- - - - - -

La Ventura - 2.0

La Ventura - CD Review


LaVentura 2.0


CD Info
Valkyrie Rising Records
4 tracks
English lyrics

La Ventura is a band completely new to me, but perhaps not so much to other readers of this 'zine, as they have been covered here before. Previous to receiving a promo for their new EP, 2.1, I had never heard their music; I came to do this review with no preconceived notions whatsoever. But they're Dutch - so that's gotta count for a lot, right? Apparently, so. In a country rich in metal bands fronted by women the way Holland is, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Chances are, whatever musical exports originating in that fair land are going to be pretty good at the very least. Such can be said for La Ventura; in fact, they are more than just "pretty good", I think, after spinning 2.0 several times.

The EP is a short delve into the unique soundscapes created by this talented foursome; 2.0 contains four tracks and around 16 minutes total of music. Usually shorter releases are harder to review because there is less to review, but that's fine; the trip through this brief CD is well worth it. There is a lot to like here.

Classed as melodic metal, La Ventura definitely shows it has a lot of talent in a small amount of time. As you journey through the four tracks, you'll hear that there is a bit of a theme going on sound-wise. "Carry On", the first track, as most first tracks do, introduces us to the overall sound of the album, and it's one that doesn't deviate much from what is presented to us in the initial song. The listener will hear the powerful vocals of Carla Van Huizen, that are highly embellished by wonderful backing vocals and echo-y vocal effects that create a dynamic that is both haunting and lovely. These qualities are used throughout the album's four offerings, and I really enjoyed that about it. But, it would have gotten a bit repetitive and monotonous had the EP been any longer, so for that reason I thought keeping the release short was a good idea. The production quality was also excellent with all instruments playing a pretty equal role in the mix. I also loved the melodies provided by the vocal lines; they were unique and memorable, and really stood up well to the heavy backdrop of the guitar riffs and bass.

The second track, "As I Lay Dying" has very similar elements and qualities, and with this song the atmosphere of the EP is further developed; it's something dark but not so much so that you start to get bogged down by that darkness.

"Brave Man", track three, is probably my favourite on the album. It's got a very heavy intro and a slower tempo than the other songs, and has a very catchy chorus that has really stuck with me. I really liked the guitar work, performed by Sascha Kondic, in this piece, and again the melodies are outstanding.

Track four, "The Great Escape", and the grand finale stood out because it has the best vocal harmonies on an album where that is already a great element and one key to the band's sound.

Overall, I really enjoyed 2.0 because the band and the production team obviously had a soundscape in mind they wanted to create with a lot of care and attention. And it worked because this is a very sophisticated-sounding album with all it's various sound elements. Four songs was the perfect length to develop these qualities, and for the band to show off it's vision.

This is La Ventura's fourth release since their debut in 2010. Because this was only a short CD and I am kind of left wanting more, I think I'll go back and explore this band's whole discography, because I'd like to see how they have developed over the years. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy 2.1, because it is certainly a pleasant ride. Check it out; it's definitely worth it.