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Avenger are one of the Black/Death Metal bands which seem to settle every release exactly on the fine line where it is impossible to categorize them as Black or Death Metal. I remember this great band from the Czech Republic from their early years when they released “Shadows of the Damned” . I think it was the "Top album of the issue" in an early issue of Misanthropic and I realized exactly the same above mentioned phenomena already on their first full-length.
Now they are back with “Feast of Anger – Joy of Despair” after 2 previous full-length records since “Shadows…” plus some live releases. My first impression was that they more turned into Death Metal than on their earlier releases, but after I listened to the album a few times I am not so sure about it anymore, it might be just the sound that became much more fat and compact. The title “Ritual of Wrath” for example reminds a lot to the good old Norwegian and eastern European old-school Black/Death Metal legends and after that “Unable” seems to be a real outstanding hymn. The first time I listened to this album I could not really connect it to the older Avenger material, but in the end the record seems to develop after a few times listening and gets better and better for each time you hear it and you will find more and more details and passages that are typical for earlier Avenger releases while listening, embedded in fat guitar riffings.
Compared to the earlier releases the music got somehow more compact and “full”, which makes the whole more atmospheric, it might be this "little Hypocrisy styled" atmosphere which first got me to think of Death Metal… Speaking about the lyrics, unfortunately only the titles are translated into English on this record, so what they deal about is hard to find out if you are not able to understand the Czech language (on the other hand I think it is right to have lyrics written in the language of the bands origin). They all seem to deal about Antichristian subjects and the fight against Christianity as on the previous releases.
All in all “Feast of Anger – Joy of Despair” is a very strong record, containing mighty Black/Death Metal. You will have to listen a few times to it to get all details into your mind and see the complete mightiness of this masterpiece, but then you will adore it!