Venia - Frozen Hands (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Frozen Hands (2009)

Blood & Ink

I talk a lot of shit on Christian hardcore. It's not that I'm necessarily against the Christ component--religious art can still be moving. I just resent anything that argues for the degradation of other people at the expense of some self-righteous quest. I also hate shitty music. A lot of Christian hardcore sounds the same, so you can imagine my dismay when I flipped through the liner notes for Venia's Frozen Hands.

"First and foremost we would like to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." FUCK. This was not looking good. Still, I set aside my bias and popped in the disc. And lo, onto mine very own ears, a treasure was delivered: Venia is a good Christian hardcore band. That's because they remember to add kickass jams, buzzsaw guitars and gang vocals for days.

They're also not obnoxiously Christian. These songs definitely have a touch of the Vatican to them, but rather than just spout Old Testament rhetoric, Venia incorporate a Christian mindset into hardcore topics. These songs still possess the "let's rise up, it's us vs. them" attitude, but when Venia say they're going to rise up, they really mean it. Consider a line like this one, from "Better Seas": "These waves can take my breath / But they won't take my life." I can relate to that kind of spirituality, in a belief of a greater consciousness.

Venia is religious, but they're not dicks about it. They know how to write a breakdown. Shit, they know how to write songs in general--these tunes are sufficiently punishing. That they can incorporate their most personal ideals into that songwriting is commendable.