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They've really outdone themselves this time. I think that hiatus was just what Honza needed to bring Avenger to that next level. I got into them when I hear their album, "The Fall of..." and later on, through various connections I have, acquired their other two albums at the time. I saw how they had evolved and grown from "Shadows..." and I liked the progression they had made, but then "Godless" was a bit of a disappointment after hearing how they had come along. So then we don't hear much of anything out of the Avenger camp, until now...
This album takes that same dark, organic tone and feel that I described a while back on my review of "The Fall of..." and improves on it with more clarity, and a much stronger tone with more crunch to it, while still maintaining that dark, organic sound and feel. This gives the album more punch and drive than the previous ones did, and also makes it a little more harsh and abrasive, and a little less smooth. Imagine that "The Fall of..." was a moss covered rock. This album is a rough sandstone with very little moss.
Not only has the tone much improved, but so has the writing. The riffs are catchier while still clinging to those unique melodies, arpeggios, and styles that we're used to from Honza. Probably what any fan of Avenger will notice the most is Honza's vocals. They've gotten much more powerful than what they were on "Godless" and before. You might also notice some more atmosphere, thanks to the addition of the timpani here and there, along with that awesome interlude on "Hlasy deliria" (Voices of Delirium) that actually kind of puts you in a mood or feeling like you're delirious. They really nailed it this time.
I can only hope that this album brings them the success and recognition they've deserve and worked to hard to achieve. I recommend any fan of black/death metal to get this album. It's about the farthest you can get from the generic black/death plague that seems to be unending now, what with bands like Archgoat pumping out the same tired old material that's been done a million times before by others, and done much better might I add. Still, Avenger brings out a glimmer of hope for black/death with this release.