Austria’s Venator are the latest riveting entry into the new wave of old-school heavy (NWOSHM) that’s currently taking the world by storm. Formed in Linz in 2016, newcomers Johannes Huemer (vocals), Stefan Glasner (bass), Jakob Steidl (drums), Anton Holzner (guitars), and Leon Ehrengruber (guitars) quickly set up a mining operation on the heap that is ’80s heavy metal. Digging into classic cuts from Oz, Riot, Heavy Load, Grim Reaper, et al., Venator found diamonds (and rust). The group’s debut EP Paradiser (Dying Victims) slipped into an early ’80s mode, where hard labor, partying, and found titty mags informed their no-frills, riff-forward attack.
Now, Venator are readying their first full-length, Echoes from the Gutter, via Germany-based indie Dying Victims. Musically, the Austrians haven’t strayed at all from their beer can, Marlboro Red approach. In fact, Venator’s songwriting prowess has only improved, with tracks like “Howl at the Rain,” “Nightrider,” “Seventh Seal,” and “Streets of Gold” sounding like they’ve been carved out of 1985. That’s right. This is no-holds-barred heavy metal inspired by the glory years (New Coke era) thrust into the Virtua-Information Age of Web3, or whatever the fuck that means in context to the almighty riff. Get ready for anthems in non-anthem times!
Say Venator: “Forged in the iron mills of Steel City, this album is dedicated to all the rockers and maniacs out there who keep it alive and real.”
With Riot-like cover art to boot and spandex/spikes/horns in full, it’s time to stream Venator’s Echoes from the Gutter. Mega!