posted on 2/2010 By:
With its third album, Scorn, Sweden’s Avsky captures the hateful spirit of classic second wave black metal while putting enough of its own spin on the formula to avoid complete redundancy.
Rather than beginning with a predictable barrage of blast beaten fury, “As Mountains Collapse” eases the listener in slowly with a lumbering riff. While the band has other tricks up its sleeve, blasting among them, the band relies most often on such weighty riffs and measured pacing. Unfortunately, this predilection for slow and heavy becomes repetitive, and with four of six tracks clocking in around nine minutes, the album risks collapsing under its own weight.
For the patient listener, however, Scorn has its rewards. The title track, for instance, rouses itself from the usual stomp and lurch for a neck snapping riffing straight off of To Mega Therion, and “The sickness within,” bounces along to a swinging groove colored with some droning dissonance and needling melody before shifting to a middle section that is pure Nordic blasting fury. Even the slower riffs, repetitive though they may be, are executed with finesse, each garnished with a special twist of evil.
Avsky’s best trick is making everything they do, from doom to thrash, sound like pure black metal. Scorn is steeped in the aura of the early nineties, and this is due, in part, to vocalist/bassist/guitarist, AE whose unholy howling rings of prime Nocturno Culto, and, in part, to the production, which despite reasonable clarity and punch, gives the recording a raw, necro vibe.
Avsky’s deliberate approach to black metal is refreshing to my ears, but I think many will find Scorn’s bloated tracks a tough pill to swallow. Avsky spirit, however, is undeniable, and I think that a little self editing could go a long way toward making the band a standout.
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