Back when I was just getting into extreme metal, there was one musician who stood shoulders above the rest for me: Max Cavalera. Ex-Sepultura singer, founder of Soulfly, The Cavalera Conspiracy, Nailbomb, and, more recently, Killer Be Killed. The man has been prolific to the point that he’s released something new every year for over the last decade. But, as much as I have loved Cavalera’s music, it’s gotten a little stale after a while. How many times can you do the same groove formula, no matter how many unorthodox instruments you play around with? How many times can you growl the same way before people get a little bored? If you want a change from Cavalera without completely wiping the man’s influence from your palate, I’d suggest Avernal, an Argentinian death metal act.
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Arvernal is not your typical death metal band, though this isn’t to also say that they’re some wild, hugely-experimental band. Their changes come in their approach to songwriting, and the way they play their instruments. While there are a lot of death metal albums that sound pretty alike, Avernal’s latest album La Quimera de la Perfección (The Chimera of Perfection) switches things up just a little. There’s a little bit of groove and sludge influences, with some riffs that sound vaguely inspired by High On Fire. And then to make things even more murky genre-wise, the band will solo – “Habitante de cadaveres” is a good example—in a style that sounds like it was lifted from a NWOBHM album.
But where does the Cavalera bit come in, you’re probably wondering? Vocalist Cristian Rodriguez, who, granted, is not a complete copy of Max Cavalera, definitely sounds like he’s listened to a few Soulfly albums in his day. And this definitely doesn’t detract from La Quimera de la Perfección – in fact, it adds a little personality to what is already a good death metal album.