Review about the EP : La Ventura 2.0 (2015)
The first time I have heard of "La Ventura" I could not resist drawing comparisons with bands like Lacuna Coil, especially vocally (similar timbre) or Within Temptation. People in general, as well as I did, tend to compare and because of that they do not give certain bands a chance at all. Luckily, it is not in my nature to pigeon-hole someone so I decided to listen to them again more objectively and not from a predetermined impression. I have come to the conclusion that there are still similarities noticeable, however they are normal because my ear is trained in this kind of music. Moreover, I would not consider such a thing as negative, but much more as a statement that the band does something right. Why else would we produce such connections to other known bands??
At the present time I can point out that "La Ventura" put down an astonishing musical development and progress. This is clearly noticeable after listening to their last album White Crow (2013) and of course the last EP "La Ventura 2.0" (2015). A further indication of their slowly growing success is that their name recognition has grown, for example in the UK, Ireland, Germany (Yes, I can highly confirm that), Austria, Switzerland and the Benelux. Until now, their highlight of their career is that they have played at Metal Female Voices Fest and femme in 2014 and 2015.
Why do I think that, even if not intended, their name fits so well?
Firstly, in Spanish “La Ventura” means luck.
In today's music industry, especially in the metal genre with a female front singer, you will be almost overrun with new music. That is the reason why it is way more difficult for them to establish themselves or to gain recognition at all because most of the new bands will be directly sorted and branded as a cover version of a bigger known band. So, for me “La Ventura” still could have a bit of luck combined with their own recognizable style that will hopefully help them in their career. You can listen to the style I’m talking about on their new EP “La Ventura 2.0”.
The EP “La Ventura 2.0”:
The EP "La Ventura 2.0" (2015) to which I will direct my whole attention immediately, is their second EP ("breaking silence" (2009)) including 4 songs and a total playing length of 13,65 minutes.
Before starting, one can say that their style I mentioned previously and striking characteristics such as their groovy drum beats, raunchy riffs and Carla van Huizen’s melodic and pure vocals will not be missed here.
The first song of the EP is named "Carry on".
The power, dynamics that are included in this song overwhelm you right in the first few seconds of the song. It is caused by the directly starting outstanding, modern beat and at the same time Carla's occurring powerful voice. Furthermore, the vocal contrast between her normal and backing vocals is very interesting and well used because it gives the song its depth. Overall, four similarly designed short, heavy guitars passages appear in the song which could be regarded as a stop-gap, but this is not the case. It is rather a harmonious transition to the softer verses and the refrain (the 4th time). For me, it is a lot of fun listening to this change from soft to hard and also built-up harmonized balance between the melody and the lyrics of the song. The current strength and power in the song is therefore not expressed predominantly by the guitars, drums etc. but rather of the interaction with Carla's voice that continues but also reinforces this effect. The chorus is super catchy, consistent and predestined to be stuck in the head of the audience right from the beginning. The melody and its accompaniment are matched harmoniously. They seem not to be made intrusive and that is the reason why it is so catchy as well as it is easy accessible for the ears. I would not call it "simple" because I think that's its difficulty. To combine all musical elements to let it sound like a unit and not rigid is not that easy, but here it is a success. For me, the lyrics are more positive and the melody resonates and adheres that feeling right from the beginning. So, to sum up, it is an insanely good starter for the EP. There are great dynamics, melody lines and vocals. In addition to that, the song shows a combination of fragility and strength both lyrically and melodically.
The subsequent song "As I lay Dying" comes along with equally strong dynamics, catchiness but sounds in total a bit more "poppy". This song shines especially through its concentrated power, which is expressed here by the vocals particularly. Carla emphasizes her emotions by using her different vocal register (deeper notes combined with higher notes etc.). The things that attract attention are that in the beginning of the song, the volume gets from low to high to normal volume. Besides, approximately from 2/3 of the song, after the 3rd chorus, harder guitar riffs are inserted explosively. This increases the energy of the song immensely. The chorus is repeated a lot of times so it becomes clear that it is the main focus. The end of the song builds up a frame to the beginning by using and connecting elements of the beginning. To sum up, this song is one of my favorites so far, caused by partly unexpected twists, the chorus, the lyrics, e.g. "The emptiness is more than I can bear" that are great and quite my taste. The main reason is because it is one of the most emotional song of the EP for me.
The third song named "Brave man" begins with a 40 seconds lasting intro and comes along with lyrics which are very deep and clear as Carla’s voice itself. Moreover, the characteristics which I have already mentioned in the other songs are listed here as well. One thing that really differs from the other songs is the Bridge at the place where the pace is easily taken out. The positive message not to give up and to fight for your goals, dreams or whatever you live for will be shown in the song quite well. For me, it is definitely a song to think about and maybe to "venture(A)" something. The Outro of the song is linked to the intro, even if it is a bit shorter than the Intro and this frame completes the song, too. Most of all I really appreciate the catchy refrain and the lyrics here.
The final song is named "The great Escape" and starts, like the predecessor does, with a longer intro until Carla's voice begins. In this song, her higher notes are audible again which I prefer because it makes the song more varied, vivid, and also shows more facets of hers. By listening carefully I think I heard a few electronic elements and it is also noticeable that the title of the song does not occur in the chorus, maybe because it is an overall topic or because then it is more diversified. To come to an end, for me the last and the first songs are the heavier songs.
Now, considering everything together I would say that not only can one interpret the songs emotionally but also on a political level. Besides, the song structure is different so that it is avoided to let it sound monotonously. Another aspect is that all songs are catchy, especially the chorus, dynamic, partly underpinned with brutal guitar riffs (progressive elements), beats and a really mature, powerful, strong voice which is consistently sung purely, whether in the soft or loud tones.
So now my appeal to all the people who exactly love this kind of music: Give it a try. I really hope you get a little insight of the new EP and that you will maybe come to the same conclusion.