|Review: Veneficum - Enigma Prognosis|
Label: Forever Underground
Year released: 2004
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: April 8, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (3 Votes)
Now we have the sons of Dimmu Borgir to cope with. I refuse to classify this as Black Metal, despite similarities to the more 'commercial' sounds of later efforts by such bands as Dimmu and Emperor. So I will term this 'Symphonic'. Black Metal requires that a band have at least some dedication to evil and hatred, and Veneficum have none of that.
Veneficum combine a basic blasty Dimmu sound with some extremely pumped up keys to produce a sound that isn't really new, but is at least a little different. I can't say they are catchy, because they are not, and I can't say they are evil, because they aren't that either. I have to say they handle the melding of symphonic parts with the BM blasts and screeches much better than Dimmu actually manage, and so while the songwriting is chaotic, it isn't an unlistenable mess. Most of these songs are long, as in past the 6 or 7 minute mark, with the exception of a couple of expected short instrumentals. The real abuser here is the last track, which is over 12 minutes of new-age sounding garbage that seems to exist solely to fill out the playing time on this already too-long album. I might have given this album a 3.5 if it were not for that endless bore-a-thon. Then again, maybe not.
This is not bad music, but is not really about anything. I expect Black Metal to have some kind of ethos to it, rather than inane Gothenburger-type ramblings. ("Psychological Misanthropic Mess/Transcending the burial rest/Mentally covered by dirt" – what?) Veneficum are tight and together, and they are obviously doing what they want, but I can't really say what they are trying to accomplish thereby. Musically this is a more melodic Dimmu Borgir, lyrically this is some kind of attempt to mimic Nocturnus, but not very well done. Overall I would have to say Veneficum are interesting, but not really more than that. This is enjoyable enough while it plays (minus track 11) but leaves no trace when it is over.
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