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Rise Of Avernus : Eigengrau

Continuing where they left off with the last EP, Rise Of Avernus give their Gothic/Symphonic style it's head on this full-length.

I first discovered Sydney's Rise Of Avernus back in mid 2015 when I covered their previous release, the 'Dramatis Personae' EP, wherein I waxed lyrical about their polished symphonic metal sound. Such was my enjoyment of this EP, that it remained on rotation long after the review was done and dusted. So it is fair to say I was extremely excited when I saw that the band had announced their next full length, and despite my semi-hiatus from the reviews business I swiftly got in touch with our glorious leader to request a copy if one was forthcoming.

As you've probably guessed, it was - and it was worth the wait. 'Eigengrau' continues exactly where the previous EP left off, with every bit as much polish and sweeping orchestration. One thing that has changed in the interim is that I have since heard Septicflesh, which has given me a bit more perspective on where Rise Of Avernus are coming from. It's also made me feel a little more sure about their 'Doom Credentials' which I had previously questioned. Whilst Rise Of Avernus are equally happy with playing Death and Black metal tempo'd sections, what does set them apart from other similarly bombastic bands is their willingness to slow it right down and let the tearful melodies do their thing.

Founder member Ben Vanvollenhoven, in charge of vocals, guitar and orchestration clearly favours the latter when deciding which area to dedicate most time to during composition. It really is impossible not to notice the amount of work that has gone into the symphonic elements of this record. Not content with layering several orchestral instruments in block fifths, to add a bit of oomph to the overall sound, its really these elements that are driving the whole record, with the metal instruments seemingly serving to make the whole thing damned heavy. I'd be interested in hearing what he would come up with if asked to pen a traditional classical piece.

Unfortunately, for me at least, this kind of grandiosity works best in smaller doses, so I'd probably lean in favour of the EP for its brevity in this case. Still, if I listen to half the full-length at a time, I enjoy it just about as much. It really is an exquisitely executed, powerful and polished slice of Symphonic Metal that really hits all the right notes - when I am in the mood for it anyway.

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Reviewer's rating: 9/10


Tracklist :
1. Terminus
2. Ad Infinitum
3. Gehenna
4. Eigenlicht
5. Tempest
6. Forged In Eidolon
7. Mimicry
8. Into Aetherium

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes

Visit the Rise Of Avernus bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-02-20 by Kris Clayton
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