London's Ventenner proudly keep the industrial rock flame alive with their third album 'Distorture'. Weighing in at thirteen tracks, the album channels the best of the Nothing Records roster from the mid-90s, along with domestic acts such as Sulpher, and Gary Numan's most recent output. It's dark, brooding and abrasive, but strangely familiar and comforting.
The industrial rock revival does seem to be well and truly underway internationally with acts such as Canada’s Projekt F and 22Hertz, as well as domestic bands The Gifted, Be My Enemy and System:FX worthy of mention. Fitting comfortably within this burgeoning expansion Ventenner bring a slower and more subtle style to the table that brings in atmospheric flourishes befitting Tool into the mix. Songs such as 'Six Blood', 'Unaffected', 'Skin Ritual', 'Metacell', 'Cast', and 'House Of Ten' are a fine synthesis of dark alt-rock and industrial dissonance that will translate well to live performance. While the instrumentals 'Rise', 'Distorture', and 'Undone' add a more tension and atmospheres to the track list and separate the album almost into chapters.
There is a big sense of nostalgia attached to this album as the band's writing style does synthesize a lot of what made alt and industrial rock so great in the first place, and it would be easy for many people to dismiss them on that basis. But the band have the songwriting skills to create their own voice and bring something interesting to the UK scene.
The production is slick and up-to-date, and even though that may seem to take it's cues from 'Undertow' and 'The Fragile' in parts, it doesn't make any attempt to imitate them. Instead the band get the dark and gritty edge to make their songs stand-up alongside the classics.
The album may not reinvent the wheel, but Ventenner are determined to make their mark and an album like 'Distorture' will certainly help endear themselves to fans of industrial rock.