Thursday, July 12, 2012

ORDER IS RESTORED: Avenger: Bohemian Dark Metal

Avenger (Czech Republic): Bohemian Dark Metal (Deathgasm) [Rating: 9 out of 10. It is not a 10 because I have been threatened with a severe beating if I give it a 10. Today I do not want to get beat up because of Avenger. Sorry, Avenger! I don’t like violence when it is karate kicks aimed at my poor noggin. Plus, I bruise like a peach and have no idea how to defend myself. But maybe I can interest you in a sarcastic comment?] -- Avenger. Finally, order has been restored. The universe is once again unfolding just like it should.
Avenger is excellent. Here is why. Avenger knows exactly what I was thinking about heaviness. (Mind readers? Maybe. If you like classic Bathory, Celtic Frost and of course Master’s Hammer, then you know, that, indeed, Avenger has read your mind very well.)
Heavines. The atmosphere is great: the heaviness is accentuated with the sounds of timpani, and let me tell you, that really makes a huge difference. Heaviness is not “loudness” and heaviness is a “breakdown” or a chugga-chugga riff. Heaviness is a musical perspective and a feeling. With Avenger, you can hear the guitar riffs, and there is something in the air about the whole sound that is twisted and dark. What is timpani, you ask? Listen to this and you will know.
What Avenger has is personality, in a big way. If you like black and death metal, but you want a lot of quality , then Avenger is most definitely for you.
If you hear this album and you don’t “get it” at first, just make the correct conclusion: your ears are not working correctly. Play it again and your rusty brain will start operating again.
Speed, heaviness, doom, atmosphere, and strong songs: it is all here. “Vstric dalkam” is doomy, and then blasts into spirally twisted chaos. What a great song! “Vitej zpatky doma…” is ominously stormy sounds of doom and darkness. “Dark Metal” has such a wonderful initial riff and atmosphere, and from there, it just gets better and only sucks because it ends. “Fales apatie” is a black metal storm of speed, headbanging riffs like it is the end of the world and those twisted, sick vocals make this perfect. And this is not all the songs, those are some specific examples.
It would be easy to write 4 pages for a review, but if I do that, then Fuglymaniacs will, in fact, administer that severe beating that I mentioned before. Avenger is awesome for many different reasons. These are just some. ---
Fester (Norway): A Celebration of Death (Abyss Records) [7.5 out of 10]
With this band, they do not hide their songs behind any tricks. There is no gimmick going on because they do not need any. Fester’s music is centered on the objective of creating a mood. Therefore, what is essential is not how fast, brutal or grim the songs sound, though Fester sounds completely within the territory of death/black/doom.
The result is songs that are surprisingly easy to remember and get into and to make you nod along in agreement with the first couple of listens since it’s easy to keep up with the uptempo/midtempo pace.
“The Black Tower” is very likable, despite the fact that it is dark, brooding and grave in mood: it is a miserably catchy song.
“I’ll Hunt You Down” is just fun. Sounds like an angry gremlin, from his tiny cave, threatening the whole world. Fester will hunt you down with their evil guitars and melodies and make you rock out: “Resistance is futile, Fester is not!”
“Metalized” is a bit on the brutal side of things. No messing around, just a heavy, uptempo number. Fester is not a band to do blasting speed, the music goes a uptempo/midtempo pace, that way the listener can keep up more easily, without distractions. You don’t need to hear the music 50 times to figure it out and decide if you like it or not.
A word about the production: this album does sound like it was recorded in a cave. You can turn it up really loud, and you still won’t feel like you are right there where the action is taking place. It will sound like it is “down the hall,” as the nice man known as “the master” likes to say.
Be that as it may, fact: this album has feeling and it has plenty of sinister heaviness, as well as fun hidden melody.

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