Album Review :
Venia - Victory By Surrender

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Band: Venia

Title: Victory By Surrender

Label: Open Grave Records

Release Date: July 2009

Review By: Scott L


  1. Towards A New Dawn
  2. Liberty
  3. Suora Tie
  4. Broken Chains
  5. Ei Mun Tarviste
  6. Genesis
  7. Taivaassa
  8. Eternal Sanctuary
  9. Victory By Surrender
  10. The Blood Of The Lamb
  11. A Sigh Of Redemption

Speaking of hockey (in my last review), I dislocated my left shoulder during a game about a year ago. I was racing a guy for the puck and he had a step on me, so I figured I’d just line him up and put him through the glass as they say. Problem was, at the last second he lost his edge, went down on one knee, and I went over top of him into the boards. Not even a whistle from the ref. It’s hockey. After three hours of waiting in the emergency room, I finally got my shoulder jerked back into it’s socket. Fourteen months later, it still hurts sometimes. Some things just seem to stick with you. And while I certainly wouldn’t compare this CD to a dislocated shoulder… it definitely sticks with you. In a non-painful sorta way.

Venia is a female-fronted 5-piece out of Finland. Not to be confused with the hardcore Venia that released a CD not too long ago on Blood & Ink Records, this Venia plays a smooth as ice brand of progressive euro-metal. European metal is built on such a different foundation than American metal… you can really feel the classical influences. This can also be heard in the vocals which are far more operatic. Although the delivery will occasionally dip down into a more edgy style, typically it stays very clean and strong. Which is a good thing in that the vocals tend to lift the songs up rather than push them down. As a band, Venia has a sound that calls to mind groups like Nightwish, Midnattsol, and Epica. The music is fleshed out and full. It’s heavy but with softer edges than your standard American metal due to its almost symphonic nature. Keyboard and violin accent the chugging guitars, flowing vocals, and rapid-fire drums.

Lyrically, Venia is up front in their presentation of the gospel. While some of the songs aren’t in English, I didn’t find then any less enjoyable. Didn’t have a clue what was being said, but I dug the tunes anyway. Consider the song “Genesis” which says, “I cry out to the emptyness / reaching for my inner self / looking for a glimpse of truth / all is silent / can’t somebody help me / I need to find peace of mind / why should I only live and die / as just another worthless child / I can’t get rid of the thought in my mind that is ‘why’ / suddenly I feel a warmth in my heart / someone has touched me and answered my call / I reach out to God above / who showed me unconditional love / He is the creator of all / He heard my prayers and answered my call / I lift up Your name on high / for Your creation You have died / I now know who You made me to be / my heart is content / I have finally found my home”. Or how about the song “Taivaassa” which says, “kerran tulee aika / jolloin me täältä lähdetään / mitään emme voi ottaa mukaan / mutta päättää voimme määränpään / on vaihtoehtoja kaksi / taivas tai helvetti / kun Jeesukseen turvaat, pelastut ja saat iloita aina / taivaassa, siellä ei oo, tuskaa ei murhetta / taivaassa saa olla aina Jumalan lähellä / taivaassa, siellä on juhla loputon / sitä ihanuutta ei ihmisjärjellä voi käsittää”. Sorry, no idea what that means… but the writing just looked really cool.

The track that stood out the most to me was “The Blood Of The Lamb” which was outstanding both musically and thematically. I appreciated the fact that she cut loose a little more vocally on this track as well. “Ei Mun Tarviste” was my runner up.

Overall: Venia is female-fronted melodic metal with a classical euro vibe. Their CD “Victory By Surrender” is eleven tracks, weighing in at just over 50 minutes, and is definitely worth your time to check out. Ole varovainen ja Jumalan siunausta.