When I for the first time put Venia's first demo in the CD player I thought, "oh no". Now after several listens my ears are starting to grasp something to counterbalance the poor production. I still don't understand why it's not possible to get a better sound on a demo if you just know what you do and who does what. Venia is from the capitol area in Finland and the music style is melodic guitarmetal with female vocals, the vocal language swapping between finnish and english.
The sound blurs the whole album sadly and seriously threatens the enjoyability of the listening experience. The snare drum is the worst distorter of the whole picture, it sounds snapping and uncontrolled and since drummer Daniel Puolimatka even plays quite a lot in comparison, you have a lot of random banging in the background which disturbs the concentration. The bass drum, who with the snare drum forms the bottom of the songs, doesn't stand out very well. The songs are nicely varied and when you listen closely, also the guitar-arrangements are good, although a bit hard to make clear of at times. Nicely innovative things are among others the creative use of a violin and to the violin devoted song, "Eternal Sanctuary". The songwriting is generally good, although much new the band doesn't have to offer, except for that already mentioned "Eternal Sanctuary", where I think there's already some brilliance. I can only imagine what new hooks and tricks I would have found from the songs, if I only would have gotten more clear of the songs.
Also the female vocals is principaly a good way to separate from the masses. The way it's performed here the vocals don't really shine though. Singer Veronica clearly has the range, but the voice comes out unbalanced and uncontrolled. Something needs to be done about that. The songs are also composed maybe a bit too low. This is vocal range suited for a male baritone mostly. The problem is that with an unexperienced vocalist the optimal range is so thin, that the tone either goes over or under at some point. Only practice helps to this, to find the possibilities of your own voice and possibly taking singing courses. The other musicians know their stuff well, except for that more rehearsal would have been good for the playing together. There are some difficulties to catch certain hits and hooks at the exact same time.
The lacks of Genesis are mostly soundwise and playing technical, and should be fixable with practicing, especially with the whole band together. The songwriting part seems to be working and good, although a brighter soundworld would have made it more justice. You never know what kind of demo you get a record deal with, but if Genesis opens the channel to bigger waters, the record company probably won't let Venia to produce their album themselves, because for that you need a clear picture of what sounds good, and that hasn't been reached on Genesis. A thing that could compensate the lack of time and budget is concentrating on quality rather than quantity. A seven song demo is quite long, so if there is ever another demo by Venia, concentrating on three or four songs, polishing and practicing them makes miracles and raises the image that is portrayed of the band to as well audience as companies.
Rating: 4 / 6