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Advent Parallax

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Album Review

Upon hearing Averse Sefira for the first time, many headbangers have been surprised to find out they are from Texas. That's because Averse Sefira's specialty is black metal, a form of extreme metal that — like death metal — has been dominated by Europe since the '90s and has been especially plentiful in the Scandinavian countries. There will no doubt be some listeners who are unfamiliar with Averse Sefira's history and will assume that Advent Parallax is the work of a band from Norway, Sweden, or perhaps Finland, but make no mistake: Averse Sefira are definitely part of that rare breed known as American black metal bands — and in fact, they have been providing black metal since 1996. Advent Parallax, which is Averse Sefira's fourth full-length studio album, is not from the symphonic school of black metal; instead of favoring a lot of keyboards or getting into lush melodies (two of the things symphonic black metal is known for), Averse Sefira provide raw, scorching, bludgeoning black metal that adheres to a firm take-no-prisoners policy. There are hints of death metal on occasion, but black metal is the main ingredient — and that means sinister-sounding rasp vocals (courtesy of lead singer Sanguine Mapsama), thunderous blastbeats, and an ambience of total doom. One of the things that makes Advent Parallax effective is the fact that you can actually understand the lyrics that are coming out of Mapsama's mouth. So many black metal and death metal vocalists are difficult to understand, but Mapsama is quite understandable on pummeling tracks such as "Viral Kinesis," "Serpent Recoil," "Cognition of Rebirth," and "Seance in a Warrior's Memory." All things considered, this early-2008 release is a respectable, noteworthy example of an American band with a very Scandinavian-influenced sound.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Texas and black metal? Specifically the European flavor of black metal? Sure, why not. Texas is kind of a tough place, and certainly isn't lacking in a seething underground, particularly in the extreme metal scenes. The Austin-spawned Averse Sefira took their unexpected pedigree to great heights in their time, making inroads into the European scene, and causing enough of a stir in South America that the band had to add a Portuguese-language section to its website. Formed in 1996 by guitarist and...
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