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Auvernia - "Towards Eternity" (CD)

Auvernia - "Towards Eternity" CD cover image

"Towards Eternity" track listing:

1. A New World Is Born (5:28)
2. A Little Of Lust (4:08)
3. How Cruel Is Destiny (5:41)
4. You Will Come (6:23)
5. Interludio Nro 1 (2:41)
6. Inherent Rage (4:33)
7. Running On The Road (4:10)
8. The Master Throne (4:19)
9. The Successor (5:58)
10. Blue Blood (X-Japan Cover) (5:03)
11. The Show Must Go On (Queen Cover) (4:06)

Reviewed by on April 6, 2009

"Every track on the album displays a complete mastery of meshing non-metal style keyboard arrangements into very heavy guitar riffs to produce an amazing sound that will draw listeners back again and again just to make sure they didn’t miss anything."

When different elements of various metal styles are blended together in progressive and coherent ways sparks fly and the real magic of the genre comes into light. Argentinean band Auvernia doesn’t just ignite a bonfire with their debut album, they light off an absolute super nova that flirts dangerously close to perfection. Metal fans who crave progressivity or people who are on the fence about grandiose power metal should officially take note, because “Towards Eternity” has completely changed the face of a genre that rarely gets taken seriously and given it a legitimate banner to rally behind.

The first thunderous and mounting guitar chords of “A New World Is Born” grabs the listeners and drags them down into the universe of the music, demanding they pay close attention to every note that is being played. Although the guitar and drum beats on their own are compelling enough to keep the focus on the music, the real draw of Auvernia doesn’t show up until the keyboards get thrown into the mix. Every track on the album displays a complete mastery of meshing non-metal style keyboard arrangements into very heavy guitar riffs to produce an amazing sound that will draw listeners back again and again just to make sure they didn’t miss anything.

Taking a page from some of the more avant-garde prog metal bands out there, Auvernia frequently changes their pacing and overall sound several times during the course of any given song. What starts as a heavily distorted death metal riff accompanied by falsetto clean vocals suddenly shifts into the high pitched power metal style guitar interchange with black metal growls. Each change is carefully crafted with a specific goal in mind so that the song continues on its intended course no matter how many side tracks it has to take to get there. Every song has at least one new trick up its sleeve that a previous song didn’t to keep the audience constantly engaged in new ways.

Directly in the middle of all the sweeping solos and atmospheric sounds of the album is a three minute acoustic interlude, appropriately titled “Interludio Nro 1,” that easily beats out the tacked on interlude tracks present in so many other death and black metal releases. The downplayed and oddly alluring guitar melodies, which sport an interesting Latin flavor, work with the haunting keyboards well enough to make the piece hold its own as a song genuinely worth listening to, as opposed to a brief respite in between heavier songs.

The end of the album is rounded out with covers of “Blue Blood” by X-Japan and “The Show Must Go On” by Queen. The tracks manage to reproduce the feel of those band’s particular styles well, while giving them both a unique Auvernia spin, but anyone who didn’t read the track listing first will probably be baffled by the switch from full force metal to 80’s style rock.

The biggest surprise about Auvernia is how the band took nearly nine years to get noticed by a label for a full length release and how they aren’t a whole lot more popular yet. Anyone interested in hearing an amazing marriage between progressive power metal and symphonic black metal should do themselves a favor and take the ride “Towards Eternity.”

Highs: Masterfully crafted songs where all of the elements come together nearly perfectly, lots of interesting new sounds

Lows: The band doesn't fully escape the more over the top elements of power metal, the Queen cover is a little out of place

Bottom line: A truly unique progressive power metal album with a few black metal undertones for a darker sound

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)