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Ava Inferi : Onyx

Ava Inferi seem to have finally transcended the limits of their initial musical sub-genre.

Up till now, Ava Inferi’s very personal way to play Gothic Doom has gained them admiration and respect; however, The Portuguese/Norwegian band’s talent lies also in its unpredictability. Their music doesn’t come from any kind of preconceived mold.

As the opening title track clearly proves, Ava Inferi have once again decided to surprise their fans: majestic vocals, almost symphonic arrangements, middle-eastern musical influences... and that’s just what you'll find in the first 2 minutes of the song! It might sound as if they had let themselves go with the more mainstream Gothic Metal flow, but this is not the case.

While over the first listen ‘Onyx’ may sound more accessible, each song conceals many different layers that make the band somewhat hard to immediately grasp for a newbie. Don't let the eponymous opening track fool you, though, Ava Inferi haven’t turn into a Tristania wannabe. Not at all. The dreamy and foggy atmosphere of ‘Venice In Fog’ evokes the shadow of Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese threading his way through the alleys of the Doges’ city; the potent epic anthem ‘The Heathen Island’ (with his 80s' Heavy guitar solos) is one of the best tribute to the Viking era of Bathory I've ever heard (not surprising when you know that Ava Inferi's guitarist Rune Ericksen also plays in the Bathory tribute band Twilight Of The Gods), ‘A Portal’ and ‘By Candlelight And Mirror’ are both wrapped in an aura of occultism and ‘Majesty’ is perhaps the heaviest track you'll ever hear from a 'Gothic' labelled band.

Most importantly, the music exudes feelings like few other albums these days. The incredible vocal work of Carmen Simões is really praiseworthy: on ‘A Living End, her duet with the band's main guitarist Rune Ericksen (who also handles the male vocal part on the track) is one of the highlights of an album, full of nice things. Rarely have I been so much thrilled by a female-fronted record since the release of The Gathering’s ’Mandylion’.

Like Draconian, Ava Inferi have managed to transcend the boundaries of their initial musical sub-genre to make a great leap forward. It's up to you to decide if you want to follow them, but trust me: this is damn worth the trip. Music to ease your mind and soothe your doomed soul, that's what ‘Onyx’ is all about.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Onyx
2. The Living End
3. A Portal
4. ((Ghostlights))
5. Majesty
6. The Heathen Island
7. By Candlelight & Mirrors
8. Venice in Fog

Duration : Approx. ?? minutes

Visit the Ava Inferi bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-01-10 by Laurent Lignon
No God Only Pain
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