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Album Reviews : Rise of Avernus – Eigengrau

By on January 11, 2018

I personally adore bands that juxtapose heaviness with orchestral bombast, and this Sydney band proved they very much had the goods in this area of musical expression on their last record, 2013’s superb L’Appel Du Vide. Could they match that titanic opus?

Just one or two listens to Eigengrau, and the answer to that question becomes a very resounding ‘YES’! This album is a stunner. They have been half a decade in between releases, and they used that time well. It is absolutely fine when a band takes a long time to follow up an album, but you can see, feel and hear the time, care and effort, the mud, blood, sweat and beers, that have gone into it. And that is most certainly the case here.

Indeed, it is blatantly obvious that this band has sweated and bled over every last minute of detail in creating this masterwork, such is the breadth of its imagination and the skill inherent in its execution. It kinda has to be this way when crafting music of this nature, there can be no compromise, no shortfall in the lofty technique required to pull this type of stuff off.

And of course, all the symphonic flourishes, choral textures and technical mastery in the world are for zip if the songs aren’t up to scratch, and this band has managed to pull off some doozies on Eigengrau. Terminus opens proceedings with grinding, throbbing, slow-burning power, with the orchestra providing a sweeping counterpoint, and the albums ebbs, swells and flows from there, by way of the more mid-tempo but ultimately triumphant Eigenlicht, the unsettling Tempest, epic closer Aetherium and plenty more besides.

Underpinning the entire album is an insidious sense of doom and dread that really gets under your skin and gives you a happily uncomfortable feeling.

I have one complaint, however. L’Appel Du Vide featured the very strong presence of clean, sweeter than honey female vocals, which added yet more colour and dynamics to the sound, and this has been virtually completely eliminated on Eigengrau. This is a slight disappointment when this album is viewed as part of their overall canon of work.

Viewed isolation, however, this album is a work of brutal beauty and wonder, and displays a band that has mastered its (very difficult) craft. We’ve barely set foot in 2018 and already we have a strong contender for top 10 lists at the end of the year.

Eigengrau is killer, get it the moment it hits the stores and the cyber waves on January 18th via Code666 Records.

Band: Rise Of Avernus
Album: Eigengrau
Year: 2018
Genre: Orchestral Death/Doom Metal
Label: Code666 Records
Origin: Australia

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.