Advent Parallax

rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Descension
02. Seance in a Warrior's Memory
03. Viral Kinesis
04. Cognition of Rebirth
05. Serpent Recoil
06. A Shower of Idols
07. Refractions of an Exploded Singularity
08. Vomitorium Angelis

Considering all the talk of the ascendance of USBM in some circles post-2000, one should never forget the veterans of the movement. After all, AVERSE SEFIRA has been kicking around since 1996. It wasn't until the act surprised audiences on the 1349 tour though that many USBM fans began thinking about the trio again as more than just a revered act from the past. It has been a long wait, but the fourth long player has finally arrived. "Advent Parallax" doesn't raise the black metal bar, but is a worthy effort in its own right that will quickly heat up any room in the house.

There is just something about Texas black metal — and AVERSE SEFIRA and THORNSPAWN almost always come to mind immediately — that makes me think of desert heat, wanton acts of violence, the Sacrifice of the Nazarene Child Festival in San Antonio, and a whole lot of bullet belts and spikes. In that regard "Advent Parallax" is definitive Texas black metal. One can hear it in the raspy (but not overly so) and largely intelligible vocals and the waves of six-string malevolence that overtake the listener. The harmonizing is rarely pleasing to the ear in a conventional sense, though more so than THORNSPAWN, yet within the peculiar, even dissonant chords and trebly harmony swarms is a regal quality, in some ways like what DARK FUNERAL does with their circular patterns. The songs are long, blast beaten, and include a bevy of cool pace shifts and riff contortions that somehow keep one's interest throughout, provided you aren't trying to relax after a root canal.

It is not surprising that the recording harnesses the AVERSE SEFIRA sound so completely, considering that WATAIN's Tore Stjerna produced it. That same sinister aural quality that WATAIN always seems to nail is present here and makes all the difference in the world.

It would be a stretch to call "Advent Parallax" an elite album, but it sure as hell is a fine example of the upper tier of USBM. The feelings one gets and the images conjured (that whole Texas BM thing, for example) from time spent with "Advent Parallax" is something that can't be learned in practice; you've either got it or you don't. That and some pretty darn good songwriting make "Advent Parallax" a devilishly good listen.

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