summoned And Defiled
7. Subterranean Deathspell
8. Aghori’s Ashes Of The Dead
9. As Light Goes Astray
K. Desecrator – drums
Reiðō Zweit Eveno – guitars
J. Obscene – guitars
Max Abomination – bass
R. Cadaver – vocals