Dead Venus – Flowers & Pain
Let’s go back to the beginning. The 1970s, when a musical genre called Progressive Rock first came on the scene with bands like Emerson Lake and Palmer, Jethro Tull, Rush, King Crimson, Genesis and Pink Floyd. It was a time when songwriters wanted to create music that would last. They were striving for something that went beyond the sugar-rush high of pop music. They wanted to create a higher form of art.
Enter Dead Venus and their latest album ‘Flowers & Pain’. These Swiss prog rockers have a point to prove and the talent to do it. You see prog rock fell out of favour in the 1980s and, save for Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ in 1997, there hasn’t been much to sing along to since.
That could all be about to change with this heroic offering. ‘Flowers & Pain’ displays all the hallmarks of a classic prog rock album. The songs are complex, lyrically sophisticated and most tracks are well over 3 minutes. But this is prog rock 2.0. It’s an upgrade to the 1970’s version. We have beats with the intensity of a heart monitor connected to a road drill, and vocals that growl (check out the finale of ‘Revelation of Hate’).
Seraina Telli has a track record of writing avant-garde music than anyone can appreciate. Her beautifully constructed songs, epic vocals and perfect melodies are underpinned by Mike Malloth’s intricate drum patterns. Songs such as ‘Plaything Doll’ and ‘The Haunted Palace’ showcase their ability to produce material that is on the one hand instantly rewarding, but also reveals layer upon layer of nuanced music with each subsequent listen.
The beginning and end of the album has two wonderfully crafted instrumentals ‘The Cognition’ and ‘Keeps You Alive’. The tracks in between range from the incredibly catchy ‘Lily of the Valley’ to the strut-your-stuff across the stage in platform heals ‘Little King’.
Like a fine wine ‘Flowers & Pain’ is rich, complex and will age beautifully. So, raise a glass to Dead Venus and enjoy!