Venereal Dawn is this title of year's menacing venture into the darkness from one of the seasoned black metal groups, Germany's Dark Fortress. Dark Fortress also celebrate their twentieth anniversary in 2014 with a career spanning twenty years which has seen the release of seven full length albums. Surely one of the most diverse black metal albums I've ever experienced successfully incorporating different styling's and vocals, also ranging in intensity up to those explosive blast beats like on "I Am The Jigsaw Of A Mad God". Venereal Dawn is a chilling atmospheric concept release that tells "a tale of survival, betrayal and sacrifice in an extremely hostile environment", and is told over nine chapters. Apparently in a bid to ensure that Venereal Dawn was their finest possible work to date Dark Fortress went above and beyond when creating this latest album, over three years that is.
An atmospheric initiation to the towering title track "Venereal Dawn" is first to be heard, and it's also one of Venereal Dawn's adventurous epics, "On Fever's Wings" is another and both deliver big time.You really do get ample duration with this release there's quite a lot to digest and so many cool inclusions. The partly Opeth of old sounding "Lloigor" and that clever what could be described as black/groove metal arrangement of "Betrayal And Vengeance" are just two examples of the diversity shown here. Venereal Dawn has a sound that is well suited and Dark Fortress's musicianship is also impressive. I hadn't heard the works of Dark Fortress prior to Venereal Dawn and I was quite puzzled after listening to this album as to whether it was the same release that I had read such negative criticism of. While on the flip side there were those others expressing a most favourable impression of Dark Fortress's latest which seems far more appropriate.
1. Venereal Dawn
3. Betrayal And Vengeance
5. I Am The Jigsaw Of A Mad God
6. The Deep
9. On Fever's Wings