Though Venture 86 initially bought a foothold within the early aughts Christian heavy scene (extra particularly rapcore, however who’s splitting hairs?), the Orange County export frequently proved heavier and darker than many bands they shared cabinets with at Christian bookstores. In reality, albums just like the austere, hard-riffing Songs to Burn Your Bridges By (2003) proved too unfiltered for the trade (therefore its preliminary unbiased launch). Venture 86 truly put their final three albums out on their very own. This independence permits them to push themselves previous nu-metal, rapcore, post-hardcore and past. It definitely explains how they might bid farewell with a double idea album a couple of technocratic dystopia. The story’s first half, OMNI, incorporates Venture 86‘s heaviest, most complicated music up to now.
Such a densely story-driven album places the writing chops of vocalist Andrew Schwab on full show. It is no surprise he wrote OMNI in book form as properly. His wordplay in opener, “Apotheosis,” successfully units the stage for humanity on the precipice of finishing the Nietzschean loss of life of God via technological development: “As soon as the writer… We exchange you with an algorithm.” That is the sort of drama wanted for a crescendo of brittle synths and lumbering detuned chugs.
As vocoded chants give technique to voracious screams, Venture 86 has clearly stopped being “heavy, for a rock band.” To that impact, “Digital Sign” comes via with double-kick, syncopated fretwork and enraged howls. Their tackle melodic metalcore shares a digital penchant with the likes of Code Orange, whereas retaining sufficient accessibility for long-time followers.
Additionally like newer Code Orange releases, Venture 86 makes use of digital parts unapologetically, however not obnoxiously. For each synth line keyboardist/guitarist Darren King supplies in “0 _ 1,” there’s an agile guitar arpeggiation for bombastic breakdown for him to lock into with Blake Martin. Contemplating Martin’s time in Haste The Day and A Plea For Purging, it is no shock his riffs usually veer towards 2000s Strong State Information steeze. “Metatropolis” truly doubles down on this stylistic present with chaotic beat switches, however these large, marching chug riffs that take the cake as they explode like mortar shells. Whereas “Metatropolis” rides the beatdown amid harrowing synth leads, the down part of “0 _ 1” highlights the intricacy of the album’s manufacturing. It additionally gives the hushed, cleanly sung facet of Schwab‘s vocals, versus his newly-adopted guttural model.
Venture 86 just isn’t the primary band to deal with heady sci-fi philosophizing. It has develop into a little bit of a staple of heavy music. The distinction right here turns into how the band elaborates on ideas and builds a world with out bogging down the songs in pretension. Take the three interlude tracks, as an example, that are greater than filler or palate cleansers. By way of the usage of fake public service bulletins, the darkish ambiance of “Consumer Settlement” and glitched electronica of “Belief the Science” respectively illustrate the promoting of 1’s physique and soul to THE OMNI’s synthetic intelligence, and the restructuring of society after computing a technique to cheat loss of life. These sentiments crystalize in the course of the spoken phrase passage “Icarus / Prometheus: “In a digital realm of our personal invention/ Your fallen sons and your creation united in a single function/ To bypass the final word terror: mortality.”
The weightiness of OMNI‘s subject material is way from a crutch for the songs. The hits preserve coming with the apocalyptic string bends and seismic drops of “When the Belfry Speaks.” This is not even simply intense by Venture 86 requirements, because the guitarists’ backside string abuse reaches ranges that’d make many a djentle-man envious. The one-to-1000 dynamic shifts are match to stage mountains, layering atonal noise, and demented screams and pressing spoken phrase diatribes. It is extra akin to Author & Punishment than something nu-metal. Even so, an actual curveball comes via “Tartarus Kiss,” an inexplicable foray into lower-case goth rock. Dreary chords and piano drizzling adorn a sluggish drum look—like Large Assault with Schwab‘s baritone drawl channelling his internal Micheal Gira (sure, Venture 86 could be in comparison with Swans now).
Schwab really pulls out the stops throughout “Pores and skin Job,” as he bridges Chester Bennington-esque distorted singing and painful snarls with that basic post-hardcore talk-singing. However actually, that is to maintain up with the progressive flip the association takes. Drummer Abishai Collingsworth achieves the Meshuggah method of constructing 4/4 beats sound insanely difficult, and that applies to the guitar riffs as properly. It is odd to match nerdy Swedish groove-meisters like Vildhjarta and Venture 86, however the band pulls it off—from the gut-rumbling low-end assault to the eerie, spectral bridge part.
“Spoon Walker” might begin as a simple metalcore slugfest, however its tasteful rhythm modifications preserve the central riff as recent as its panicked dissonance and theatrical vocal tirades. However then… the doom steel arrives. No sooner has the music’s mid-section light into droning soundscapes when it will get sucked down a sinkhole of suffocating sludge. It is an apt backdrop for Schwab‘s depiction of a forsaken deity wreaking vengeance on a world languishing within the penalties of its vanity: “I’m develop into loss of life the destroyer of worlds/ There can be no ruins/ No hint of your failed try to abominate me.” It is no shock that allusions to J. Robert Oppenheimer pair so properly with bone-shaking chords and trudging drums.
With the ominous outro “Tears in Reign,” Schwab embodies the voice of a remnant after societal fallout, seeing the destruction attributable to humanity’s try to develop into immortal as “A reminder… That Past your limits of dominion/ Indwells the arbiter of devastation.” It is a sobering reminder, as the fashionable age usually looks as if a race to create an artificial utopia. However then, Schwab‘s phrases would not have hit as arduous if Venture 86 hadn’t used that narrative machine to launch their finest album up to now. In reality, it may be for the very best that the album’s upcoming second half (to be introduced) is projected to have a lighter sonic contact, because it appears these guys have reached the apex of their most punishing parts.