Aversion to Advent Parallax


Article by Lance Viggiano. Read his take on Transilvanian Hunger here.

I was essentially swindled into purchasing the gorgeous gatefold edition of this Averse Sefira LP which showcases some rather magnificent and captivating artwork as well as an above average execution of the band’s themes, concepts, and symbolism in visual form.

That is of course where the praise for Advent Parallax ends unless one deems musicianship – with congratulations being extended to the bass player whose endearing presence leaves a mark on this record which stands shoulder to shoulder with Jason Newsted during his tenure with Metallica – a noteworthy aspect of black metal. Suffice it to say, a notion neither this reviewer nor serious critics would elevate as a redemptive feature of any piece music. To return to the opening declaration, I was swindled into this purchase by an individual of great esteem and whose aesthetic sense I grant the utmost respect; only to have realized upon the final lift of the needle that I had in fact been sold the oil of sumptuous serpent. Advent Parallax is the sort of prank Andy Warhol pulled on the affluent art community by peddling blatant trash propped up willingly by the highbrow community using intricately woven rationalizations to vindicate what didn’t even attempt to sell itself as art. Perhaps Jos A. Smith was a cohort and Averse Sefira is his Velvet Underground?

By all rights, Advent Parallax should have been a success. Dare I say it checks every tick which ought to add up to a rich and dynamic experience that at once recalls the past but shines with brazen radiance towards a possible future for a genre well into its depletion curve. The album is essentially half of a death metal record and half of a black metal record whose circuitry of Immolation and Immortal are soldered into the dissonant superstructure that is modern metal. The tonal choices made by the Averse Sefira and production team are curious ones as it follows in the contemporary not-quite-raw characteristic which castrates any weight which may have otherwise solidified the airy and angular riffs. True to the predominance of white angelic beings within its iconography perhaps but the totality of the experience is fairly timid against the cacophony produced by the drummer whose performance is at once confused and desperate – as out of place on a black metal record as a crossover record.

Lyrically, Averse Sefira approach the vapidity of Deathspell Omega‘s philosophical pedantry yet opt for a much sparser delivery though nonetheless empty. Unlike earlier work of the genre, there is a distinct lack of resonating content save for perhaps the following:

“The Mind says, ‘I am not of the Body. When the Body ceases, I will be set free. I direct the Shell to move.’
The Soul says, ‘I am not of the Body. When Death comes, I shall reunite with the Void. I am the Engine of the Vessel.’
The Spirit says, ‘I am not of the Body. If I die, there is no longer reason to Exist. I am the fuel that fills the Form and gives it Power.’
The Body says, ‘It is only through Me that you are realized. I am that which makes you known. Without Me, you have no Home.’
The Fire says, ‘I am your Master. I govern you all as Passions. The Body melts at my touch. The Spirit burns at ignition. The Soul ashes at recession. The Mind an inferno at my stoking.'”

While far from satisfying in musical terms this is the only genuine reward to be had by devoting one’s attention to the well enunciated but monotonous vocalist. The record opens with the underwhelming:

Fivefold angles of Degrees
72 in number binding within
Inverted chaos
As spears impale wings

Only if one pretends to be enraptured by pseudo-occult references does Advent Parallax succeed in evoking mental imagery and correspondent subjective responses.

I’ve drawn an emphasis on the vacuity of the lyrics because it mirrors that of the riffs and so is easier to immediately quantify. Motifs rise and fall according to a rationalistic underlying structure in ways which merely reinforce an apathetic response. This is because reason is fundamentally a destructive rather than creative force: the understanding compartmentalizes by deconstructing wholes into a smaller number of independent variables which logic may process. The procession of riffs contains precious little emotive continuity as the emphasis is on their systematization matching tonality for clinical sterility.

Advent Parallax’s ornate and discursive composition approximates the expressionless visage of its cover art with the utmost care and attention to detail. As an execution of sparse musical elements arranged into a machine of indiscernible emotional depth; it succeeds in achieving the sort of high-minded concept its elements allude to possessing. The malevolent cherubs’ golem obfuscates meaning behind a pale-faced stare which impresses upon the reviewer the very essence of the philosophy of annihilation: experiencing just under an hour’s worth of music which provokes no internal response proves that the cessation of suffering can only be achieved by the absolute nothingness of those who are dead inside.

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31 thoughts on “Aversion to Advent Parallax

  1. Gardens of Grief Gnome says:

    Yeah but the interview was funny.

  2. fenrir says:

    Bravo! I second this opinion.

    But the references are not “pseudo-occult”, but simply quabbalistic occult, that does not make them “pseudo”, simply that you need to have studied the material to understand the reference —not that I care about these type in general, though. Most Qabala based metal inspiration tends to be vapid, and with good reason… you can trace it to the sterility of the so-called inspiration itself, which amounts to mostly rationalistic masturbation.

    Lance, can you next purge some other poser pseudo music like The Devil’s Blood and try a discussion on why so many posers and Satanic™ divas love them and praise them as prophets of a literal religion.

    1. Vigilance says:

      I called it “pseudo” because making references is basically all that’s here. Occultism is supposed to use emotive, powerful symbolic imagery to affect its changes. Both the lyrics and the music utterly fail in that regard.

      I haven’t had a reason to ever check out devils blood so I probably won’t comment unless there’s something there that would get me to pop off.

      1. Christ or Black Cocks says:

        Yep, no magic or sorcery to be found anywhere in this band’s catalogue.

    2. Christ or Black Cocks says:

      Batshit looney toon fantards aside, The Thousandfold Epicentre >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> anything Averse Sefira ever did.

  3. HH says:

    I can’t take black metal from Austin Texas seriously

    1. autist says:

      cuz the climate? or the fact that brett and the TX metal scene are entwined at the cock?

    2. In the spirit of Austin irony worship, did you know that Averse Sefira covered a Madonna song?:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcLmpcup_BU

      1. What a beer metal band. Averse Sefira ate the poo poo.

      2. Syphilis says:

        At least its 80s Madonna, that shit is more occult than black metal can ever hope to be. The mass media industry has pedophile rings, initiation rituals and blackmail, what does black metal have to compete with this?

        1. Sonic Youth’s cover was way more evil than Averse Sefira’s too:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azmC-g4eiC4

  4. Syphilis says:

    I always lumped Averse Sefira into the same category as DSO and Portal. Essentially they are black metals equivalent of tech death, like the tags say. Everything has already been said by earlier black metal bands more directly in a more condensed form. At what point exactly did black metal become this navel-gaze music?

    Don’t support the Texas scene.

  5. Dr. David Szisz says:

    The occult makes no sense to you – that’s ok.

  6. Rainer Weikusat says:

    Someone please build a museum around this sound installation. Or drop a museum on it. Might have prevented Woe if done timely enough ….

  7. Zorak says:

    I quite like this album for the first three tracks or so but it starts to feel so long in the tooth and suffocating that I have to put something else on.

  8. Blake Jugg says:

    Would you be keen to review one of their better albums? Perhaps there are elements that should be celebrated that we’re not getting.

    1. Vigilance says:

      Which is their best?

      1. Blake Jugg says:

        The best should be the one with the most run on sentences: http://www.deathmetal.org/bands/averse_sefira/

        1. Vigilance says:

          Fiveguys patties w/ cheese
          Lettuce too and onions
          Folded within sesame bun
          As peers inhale wings

      2. Bill Hopkins says:

        Probably Battle’s Clarion.

        1. Christ or Black Cocks says:

          Yeah, most likely. It’s their most compact and coherent statement.

  9. Seth says:

    This is a good example of an album that could have been good. Trying to pack too many ideas for the given space resulted in a moraine of quasidistinct riffs. Had they expanded upon the best few and discarded the rest this might have been a more evocative release. There are a couple moments where the songs keep their train of thought for longer than 30 seconds that were pretty much the only emotionally resonant parts on the entire record.

  10. His balls, your chin says:

    Brett only ever used to heap praise on this band because they were from Texas, and thus close to home and thus inside one another regularly.

  11. Exfoliation says:

    Was this written by the Goatcraft guy? Do you guys allow personal vendetta articles here? Isn’t it gay how everyone rushes to nod their head in agreement about everything written here like they’re scared to be wrong?

    1. No, this was written by Lance Viggiano.

    2. Christ or Black Cocks says:

      Fuck off.

    3. Psychic Psych Toad says:

      This was predicated by Daniel’s little argument with Brett the other day saying Averse was always mediocre! How predictable…

      1. Guess what? They were!

    4. Rainer Weikusat says:

      This is bad because it’s nothing beyond “skillfully going through the motions”. It could as well be used as background in toothpaste marketing clip. That’s why I called it “a sound installation”. That the author of the article also doesn’t like this style is of no concern for this.

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