Avenger - _Shadows of the Damned_
(Bestial / Breath of Night, 1998)
by: Alex Cantwell (6 out of 10)
Since I have not yet heard Krabathor, this Avenger release is my first exposure to metal from the Czech Republic. The vocals are in a black metal style, but the music is very heavy, chunky stuff, although with really cool melody lines throughout; very reminiscent of _The Karelian Isthmus_ era Amorphis and aggressive like early Grave, with the exception of the opener "Preludium", which is a NYHC romp. Good production (especially for a 16 track recording) and a killer guitar tone add to the depth of the music, which is all performed by two guys: Honza Kapak (drums, bass, vocals) and Petr Mecak (guitar). Although it is a cassette-only release, the inlay design is very pro looking and the cover is a painting by Albrecht Altdorfer from 1528 (not that you care, it just looks cool). The words are all in the Czech language, but unfortunately there are English translations printed as well, which totally ruins the mystique and reveals the blasphemous content and juvenile nature of the lyrics, therefore lowering the rating from what the music alone deserves.

(article published 19/11/1998)

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