Local rockers Venus Invictus have returned to the studio and come up with two new tracks to compliment their first composition as a group, released last fall, titled “Let’s Not Lose Our Heads,” and ended up finding their voice.
Amanda Tattermask (vocals), Josh Wright (guitar), Jim Saj (drums), “Tim” (cello), and Harlynn Spectra (bass) formed Venus Invictus after the untimely end of Tattermask, a Charlotte hard rock/metal tradition. “Let’s Not Lose Our Heads” demonstrated that this new project would keep the heaviness that Tattermask was known for, but was going to amp up the sound by including new atmospherics and orchestral instruments. With an empyrean new name, and musical direction, the cosmos was the limit for Venus Invictus, and with “The Hero Triumphant,” and
“CDM” (“Cold Dark Matter”), the two new songs that comprise their new release Miscellus Consigno along with “Let’s Not Lose Our Heads,” the band achieves their new cosmogonal goals eloquently and powerfully.
“The Hero Triumphant” starts out with an interstellar-like gallop powered by Wright’s guitar and Amanda’s always-amazing vocals; vocals that work even better here than they did in Tattermask. They evoke expansion and space without sacrificing the powerful graviton wave of emersion that defined them in her previous band, allowing her to really show her range. Wright has come up with some beautiful new guitar atmospherics that create a new universe of sound for his heavier riffs to exist in, which in turn allows them to breath more freely. The result is a much more multi layered, and interesting, sound for the leaden Sabbath-like riffs that dominated Tattermask to have a greater impact on and play off of.
It is “CDM” where Venus Invictus really establishes themselves as something to be astonished, and enamored, with though. The musical and lyrical expansion that the band wove into the DNA of “The Hero Triumphant” really grows into its own unique being here.
The opening delay pedal tones of “CDM” announce straight away that we are in new universal territory, one staked out by Venus Invictus that will catapult them to new heights of composition as they continue to experiment with it. “CDM”’s lyrics (“born of stardust/purple rain/forged in mercury and pain”), coupled with the oscillating heavy and atmospheric guitar riffs that create a type of colorful mental synthesia in the listener that progressive metal acts like Nightwish only mastered with their most recent release, and TOOL have been dealing in for decades. Again, Amanda Tattermask’s voice never sounded this good. The type of metal/progressive metal that Venus Invictus is embracing plays even more strongly to her talents than the straightforward heavy metal that defined Tattermask.
I am ashamed to admit that I have yet to see Venus Invictus live yet. It’s my greatest failing of 2017, but I and you, (if you haven’t seen them yet either), will get the perfect chance to rectify that this coming July 1st as their Mixtape Release Party lands at Charlotte’s Keg and Cue. I have seen Amanda, Josh, and Harley perform as Tattermask, and they were amazing in concert. I expect Venus Invictus to be the same, if not better.