Back in 2020, the Austrian heavy metal brigade Venator, impressed us with their 3-song EP Paradiser, which also secured them a label deal for a full-length album release. Echoes From The Gutter is coming out on February 25th and is everything we hoped for from this young band. The fundament of Venator’s style is built of a strong Judas Priest and early Iron Maiden influence, with a slight touch from the German classic scene.
Opener Howl At The Rain is a bit slower and more atmospheric, while Seventh Seal picks up the tempo and delivers the goods with some tasty guitar riffs and solos. I don’t know if the title of Red And Black is a wink towards Maiden (who also had a similarly titled epic in Book Of Souls), but musically, it ticks all the boxes with a bit more progressive approach and varied structure. The first two singles Nightrider and Manic Man are absolute Priest worship with the accent put on guitar harmonies and oh-so-80s solos. While Venator don’t add anything new or overly original to the musical picture in 2022, the conviction and ability they perform their craft with are simply admirable. It is hard to highlight a particular track, because the flow of the album is really smooth and makes for a fantastic listen beginning to end, either in your car or after a long day at home. The Hexx and The Rising are two more showcases of the band’s talent for penning memorable hooks and vocal lines, along with the already mentioned strong guitar work.
The artwork is straight out of the 80s as well, so the overall package is undoubtedly directed towards the old school customer, but the perfect sound and production are up to today’s standards. When things wrap-up with closer Streets Of Gold, the feeling is of a promise fulfilled. Sometimes, bands don’t develop the potential in their debut recording in future release, even if they are backed by a label support, but this is not the case with Venator. Check these guys out, and if you can also see them live, then you will be a lucky new fan. Guaranteed.
Pre-order Echoes From The Gutter HERE