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. (How to find "Tetragrammatical Astygmata" on CD - many people have asked.)

Blasphomet Sin Abset

Production: Streamlined demo.

Review: From the primordial ruins of black metal a band returns to the original components of the genre and then evolves them again into a new sound, differentiating the Texas scene with something that makes good on the melodic epic blasting promise of Absu within the context of classically-inspired, hardcore-fueled high energy riff recombinance with an emphasis on eloquent melody that rests within romantic conduits in the regenerating codex of riff rendering pioneered by Emperor and Burzum to give a spacious emptiness and room for vast conflict and majestic resolution in thematic stream black metal.

Averse Sefira offer a demo of intense passion and romanticist imagery in service of a growing mythos of essential beings in conflict over a karmic cycle of of loss, echoing in the halls of human angst a sense of growth and desire in embracing life through its ethereal counterpart, a metaphorical issuance of will against the gravity of existence. Charging riffs are written in the style of Suffocation or Entombed as a melody in a stream of chords played to nail the major boundaries of each tempo and so to express in silhouette the building harmony that will mutate in the coming stream of riffs taking each thematic conflict from a state of compression to expansion to recombination as a component of a new thing embedded for further revelation later in the song.


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

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 (an unobtrusive because of its intelligent programming drum machine) 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 as are the spitting growls of Sanguine Nocturne and Wrath Diabolus, and stringed instruments are played with specialization and flair that is fittingly detached for music that hopes to capture existential motifs. Assaulting philosophy in linear terms is not for this mindset but the flowering of feelings associated with the alienation inherent to this sound determines an artistic view of 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 are part of the continuing voice of development through hypnotic and evil yet melodic avantgarde metal in the style of later Darkthrone or Mayhem. As an unobtrusive yet intelligent return to the roots of black metal this album also flourishes a lexicon of thrash and hardcore-derived directions which continue the obscure minimalism afforded by nihilistic composition. This forces an attention to structure and core artistic contents, which in this case are the midlength adventurer melodies crafted by this band for their first album.


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

Copyright © 1999 Arrogare

Nihilism is tempered by a reasonable sense of suspense tactically and, strategically, a sequence of lengthy "soundscape" interludes which do not detract from the mood despite some theatrical implementation of dynamics. Gorgoroth-styled 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. A literate awareness of classic black metal from Havohej to Burzum to Immortal permeates this release, emerging in highly creative riffs which regenerate classic black metal patterns in variations specific to the creativity of these willpowers.

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. Although subtle, there is a profound affinity for heavy metal and some of its direct descendants like Deicide or Angelcorpse. What charms is the postmodern self-aware sense of humor that has everyone in on a joke that is important for its differences from the rest of the big human joke.

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 create a force that rejects the gravities of existence with concepts of transcendent beings rising through conviction and honor in worlds of degenerating souls. It is at once sonorous sensibility between notes ascending and barraging through dissonance and turbulent, disturbed percussion; battering diatribe of joining of sound varying dynamic throughout lengthy pieces expressing a lyrical ideal in their song construction; searing antipleasant tonal progressions in songs defined by their melodic chorus structures.

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 bands (before said heroes sold out). 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

Copyright © 2001 Lost Disciple

Invective in pacing the work employs equilibrium in texture in smoother conjectures of melodic open phrasing contrasting punctuative double-picking with convergent drumskin emphasis in result of which rendering a mood regulator. In cohort with melodic development this is an epiphonemonal wave reaching peaks variant to a place in hierarchy of sense relative to perception in the existential creation of story and placing the listener within desires in context of that scenario. Under incensed seething vocals which scathe earth and ear as deft and alert percussion emphasizes range of pattern mirroring structure, in harmonization depth and melodic language culminating in fluency the voice inherent to this music issues a terroristic memorandum of loss and resolve.

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. Bass roves selectively, vocals chant synchronous rhythm and melody, raging drums seal foundations of pattern and conclusion, and moods shift gently or corruptedly quickly in the change of structure. This fits no known style outside of black metal with a heritage mixed between Eurometal and American titans of intelligent sounds.

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. The epic hero bounds within the heart of black metal and this work continues the spirit in a growth of the warrior heart and spirit in audio information.

Tetragrammatical Astygmata
Evil Horde

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

Review: In one school of thought, there is no history but a series of cycles by which localized entities go from better to best, much as species evolve to fit their habitat and then dissolve in extinction. With the latest album from Averse Sefira, the Texan band have sidestepped the temptation to make a "new" form of black metal, and have instead returned it to the primitive hybrid state from which both death and black metal emerged, yet in a highly advanced form: matching the unconstrained dark emotions of Norwegian black metal with the systemic design of American death metal bands.

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. At this point, the song has been a melodic version of the rigidly logical riffs of a Morbid Angel or Slayer, but now expands into a seething harmonization that titrates the sonorous ambient riffs (fast strumming, slow chord change, mid-paced cadence) that allowed bands like Immortal and Gorgoroth to counterpoint fury with a contemplative moribund arbitration of instinct toward life and predation. In the use of pulsating split arpeggiated power chord progressions played off against half-speed resolutions, one can observe the better influences of later blackmetal, namely Antaeus and Deathspell Omega (and Graveland).


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

Songs are organic entities that grow out of their own discontent, flowering from conflict between their assumptions and those required by the medium; thanks to adroit percussion changing tempo rapidly and guitar riffs that lightfingeredly maintain an internal rhythm that complements but does not echo that of the song as a whole, eventually overflowing it toward synthesis, these songs migrate - majestically (unfolding of concept as boundaried by realism, divided between aspiration and dread recognition of inevitability (much as in death, the recognition of which is the basis of nihilism ergo pragmatism in metal music) such that the two are reconciled through a conversion of impetus to supposition, much in the laddered advancement of reciprocal contrapuntal structure that is natural refinement of "intelligent" design) eliding dream and physicality - in a workout for warriors which is both Romantic and violent. It is the moments before Kurukshetra, when resolutions form from emotions and the latter are converted into energy to do what feeling cannot.

Contemplation completed the listener will discover what makes this album an enduring artwork is its diligent articulation of technique coupled with an increased emotional wisdom, such that its aggression and extremity fit within a poetic design for the presentation of a migration of sensibility and feeling, culminating in a sense which transcendent overarching reorders all data providing conceptual background to this point. Like the Romantic poetry of Europe, or the battle-legends of ancient Oslo or Kashmir, it acknowledges a grim reality and turns to it with the sword of imagination, in the process converting all physicality to something as impetuous and poignant as thought itself. 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.

Undulating between melodic riffs that uncoil like relaxing muscle and surly slicings of the whipstrumming right hand etching awkward instructions into sense, this album achieves a higher degree of metallic art by using few elements in a layered circular order that might be described as helical, letting the ferric emulsion voice of Sanguine address the audience directly as a meta-rhythm within which drums establish a narrative silhouetted by more nimbly changing guitars; texture serves context, and context obeys vocalization. No guitar solos; two thumbs up. Percussion is adroit, schooled in the jazz and progressive rock styles but now given to the flat cadenced denial of expectation that is the inversion of those schools, as seen in Graveland and Darkthrone. Basslines surge and fade like dying breath, then as willpower return to sketch hints of underlying form within changing tempos. All instrumentals are improved from earlier albums, yet this is not what makes Tetragrammatical Astygmata the best yet from Averse Sefira: coupled pairs of pure function invoke a structure from linear form, transcend its literality and then create a design which reaffirms that realism in the poetic language of life lived against entropy, fomenting a spirit which like the cosmos is timeless and unrepentant, at peace with war and metempsychotic in its ability to relocate raw structure as metaphor within its vast lexicon of configurations. This is the triumph of not being distracted from the spirit that black metal expressed, and lived; of bypassing novelty for more precise description; of eschewing purity for a more intricately conflicted emotion; this is the victory (O Govinda) of imagination over exhaustion.

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