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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