Nearly four years after the amazing previous album ”Black Gives Way To Blue”, I catch myself feeling remorse for giving it only 8.5/10 in a pathetic effort to look objective and prevent me from praising the album the way it deserved.
Venturia is a female fronted progressive metal band from France who are releasing their third album called “Dawn Of A New Era“. Their other two albums are “Hybrid” released in 2008 and “The New Kingdom” in 2006.
Venturia is just the second real progressive metal band with female vocals after To-Mera. Of course I have listened to bands like Epica and After Forever which may have some progressive elements but I dont think they can be considered as real progressive metal bands. Also, this album is the first one I am hearing from them.
What makes me very excited before I even listen the album is that they have Franck Hermanny on bass which is one of my favourite bass players, he is mostly known from his main and absolutely amazing band Adagio. I am also playing bass so it’s always very exciting to hear this amazing musician play. I am a big fan of progressive music and not only from progressive metal but from the 70’s prog rock ’till the newerbands that come out so it is always great to discover some new cool prog bands like Venturia.
Musically, the album has a very modern feel to it, with some very nice and modern sounding keys, to go along with some very strong guitar work and giving also a bit of an alternative metal feel to it. Franck Hermanny’s bass work is also stunning for one more time. In the most songs the heavier parts are at the beginning of the songs and the instrumental sections in the middle, while in between the emphasis is on the melodies and giving so perfect ground for the vocals to shine. There’s a nice variety to the songs, with some of them focusing a bit more on the technical side, showing what guitarist/keyboardist Charly Sahona can do, while others are much more accessible, even a bit commercial sounding.
Vocal duties are mostly handled by the lovely Lydie Lazulli, but there are some parts where Charly also sings, whenever Lydie sings she carries the songs with the strength of her very sweet voice, and fits in wonderfully on the more melodic passages but when she has to add more power she handles it well too, on the other hand Charly has a weaker voice so you don’t get stunned but it isnt bad either, it’s ok.
The album begins with “Devil In Disguise”, one of the heavier songs, which includes a bit of the alt metal influence.
Sadly Charlie’s singing on the verses is a bit weak but once Lydie beautiful voice takes over you get stunned and fall in love with her amazing voice. The first song also has really great keyboard work on the album which are giving a very modern feel to the song. The first three songs are quite enjoyable but the I think the first real highlight which you get amazed is “What We’re Here For”, a song which keeps great balances between the progressive and the commercial side, with some more complex-progressive sections delivering us an amazing chorus.
Up next is maybe the most commercial song on the album, “What If I?”. It must be the most accessible of all, I can even imagine that because of the chorus, it is very easy-listening, it could be even played on the radio. The most progressive song of all is the closing track, “A Land Of Dreams”, which is a really beautiful track in which the keys also give it an atmospheric feel. Both vocalists have some space, but there are some very good instrumental passages packed into the seven minute track, by far the longest on the album.
In conclustion, “Dawn Of A New Era” is a great melodic progressive metal album, which strikes a nice balance between the more technical side of the genre and a more accessible approach. Because of this great mix and average length of the album (39 Minutes) and the great female melodic singing, I think even the non-proggers might enjoy this album. This is a band we must keep an eye on.
|Track List||Line Up||01. Devil in Disguise
02. Secret Dream
03. A New Dawn Rising
04. What We’re Here For
05. What If I?
07. Spiritual Path
08. A Land of Dreams
|Franck Hermanny – Bass
Lydie Robin – Vocals
Charly Sahona – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Frédéric Marchal – Drums