Ava Inferi - Burdens
Season Of Mist
Atmospheric funeral doom/gothic
7 songs (40'37")
Release year: 2006
Ava Inferi, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

I am quite ashamed of myself, but outside of the world renowned Moonspell and Oratory (a pretty average power metal band) I do not know any other acts from Portugal. I am sure the land that gave the world a lot of famous geographical explorers also bore a lot of musicians, including those from the heavier genres.

Guitarist Rune Eriksen, as un-Portuguese as they come, founded Ava Inferi in Portugal quite recently and Burdens is the band’s debut. A very introverted album, I am proud I gave Burdens a chance, trying to sense the music through multiple listens.

Every consecutive spin-through, I kept discovering Burdens, all the while changing the style descriptions I was going to attach to this album. The opener Ava Inferi and the closer Fate of Mountains, very similar in their stylistic approach, straddle the line between atmospheric funeral doom and tender gothic music. In both of these songs after quiet guitar melody intros, Ava Inferi introduce a dominant main riff they would drag at a funeral dirge pace throughout the song. That riff itself is being born from the introductory melody, a logical continuation of the song concept. Practically a capello singing by Carmen Simoes in Fate of Mountains or simple whispers in Ava Inferi serve as a calm soul reflections startled from their slumber by sudden piano jumps (Ava Inferi). The Gathering earliest effort Always could be remotely invoked (even in the absence of female vocals on that album), yet Ava Inferi is much less of a doom band then the early The Gathering.

Elsewhere on the album the formula is not followed as stringently. Sinisters is a slightly up-tempo tune with a steady drone only rarely becoming muscular. The soprano float, just like the Portuguese guitar solo, provides a nice contrast and diversion from an overall atmosphere of serene dejectedness. In The Wings of Emptiness Carmen, as if borrowing strength from the syncopated riff section of the song, sings more forcefully combining power and tragedy in her voice. Vultros is an even further departure, larger part of the song being a bluesy jam with grumbling bass by Jaime Ferreira, gentle hi-hat and cymbal by Joao Samora and a guitar solo reminiscent of Gary Moore.

As many planes as Ava Inferi is trying to travel, the only misstep is a theatrical, circus voice in the beginning of A Glimpse of Sanity. This, being practically the first introduction to Carmen’s vocals, leaves a bad, pardon my comparison, cat’s meow impression one will need a while to get over. Such voice appears to be out of place on an album where songs are airy and tragic soundscapes of even part the fall season and mental anguish. Too quiet of a production can be tolerated, but something that does not come out as sincere cannot be. Sad, but warm, melancholy on Burdens just does not these gimmicks.

Definitely not as orchestral and lush as Virgin Black (no trace of male vocals to be found on Burdens either), and not as outright gothic as Aesma Daeva, Ava Inferi should be able to make an impression with the fans of both aforementioned bands. If there is something gothic about Burdens it is certainly not an artificial black lipstick and eyeshade, it is a feeling of sad misery emanating from just about every note. Slow doomy tempo just drives the point home. You should give this eerie album a try.

Killing Songs :
Ava Inferi, The Wings of Emptiness, Fate of Mountains
Alex quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Ava Inferi that we have reviewed:
Ava Inferi - Onyx reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Ava Inferi - Blood Of Bacchus reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Ava Inferi - The Silhouette reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:57 am
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