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Averse Sefira - Battle's Clarion
Review: In resplendence of wanderlust measured by wisdom, Averse Sefira add death metal precision and militant percussion to their trademark flowing black metal, creating an album that despite unsteady moments wins us over with raw passion and the uniqueness of each song in the context of a conceptual unity. Sonorous notes ascend and barrage through dissonance and turbulent, disturbed percussion; dissonance balances ripping, Morbid Angel-styled power chord phrases at high speed.
More direct than the roaming spatial melodies of Homecoming's March and hearkening to the whipping scream of the triumphant demo from this band, in this work two groups of narratives sequence tales of the evolution of transcendent beings and their descent into hell. Fantasy rises within the literality of music that, while showing its heritage in American music, aspires to the musical strength of the greatest of European black metal bands. Emotion is encoded within theme underscored by a palette of coloring in harmony, like a demented resilient unrelenting soundtrack, as memes hinted in shadowy motions interspersed separate to become forces of vital change.
Invective in pacing disturbs a narrow equilibrium of rhythm, so that harsher inertia replaces the building sense of atmosphere, creating a disjointed mood in which anything seems possible. Longer melodies composed of arpeggiated power chord voicings race to the battering pace of adroit percussion which replaces the drum machine of demo and first album, inheriting its patterning and sensibility of tempo changes from the technical death metal of the early 1990s.
Instrumentals are understated while exacting and display appropriate technicality for a band moving to prominence beyond its immediate genre, allowing flexibility in presentation and arrangement that is rewarded when songs expand suddenly beyond the confines of the immediate. Far from the clashing blast, what makes Battle's Clarion succinct and enduring is its romantic desire for expression in the style of ancient art, placing the self before morality or bounding laws of humankind to acquire that which is the desire of existence.