Tuesday, April 12, 2011

AVA INFERI - Onyx CD review

Season of Mist
Genre: Gothic Doom
Rating: 4/5

When Richie Blackmore finally left DEEP PURPLE for good and went onto become a Renaissance minstrel in BLACKMORE'S NIGHT, fans thought it was insane and didn't follow along. What Rune Eriksen did a few years back was very similar in action but the results were far different. Rune aka: Blasphemer was once guitarist for such Norwegian black metal notables as MAYHEM and AURA NOIR. He gave it all up to move to Portugal with girlfriend Carmen Susana Simhes and start AVA INFERI which was far from black metal but still on the extreme side of the musical spectrum. Now with this the fourth AVA INFERI full length Rune has obviously cemented himself into the gothic doom side of metal and with interesting results. For someone like me who thought he did a great job keeping MAYHEM alive and relevant after they reformed I have no problem following him to this dark realm.

Although gothic tinged metal has been criticised over the years by many for it's clicheness in sound, style and prom dress wearing female vocalists. AVA INFERI keeps things more on a respectable side. I thought that back in 2009 when I reviewed their Blood of Bacchus release. Onyx simply turns things up a notch but not so far as to be mistaken for WITHIN TEMPTATION, LEAVES EYES or any other commercially mainstream acceptable female fronted goth metal act. There are some subtle differences from what I heard on Blood of Bacchus and is now being displayed with Onyx. The former was more in the doom realm than this one. Eriksen and Simhes have taken this band to the dark side of gothic. The atmosphere on Onyx is as cold and dark as a typical winter night in Norway. Simhes' operatic vocals are more of the haunting variety and never over done to the point of thinking she's a diva. The keyboards are not overwhelming either but instead balanced out to the point where everything sounds gloomy. Eriksen's guitar work is BM neutral. I tried to catch a little MAYHEM retreading on Blood of Bacchus but found none. On here I never even bothered but instead let his melodic arrangements drift over me like a mist.

Label: http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/avainferi

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