Avslut – “Deceptis” (Osmose Records)
Formed from the ashes of several Swedish underground bands (Ascendancy, Unsanctus, Opacity etc) comes this black metal force who won Close Up’s ‘Best Unsigned Band’ in October 2016. Since then they’ve released an EP and a couple of singles but now comes this full blown affair – and it certainly doesn’t hold back! Given the sheer physical presence of the hulking brutes here, you don’t need a second to imagine the blast beating furor that is put out on the 9 tracks making up this debut. But signed to a pedigree label like Osmose, there’s a whole lot more on offer here…..Taking in the brazen epic tones of Emperor and the wondrous clanging black melodies of Dissection, Avslut’s song arrangements of dark ambient passages and heaps of Nordic atmosphere along the lines of Dimmu Borgir are what makes the difference. Employing a 3 guitar, dual vocal approach, the sound is deep and lush, which is exactly what you need for those evoking soundscapes and “Deceptis” is awash with it! From ‘Avslut’ with its slow, brooding atmosphere resplendent with clanging melodies and faster mid section of double bass drumming and even more dark melodies, the epic measure of the music – including some very tasty neo classical soloing – is what makes this band stand out. Even more so is ‘Martyrdom’ mixing its fast, double bass beats with the churning riffola from those 3 guitars, but again, graced by some splendid melodies that sit harmoniously alongside the harsh, rasping vocals – again, very slickly done and indeed showing the catchy without compromise talent of these guys. My favourite track was ‘Legion’ with its full on blast beat forays and throat ripping screams with yes, more clanging melodies from those 3 guitars also churning out even more gargantuan epic riffs in an enshrouding sound that takes you in but never lets go. A thorough pleasure to listen to, Avslut really show what high end black metal is all about on this highly impressive debut that I’d recommend to not just corpse paint wearers but metallers in general.