Ares Kingdom - Veneration

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2013

When a band releases a covers album, especially one like Veneration, it gives you some insight into their influences. What groups and songs are chosen can tell you a lot. Sometimes, though, albums like this throw you for a loop, which is the case here. Ares Kingdom has been around for a while. These guys have been in many cult underground Black and Death Metal bands, from Order From Chaos (Chuck Keller and Mike Miller) to Nepenthe and Vulpecula. As you might expect, the songs chosen for this are mostly from cult underground Black/Death/Thrash bands. There are covers of Slaughter Lord, Sacrilege, Mefisto and R.U.Dead?, which aren’t too surprising. Those songs are mostly Thrash or Death/Thrash in style to begin with and they fit in nicely with the way Ares Kingdom sounds. Also in with their influences are covers of Vulpecula and Nepenthe songs, which are nods to the other bands Chuck Keller and Alex Blume were in. What throws you for a loop is the final cover choice. Technically, it’s two separate tracks, but one is the intro to the other so I classify it as just one song. It’s “Without Warning/Tooth and Nail” by Dokken. Yes, that Dokken. The one with George Lynch. I don’t care how many people think that George Lynch is an awesome guitarist, Dokken isn’t exactly on my list of bands that I classify as Metal. Hard Rock, yes, but not Metal. It’s done in the style of Ares Kingdom (Death/Thrash Metal), but it’s still a song by fucking Dokken. I guess doing “Black Magic” by Slayer is too mainstream. Still, it isn’t as if there aren’t worthier bands to cover out there. What about Bulldozer or Vulcano or Possessed? I could name a dozen early Death or Thrash bands that I would’ve put on here before Dokken - and that’s not even getting to the most famous of them (Exodus, Metallica, Venom, Slayer, Megadeth, etc.). “Tooth and Nail” is easily the weakest track on this entire LP. If they had chosen a different band’s song, I would have rated this a nine, but the Dokken cover cost them a point. It didn’t fit Ares Kingdom’s sound or style, and I really felt that it didn’t work with the other tracks on this LP.

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