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Dark Veneris - "My Inner Damnation" (CD/EP)

Dark Veneris - "My Inner Damnation" CD/EP cover image

"My Inner Damnation" track listing:

1. Intro the storm
2. Silence
3. Melancholic
4. Dream to believe
5. As you wish
6. My inner damnation

Reviewed by on January 3, 2010

"If everything on 'My Inner Damnation' had been mixed in the right proportions, it could've worked, but instead, it's a bit of a mess."

Creating songs and albums is, to me anyway, akin to baking. Add the right ingredients in the right amounts and cook it for the right amount of time and you get a delicious cake that you can't wait to bite into. Add too much of the wrong ingredient or overcook it and you'll get something unappetizing, no matter how good your intentions were in creating it.

That's definitely the case with Dark Veneris' "My Inner Damnation," which tries to combine symphonic elements with power metal, ethereal female vocals and death growls. If everything on "My Inner Damnation" had been mixed in the right proportions, it could've worked, but instead it's a bit of a mess.

I've got to give credit where credit is due. Instrumentally, these metallers from Milan, Italy have some fine chops. Monica Cadenini's a pretty good singer, though her attempts at a falsetto on "Silence" are not successful. Elia Sanviti and Filippo Guarnaschelli are both competent guitarists, with a few solos that impressed me. Felice Licalzi's keyboards are dominant over many of the tracks, to good and bad effect. The attempt to sound symphonic doesn't work very well a lot of the time.

I had high hopes after hearing the short "Intro the storm," which has a lush feel to it, as the orchestration gives way to thunderclaps. Unfortunately the next track, "Silence," dashed those hopes. Licalzi's keyboards work well as a background component during the verses, but in the intro, they are far too dominant, giving a feeling of lightness that doesn't mix well with the heavier guitars. Guarnaschelli's growling vocals are completely out of place here.

"Melancholic" begins well, with a melancholic piano giving way to gloomy guitars. It's Cadenini's best vocal performance on the album, in that she stays within her range. The guitar break in the middle is well-executed. The backing screams are kept to a minimum and the end is especially well done.

"Dream to believe" has an almost torch ballad feel, with just piano and vocals. It's beautiful and one of the best tracks on the album. That said, by the time "As you wish" opens, you'll be tired of the piano and yearning for some more electricity. "As you wish" is OK, but the over the top synth solo near the end had me smiling for all the wrong reasons.

"My inner damnation," the album-closing title track, has a sense of grandeur, but once again, the death screams are back and they just do not fit with the instrumentation at all. Unfortunately, that growl is the last thing you'll hear on the album.

As I said before, this is a competently played album, but the production leaves a bit to be desired. The guitars often sound a bit tinny, which lets the synth parts run roughshod over them.

Just as no baker sets out to burn a cake, no band sets out to record a bad album. To be fair, even a burnt cake may have moments of sweetness, and such is the case with this album, which has some good moments. But there just aren't enough of them to recommend Dark Veneris' "My Inner Damnation" to anyone but the most ardent power metal fans.

Highs: "Melancholic" and "Dream to believe"

Lows: "Silence" and "My inner damnation;" keyboards are far too dominant on some tracks.

Bottom line: Only the most ardent power metal fans need apply, and even they might be disappointed.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)