Written by Kelly Tee
When I think of Doom Metal I am reminded of the great Doom bands of the late 90s such as My Dying Bride & Paradise Lost. Over time, artists started to tweak with this Sub Genre by adding elements of Funeral, Gothic and Sludge to the mix. It was there, in the deepest darkest corners of this Sub-genre we were given Death Doom Metal, add to this the beauty of Orchestral scores and the Hybrid sound of Death Doom Orchestral Metal was born. Rise of Avernus has perfected this hybrid sub-genre indeed with their latest album titled: Eigengrau.
Rise Of Avernus, out of Sydney Australia delivers 8 tracks of pure stunning brutality within their latest album, which is based on the concept of one’s self as a whole, the conflict when confronting what one may describe as their own shadow. Eigengrau, released in 2018 means; intrinsic gray, own gray, dark light/absence of light. The meaning of this album title clearly aligns with how dark this album dives for the listener.
Formed in 2011, Rise Of Avernus are Ben VanVollenhoven on orchestral scores, guitars and vocals, Mares Rafalaeda on the keyboard, piano, and vocals, Allan Swaffield on bass and Robin Stone on drums and percussion.
Rise Of Avernus have given us EPs and full-length albums prior to Eigengrau, however, for me this one by far felt the most progressive and creative within the Death Doom Orchestral sub-genre. This album is one you don’t just listen to, you experience it and therefore listeners should prepare for the profound journey.
The opening track Terminus was captivating from the start with the dramatic and ominous orchestral score introduction, which strongly held my attention and sparked my intrigue. This resembles war in a music form, war with one’s self, war with one’s mind. It is not too long before the heavy steady drum beats, guitars and bass kick in, inducing a divine weight. The doom vocals strike and it adds another layer of depth to this music, a depth you have to hear to completely appreciate.
“Mimicry” was another standout for me from this great album. The orchestral score throughout this track particularly the crescendo of crazed violins toward the middle/end of this acutely opaque song was the victor for me. Mimicry is extremely moving, thought-provoking, convincing and particularly solid and heavy on the Doom.
The last track of Eigengrau and my ultimate pick was; Into Aetherium. Lyrically this was rather sad and deep, the music is full of ambiance and emotion before you get hit hard with brutal blast beats and hectic elements of guitars and bass. Like so many of the tracks from Eigengrau, the orchestral scores can disorientate you into another world and truly is a striking addition to this heavy music. Into Aetherium was the perfect ending to a superb chapter.
Overall this album was extremely well executed and fuelled with intelligent and thought inspiring lyrics. It is a masterful album full of progressive, ambient and atmospheric sounds, terrific orchestral essentials, heavy bass, and delicious guitar riffs, moving piano and rhythmic and blast beat drums. A special mention must go to the two vocalists on this album Ben, and Mares with their combination of doom death style guttural sounds and higher devastating shrieks and screams. This all went together to make Eigengrau a great metal journey and perfectly presented the slower sounds of Doom, with the rhythmic and heaviness of Death metal.
Rise Of Avernus is busy writing new material for their next album, one that I will be looking forward to. They can be followed on Instagram and Facebook for all band updates, gig guides and general information around recordings and album release dates.