Avec Tristesse - _How Innocence Dies_
by: Brian Meloon (
Avec Tristesse hail from Brazil, and play a style which is reminiscent
of Opeth, infused with elements of the black metal style popularized by
Dimmu Borgir. The music goes from soft acoustic sections to fast black
metal and covers many shades in between. But while the comparisons to
Opeth are obvious, Avec Tristesse don't simply blatantly copy their sound.
Rather, they combine Opeth's sound with some other influences, and mix
them together with a healthy dose of individual style. The vocals
are a mix of black metal raspy style and a smooth clean vocal style
(very Opeth-like at times, less so at others), with the occasional
inclusion of female vocals. The guitars provide the basis for the
music, and cover the myriad styles very well, while keyboards are used
to subtly add atmosphere and occasionally as a main melody. The songs
flow pretty well, and although most of the twelve songs are under six
minutes, the shorter songs generally run together, making this feel more
like an album with six longer songs. Although this is a self-financed
release, everything about it is professionally done, from the playing
and the production down to the artwork and the liner notes. The clean
and powerful production is especially impressive, as it really enhances
the effectiveness of the music.That said, this isn't a perfect album. The major problem I see is
that some of the songwriting doesn't make much sense. For example,
the album's closer, "Sceptical and Gone", builds impressively for
two minutes, and then just stops and goes nowhere for the remaining
six minutes. A similar fate befalls "Presence Ignored", which starts
with a brief techno/industrial interlude, then goes into a Lacuna
Coil-inspired refrain (a sound which incidentally is completely out of
place), and then just peters out before the second verse should start.
In addition, there are a few awkward-sounding passages where the vocals
or the guitars don't quite work. But despite these few missteps, on the
whole this is an excellent offering. Fans of Opeth and similar bands
as well as fans of melodic death and black metal should enjoy this,
and I'll certainly be looking forward to their next release.
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