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Rise of Avernus - L'appel du Vide
Originally starting out as a collaborative effort between vocalists Ben Vanvollenhoven and Catherine Guirguis, Sydney Australia’s Rise of Avernus first signalled their intent as an ambitious band with the release of their impressive debut self titled EP in early 2012. Fast forward to late 2013 and with a steady/solid line up (assembled shortly after recording the EP), rounded out by Andrew Craig(Drums), Matthew Bell (Guitar) and Daniel Warrington (Bass) in tow, Rise of Avernus have showed that the EP was merely a small taste of what they were capable of, as they have just released without a doubt their most powerful, cohesive and ambitious statement yet in the form of their debut album L’appel du Vide.    

Translated as ‘The Call of the Void’, L’appel du Vide is a French existential phrase that does not quite exist in the English language, although can be best explained as the urge some people get to jump when they are close to the edge of a cliff. A fitting title when juxtaposed with the music, more specifically the orchestral and piano arrangements laid out in L’appel du Vide, as these emotions are masterfully conveyed throughout the album and it is obvious a lot of thought has gone in to the arrangements on each and every track.

The aptly titled opener ‘A Triptych Journey’ is exactly that a journey, beginning with a powerful drum and orchestral section, the track takes many a twist and turn as it navigates through the pained screams of Ben Vanvollenhoven and the delicate melodic vocals of Catherine Guirguis, with the precision of the rhythm section holding it all together. The Mire’ in contrast, after its spiralling piano intro carries with it an injection of urgency as the tempo is picked up, along with upping it in the heaviness stakes. ‘Disenchanted’ is an anthem in waiting for the band, with the haunting chanting during the verses being a highlight of the song.

The sparse orchestral driven instrumental title track ‘L’appel du Vide’ provides an excellent contrast to the material presented in the earlier half of the album and a perfect segway in to powerful‘Etheral Blindness’ . ‘Embrace the Mayhem’ showcases yet another side of Rise of Avernus, as the airy melodic track takes a turn around the mid section of the song and delves in to their more progressive side, with saxophone being a pleasant  and surprising inclusion on the song.  ‘An Somnium’ on the other hand is perhaps the heaviest song on the album, with the orchestral arrangement and black metal influences of the track, best drawing the comparison to a band such as Dimmu Borgir. The epic closing track ‘As Soleness Recedes’ is a clear highlight and perfect way to draw the album its natural conclusion. The slow burning melodic track shows a different side to Ben Valvollenhoven’s vocal capabilities in the first half and is rounded out by a mesmerising heavy section with Ben Valvollenhoven and Catherine Guirguis trading vocals, before returning to the fading out of piano to finish the song and round out an ever impressive album.

The production of L’appel du Vide deserves special mention as it is nothing short of world class and can be credited to the recording/mixing of Ryan Huthnance (Emissary Studios) and none other than Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios who handled the mastering duties on the album. Each and every instrument has its place and moment to shine throughout the release, with no fine detail missed.  The drum sound in particular deserving special praise, as they sound simply huge.

Rise of Avernus have managed to release a confident debut album with L’appel du Vide. The key strong point about L’appel du Vide however, is that while clearly immersed with European influence, the band has also managed to wear these influences on their collective sleeves and still find their own identity, all while creating a sound that is unmistakably their own. L’appel du Vide is a powerful and rewarding listen and if the ambition displayed is anything to go by, this is not the last time you’ll hear from these Australians either.  
Rise of Avernus - L'appel du Vide
90/1001Details Independant
Released on Thursday Oct 31st, 2013
Orchestral Doom Metal

Writer @GAZ on Sunday Nov 10th, 2013

Tags: #rise of avernus #l'appel du vide #orchestral #doom metal #death metal #sydney #australia
Tracklisting 1. A Triptych Journey
2. The Mire
3. Disenchanted
4. L’appel du vide
5. Ethereal Blindness
6. Embrace the Mayhem
7. An Somnium
8. As Soleness Recedes
Line up Ben Vanvollenhoven- Vocals & Guitar
Cat Guirguis- Vocals & Keyboard
Andrew Craig- Drums & Percussion
Matthew Bell- Guitars & Samples
Daniel Warrington- Bass & Vocals
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