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Ventflow - "An Education In Aggression" (CD/EP)

Ventflow - "An Education In Aggression" CD/EP cover image

"An Education In Aggression" track listing:

1. A New Age Of Violence
2. The Scars Remain The Same
3. Already Dead
4. Down
5. I Piss On Your Grave

Reviewed by on March 26, 2008

"fast-paced, frantic metal in all the right places"

More often than not, when a CD of an unsigned band is given out or even bought, it never gets listened to, or when it does, it hardly ever sounds as good as said band after witnessing a live performance. But every once in a while you find a CD that's so good, it becomes a part of constant listening. Ventflow's "Education in Aggression" is one of the latter.

Musically, it's hard to bring out one thing that makes it so good. Frontman Lee Brennan has a voice like no other, making him one of the few underground vocalists with a distinctive vocal style. Guitarist Steve Clarke can create the most soothing melodies and the most brutal riffs and blend them into the same song. Bassist Craig Daws has a grinding, bowel shatteringly sound that makes you think the world as you know it is coming to and end. And drummer Wayne Barrett is undoubtedly one of the best drummers around. No question.

The talent of Barrett is demonstrated in the opening to the CD's first track, "A New Age Of Violence," with an awesome, exciting drum intro followed quickly by an almost groovy bass line and uneasy guitar riffing. The song brilliantly builds up a feeling of tension and panic and as soon as Brennan screams, the song erupts into a frenzy of full-blown metal mayhem. Every so often, a song is written which becomes a mosh pit anthem; this song could easily become the next and is easily just as good as Testament's "Into the Pit," Anthrax classic "Caught in a Mosh," or the Exodus staple "Bonded By Blood." Definitely one of the best openers on any CD.

This is followed by the doom-laden styling of "The Scars Remain the Same." This is a big departure from the previous track and features an eerily beautiful guitar intro which builds into a crushingly-heavy slice of aggression--a standout song with some great guitar and drum work.

"Already Dead" is the longest song on the CD and definitely highlights the screaming ability of Brennan, as well as his animal like growls. The chorus cry of "You can't kill me, 'cause I'm already dead!" is memorable and anthem-like. Musically, it's more of a slow burner but still features some fast-paced, frantic metal in all the right places. Another highlight of this song is, once again, the superb drumming. It has some really precise techniques and is a true testament to Barrett's ability.

"Down" is definitely the most interesting song on the CD. Clocking in at a length of only 3:45, it still manages to fit in so much. The intro is fairly reminiscent of both Disturbed and Megadeth and sets a skull-crushing tone of heaviness that is carried throughout the entire song. The guitar solo is amazing, and at the same time, you find yourself distracted by the unique bass playing. The rhythm on this song is incredibly tight and well put together. This track is everything you want from heavy metal and then some.

The final track has the somewhat humorous title of "I Piss on Your Grave." It stands out for its title alone. However, it turns out the title is the icing on the cake. This is possibly the most chaotic song on the whole CD. It has some great lyrics and that go hand-in-hand with the brutality of the music. The opening sound of a gun being cocked really adds to the impact that this song sets out to deliver. A perfect closing statement from a CD that takes no prisoners and creates a vibe unlike any other.

Highs: Amazing drum work from Barrett and excellent song-writing by all parts

Lows: After hearing the opening to "Scars" you kinda want to hear another part like that in another song

Bottom line: This CD is the best I've ever heard from an unsigned band. Don't expect them to stay unsigned for much longer.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 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)