Venia - In Our Weakness (Bombworks) 2005
1. "Kaipuu" (1:29)
It seems to be a current trend in heavy metal circles to have this operatic female vocals and very goth-influenced music backing her up. Bands like Nightwish and Evanescence are very popular, however, this sort of thing doesn't appeal to me. Having said that, I approached this EP with caution, knowing before hand that most of the vocals were of this persuassion. Well, much to my surprise and delight, I totally enjoyed this CD. First of all, the music is thrashy, heavy metal, not some goth-influenced, pop, metal-wannabe crap. At times the music is pure thrash, while at others there is more classic metal riffing. The female vocals in "Illusion" are quite beautiful and are occassionally contrasted with some harsh death vocals. These are used very sparingly in the song. "The Path" also has female vocalist Veronica Fagerland exchanging her beautiful voice with some harsh, thrash vocals. I can't tell for sure who is doing all the trash vox here, but it almost sound like Veronica may be doing at least some of them. If so, I am very impressed by her range. The lyrics are poetic and speak of spiritual issues. All but one song is sung in English. "Heikko" is the sole song sung in the band's native Finnish language. This song is pure power metal and features some nice melodic guitar work, especially in the bridge of the song between verses. As with the rest of the material, the clean female vocals are mixed with the more extreme thrash-style vocals. Once again, it seems to me that Veronica is doing at least some of the harsh vocals as well as the melodic stuff. Album closer, "No More" starts off as a melancholy ballad complete with violins before building into another heavy number. "In Our Weakness" is a solid first 'official' release from Venia, and is especially impressive since this band is fairly new and very much independent of any real label support.