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Rise Of Avernus – Dramatis Personae

Rise Of Avernus
Dramatis Personae
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 12 April 2015, 11:18 PM

Australia isn’t the first place folks tend to think of when considering Gothic Doom Metal. Surfing, Mad Max and those two blokes who say “hoo-roo” on the Fosters adverts sure, but not grandiose slabs of melodramatic metal melancholy. If ‘Dramatis Personae’ is anything to go by though, there’s something very moody lurking in Sydney’s shadowy corners. The second EP by RISE OF AVERNUS is big, ambitious and uncompromisingly dark. It’s the sort of metal that prefers red wine to beer, Anne Rice to Bernard Cornwell and favors ruffled pirate shirts over denim jackets.

It’s also bloody good. There’s a lot of depth and clever instrumentation at work here and they’ve taken just as much from WAGNER as they have from FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE. ‘In The Absence Of Will’ for example manages to be fiendishly heavy while at the same time overflowing with operatic grandeur. It’s not difficult to imagine this playing at both the Albert Hall and Graspop Open Air, even if it’d get a better reception at the latter. ‘Path To Shekinah’ meanwhile sounds like something JOHN WILLIAMS would come up with if he hung out with the wrong people. It’s epic in scope and aside from the impressive mix of piano, strings and good old chugging riffs, also demonstrates that RISE OF AVERNUS aren’t another tired Goth-meets-Doom stereotype. There’s an energy and passion that you don’t find on most albums of this ilk. They love a bit of gloom, but not as much as they want you to mosh, head bang and have a good time.

In fact there’s so much enthusiasm it’s not until the closing ‘In Hope We Drown’ that ‘Dramatis Personae’ casts its eyes down and starts dropping tears in the absinthe. Here the pace drops and RISE OF AVERNUS shuffle through a desert while chained together, quietly enduring the whips of their overseers rather than raging in the face of a hurricane. It’s a deeply atmospheric piece and the final burst of aggression that rounds it off is a great way to close the EP.
In other words, ‘Dramatis Personae’ is a promising sign of things to come from down under. It’ll make you want to grab anyone who looks down on metal and shove them face first into it while shouting about how intricate the arrangements are. Imagine a world where CHILDREN OF BODOM stole PETER FRAMPTON’s orchestra instead of CYPRESS HILL and you won’t be far off.

4 Star Rating

1. In The Absence Of Will
2. Path To Shekinah
3. Acta Est Fabula
4. An Alarum Of Fate
5. In Hope We Drown
Daniel Warrington – Vocals & Bass
Andrew Craig – Drums
Ben Vanvollenhoven – Vocals & Guitars & Orchestrations
Mares Rafelaeda -
Record Label: Code666 Records


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