Ava Inferi - The Silhouette
Season Of Mist
Gothic Doom Metal
9 songs (50:19)
Release year: 2007
Ava Inferi, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

It’s not everyday that you come across a highly melodic Doom band with female vocals that’s actually worth listening to, much less one that was the brainchild of Rune Erikson, better known as Blasphemer, guitarist for Norwegian Black Metal juggernaut Mayhem. Portuguese members, all pretty much unknown, complete the rest of the line-up, making one of the most intriguing concepts for a band that you’ll hear all year.

The music is driven by Carmen Susana Simões’ vocals, which are, frankly, stunning. There’s an odd lilt to her voice, giving it an especially haunting quality that immediately puts her in the same footing as renowned chanteuses such as Kate Bush and Lisa Gerrard. She manages to equal if not outperform practically every other female vocalist in Metal that you can think of, hitting the high notes perfectly, with absolute control throughout. What’s especially impressive is that rather than being the sort of voice you can tolerate for a few moments then have to turn off, it grows on you as the melodies develop. Initially, it seems that the downtuned doom riffing doesn’t fit in with her voice, giving it album an off-kilter feel. With time, this just makes her voice stand out more, as well as keeping the music itself from being relegated to just backing.

It goes without saying that Rune’s input is exemplary, but the bassist and drummer do more than their part, and the overall sound is excellent. Various natural sound effects such as waves hitting a beach (A Dança Das Ondas) help remove the listener from the armchair to the world outside. The quality and variation of the songs on offer does much to make this as special as it is, with even the eight-minute plus Viola being engrossing. At the other end of the scale, although the two-minute long Oathbound may seem like a pointless interlude it’s actually one of the best tracks on show, allowing Carmen’s voice to stand on its own, and if it doesn’t make your spine tingle you’re not human. Elsewhere, Wonder Of Dusk has an ominously epic atmosphere, easily outdoing the last effort from My Dying Bride, whilst Pulse Of The Earth could have come from Björk’s last album, the added percussion working wonders.

Ugliness is all too pervasive in Metal today, and it’s a pleasure to find some beauty for once. The Silhouette isn’t perfect – song transitions could be just a bit smoother – but it is an excellent exploration of Gothic Doom territory that’ll enthral fans of both.

Killing Songs :
Goat quoted 82 / 100
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 - Burdens reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
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There are 8 replies to this review. Last one on Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:14 pm
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