Ava Inferi - Blood Of Bacchus
Season Of Mist
Gothic Doom Metal
9 songs (53:59)
Release year: 2009
Ava Inferi, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

Although I was as upset as any Mayhem fan when Rune ‘Blasphemer’ Eriksen left that towering icon of Black Metal other-worldliness, the news that he wanted to concentrate on his Doom project with partner Carmen Simões was mollifying. Ava Inferi, a Gothic Doom band with influence from traditional Portuguese Fado, are on their third album here and whilst initially the changes from their last release The Silhouette are small, it’s soon clear that the band have streamlined the songwriting rather, resulting in a smooth listen that flows much better than previous works. Blood Of Bacchus is past the halfway mark before you’re really aware of the time passing, and little moments like Kristoffer Rygg’s brief appearance on Black Wings are icing on the cake rather than highlights, such is the quality of the music.

The idea of the band, mixing Norwegian darkness and Portuguese melancholy into classy Doom, really works well. Rune’s guitar playing is typically Doomy yet often quite spacey – it’s possible to recognise aspects of his Mayhemic work here if you listen enough times. Yet there are many other aspects to Ava Inferi’s sound, of course. The main attraction is, as ever, Carmen Simões, and her voice is as excellent as ever here, never overriding the music but complementing it, and giving an overall oddly witchy feel. Musically, this is very melodic and gently proggy Doom, with lots of strumming yet aggressive drums and backing riffs (Last Sign Of Summer an excellent example) and a mildly experimental structure that makes listening to it a joy.

Of course, the other members of the band – Jaime S. Ferreira on bass and João Samora on drums – are excellent, and João’s percussion on certain songs is an excellent addition. Tracks like Colours Of The Dark don’t sacrifice the Doom heaviness in favour of Carmen’s voice, yet there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy her on the likes of Black Wings, gentle strings and the aforementioned appearance from Mr Rygg working wonderfully despite the track only being two minutes long. The longest song on the album, the nine-minute Appeler Les Loups, is a gently atmospheric build-and-collapse that uses the power of the Doom riff to all its advantage whilst Carmen dances along the top, those faint Portuguese influences helping to create a track that doesn’t feel half as long. My favourite track is probably the following song, however, the ever so slightly more aggressive Be Damned, with Jazzy intro, strident riffing and some amazing vocalwork from Carmen making for an excellent song.

There are no poor moments on the album, it is really one of those where you have to listen all the way through to get the best experience, but for once the individual tracks are excellent, and listening to the album out of order can be enjoyable – although that’s a pet hate of mine – each track being a little piece of majestic greatness in its own right. It takes skill to write a great Metal album, and whilst I think there is even better to come from this band in the future, Blood Of Bacchus is their greatest release to date, and any Doom fan who can appreciate wonderful female vocals should love it.

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Killing Songs :
Last Sign Of Summer, Colours Of The Dark, Appeler Les Loups, Be Damned
Goat quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Ava Inferi that we have reviewed:
Ava Inferi - Onyx reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Ava Inferi - The Silhouette reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
Ava Inferi - Burdens reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
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There are 4 replies to this review. Last one on Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:06 pm
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