Following up their solid 2018 debut album Aspire, Venues are now back with a new lineup in tow and 42 minutes of new material.
The band’s dual vocal approach has never sounded better. Harsh male shouts are complemented by female clean singing, leading to a beauty-and-the-beast effect that works well with the band’s contemporary delivery. Both singers have really potent voices, and their performances are strong.
Solace is, overall, heavier than Aspire. There are more metal elements, from a range of influences old and new, and some of the poppier aspects have been dialled back, (but not removed completely). There are some good riffs here, and I especially like the many molten metal guitar solos and killer leads. The songs remind me of older Atreyu mixed with Lacuna Coil, only brought up to date with more contemporary metalcore influences. Some of the rousing, epic choruses also have a European power metal feel to them in places, which is no bad thing at all.
The songs are well-written and of high quality throughout. Venues balance the mix of heavier metallic elements with the more accessible side of their sound really well, making for infectious, moreish songs. There’s real bite and aggression to many of the heavier parts, while the more melodic and epic sections are frequently anthemic; you can easily imagine these songs being belted out to a large stadium somewhere.
Venues have really stepped up their game since Aspire. Solace moves their sound forward in every department, resulting in an album that’s very enjoyable, catchy, and rewarding for fans of modern metal. If you’re partial to the style then make sure you don’t miss out on this.
Very highly recommended.