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Averse Sefira

Averse Sefira
May 15, 2008, 10:23:02 AM
Some find them fundamentally boring, others find them good.

Let me mention some strengths:

* Melodic composition.
* Song structure.
* Underpinning concept.
* High degree of musicality.

If I missed anything, please fill in.

They may seem boring to those accustomed to pure rhythm music, which changes more frequently, but is more random and so less enduring, in my experience.

Re: Averse Sefira
May 15, 2008, 12:38:04 PM
My problem with the new album is that it's not as good as 'Tetragrammatical Astygmata.'

'Serpent Recoil' marks the beginning of the better half of the album, but as a whole, Advent Parallax never reaches the epic grandeur of TA.

Re: Averse Sefira
May 15, 2008, 03:13:19 PM
the thing which most draws me to Averse Sefira (on Battles Clarion), is their guitar parts. something about them just sounds so perverse, and evil. the way that they clash with the blasting drums invokes the image of an apocalyptic end. really, i dont see how people could find this band boring.
No.

Having reviewed the thread, baby Jesus is most definitely weeping at this point.

Re: Averse Sefira
May 15, 2008, 10:21:46 PM
Strength:

The fact that for a decade now, they have remained almost entirely off the hipster black-metal radar screen. Surely they must be doing things correctly!!

Re: Averse Sefira
May 16, 2008, 03:44:38 AM
Whilst the general underpinning concept is a definite plus for this band, the music itself is lacking in variation. This would be fine if it was interesting music, but i find it to be way too generic. Its like its constantly building up to a climax that never comes. The best analogy i can think (and i'll apologize in advance for this) is masturbating without ever climaxing, it gets dull and samey and never really gets you anywhere.
In a state of permanent Abyss

Nile577

Re: Averse Sefira
May 16, 2008, 02:46:49 PM
I enjoy listening to T.A. (terrible title!) and the new album. I think that T.A. is their strongest work because it maintains quality throughout. Their "concept" has some promise but at times their symbolism is too obvious. This seems to have been corrected with the newest album.

Deathspell Omega is a better band exploring these fields and interestingly there is a massive DSO influence on T.A.. DSO have raised the standards of many currently active bands (Leviathan and Averse Sefira being notable examples).


Re: Averse Sefira
May 16, 2008, 04:46:33 PM
I don't see the DSO influence.  There are points of convergence, for sure, but those points are so broadly obvious (chiefly, harmonic dissonance) that anything but parallel development is a tough argument to make.  This is especially true when you look at either band's work closely.  Averse Sefira's dissonance is clearly derived from a close study of the more complex end of death metal: At the Gates, Immolation and Demilich, chiefly.  DSO is just as clearly derived from the previous generation of 'avant-garde' or 'post' black metal (Ved Buens Ende, Dodheimsgard, Fleurety etc.), with more than a little nod to past hipster rock heroes like Sonic Youth (an influence common to much of the current generation of metal marketed for an indie audience).  

If Averse Sefira has faltered at times with the lyrical concept, the weakness of DSO has been and continues to be the band's plug and play approach to composition, which leads (as it does for Pink Frothy AIDS and most bands that hang their hat on 'experimentation' and 'pushing the boundaries') to incoherence and banal predictability in pretty much equal measure.  I'll take a band that occasionally struggles to tighten up the literary edges of an evolving lyrical concept to one that struggles just to make sense any day.

Re: Averse Sefira
May 16, 2008, 05:11:23 PM
Quote
I enjoy listening to T.A. (terrible title!) and the new album. I think that T.A. is their strongest work because it maintains quality throughout. Their "concept" has some promise but at times their symbolism is too obvious. This seems to have been corrected with the newest album.

Deathspell Omega is a better band exploring these fields and interestingly there is a massive DSO influence on T.A.. DSO have raised the standards of many currently active bands (Leviathan and Averse Sefira being notable examples).


Symbolism too obvious? How is that a valid criticism? I don't understand why that would be a problem. It's better to be obvious than to hide behind mysticism.

DSO is a hipster band to me. The previous post explains it better, but I've only seen DSO shirts on hipsters.

Nile577

Re: Averse Sefira
May 16, 2008, 06:53:47 PM
Quote
DSO is just as clearly derived from the previous generation of 'avant-garde' or 'post' black metal (Ved Buens Ende, Dodheimsgard, Fleurety etc.), with more than a little nod to past hipster rock heroes like Sonic Youth (an influence common to much of the current generation of metal marketed for an indie audience).


Prozak says it well in the ANUS review of T.A. "In the use of pulsating split arpeggiated power chord progressions played off against half-speed resolutions, one can observe the better influences of later blackmetal, namely Antaeus and Deathspell Omega (and Graveland)." I think this is demonstrated well if we compare the Averse Sefira track "Hierophant Disgorging" with, say, "Sola Fide II" from Deathspell Omega.

I think you are right to notice the death metal influence in Averse Sefira but I disagree about the "indie marketing" of Deathspell Omega (At least, certainly on everything up to Fas.). Fas has some transitions that I dislike when I listen to them out of context, but the driving force of the album is a pronounced Obscura-era Gorguts influence. (On an album-by-album level there is a clear comparison between the development of Gorguts and Deathspell Omega).

I don't agree that DSO's composition is "plug and play". Kenose and Si Monumentum, in particular, are unified conceptual works with a nearly symphonic gambit of moods. In particular I think that the "prayers" on Si Monumentum are an excellent structural device.

I don't know the bands you mentioned (Ved Buens Ende, Dodheimsgard, Fleurety etc). Am I missing anything?

The influence of DSO has been, overwhelmingly, to raise the intellectual standards of black metal by moving the genre towards a theology. I feel that Averse Sefira grasp for this religious sincerity on T.A. but do not quite realise it. Part of the reason for this (moving to Neoclassical's post) is the clumsy nature of their lyrics. Perhaps I would have done better to express them as being "too contrived" as opposed to "too obvious."

An example:

Transitive Annihilation

Numbing states of languish
Surging across aspectual abyss
Awaiting absorption
Disquieting vibrations

Importance lies
Coadunating towards
Subconscious navigation
Becomes

Murder confinement
As an obstacle of motion
Nature exalting
The equanimity of struggle

Subrogation
Gilded in guilt
Cast aside

All fetters melt away
Releasing the pulchritude
Of mastery
Obfuscated in the face
Of the moral

I may be wrong but, based on the intensely disjointed style and lack of lyricism, my intuition is that someone plucked uncommon words out of a thesaurus in an attempt to appear sophisticated.

In any case, compare the above with:

I

Everything, except GOD, has in itself some measure of privation. Thus all individuals may be graded according to the degree to which they are infected with mere potentiality.


I find this to be, if not religious, at least authentically theological and certainly genuinely evocative and sinister.

Re: Averse Sefira
May 17, 2008, 12:37:33 AM
Side note:  DSO ripped that lyric off from Arthur Lovejoy.

Re: Averse Sefira
May 17, 2008, 07:15:25 AM
averse sefira is ok but i can see how the technique is sort of boring, it's chaotic and blasting like death metal. and therefore lacks the spaciousness of dark fog-centric norse inspired black metal which has more in common with ambient synth music than metal technique. i guess people's tastes are defined by which direction they think the genre should be heading.

Re: Averse Sefira
May 17, 2008, 02:12:50 PM
Deathspell Omega has to be some of the most noodly, directionless cut and paste hogwash ive ever had the displeasure to hear.
No.

Having reviewed the thread, baby Jesus is most definitely weeping at this point.

Re: Averse Sefira
May 17, 2008, 05:15:11 PM
Quote

Prozak says it well in the ANUS review of T.A. "In the use of pulsating split arpeggiated power chord progressions played off against half-speed resolutions, one can observe the better influences of later blackmetal, namely Antaeus and Deathspell Omega (and Graveland)."


I still don't buy it.  When you boil it down to essentials, all that's being discussed here is the greater emphasis on rhythm for the shaping of phrase in Antaeus, DSO and Averse Sefira when compared to the previous generation of black metal.  That doesn't tell us all that much though, because:

A.) it's such an obvious step that it's hard to imagine anyone needing outside inspiration to take it.

and

B.) it's been central to the work of Averse Sefira going all the way back to Blasphomet Sin Abset, released a year before Deathspell Omega had so much as formed, which makes it awfully difficult to ascribe the influence to DSO, ya dig?


Quote
I think you are right to notice the death metal influence in Averse Sefira but I disagree about the "indie marketing" of Deathspell Omega (At least, certainly on everything up to Fas.).


Uhhhhh, Deathspell Omega has been marketed in very similar fashion to Wolves in the Throne Room, Xasthur, and Blut aus Nord, all of whom have been heavily pushed in key indie rock hype organs.  There's been a conscious effort to sell these artists, as well as the drone doom set, as sort of the 'dark side' of contemporary college radio.

Quote
Fas has some transitions that I dislike when I listen to them out of context, but the driving force of the album is a pronounced Obscura-era Gorguts influence.
(On an album-by-album level there is a clear comparison between the development of Gorguts and Deathspell Omega).[/quote]

That seems like a good bit of a stretch.  Granted, I've only heard a couple of tracks off the album: "Obombration" - which sounds like Ved Buens Ende with interludes by Xasthur (yuck) and "Bread of Bitterness" which reminds me strongly of Dodheimsgard and Diabolical Masquerade (again, yuck) but not a bit of Gorguts.  Nothing I've heard from this album or their previous releases strikes me as being anything more than a college rock aesthetic sensibility applied to the black metal 'avant-garde' of the late 1990s.  Dissonance does not a Gorguts reference justify.

Quote
I don't agree that DSO's composition is "plug and play". Kenose and Si Monumentum, in particular, are unified conceptual works with a nearly symphonic gambit of moods.


...a gambit of moods applied for maximum contrast (to remind the kiddies that this is indeed, 'experimental' music) rather than maximum strategic impact.  It's not quite random, but it is structured like a con job.

Quote
I don't know the bands you mentioned (Ved Buens Ende, Dodheimsgard, Fleurety etc). Am I missing anything?


Artistically, no.  But if DSO is your thing, you'd probably enjoy the material those bands released in the late 90s.

Quote
The influence of DSO has been, overwhelmingly, to raise the intellectual standards of black metal by moving the genre towards a theology.


The influence of DSO has been, overwhelmingly, to legitimize pseudo-intellectual navel gazing and an Opethian logic whereby an apparent novelty-of-form is prized over the real value-of-content.




Re: Averse Sefira
May 17, 2008, 09:25:29 PM
DSO is indeed marketed to hipster indie folks, though it isn't as pervasive as Xasthur (probably because it's not nearly as basic).  

Quote
B.) it's been central to the work of Averse Sefira going all the way back to Blasphomet Sin Abset, released a year before Deathspell Omega had so much as formed, which makes it awfully difficult to ascribe the influence to DSO, ya dig?


Much agreed. A lot of people forget that more than half of DSO's career was as a Darkthrone variant while Averse Sefira was releasing albums like Battle's Clarion. Some people have pointed to Funeral Mist and late model Deathspell when comparing AS's music but I don't really hear it. They sound nothing like Funeral Mist, and their long-cited influences of Morbid Angel, Immolation, and Immortal (and I guess early Emperor too) are pretty clear in their current work.

Re: Averse Sefira
May 18, 2008, 12:24:51 AM
Quote
Some people have pointed to Funeral Mist

I suspect this is simply because of the interludes and the production on "Tetragrammatical Astygmata".

Still, that makes a lot more sense to me than the seemingly never-ending line of reviewers who compare "Tetragrammatical Astygmata" and "Advent Parallax" to "Now, Diabolical".  I mean, WTF?