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Averse Sefira - Tetragrammatical Astygmata
Review: The latest album from this Texan band grows into the technical death metal/flowing black metal hybrid established on the last, and makes incarnate its promise by using circular song structures which sandwich peripatetic melodies between clashing towers of rhythm riffs, giving this album the duality of character that matches its mythos of otherworldly beings trapped in earthly combat.
In the gestalt of such a mixture, songs begin with dissonant dirges and dissipate, synthesizing direction with a sequence of paired riffs that gesticulate offhandedly at a resolution that then occurs in inversion, a fission of formative genesis that reiterates itself from conclusion to origin. The lengthier melodies reminiscent of Gorgoroth or Graveland here appear in a mature form, with modified chord voicings anchoring them in dissonance, and more adroitly adapted variations in rhythm giving them evocative texture.
Organic entities growing out of their own discontent, songs move rapidly on nimble drumming that emphasizes the rigid angles of riffs only to later complement their longer periods of equilibrium with charging cadences, letting each song fill itself with an undulation between rigidity and fluidity before overflowing into a conclusion that, like a good soundtrack to an epic movie, resembles a battle scene in which the pillars of the action may be destroyed. Bass explores more terrain than doubling root notes; vocals have gained additional ferocity and equally surprising passion without wallowing in surface emotions.
While this album shows Averse Sefira growing into the promise their hybrid of black metal and death metal has always had, it also stays true to the ideals of the black metal genre by maintaing atmosphere at the expense of formal clarity, and uses its technical power to offset the simple and vivid moods through which it moves its listeners between nodal points of its mythos, expressed in articulate and ritualistic lyrics. In this, while much of this album borrows the technique of later black metal and early 1990s death metal, it unites with the spirit of those among the early modern black metal bands who achieved intellectual clarity, as well as fulfilling the promise of early philosophical epics like those of Celtic Frost and Bathory.