Portuguese Sludge Metal outfit Vaneno came together originally as a trio just three years ago to start a band and jam together, they’ve now expanded to a quintet and are set to let loose their debut EP “Struggle Through Absurdity,” four tracks of crushingly addictive Sludge Metal that utterly blew me away on the first listen.
“Struggle through Absurdity” may only be nineteen minutes duration but it exudes such a powerful and all-encompassing atmosphere which comes from a heady and brutal blend of Sludge, Stoner and Death Metal. The immediate first impression of this release is the sheer muscular power that emanates from it, having an invigorating and empowering effect on me.
The first three tracks come in at a mid-pace, opening with “Glorybringer” which delivers brutality but with a chug and groove, haunting sinister mid-point lead, powerful pummelling precise drum work and raw vocals that carve their way through like a jagged blade.
“Deceiver” has a precise, plodding but groovy delivery with an extended opening scream that rips into you, haunting second half lead work and the closing repeated screams of “Deceiver!” really send a shiver through you.
“Ad Nauseum” feels even more sinister, thanks to the ominous repeat riff and sinister protraction to the vocal delivery, which also has great clarity of content throughout this release.
The final offering “Nightrider” is a little different from its predecessors but equally as good, opening on that witty cheesy sound bite “I am the nightrider, I’m a fuel injected suicide machine” from Mad Max, then the tempo ramps up to a rapid thrashy, D-beat, Death Metal mash up with second half lead work to match, with the raw vocals taking on an acidic edge, particularly with the closing screams of “Nightrider!”
“Struggle Through Absurdity” is a ‘like one track like the lot release,’ all have similar merits and it leaves you in two minds. It’s so intense that you are glad that it is just an EP but also so invigorating and engaging you wish it was a full album, it really messes with your mind, in a good way, so I’m tentatively looking forward to the future to see what a full length will bring from Vaneno.
Co-produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Pedro Mau (Kneel, Wells Valley) at SinWav Audio, “Struggle through Absurdity” will be released on November 27th via Raging Planet as a CD or digital release on Bandcamp and should appeal to fans of Crowbar, Kingdom of Sorrow, 16 and Orange Goblin.
Rating – 4.5/5