Vera : Australia regularly serves us with very special bands. Think of Ne Obliviscaris or Rise Of Avernus in this respect… we are always flabbergasted about their complex amalgamations of progressive, extreme metal with wealthy orchestration. The extensive songs are always regaled with inventive twists and turns that reveal their secrets only after several listens. When Rise Of Avernus gave us our first encounter early 2014 with debut album ’L’Appel Du Vide’, we were deeply impressed. In 2015 the EP EP ’Dramatis Personae’ caused any confusion in our hearts, since line-up changes and a resolute choice for more orchestration occurred. Thus we are on the tiptoe of expectations to find out what they will offer to us on ‘Eigengrau’ halfway January.
Rise Of Avernus happens to be a band in constant evolution. In previous works we noticed gothic and doom influences in addition to the death metal bastion and sometimes female vocals popped up. Forget about all these former elements. Now it happens to be well-thought death metal with wealthy orchestration, so that links with Septicflesh, Ex Deo and Fleshgod Apocalypse make sense. Ben VanVollenhoven (vocals, guitars, orchestration) is still at the helm of this outfit, with assistance on keyboards and drums. It is really a multilayered album, although we are not surprised of that. The mix and mastering was in the hands of Logan Mader, a famous guy in production areas, while Seth Siron Anton (Septicflesh) was responsible for the artwork. Since we can categorize this album under ‘different metal’ as well – due to its opulence of impressions and influences – we can state that the chock-full songs have enough moments of slacken down things to find your way in this musical labyrinth. Ethnic chants, didgeridoo, harp and acoustic guitars… they all have their moments of glory in the lengthy songs that mainly excel in tight riffs, death grunt and some screams plus very wealthy orchestration. The dark ‘Gehenna’ is the sole one with any clean male vocals. Now and then any spoken fragments are inserted, in order to give more mysterious glance to this concept album that deals with the experience of seeing the deep grey shade when total darkness reigns. It has a proper balance between harsh parts and melancholic, softer fragments. You really have to listen many times to this work, since ‘Eigengrau’ really hammers into your brain. You are warned: it might cause eternal damage, no doubt about this.