Averse Sefira

Currently one of the few interesting black metal bands from the North American continent, Averse Sefira continue the legacy of raw and rudimentary black metal aspiring to atmospheric and epic effect.
flag of Texas Averse Sefira - Blasphomet Sin Abset (1996)
Averse Sefira - Homecoming's March (1999)
Averse Sefira - Battle's Clarion (2001)
Averse Sefira - Tetragrammatical Astygmata (2005)
Averse Sefira - Advent Parallax (2008)
Averse Sefira - Interview (2007)
Blasphomet Sin Abset

Production: Streamlined demo.

Review: From the primordial soup of black metal Averse Sefira evolves the original components of the genre into a sound inspired by both the greats and the sentimental atmospheric indie rock of the last two decades, differentiating the Texas scene with a development of eloquent melody that propels the regenerating codex of black metal riffing to a spacious romantic emptiness and room for vast conflict and majestic resolution in theme.

Blasphomet Sin Abset offers intense passion describing a mythos of aetheric beings in conflict through a karmic cycle of loss and struggle, embracing life through its ethereal counterpart of significant experience. This metaphorical emergence of will against the gravity of experience is sculpted through charging riffs which trace developing melody through a stream of chords played at high-speed tremolo, expressing in silhouette a building harmony that represents the cornerstones of this mythos that will later conclude in a final processional passage summarizing and culminating what came before.

1. Flight From A Stagnant Land (2:00)
2. Wind Witch (Abset) (5:27)
3. Arrival (1:04)
4. Rift Between Two Worlds (3:33)
5. The Introduction (1:02)
6. Winter of My Bliss (4:58)
7. Siege (3:47)
Length: 21:53

Averse Sefira - Blasphomet Sin Abset
Copyright © 1996 Arrogare

Cyclic structure swings between tonal extremities fundamental to theme and gives this music a tense mood which communicates the alienation of being a stranger to all lands and the nervous attentiveness of being in unknown terrain. Warlike percussion (unobtrusive because of intelligent drum machine programming) rages through the landscape as battling guitar riffs soar and degenerate, explode and rebirth themselves. It is the playground of the mind, with an epic sense that is metaphorical to current existence of loss, desire for place, and a return to honor and spiritual sensibility among the unenlightened peons of America.

Where possible this demo offers innovation in the form of poetic transition of mood and composition that reflects, more than atmosphere of moods a changing riddle of the particular pattern of varied emotions most resonant to the character of the dominant theme in each piece, forming in a prosaic form the poetic abstract atmosphere that few bands achieve. Esoteric ambient introductory material is, like the vocals, a small but vital piece extremely well translated, like the fittingly detached acerbic vocals that convey the flowering of feelings associated with the alienation inherent to this sound as it explores the future shape of the soul.

Homecoming's March

Production: Powerful sound from simple but logical choices.

Review: Balancing their own mixture of influences from the black metal canon, Averse Sefira introduce a hypnotic sound that uses repeated melodic passages to create a mood of suspended reality and an essential restlessness, capturing the wanderlust of transcendent beings uncomfortable with the static states of material and safe emotion. Influenced mostly by Graveland and Immortal, this album emphasizes long flowing melodies which force the listener to track them like a thread of meaning in an esoteric text, making the most of the simplicity for which black metal is famous.

1. Hymns To The Scourge of Heaven (8:28)
2. For We Have Always Been (7:49)
3. Sentinel's Plight (12:47)
4. Pax Dei (8:04)
5. Above the Firmaments Of Wrath (6:23)
6. Ad Infinitum (6:42)
7. Homecoming's March (13:45)
Length: 64:01

Averse Sefira - Homecoming's March
Copyright © 1999 Arrogare

Intensely patterned, but formed into a stream of shifting rhythms and riffs that allow melody to converge on focal points of structural motion, memes of destruction surge forth over rigorous, vigilant, agile whipping of snare and metals. Throat force is a vigorous take on the garden variety black metal shriek/snarl (do we need a word like SPORK for this?) and is used effectively with rhythm, in the grandest style of metal mad ranters since speed metal. Gorgoroth-styled tremolo riffing rides a blasting percussion track of suspended-delivery pocket drumming in the best jazzcore implementation of Graveland to ever ride these manic, mechanical rails.

The focus is on rhythm guitar and the structure it suggests; here that structure is both abstract and physical, with a sense for a violent but self-resolving motion as found in the most anthemic of classic metal and hardcore bands. Similarities to older Ancient and The Abyss may be noticed in those who peer deeply into the riff codex, but structural and harmonic alignment are esoterically different. Those who wish for a return to "true" elements in metal will appreciate how straightforward this band, who in abstract have a more coherent message than any previous black metal band from this continent, have made their aesthetic and presentation in their music.

Battle's Clarion
Lost Disciple

Production: Slender and clear.

Review: In resplendence of wanderlust measured by wisdom, Averse Sefira add death metal precision and militant percussion to their trademark flowing black metal, creating an album that despite unsteady moments wins us over with raw passion and the uniqueness of each song in the context of a conceptual unity. Sonorous notes ascend and barrage through dissonance and turbulent, disturbed percussion; dissonance balances ripping, Morbid Angel-styled power chord phrases at high speed.

More direct than the roaming spatial melodies of Homecoming's March and hearkening to the whipping scream of the triumphant demo from this band, in this work two groups of narratives sequence tales of the evolution of transcendent beings and their descent into hell. Fantasy rises within the literality of music that, while showing its heritage in American music, aspires to the musical strength of the greatest of European black metal bands. Emotion is encoded within theme underscored by a palette of coloring in harmony, like a demented resilient unrelenting soundtrack, as memes hinted in shadowy motions interspersed separate to become forces of vital change.

1. Battle's Clarion
2. Condemned to Glory
3. Withering, the Storm...
4. Deathymn
5. The Nascent Ones (The Age of Geburah)
6. Argument Obscura
7. The Thousand Aeon Stare
8. Fallen Beneath the Earth
9. ...Ablaze
Length: 35:01

Averse Sefira - Battle's Clarion Black Metal 2001 Lost Disciple
Copyright © 2001 Lost Disciple

Invective in pacing disturbs a narrow equilibrium of rhythm, so that harsher inertia replaces the building sense of atmosphere, creating a disjointed mood in which anything seems possible. Longer melodies composed of arpeggiated power chord voicings race to the battering pace of adroit percussion which replaces the drum machine of demo and first album, inheriting its patterning and sensibility of tempo changes from the technical death metal of the early 1990s.

Instrumentals are understated while exacting and display appropriate technicality for a band moving to prominence beyond its immediate genre, allowing flexibility in presentation and arrangement that is rewarded when songs expand suddenly beyond the confines of the immediate. Far from the clashing blast, what makes Battle's Clarion succinct and enduring is its romantic desire for expression in the style of ancient art, placing the self before morality or bounding laws of humankind to acquire that which is the desire of existence.

Tetragrammatical Astygmata
Evil Horde

Production: Necrotic and raw, with dimension to guitars, in immersion of clarity.

Review: The latest album from this Texan band grows into the technical death metal/flowing black metal hybrid established on the last, and makes incarnate its promise by using circular song structures which sandwich peripatetic melodies between clashing towers of rhythm riffs, giving this album the duality of character that matches its mythos of otherworldly beings trapped in earthly combat.

In the gestalt of such a mixture, songs begin with dissonant dirges and dissipate, synthesizing direction with a sequence of paired riffs that gesticulate offhandedly at a resolution that then occurs in inversion, a fission of formative genesis that reiterates itself from conclusion to origin. The lengthier melodies reminiscent of Gorgoroth or Graveland here appear in a mature form, with modified chord voicings anchoring them in dissonance, and more adroitly adapted variations in rhythm giving them evocative texture.

1. Introduction (0:49)
2. Detonation (5:31)
3. Cremation of Ideologies (5:50)
4. Hierophant Disgorging (5:18)
5. Plagabraha (3:10)
6. Helix in Audience (8:13)
7. Mana Anima (6:32)
8. Decapitation of Sigils (4:53)
9. Transitive Annihilation (5:06)
10. Sonance Inumberate (5:16)
Length: 50:38

Averse Sefira - Tetragrammatical Astygmata
Copyright © 2005 Evil Horde Records

Organic entities growing out of their own discontent, songs move rapidly on nimble drumming that emphasizes the rigid angles of riffs only to later complement their longer periods of equilibrium with charging cadences, letting each song fill itself with an undulation between rigidity and fluidity before overflowing into a conclusion that, like a good soundtrack to an epic movie, resembles a battle scene in which the pillars of the action may be destroyed. Bass explores more terrain than doubling root notes; vocals have gained additional ferocity and equally surprising passion without wallowing in surface emotions.

While this album shows Averse Sefira growing into the promise their hybrid of black metal and death metal has always had, it also stays true to the ideals of the black metal genre by maintaing atmosphere at the expense of formal clarity, and uses its technical power to offset the simple and vivid moods through which it moves its listeners between nodal points of its mythos, expressed in articulate and ritualistic lyrics. In this, while much of this album borrows the technique of later black metal and early 1990s death metal, it unites with the spirit of those among the early modern black metal bands who achieved intellectual clarity, as well as fulfilling the promise of early philosophical epics like those of Celtic Frost and Bathory.

Advent Parallax
Candlelight Records

Production: Slightly bristly production from Necromorbus Studios that produced highs and mids smooth like polished wire but gristly low-end sound, with clarity on drums and bass undertones.

Review: Attempting to bridge the world of the visible with that of meaning, Advent Parallax makes good on one of the trademarks of Averse Sefira, which is a Celtic Frost-styled theatrical presentation of concepts manifested in characters, conflict and theme. In this album the smoothest unification of technical death metal and flowing, enigmatic black metal defines the sound this band has been reaching for their whole career, and points at a re-uptake of the ingenuous melodic topography that defined their first full-length, Homecoming's March.

1. Descension (7:05)
2. Seance in a Warrior's Memory (7:55)
3. Viral Kinesis (7:29)
4. Cognition of Rebirth (6:28)
5. Serpent Recoil (5:39)
6. A Shower of Idols (6:13)
7. Refractions of an Exploded Singularity (9:03)
8. Vomitorium Angelis (7:28)
Length: 57:02

Averse Sefira - Advent Parallax (Black Metal 2008 Candlelight Records)
Copyright © 2008 Candlelight Records

Built in the same style as Battle's Clarion, these songs use more ambitious riffs and more complex rhythms, pushing this band closest to its death metal influences, most notably Immolation and Morbid Angel. Written on a grander scale, these longer songs employ a Slayer-styled circular song structure with discursive variations that move each track partially to conclusion, which each later achieves with a triumphal concluding riff and repetition of initial riffs. Percussion as always is quick-witted and surgical in attack, and more advanced bass technique fills out the sparser parts of these songs.

As with all Averse Sefira releases, the stunner here is that each track stands on its own and is memorable for its own configuration, but fits into the whole so snugly that it seems nonsensical to listen to separated tracks. The sense of gliding over gently rolling landscapes is still present in the semi-recursive longer melodies, as is the rhythmic savagery of death metal riffs that like connective tissue pull the interludes and gentler moments of each song toward a convergent struggle and resolution. These songs are like figures in dreams or memories just out of full recall yet seem both new and perennially familiar at the same time. In this they triumph through perserverance toward the divine through the profane, presenting a warcry for the rediscovery of black metal's soul.

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