Venal Flesh - Worshiping At The Altar Of Artifice
Dark Electro 2013. I have been waiting for this album since 2013. Venal Flesh originally popped in the dark electro scene with their infectious beats with their demo album Remotum Ex Carnis Sancta, which earned a 9 out of 10 from myself. And, hey, not for nothing, but a fucking 9 out of 10 for a demo album is pretty fucking good. I did find myself a little shocked at first as it does come from Dan Barrett who is more well known for his constantly evolving, always spiritual project Worms of the Earth. To see him shift from such sacred sounds to something that every edgy cybergoth kid would sink their fangs into was quite a step. But, as stated earlier, it worked very well. 

It was in 2014 that Barrett moved a little bit further and produced the single Emulgent Disfigurement while signed to Juggernaut Music Group for a brief period. The single was - and still is - a sinister club stomper. Along with its B-side track 'Mizbehi (Blood Of Angels Upon My Altar), I was more than excited for Venal Flesh to deliver their debut album. But, I was to wait another two years before I would get a taste of what Barrett could do in full. 

That's why when I saw that Venal Flesh was officially signed to Alfa Matrix I nearly shit my pants as I knew that they were that much closer to releasing their full length debut album. After being teased with the EP Sacrament To The Scalpel, I can proudly say that Barrett and his cohorts' debut album is finally here for all fans of melodic terror EBM to indulge. 


Worshiping At The Altar Of Artifice is the eleven track album that's ready to gut and glamorize your flesh across a Satanic mansion's arches and doorways. Granted, you will find yourself listening to tracks from previous efforts, but they have been retouched and remastered like never before - or that's at least how it sounds. 'Cortege of Impure Flesh', 'Emulgent Disfigurement', 'Perdition', and 'Needles' all reappear on this album. Again, do not roll your eyes or get angry at this choice; the tracks sound better than ever and if you're an actual fan of this band then this should be a glorious day for yourself. However, let's get onto tracks that I haven't heard before. 

'Grotesque (Self-Portrait)' shows leftover influences from Barrett's main project Worms of the Earth, as I hear Middle Eastern influences rubbing up against the back beat of the song. His raspy, demonic voice that echoes so many other harsh EBM bands from the 80s and 90s screech in perfect pace with the music. Though, I do have to say that he utilizes his vocals a lot better than some of the legends the scene drools and has come accustomed to. That may be an opinion that will get me some backlash from other dark electro enthusiasts, but they can fuck off. 

'Apostate' follows in the same vein, keeping the beat and the rhythm steady; these songs together, track after track, act as if they're working together to summon a higher power. 'Servant Of The Scalpel' was a very darkly cinematic track. If a killer fixated on ritualistic deaths was slowly stalking you, this would be the theme song leading to your demise. 

Replacing darker synths for more energetic, upbeat and higher pitched sonic assaults, 'Curette', which is a welcome delineation from what has been shown thus far. Plus, the breakdown at the three minute and eighteen second mark was stellar. 'A Fire Infolding Itself' had me thinking that this just might be another slower paced instrumental like 'Servant Of The Scalpel'. However, that kind of changed around as Barrett blasted in with his vocals and another wicked beat strolled right on through. 

'The Black Prism' was one of the oddest tracks out of the bunch. It reminisced the likes of Skinny Puppy if 80s Skinny Puppy tracks incorporated modern day IDM elements and the like. Though quite different and not staying in the style brought out so far, 'The Black Prism' is the most impressive track Venal Flesh has so far offered. Barrett's vocals also take a turn; the vocals slow down and become a bit more understandable. They aren't really sung out, but more or less come off as spoken word material. I loved it. 

'Incurable' is the final track on the album and extends for a nine minute duration. I'm pretty sure that if I - or anyone - ever needed to introduce Venal Flesh to any of their friends or family this would be the track to choose out of them all. This song sounds like a gigantic mesh of all the other tracks put together; Middle Eastern vibes, abstract atmospheric noises, harsh electronic flavoring, bells; it is all there. 

I may have sounded like I was bitching a little bit in the beginning when I was describing my wait for Worshiping At The Altar of Artifice, and I will admit that I was - a little bit  - but that wait was more than worth it. The product matches the wait, and I am not disappointed one bit with what this harsh electronic project has been able to do. 

Venal Flesh calls back to 80s and 90s industrial and harsh EBM, all the while retaining unique sounds due to Barrett's skill and expertise with spiritual and worldly sounds. 
5
Brutal Resonance

Venal Flesh - Worshiping At The Altar Of Artifice

2013. I have been waiting for this album since 2013. Venal Flesh originally popped in the dark electro scene with their infectious beats with their demo album Remotum Ex Carnis Sancta, which earned a 9 out of 10 from myself. And, hey, not for nothing, but a fucking 9 out of 10 for a demo album is pretty fucking good. I did find myself a little shocked at first as it does come from Dan Barrett who is more well known for his constantly evolving, always spiritual project Worms of the Earth. To see him shift from such sacred sounds to something that every edgy cybergoth kid would sink their fangs into was quite a step. But, as stated earlier, it worked very well. 

It was in 2014 that Barrett moved a little bit further and produced the single Emulgent Disfigurement while signed to Juggernaut Music Group for a brief period. The single was - and still is - a sinister club stomper. Along with its B-side track 'Mizbehi (Blood Of Angels Upon My Altar), I was more than excited for Venal Flesh to deliver their debut album. But, I was to wait another two years before I would get a taste of what Barrett could do in full. 

That's why when I saw that Venal Flesh was officially signed to Alfa Matrix I nearly shit my pants as I knew that they were that much closer to releasing their full length debut album. After being teased with the EP Sacrament To The Scalpel, I can proudly say that Barrett and his cohorts' debut album is finally here for all fans of melodic terror EBM to indulge. 


Worshiping At The Altar Of Artifice is the eleven track album that's ready to gut and glamorize your flesh across a Satanic mansion's arches and doorways. Granted, you will find yourself listening to tracks from previous efforts, but they have been retouched and remastered like never before - or that's at least how it sounds. 'Cortege of Impure Flesh', 'Emulgent Disfigurement', 'Perdition', and 'Needles' all reappear on this album. Again, do not roll your eyes or get angry at this choice; the tracks sound better than ever and if you're an actual fan of this band then this should be a glorious day for yourself. However, let's get onto tracks that I haven't heard before. 

'Grotesque (Self-Portrait)' shows leftover influences from Barrett's main project Worms of the Earth, as I hear Middle Eastern influences rubbing up against the back beat of the song. His raspy, demonic voice that echoes so many other harsh EBM bands from the 80s and 90s screech in perfect pace with the music. Though, I do have to say that he utilizes his vocals a lot better than some of the legends the scene drools and has come accustomed to. That may be an opinion that will get me some backlash from other dark electro enthusiasts, but they can fuck off. 

'Apostate' follows in the same vein, keeping the beat and the rhythm steady; these songs together, track after track, act as if they're working together to summon a higher power. 'Servant Of The Scalpel' was a very darkly cinematic track. If a killer fixated on ritualistic deaths was slowly stalking you, this would be the theme song leading to your demise. 

Replacing darker synths for more energetic, upbeat and higher pitched sonic assaults, 'Curette', which is a welcome delineation from what has been shown thus far. Plus, the breakdown at the three minute and eighteen second mark was stellar. 'A Fire Infolding Itself' had me thinking that this just might be another slower paced instrumental like 'Servant Of The Scalpel'. However, that kind of changed around as Barrett blasted in with his vocals and another wicked beat strolled right on through. 

'The Black Prism' was one of the oddest tracks out of the bunch. It reminisced the likes of Skinny Puppy if 80s Skinny Puppy tracks incorporated modern day IDM elements and the like. Though quite different and not staying in the style brought out so far, 'The Black Prism' is the most impressive track Venal Flesh has so far offered. Barrett's vocals also take a turn; the vocals slow down and become a bit more understandable. They aren't really sung out, but more or less come off as spoken word material. I loved it. 

'Incurable' is the final track on the album and extends for a nine minute duration. I'm pretty sure that if I - or anyone - ever needed to introduce Venal Flesh to any of their friends or family this would be the track to choose out of them all. This song sounds like a gigantic mesh of all the other tracks put together; Middle Eastern vibes, abstract atmospheric noises, harsh electronic flavoring, bells; it is all there. 

I may have sounded like I was bitching a little bit in the beginning when I was describing my wait for Worshiping At The Altar of Artifice, and I will admit that I was - a little bit  - but that wait was more than worth it. The product matches the wait, and I am not disappointed one bit with what this harsh electronic project has been able to do. 

Venal Flesh calls back to 80s and 90s industrial and harsh EBM, all the while retaining unique sounds due to Barrett's skill and expertise with spiritual and worldly sounds. 
Mar 02 2016

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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