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AVENGER
AVENGER
Feast Of Anger - Joy Of Despair
(Deathgasm Records)
42:46min

An event of this magnitude is rare... probably once in every thousand bands or so... that a band grows like this is not something exactly happening all the time. This Czech force has already three full lengths before this one, and although all of those were good, and possess some competent songs and a couple of killer riffs, they were, in all honesty, an average band... until now. 5 years have passed since the release of their last album, and it seems the band dedicated this time to become masters in their style. No, they didn't change that much in fact; the main core of their sound and influences are still there. They just pushed the limits and forced themselves to be the best in every sense. This aggressive Death / Black Metal style is still there, with that distinctive flavor that bands like MASTER'S HAMMER and ROOT gave in their brightest times, combined with a malicious melodic form of metal reminiscent of early DISSECTION and early MAYHEM, added with a touch of early DARKTHRONE and spices of IMMOLATION and MORBID ANGEL found within. Yes, they never forget about melody and yet they always sound obscure. There is not a single riff or part of a song that was composed without an objective in mind: to annihilate the listener. I am still not sure if this is sung in their mother tongue as the previous releases have been (based on the lyrics in the booklet I'd say yes here - Frank), but rest assure that the vocals have that charismatic touch that only sung in that old European language can be achieved. Although the vocals tend to be more into the screamy Black Metal type, they are strong enough and used to a great effect to transmit the sound of painful agony. One thing that makes this sound so powerful is the impressive rhythmic section, with a fantastic drum work, and very precise riffing. Add to that a heavy and powerful production, which avoids modern trends, yet keeps it with ultimate strength. And although I won't be able to tell you that they play very technical, there is a certain complexity in the arrangements here, but just in the precise quantity that makes the songs to sound as a continuous storm. A mention must be made to the guitar solos, which are above average and used in the right place to make an emphasis on the strength of the songs. 'Just For This Night' has a mid tempo start that suddenly and almost in a very natural form speeds up with such atmosphere of aggression and darkness few bands can achieve. That is another triumph in here, the variety in speed, where AVENGER always sound strong no matter if they go grinding fast or tormented in mid pace, something few bands are capable of achieving with this mastery. The effective use of some intros and interludes (quite macabre sounding I must add) and some few acoustic parts, which in other cases could probably make things to sound out of place, are used to enhance even further the dark and aggressive atmosphere of the album. On 'Vitriol' they play a mammoth riff that would make the envy of any extreme Metal band. 'Joy Of Despair' also showcases more of their majestic Death Metal side in the guitar playing. Songs after song it is the intensity that the band oozes that traps the listener in a void-like trance. It cannot end in a better way with "Feast Of Anger" truly a hymn to darkness, death and perdition. Although we are only at the half of this year 2008, this is surely a contender for album of the year in the extreme Metal reign. Honor to Deathgasm for releasing this monster and to AVENGER for creating it. This is what Heavy Metal hunters like me are born for, to discover these blackened jewels. Essential purchase. More info at: www.myspace.com/avengerofficial, www.deathgasm.com

Julián Núńez

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