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Avernus : The Stor Sessions

"There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it, I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others, I want no one to escape. But even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gained no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling, this confession has meant… nothing."

Those, the opening words to 'Isolationist', set the mood perfectly for this very rare rehearsal CD. Avernus may be without a record label for the time being, but it does not stop them from working on and recording new tracks. 'The Stor Sessions' are, as the band notes them selves, very crude first recordings meant for a possible new album. The band also expressed that they aren't 100% happy yet with the sound on this album, which is something I can understand.

Avernus have clearly stepped off the path they took with their debut album and are back in the Death/Doom business. Some of the more melodic parts however do linger as sometimes-unpleasant ghosts from the past. Vocalist Rick for example still uses clean vocals every so often and the music is a little less dark then for example found on the cult 'Sadness' demo. Because of this it did take me quite some while to get into some of the songs. I have nothing against clean vocals or lighter passages, but some songs felt, quite understandable, very unfinished to me.

The absolute highlight is the powerful opener 'Isolationist'. The band has been playing this track live for some time and it clearly is the best-developed song on this cd. It's a song worthy to stand beside killer tracks like 'Anastasia' and 'Godlessness'. The other songs show a lot of promise but, as is to be expected on a rehearsal-demo, are still a little ruff around the edges. All the tracks featured have that trademark Avernus feel to them, mixing very slow metal with keys. Rick changes a lot between his powerful grunt, insane screams and clean vocals.

All in all this is a very enjoyable album and very promising for a future release of Avernus. I do hope that Rick won't use his clean vocals as on the finished product as he has here. He is a great vocalist, but his singing is clearly much weaker than his grunt. Also I hope the band will stick to the Death/Doom path this time, as I do already sense some lighter tendencies that caused them to go so off course on their debut album. These are however minor concerns, as overall it sounds great!

The album ends with a sample taken from the first Ghostbusters movie, something you don't expect to find that quickly on a doomy album. Strangely enough it works quite well!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Isolationist
2. Rift in the Aura
3. Dead Man's eyes
4. The Devil I know
5. Nobody Lives forever

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes

Visit the Avernus bandpage.

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