Friday, December 23, 2011

AVERSE CONCEPT - Symbol of Loss EP review

AVERSE CONCEPT - Symbol of Loss EP
Self Released
Genre: Black Metal / Post Rock
Rating: 3/5

Here's a five song EP (actually four songs and an opening instrumental) from a Los Angeles act that I'm going to go out on a limb about and say you might hear much more about in 2012. Hey look I don't make a killing at the track but in this band's case it's as easy as picking the non lame horse in a pack of cripples. I have no info on this band other than the basics. Normally I'd ask them for more but I'm pressed for time trying to get as much done before party weekend. AVERSE CONCEPT are not really doing anything new but don't let that disturb ya. On Symbol of Loss they (I don't know it could be a one man act) join together black metal aesthetics with post rock's early aggressiveness. Think of it as atmospheric with brass knuckles. Some people might compare this to what has also come out of NYC in recent years. The difference with that is those NYC bands are mostly playing by numbers, along with being tagged as just hipsters experimenting and I've heard French & Swiss post rock / post hardcore / post metal acts (as well as a French Black Metal act to be named later) doing similar styled material to this. Albeit those French and Swiss acts are more into screaming where as this has better vocals that are contained.

Like I mentioned earlier the opener "Grey Skies" is an instrumental which is kinda melancholy and really has nothing to do with what comes next. "Welcome to the Trance" is explosive as well as hip deep in 90's post rock angst. Ironically the riffs have an ebb and flow to them which is hypnotic yet powerful enough like someone grabbing hold of your collar and yelling in your face. "Resigned Devotion" is cut from the exact same cloth but with more dynamics added to the song structure. Imagine yourself floating free but then the drum fills here turn everything into a bumpy ride. "Desolate Alleviate" starts off with some mild guitar picking that brings back the dream sequence and then shocks you back to reality with an icy riff. The vocals are a mix of venomous screams and a punk snarl. Obviously they're not trying to toss in phony shrieks or rasps. There's a short but nice tremolo riff break about three quarters of the way through. I'd also say that AVERSE CONCEPT definitely has some shoegazer influence, as evident on the the final cut "Clouded Recovery", yet it's tempered and there's a slight technical sheen flowing with it all.

I seriously doubt AVERSE CONCEPT will blow away your snarky elitist metal media types with this EP's worth of material. That's alright since they will instead spark interest with, hopefully, some label people who actually remember the excitement they felt with that first ALCEST release. (yeah that's the French Black Metal act to be named later which I'm naming now who've taken the off the blackened template route well) They're definitely not copying the Frenchy's early style but there are many similarities especially having one foot firmly planted (as opposed to those experimental NYC acts who just dip a toe in) in black and the other locked down in the post material world. As far as a downside I'd say there needs to be more variety but it's an EP which could also be a demo and yet it's a fuckin decent one. Maybe if this band had a good amount of recording time in a studio to produce a full length well now we are talking. I wish them luck since they have everything else.


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