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“Give me some baby blood.” This disc is called Tetragrammatical Astygmata and as I listened for the first time I kept hearing King Diamond’s voice in my head, “Elohim... Adonai... Tetragrammaton.” Averse Sefira returns with new material, the long awaited sequel to 2001’s Battle’s Clarion. The most important issue to me is can this possibly live up to the back catalog. Over the last several years no American band has gotten more airtime on my cd player than Averse Sefira.
I have been listening to this disc nonstop of a few days and I get more out of it with each spin. Ten songs, fifty minutes, a few pauses here and there to catch your breath, like the end of “Hierophant Disgorging,” otherwise full on intensity. Once again unexpected time changes and swirling guitars force your full attention. The level of technicality is high and the skill of execution is equal to the task they set before themselves. At least there is one band that meets expectations. Anyone out there that is a fan, this disc is mandatory. My favorite is “Helix In Audience”, which flows right into “Mana Anima,” with a brief interlude, making for one nearly 15 minute long piece that demands full attention. The drumming is beyond good and is allowed to take over for a bit about four minutes in. The sparse lyrics allow for lengthy melodic passages, and add more power when the vocals do come in. I find myself looking up at the speakers in concentration, which helps focus my mind on the music, blocking out external forces like my work environment. “Mana Anima,” starts quietly and builds slowly in harshness and volume. An absence of melody is what stands out, grating and rhythmic with the harshness of the vocal delivery dragging you along to the final extended distortion of an ending, like the plaintive wail of a far off siren that takes two minutes to disappear.
There is no doubt this album, like its predecessor, will make my top ten for the year.
I can appreciate the effort and time that went into crafting this album and if the next one is going to be this good I won’t mind waiting until 2010 to hear it. In the meantime I’ll go listen to Black Masses.
Originally written for http://teethofthedivine.com