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Avernus : Where The Sleeping Shadows Lie

[Note by reviewer: Original releases: 'Sadness' (1994), 'Godlessness' (1995), 'Metalfest Promo' (1997) and 'Downpour' (1998)]

Ever since Avernus released their legendary demo 'Sadness' I hoped that they would one day release it on a decent sounding CD. This is that CD! Indeed this is a re-issue of old material.

'Where the Sleeping Shadows Lie' offers us an overview of the bands history through the many demo's they recorded. It contains the full 'Sadness' demo, one track from the never released 'Godlessness' demo, both songs from the 'Metalfest Promo' and two songs from the never released 'Downpour' demo.

The 'Sadness' demo and the one track from the 'Godlessness' demo are the main reasons every doom fan should own this album. These two works are perhaps some of the most brilliant death/doom ever recorded (even challenging the mighty 'Turn Loose the Swans' from My Dying Bride). Extremely heavy, melancholic but also catchy with a wonderful -fake- violin (synth) and some sporadic female vocals. Basically these works are genre classics and every death/doom fans should own it, no questions asked.

I do think it is a bit of a shame that the song 'Anastasia II: The Resurrection' from the 'Godlessness' demo isn't featured on this compilation, as it is my favourite Avernus track.

The rest of the album is a bit more questionable. As the only original member that is left, Rick McCoy, explains in the highly interesting liner notes the following tracks are rather different. Rick explains how the band went through a musical crisis and drastically changed styles. This means the rest of the album is filled with a different type of music. Celtic, Arabic and Gothic influences and clean vocals get introduced and the music isn't that heavy anymore.

The track 'Dreamburn' is still very emotional in my opinion. This could however mean that there is something wrong with me because as Rick jokingly puts it in the liner notes: "Yet, a lot of people really seemed to like this song. What's wrong with you?"

The last four songs are also all right but definately seem to miss focus. I can't really say much more then that about them. I urge you to get this compilation mainly for the first 6 songs and see the rest as a nice addition.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. An Endless Sea of Evening
2. The Faustian Heart
3. Anastasia
4. Ashes of Adoration
5. Godlessness
6. Dreamburn
7. Disappear
8. Silver and Black
9. For Every Waking Moment
10. Downpoor

Duration : Approx. 78 minutes

Visit the Avernus bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
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