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CD Review: AVICHI – The Divine Tragedy

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Avichi   The Divine Tragedy

I had no idea what to expect from this album when I first saw it. I looked at the front cover and saw a robed figure on a beige background. Could it be doom? The band name was so illegible it looked like almost like a goregrind logo. When I found out what the band name was, I had never heard of them, the album, or their label. The album came in a package all by itself with no other albums, and unfortunately I probably threw the packaging out, so I have no idea where it came from. So essentially, everything about the album, and the band was a mystery, and from the looks of things trying to track this band down, they like to keep it that way.

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I was honestly actually expecting some drone doom due to the first track and its slow ambient use of only a single gong, but no, the music is firmly rooted in black metal. It’s generally quick with raw blast beats and double bass drums, but rooted firmly in simplicity. The mainman running the show, Aamonael plays everything except for the drums, and while I’m sure he’s probably got some technical skill hidden up his sleeves (as his playing is incredibly tight), doing anything technical would go completely against the nature of the music. The patterns and organization of the song structures are built around short repetitive riffs that move to a variation on a pattern, and close full-circle on themselves. This highly repetitive nature would usually draw the listener to a bore, but in this case the end result is highly hypnotic.

In going with the theme of simplicity, it sounds as if there are only three instruments vying for attention. The first is the dirtied guitars which seem to eschew the standard cold stark biting tone of most black metal styled guitars. The second is the drums which seem to have been recorded in an intentionally raw manner that provide the obvious backbone, and the third are the hoarse vocals that could’ve been echoed through a cave, or forest. Beyond that, I couldn’t find anything resembling a bass, but everything is played in a fairly tight manner, which only helps to reinforce the repetitious nature of the music.

Is it raw? A little bit. Is it grim? I guess it could be. The end effect is actually more akin to a type of black metal I could put on at night alone, the kind of thing that manages to capture the spirit of metalgaze in the context of black metal without any actual crossover. “The Divine Tragedy” may use the same trappings of black metal, yet the spirit behind it transcends standard fare. Very intriguing, and I’m glad I got it.

8/10

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Avichi at MySpace
Numen Malevolum Barathi (NMB) Records

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