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Avarin - The Wasteland

The Wasteland
by Matt Coe at 23 November 2014, 2:55 PM

A three song EP can be a blessing and a curse, depending on your viewpoint of things. If you love the band at hand, the recording at hand feels like a teaser – but if you aren’t keen on the sound, there isn’t a major investment time wise. Sydney, Australia’s AVARIN are not newcomers to the Progressive Metal scene – beginning in 2005, they’ve worked their way through the self-financed demo and album release ranks, steadily working on new output in 2-3 year increments. “The Wasteland” is their latest effort, a 3 song EP encompassing two longer tracks and one made for commercial consumption- giving 19 minutes as a snapshot into where the band is at currently.

Starting with the title track, this is a more US oriented offering, the background vocal harmonies a nice touch to add some haunting atmosphere to the proceedings – main vocalist Mike Zoias possessing a resonance and familiarity for those who love early Geoff Tate meets Tony Kakko from SONATA ARCTICA. The concluding guitar stutter step shuffle should get audiences shuffling about in unison. “A Starless Night” is a softer ballad, showcasing AVARIN in a tender light – which makes the almost 9 minute closer “Dust to Sand” the marque cut for inspection. An Epic/Progressive arrangement, the off-time doom tempo that begins this made me think of classic CONFESSOR meets A PERFECT CIRCLE from a rhythmic perspective, Nathaniel Smith and Nathan McMahon flashing a little intricacy into this monumental main exotic laden riff adventure.

I’m very pleased with this recording – as the quintet seem to blend a wide variety of Progressive sounds old and current from the 1970’s to today, and yet never let the intricacies overshadow the focus of the song. They love Metal as much as Rock, Doom as much as Power – KING CRIMSON to FATES WARNING to BLACK SABBATH. I highly await a very enthusiastic experience when a second full-length hits the streets.

4 Star Rating

1. The Wasteland
2. A Starless Night
3. Dust to Sand
Mike Zoias – Vocals, Acoustic Guitars
James Draper – Guitar, backing vocals
Jonathan Talan – Guitar
Nathaniel Smith – Bass
Nathan McMahon – Drums
Record Label: Metal Evilution Records


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