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Avsky - Scorn - 90%

Phuling, October 22nd, 2010

I’ve enjoyed every output to bear the name Avsky, and have heard their sound develop quite a lot from their first primitive demo to the monster of an album that is Malignant. And with the follow-up, Scorn, they've honed their sound even more, and it seems like they’re in constant development. With overall lengthy tracks and mixing several different styles and subgenres they’re definitely not afraid of standing out from the crowd, nor to rub the elitist black metal listeners the wrong way.

As the mountains collapse opens with a somewhat ambient-sounding landscape before the initial dissonant riffing begets the track for real. The lads quickly prove their talent for writing catchy guitar leads that brings with it a truly evil-sounding atmosphere, as you’ll hear about two minutes into said song. As it progresses the tune takes the form of classic Scandinavian black metal, before it changes format once more and about five minutes in morphs into a sludgy, doom-ridden song. The semi-chunky guitar sound and tempo makes for an early doom metal feel, mixed in with just a little bit of psychedelia. No compassion, no regrets opens up strong with a fast pace, ridden with aggression much thanks to the wicked riffing and powerful vocals. And once more a doomy sensation sneaks its way into the tune, all while the tempo doesn’t always match it. I can’t help but to feel the doom metal present throughout the album, although not to the point where I’d dub it black/doom, but more like it’s been slickly flavoured with bits and pieces of a saddened, the-end-is-nigh, sort of atmosphere that doom could be accounted for.

The title track holds one of the most toxic old school black metal guitar leads I think I’ve ever heard, but just as quickly as it reared its ugly face it dissipates, only to be heard for about thirty seconds altogether. The skill of riffing is one of Avsky’s strong notes, as the album has an incredibly powerful core of main riffs, and the occasional lead that catches your attention and keeps you at the edge of your seat. Vocally TO wanders both the desolate landscapes of depressive black metal, but staying clear off any sort of annoying Varg howling that pests the subgenre, as well as in-your-face screams of frustration. He nails every style he attempts, and he constantly mixes it up, keeping it interesting. It goes hand in hand with the music since the tempo varies, the tunes change pace and style ever so often, but still flowing uninterrupted by flaws of writing or performance.

While this might be the band’s most coherent and mature output to date, it still doesn’t grab me by the balls the same way Malignant did. A terrific production, chilly and grim and a marvelous atmosphere set aside, I can’t help but to feel the lack of lyrics takes away a bit of their message. Since the vocals sound so honest it’d enhance the blaspheming aura by getting their full lyrics delivered. But as The sickness within goes from over-the-hills killer drum patterns and stark dissonant riffs to silence, I can’t help but to feel overwhelmed with negative emotions brought to light by the intense atmosphere of Scorn.

Originally written for http://www.mylastchapter.net

Avsky - Scorn - 85%

Pratl1971, April 26th, 2010

Sweden’s Avsky calls itself “malignant black metal” on its MySpace page, and while the term itself is laden with ill-feelings and horrible images of cancerous growths and whatnot, the music is a black metal malignancy of a high regard. Whichever adjective you see worthy, Avsky detonates a black metal explosive worthy of praise from the Bottom Dweller himself.

It’s possibly considered sacrilege to say this, but early Burzum can be heard all over this. “No Compassion, No Regrets” screams of the Burzum self-titled release with some Det Som Engang Var generously tossed in for measure. However, getting that initial comparison out of the way, Avsky’s Scorn is a harkening back to the raw black metal days before the deluge of poseurs and wannabes infiltrated the scene. Scorn also ascends the typical raw black metal in its use of slow moments of sheer instrumental beauty and occasional “crunchy” melody that leaves little wont for anything more. Every element of black metal, from its infant stages to its current progression, is represented here to the higher caliber than we’re used to.

For its third full release, Avsky has added its name to the unhallowed itinerary of black metal’s finer bands. With little if any repetitive moments, Scorn is one of those albums that is as black as one can get while harnessing some slow, sludge-like effects that seems to scream evil at a pace not normally found in today’s black metal. It’s especially absent in the “raw” black sound that is more in-tune with tin-can production and speedy riffs hardly discernable to the untrained ear. “The Sickness Within” is a full-on melodic attack of that primitive sound we covet, yet modern enough to showcase moments of impossible clarity and charm.

“The Beyond” houses one of the more haunting instrumentals I’ve enjoyed in some time, creating the image of a dusty parlor in some nineteenth-century three-floor on the historical side of some old town. It’s an “Opethian” triumph that is captivating in its aura and seems to spill out over the room like a sudden equinox, a certain shock to the system to the layman listener, but welcome and anticipated for the long-time fan of the genre. Six tracks of old-world blackness surprise and engage the informed fan on this one.

If you must step back now and again and find something worth your time and money, I suggest Avsky’s current release, as well as its former offerings. You’ll come to find a few nice surprises throughout from both the music as art and yourself as a fan.

(Originally written for http://www.metalpsalter.com)

Avsky's Scorn - 89%

burnoutfool, March 16th, 2010

I have always been impressed with Avsky, especially with their last release, Malignant. This black metal duo hailing from Dalama, Sweden has had much controversy because they are a new band, starting in 2002, and still sounding like traditional black metal. The band itself has had much praise, and also has had a lot of disapproval from many fans of the genre. I however am the former, as I love the sounds they create, even their highly unorganized first release, Mass Destruction.

I first heard this album on March 14th, when I first found out about the release, as it was delayed from January 10th. I got it as quick as I could, because the last album left me on the edge of my seat, grinning like the Cheshire cat - ear to ear. The first thing I noticed is the extremely long track lengths, with only one song (The Beyond - 3 minutes, 16 seconds) being under seven minutes. Now of course, this doesn't make a bad album, but for black metal, it can be a displeasure. I threw in the album and started my quest into the depths of the black hell known as Scorn.

Well, I can say that the opening track is a bit similar to Fuck Your Values, Fuck Your Beliefs, from their last album, Malignant. It was sort of redundant to listen to the same riff over and over for nearly ten fucking minutes, but hey, I liked it. The entire album had an atmosphere to it that is supremely enjoyable. However, I will say that many of the guitar riffs were used multiple times in the album, and those riffs themselves can be found on Malignant and Mass Destruction.

Setting those things aside, of course the vocals stayed the same from Malignant, being an ambient scream found in a lot of Depressive black metal, or even some Ambient black metal. I do enjoy AE's scream immensely, being that it is a fresh sound to the scene. Not only this, but it has a burzumatic feel without the Varg aspect to the music. It has a Dunkelheit sound, however doesn't get that polarization that Varg gives off. As we all know, black metal is selling out thanks to many bands coming to the forefront (Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Cradle of Filth...ect). It is good to hear an oldschool sounding black metal band that is trying to revive the scene.

Apart from the sound, the entire feel of the album was really good. It had a really dark atmosphere to it, which was probably what AE and TO were going for. Much of the sounds to the lyrics seemed to have an apocalyptic feel to it, especially on Scorn and As the Mountains Collide. For black metal, I will say this is one of the better releases of the 2005-2010 era. Especially counting that all Avsky's work has been released in this era. This is probably their best album and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes oldschool stuff.