Sometime after recording their flawless Sadness demo, Avernus decided to remove all traces of Death Metal from their Doom, replacing it with what they hoped would be Gothic atmosphere. Sometimes it works, as in the opener, “Blood Gathers Frost,” and sometimes (in the very next track) it seems as if they needed to work things out a little more before recording. I think the real problem here is that they’re so used to being a Metal band, that they really are not certain how to proceed down any other path, and so have not fully embraced Goth, which seems to be what they’d like to do. At least they didn’t try their hand at Groove Rock, like some other former Doom bands. I don’t want to imply that this is not atmospheric, or in some ways Doomy - it is. But with a thicker guitar sound it could have been much heavier. The band’s vocalist, Rick, might try to tell you that I don’t like his “clean” vocals, and while it is true that I miss his monstrous roar, I think this new vocal approach is effective for this style of music. I just wonder where the band will go from here.
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