By Aaron J. Marko
What is there to say about black metal? Without the hyperbolic missives of underpaid journalists wistfully remembering the first time they heard Behemoth, it seems like there is very little new to be discussed. Save for groups like Liturgy or Deafheaven, who often invoke the spirited critiques typically saved for old Nintendo games on the Internet, the genre is at its happiest when at its most masturbatory. The 10-minute epics of grim and frostbitten wilds, tremolo picked at a fury atop blast beats with production as grim and frostbitten as the subject matter.
Stench certainly adheres to the mould of sexless and aggressive. It’s easy to be dismissive of Venture. With workhorse musicianship, the sonic palette hardly wavers from the typical. Even with doomy post-rock flourishes, the Swedish three-piece relies heavily on the tropes of black metal. However, with a strong focus on song structures, Stench do manage to elevate themselves. Even with the hefty nine-minute “Celebration,” Venture is certainly tighter than the average black metal band.
However, Venture simply isn’t anything we haven’t heard before. As effortless as the musicianship is, the songs don’t feel as compelling as they could be. The band finds themselves too bogged down in genre aesthetic. While certainly worth a listen for fans of black metal, Venture is an ultimately forgettable experience.Stench, Venture