Rise Of Avernus
L’Appel Du Vide
(Code 666 Records)
The Australian act Rise Of Avernus is gothic metal much in the vein of bands like Tristania, Theatre Of Tragedy and others, but what makes this debut truly different from other albums in the genre is that they manage to do something quite unique with their approach. Sure, there are still plenty of death metal growls and female clean vocals on the disc, but I can’t get over the fact that I’m actually hearing a barrage of death and even black metal riffs; in addition to cabaret moments on tracks like the “The Mire” right near the beginning of the disc. What some may refer to as circus music comes off quite creepy in this aspect, making for a powerfully devastating demonstration in morose classicism. This is continued through the horrors of “Disenchanted” as Rise Of Avernus show other acts how to create a truly threatening gothic metal release that’s free of the cheese that has plagued the genre for quite some time. When the drums begin kicking up and the death metal melodies work to serenade this one out, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t heard of this band sooner. Even “Ethereal Blindness” doesn’t quite sound so comforting, despite the fact that both vocalists utilize squeaky clean approaches. Perhaps it’s a bit more radio-friendly, but even the standard radio listener couldn’t help but feel a mound of depression coming forth from this orchestral backed titan. The band also employ a less vicious approach with “Embrace The Mayhem” which allows for a bit of sax and fragility, something not seen as much in the more operatic nature of this music. Though more in the corners of darkwave than metal, it certainly proves that Rise Of Avernus have several sides to their sound. Immediately after, “Ad Somnium” comes in to methodically bash the living hell out of you with classical piano and severe kit punishment. Yet there’s still a place for clean female vocals, making this band one of the most intriguing acts of its type since Ram-Zet debuted with Pure Therapy. Ending our journey is the Katatonia influence of “As Soleness Recedes” as it begins with a melancholic rock vibe, only to build the death metal influence back into place later into the track, just as it ends. It’s this kind of buildup that I live for and feel is a true catharsis (I’ve done these quite a bit in my own songs) for a musician, as that one moment to really hammer down on one specific lyric set can truly work to solidify the performance.
Though it’s a bit short, Rise Of Avernus prove that they’ve got much to offer with this intriguing and varied release. It’s not a bunch of run of the mill gothic metal tracks and shows a band that isn’t afraid to explore other reaches of the morose landscapes that they are trying to cover with this disc. There are other sides to sadness and depression than what everyone else is doing, they just have to be found and discovered. Ram-Zet did it way back when and Rise Of Avernus are continuing to do it in this day and age. There’s really no need to employ a rapper and a bunch of other famous people just to sell your music, especially when it’s something that you truly believe in. Gothic metal shouldn’t sound happy, it should sound devastating and melancholy, just like it did back in the earliest days of Tristania and My Dying Bride. Yes, even Liv Kristine let out some sorrowful numbers on the first few Theatre Of Tragedy albums. It’s good to see that someone at least, hasn’t forgotten these things. (Eric May)