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
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.
Tags: 2008, Advent Parallax, article, averse sefira, Black Metal, boring, counter-review, death metal, jeff tandy, lame metal, lyrics, modern metal, re-review, review, techdeaf, tek-deth, texas, vapid, wanking