Avern - Witch's Eyes
(Hell On Earth – 2020)
Spain's Avern describe themselves on their Facebook page as sounding like Bathory's goat f**king with Pig Champion. Not that I dread to think what the late Poison Idea guitarist would have to say in view of that comparison.
Being quite a hybrid of things, this Barcelona foursome might still yet win his approval from heaven. Take the top elements of extreme and old school metal and mix it with a metric spoonful or few of fiery punk attitude and you have this six-track disc pretty understood. Devastating guitar lines deliver some catchy and not often Sepultura-unlike moments as well as sparse progressive intervals, especially in 'Horse of Feral Madness' .
'Black Goddess' is amongst the more punk edged of the set, with frontman, Javi applying a classy hardcore element through his haughty growl, and some good use of backing vocals behind him. 'Witch's Eyes' suddenly erupts into a brutal speed metal moment in the middle of the track before toning down to a treble beat stomp for the bridge part.
'Shadows of Filth' follows the said last rhythm but faster, in a solid old-school black metal workout that would destroy a live venue's floorboards. 'Golem' meanwhile chugs its way along with a light grunge feel that does finally ode towards Poison Idea, albeit with a few more speed moments peppered in. The album winds down with the fast and fiery 'A Dreadful Man', a thrashy, progressive-structured cut with elements of latter Day Metallica.
After 24 minutes it's already over and time to draw breath then hit the ol' play button again on this intense little spinner. Avern's product is a fresh mix of familiar sounds, some of which I have often found tedious in large doses.
Not a band I had a pleasure of hearing about from before today, these lads have convinced me enough to rectify that mistake.
By Dave Attrill