Paris-based duo Venice May recently dropped Illusion Is Inevitable, a 13-track album merging post-rock and alt-rock elements into rock-flavored soundscapes full of spine-chilling ambience.
Created by Natalia Samofalova (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Vincent Bedfert (guitar) in 2013, Venice May abstains from naming influences, but their sound reflects hints from P.J. Harvey, Sigur Ros, Portishead, A Perfect Circle, Brand New, and Radiohead.
Born in Ukraine, Natalia moved to France when she was 25-years-old, where she hooked up with Vincent, born and raised in France. What’s unique about Illusion Is Inevitable is the complete dearth of synths. Guitars were used to create the lush soundscapes.
The album opens with “A Mouse And A Snake,” a post-rock-flavored number with new wave and electro-pop aromas. The textures of the music are piercing, almost strident, but deliciously tantalizing. Natalia’s voice, of crystalline clarity, is a potent instrument of expression, altering from delicate and dreamy to buff and penetrating.
The best tracks on the album include “Only I Will Remain,” which reminds me of Evanescence because of its textured energy and palpable dark harmonics aligned with brilliant colors infusing the music with nuanced uneasiness. I really like this song because of Natalia’s sharply resonant tones. This is a powerful diva’s voice, capable of vast range and lethal dominance.
“Thinning Ice” opens with fragile colors, followed by Natalia’s scrumptiously subdued timbres. The harmonics weave delicate filaments of color, wafting and drifting. I love the shimmering guitar and rolling percussion as the song closes. “Limerence” begins on gentle flowing colors that swell to Jovian potency as the song progresses into a lustrous wall-of-sound surging with brawny dynamics and Natalia’s wickedly compelling voice. The symphonic flow and forceful textures of this song dazzled my ears. “Limerence” is definitely one of my favorites on what is a marvelous album.
Candidly, there isn’t a weak track on the entire album. Each and every track transcends anything close to average, while most surpass excellent. If pressed to describe Venice May’s sound, I would tag it symphonic progressive rock with vague tints of metal supremacy.
However you describe it, Illusion Is Inevitable is inevitably superb. Don’t miss this one, as I suspect it may grace more than one music critic’s list of best albums.