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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)