Album Review :
Venia - I've Lost All Faith in Myself

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Band: Venia
Release: I’ve Lost All Faith in Myself
Label: Blood & Ink
Release Date: November 2010
Review By: BMer

Track Listing:

  1. Crux
  2. Mouth of a Liar
  3. Numbers Game
  4. The Call
  5. Calloused

Minnesota is having a great year in music, already boasting quality releases from Your Memorial and Blank Page Empire, now we get a 5-song EP from Venia titled “I’ve Lost All Faith in Myself.” Released through Blood & Ink Records who are also having quite a year having released another great hardcore EP with Dependency’s “Convicted”, Venia are on-point with their spirit-filled hardcore. If you haven’t checked out Venia already then this would be a great place to start.

Venia represent hardcore music to the fullest, they tour constantly throughout the year and they still find time to record a solid record, they’re one of the hardest working bands out there. The band is still playing the smaller venues, and sometimes when those shows get cancelled Venia will find a house to play at. With so many bands these days decided to add a little metal to their sound, or maybe dance beats, Venia keeps it real and authentic with punk drumming, breakdowns and gang vocals, there are no gimmicks here.

The opening track “Crux” expands on the title of the EP (I’ve Lost All Faith in Myself), talking about not putting faith in the things of this world “faithless in what I thought had worth / Faithless in the things of this earth!” The gang vocals on this opening track just enhance the importance of the message, something that the hardcore scene desperately needs. Venia play such quality hardcore, and play with some other hard-working hardcore bands, that it’s easy for them to get in the door and share their message with the kids. This message isn’t just “positive hardcore”, but faith-based hardcore, they don’t water down the message in order to be accepted, you clearly hear the name “Christ” on the track “Calloused”, something you don’t find with many “Christian” bands.

The next two songs, “Mouth of a Liar” and “Numbers Game” continue the urgent pace laid out by “Crux”. “Mouth of a Liar” features the best drumming on I’ve Lost All Faith in Myself while “Numbers Game” takes a serious look about those who mislead, the scenario that is written about here could be applied to quite a few different “leaders” today. Each song on I’ve Lost All Faith in Myself features a solid breakdown and a chance to sing along, but all of the songs seem to be in support of “The Call”, the best track on the EP.

“The Call” features duel vocals between Venia frontman Chad Urich and the original vocalist for Strongarm Jason Berggren. Jason actually co-wrote the song and leads off the song with “This is the call / a time for reckoning!” This song could not get any better, the breakdown which starts with spoken words “Sear this on your conscience and brand it on your heart / for the faithful there is a promise / a sacred trust of salvation / never forget and never give!” leads into the high-point of the song, gang vocals repeatedly shouting “I will not deny!” “The Call” could easily be the closer to Venia’s live set, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them playing “Crux” live as well.

OVERALL I’ve Lost All Faith in Myself is quality hardcore. Venia are leading the charge, bringing hardcore back to the forefront. I’m not sure there has been a faith-based hardcore band playing this well since Stretch Arm Strong, Strongarm and Comeback Kid (back when everyone thought they were a Christian band). For those fans of “tough-guy” hardcore like Sick of it All, Shai Hulud, Madball (and on and on…) you need to be listening to Venia and like I stated earlier, I’ve Lost All Faith in Myself is a great place to start!