Spinning off from cult alt-metal heroes Mushroomhead, Ventana reveals their debut work American Survival Guide Vol. 1 on Trustkill Records. Mushroomhead always seemed to be playing in the shadow of the more recognized alternative metal of Korn or their particular nemesis, Slipknot. Frankly, I couldn't give a shit because I don't care about or for those bands and the whole nu-metal catastrophe. Regardless, depending on your loyalty to the first, spinoffs from the original can either land feet first running or just plain suck. Not being a fan of most alt metal, or anything akin to industrial, urban or rap metal, I'll leave that decision to the Mushroomhead followers who will undoubtedly pick up American Survival Guide Vol. 1. Otherwise, this work is brash and unrelenting metal filled with the anger and aggression that breeds unnecessary and unjustifiable violence and subverts decency and civility. And that's probably what Ventana intended. In other words, American Survival Guide Vol. 1 is typical of modern alternative metal which has its roots in that merciless amalgam of metal and hardcore.
Actually, I often found the music clever in a progressive metal sort of way with all the synths, samples, and riffs blending into the whole urban hip hop industrial death metal thing. But it got old real fast and I don't dance to metal. Also, Ventana appears to be attempting some socio-political commentary on American Survival Guide Vol. 1, but I couldn't pick up on it. Regardless, I doubt that they are pointing out anything new or advocating anything constructive. Ultimately, I felt like I was being pulled through the decaying sludge of a waterlogged garbage landfill thanks to the music's relentless harshness and vulgarity. But, like I said before, that's the state of current modern metal and probably what Ventana was aiming for from the beginning.
American Survival Guide Vol. 1 is brash and unrelenting metal filled with the anger and aggression that breeds unnecessary and unjustifiable violence and subverts decency and civility. And that's probably what Ventana intended.
One thing you can count on with purveyors of "true" heavy metal, they love themes of sci-fi, fantasy, mythology, and sword and sorcery. England's Fury is one of those bands taking the same things to exponential levels on their second long player, Lost In Space ... [ Read More ]