As a few of you might remember, I reviewed the first demo recordings of these Chilean submarine navigators a few years ago, which can still be read here. I had nearly forgotten about them, when suddenly I was contacted about their finally finished debut album. Recollecting a fondness for their demo and great hopes for their evolution, it was hard to resist their sending me a copy of their self-released “Rerum Imaginaria”.
Over the seven tracks, we are guided by this six-piece orchestra into the deepest sapphire depths of the east Pacific Ocean, through the realms of the most bizarre and otherworldly creatures, both mythical and real. Musically, it would be easy to relate FAVNA ABISAL to avantgarde-metal forerunners, especially Arcturus and similar, to whomthese Chileans own not a little, in terms of both sound, style and most of all compositional attitude. This eclectic ride throws between heavy and slow masquerade dirges and explosions of post-black metal grind, submarine electronic beats, phantasmagoric synthesized landscapes, classical progressive rock and whatnot. Highly dynamic all of it, though not always glued together as perfectly one would wish – the red narrative threads and structures aren’t all clear and logical, sometimes leaving the listener feeling that it was thrown together without any clear afterthought.
The orchestra is lead by Daniel Araya, also known as Melanocetus Johnsonii. All tracks are sung in Spanish (lyrics translated in the booklet, thank you!), with a powerful, operatic vocal style. Again, it is hard not to think of Arcturus, with hints of the declamatory style of old Italian progrock bands like Museo Rosenbach and similar. Araya does not always carry up his ambitions, power and focus of his voice sometimes faltering, but more often than not he gets the job done. Unfortunately I cannot say the same thing of the guitar solos, which could just as easily been left behind. The songs are good enough in themselves to manage without.
Anyhow, this is strictly a bonafide avantgarde metal album, and one of few bands from South America upholding the legacy of both classic symphonic/eclectic progressive rock and Norwegian avantgarde metal. Song structures and some minor details leave a bit more to wish for, but as a whole – great and ambitious work, ever moving forward. No AGM punter should miss out on it.
Avantgenre: Oceanic Avantgarde Metal
Official site: http://www.myspace.com/favnaabisal
Review online since: 05.07.2012 / 14:16:31
1. El Juicio De Aronnax
2. El Observador
3. Energia Demencial (Parte I)
4. Oceanos Mentales
5. Energia Demencial (Parte II)
7. Rey Abisal