The third album offering from Ventana, “The Nature of Betrayal” has fans so excited that the album release show became two shows (Avenue Tap House in Lakewood Ohio). Both nights sold out within hours and before the album was released! Of course, anyone who has been to a Ventana show already knows that they are in for the time of their lives because Ventana always delivers.
Shows aside, let’s look at Ventana’s third and hot off the press album, “The Nature of Betrayal”. I’ll try not to spoil anyone’s experience of the first time listen. Let me just say that these lusciously multilayered songs will give you something new every time you listen.
The album starts with “America: The Season Finale” intro which sets the tone and leads into the title track “The Nature of Betrayal”, it’s sort of like somebody’s going to get punched in the face if they don’t step aside because – This. Is. Happening. The keys, mixed in with the super heavy guitars accentuate the groove of egregious badassery. The synth gives it a doomy effect and the vocals are both menacing and melodic. There’s an alarming vibe to the song and I feel like I’m walking through an epic haunted mansion, a real one, waiting for the worst to happen (those who love good horror will know I mean this in the best of ways). I love the whammy! The drums are furious with downbeats and double bass throughout.
Waking up from the stupor of being awestruck from “The Nature of Betrayal”, it takes zero time to discover that “Destroy Something Beautiful” is just as intense and heavy, with a seriously creepy vocal drawing into the chorus. That makes perfect sense as “The Nature of Betrayal” features guest vocalist Nero Bellum (best known from Psyclon Nine). If I was just in a haunted mansion in the last song, I’m now in one of the lower levels of hell – but a hell I don’t want to escape from. The swaying of the rhythm has an actual physical effect on me. Where’s a pit when you need one? The song structure is intriguing, in that it’s somewhat traditional, but in an intriguing style that will keep you enthralled throughout.
The fourth track is “It’s Your Last Day”. Lindy Gabriel from Gabriel and The Apocalypse is the guest vocalist on this track and the chemistry of the musicians is palpable. The effects raise goosebumps while the gritty speak and open vocals travel a different path from the last two songs. It melds well into the album while standing strongly on its own. The mood is SO heavy and deep, yet somewhat ethereal at the same time.
“Feast Or Famine” projects a rave-like vibe, but only for a few seconds. Yet, I still think I should find my psychedelics. The layer of hell I felt like I was in earlier has turned into a European club that’s throbbing, dark, and over-capacity, with brutal guitars.
The third album, “The Nature of Betrayal” is phenomenal in how angry and hungry the music still is, although still deeply seasoned as a first album could never accomplish. It makes for a storm of experiential fury and perfection.
“Life Expectancy”, the sixth track on “The Nature of Betrayal” has succulent lower tuned guitars that make the most of seven strings. The gang vocals and synth effects in this song are crazy fresh. I think Ventana has created a new genre because there is too much going on to just say they are metal, doom, EDM, …. Yea, much more… I’m not complaining.
The seventh track is “Cold Is The Whore”, which is a slow, dark walk through a bone-chilling alley after midnight, in a mega “Sin City” meets “The Nightmare Before Christmas” like metropolis.
“Support System” breaks in with spine-tingling singing from the featured guest vocalist, Todd Smith of Dog Fashion Disco/Altar Boys. This has a deeply heartfelt melody wrapped throughout the electronica and sinister guitar riffs. The riffs carry on with nasty off-key parts, like splattering red paint on a wall of darkness, with interruptions from a wall of relentless drums. This totally fits in with the demented twisty turning that is Ventana.
“You’re a Fucking Asshole” had my curiosity going as soon as I saw the title. The vocals are haunting, as is the music – beautifully eerie! Everyone seriously needs this song on their playlists, there are so many reasons to crank it up loud and sing along even louder. The song structure with a melodic chorus is juicy with an upscaling outro.
“Viral Weaponry” starts out strong with the keys and the guitar playing cat and mouse with each other and a sing-y chorus. The tone crawls right under your skin, in the best of ways. I would be interested in learning the story behind this song, I don’t know if most of the stages around here are big enough to contain it though. I do know the crowd is going to go gonzo crazy over this one.
The final cut, “Nobody Home” – F.F.F. – SO F’n cool. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
Kudos to everyone who had a hand in creating “The Nature of Betrayal”! Every aspect from the songwriting and musicianship, to production, is absolute perfection.
Whether you’re a lifelong fan, or someone just hearing about Ventana, If you don’t add “Nature of Betrayal” to your collection, then you are going to miss out BIG TIME. Speaking of which, you can order your copy here: Ventana Shopping, And, if you need an electric version too, you can pick that up on April 27th.
- Scott Beck – Vocals
- Eric Hess – Vocals
- Richard Thomas – Keyboards / Vocals
- Thomas Shaffner – Guitar / Programming
- Daniel Fox – Drums