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Averse Sefira - "Advent Parallax" (CD)

Averse Sefira - "Advent Parallax" CD cover image

"Advent Parallax" track listing:

1. Descension
2. Séance In A Warrior’s Memory
3. Viral Kinesis
4. Cognition of Rebirth
5. Serpent Recoil
6. A Shower of Idols
7. Reflections of An Exploded Singularity
8. Vomitorium Angeles
9. 8th Dominion

Reviewed by on May 28, 2008

"The Texas band spins together riffs that when played on top of their hyper-sped drums create a whirlwind of chaos and melody not found in years."

Black Metal has evolved into many sub-genres throughout its three-decade existence. Just when you think you have a handle on all the different styles within the scene, another one splinters off rendering you clueless. While I can go on and on explaining each and count off their strong and weak points, I’ll just tell you about my favorite. With all its ferocity and bleakness, the kind of black metal that really moves me the most is the strain that came courtesy of bands like Dissection and Emperor. These bands could hold their own when it came to speed and lyrical power but what made them truly special was the air of majesty and mystery they created within their framework.

Averse Sefira clearly has mined from the same influences as the aforementioned bands. The Texas band spins together riffs that when played on top of their hyper-sped drums create a whirlwind of chaos and melody not found in years. When the razor-sharp guitar parts of songs like “Viral Kinesis” and “A Shower of Idols” collide with Sanguine Mapsama’s (you gotta love the stage names!) banshee-like vocals, the results are lethal! The dizzying arrangements should also be commended. The rhythm section locks in together, helping to create a wall of bottom-end for the scratchier guitars to float on top of.

Many of my fellow critics have compared Averse Sefira to Deathspell Omega. While I can definitely see some of the similarities, Averse Sefira has more of a traditional bend to their sound. Within the intense arrangements, one could find hints of bands like black metal forefathers Bathory and even Venom at times.

Mapsama possesses one of the more sinister vocal sneers found in the underground today. His work on “Serpent Recoil” alone cements his reputation in that respect. The front man’s vocals often etch themselves into the band’s sonic assault so much that they almost become like another guitar, albeit one that is more upfront in the final mix.

“Advent Parallax” is the kind of album that stays lodged inside your brain long after it finishes. There is an eerie, almost ghostly quality to it that is near impossible to express in a written review. Tore Stjerna’s (Watain, Funeral Mist) production also deserves attention here. The Swede expertly wraps the material with enough sonic bite to make it scream out of your stereo but he also somehow maintains a level of togetherness in the mix to control the cacophony. If Averse Sefira manages to tour on this album as much as it deserves, it will only be a manner of time before the band reaches the heights bands like Dimmu Borgir have achieved.

Highs: Over-the-top arrangements, majestic riffing and epic songwriting make this an essential Black Metal release.

Lows: Longer song lengths for those with short attention spans.

Bottom line: If you count bands like Dissection and Watain among your favorite black metal bands, Averse Sefira should already be on the tip of your tongue.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)