Veneficum

Picture of Veneficum

Promo 2000 [Demo]

Veneficum - Promo 2000 Demo ©2000 Self-Released
1. The Torture Of Existence Pt. 1
2. Majesty In Chaos
3. Deliverance
4. The Offering

Coming from the midwest but with a Mexican connection, Veneficum offers a short twenty minute look at their style of Nordic symphonic black metal on Promo 2000. The band incorporates a sound that has a touch of Cradle of Filth without quite as much theatrics, but more towards the vibe of Dimmu Borgir's Stormblast or the first ...And Oceans album. The disc starts out with a standard "spooky" ambient sound effect intro, giving the promo three actual tunes to explore. As one might expect from what amounts to a demo, the guitars are reduced to tinny little critters, while the vocals are just a touch too forward in the mix for my comfort. The keyboards are well-placed and provide a decent melodic undercurrent. All three songs tend to utilize a lot of standard black metal song structure and don't particularly set themselves apart. However, none of the songs here are done so poorly that you can completely discard this band. Given the fact that this band is still in an embryonic stage, Promo 2000 shows some promise and some talent at work. I'd love to see the band base more of their music around their keyboardist and hopefully come up with something more remarkably unique in the future.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2000

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Dysphoria EP

Veneficum - Dysphoria ©2001 Forever Underground
1. Grace Overthrown
2. A Releasement Black Aura
3. Twisted Emotional Silence
4. The Manifestation Nocturne
5. Overture Bizarre

Hot on the heels of their Promo 2000 demo from last year, Illinois' Veneficum has released their debut upon the world. If one didn't know better, one would immediately assume this band is derived from some remote Norwegian locale with their blend of hypercore symphonic black metal. This style was first demonstrated on their demo from last year and this release finds them receiving much better production that gives the guitars a considerable amount of bite and an overall swirling maelstrom of musical activity. Veneficum still often reminds me of Dimmu Borgir around the Stormblast or Enthroned Darkness Triumphant Era with perhaps each band member drinking a triple espresso before practice. The band's overall sound and playing is extremely tight and there is a good amount of clarity that many lesser bands lose by trying to incorporate too much technicality or brutality.

Veneficum's debut may not come across as the most original or groundbreaking release in ages, but they pull off their chosen style very well and for fans of the symphonic black metal, Dysphoria is a recommended release.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2001

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