domingo, 25 de junho de 2017

Dark Avenger: "The Beloved Bones: Hell" - Memorable, Instigating and Cinematographic

The brazilian band DARK AVENGER, founded in 1993, are to be release their 6th album in august 1th. It was about 4 years working on the album "The Beloved Bones: Hell", the first part of a work that will be divided into two parts (The next will be the "Divine"), and finally the album materializes, and if Mário Linhares and Glauber Oliveira, the main mentors of this work, said that this is their best album, it will not be that mere cliché phrase much heard when someone launches something new.  (Versão em português)

I remember that Mário Linhares commented many months ago, that he was looking for an evolution, and that certainly the new work would surprise everyone, and "The Beloved Bones: Hell" brings great changes. First, in the sound part, but nothing "decharacterizing", you will find the personality of the band, that powerfull e with great melodies Heavy Metal, and the personal vocal rage of Linhares; Second, on the lyric's theme, which departs for a more real and somber side.

Beginning on the sound production, the album was produced and mixed by guitarist Glauber Oliveira, who did an excellent job, fitting the sound pieces in this complex work, where we have a heavy and dark Metal, which brings different emotions and nuances, passing by Progressive sections, symphonic and even flerting with the extreme Metal.

The use of orchestrations, percussions, choirs and various instruments, such as violins and even accordion, superbly enriched the arrangements. Finally, the band went on to search for Tony Lindgren (who is responsible for mastering albums of groups such as Kreator, Angra, Katatonia, Mirath and Sepultura, just to name a few), who has done great work on his Fascination Studios, and an album where the band was looking for excellence and had been working for so long, could not in any way save on such an important part, and it was worth it, because the album sounds very, very well.

On the concept, based on his own experience, Mário Linhares wrote this play, a soliloquy (monologue, speech in which a person talks to himself), where the individual, in this first part ("Hell"), traces through eleven mental stages, situations that we all probably go through, like difficult times and frustration, such as illness, violence, chemical addiction or professional dissatisfaction.

The album is called "The Beloved Bones" because it seeks to answer a simple question: "Who is the person you love the most?". The most obvious answer would be "Myself," so that's the inspiration for the title. The central idea in "Hell" is how the EMOTIONAL and the RATIONAL come into confrontation, they behave and have progress, defining the "I", which traces through the eleven stages.

Glauber and Linhares: Four years of hard work
This journey through the 11 stages begins with the violin's lament in the intro of "The Beloved Bones", title track that opens the album, where the Rational, rises from the core of the US and hits head on with the Emotional. A heavy sonority, of darker melodies, where it is necessary to emphasize already the details in the arrangements, as the orchestrations and work of voices, with a more interpretative Linhares, who tricks the time and other difficulties (since it went through problems of health a Time ago), with experience and re-education of his voice, doing a great job.

The songs are completing itselves, and the weight and lower and darker tunes are the tonic, and we are going for this musical journey, and as i said in the title of this review, this is an album "Instigating and Cinematographic", because we are experimenting the emotions, the confrontations of the central character with himself, and the gloomy mood translates these conflicting, desperate and liberating emotions.

Dark, full of emotions, beautiful and complex... but it does not mean that it is an album that is relegated to a niche of listeners, because it has melodies, refrains and memorable riffs, and even if it is ideal to listen to it completely, reading the lyrics, it is perfectly plausible to simply enjoy the songs individually, and in an album with such a high quality, it is also possible to point highlights, like in a movie. It's hard to comment on highlights, and translate everything you will hear on the album, there are many details to discover, then i'll give to you some spoilers:

We start with the stage "Unconciousness", where i have already spoken of the opening, with that lament of the violin, and the heavy, darker and symphonic explosion of the title track "The Beloved Bones"; afeter, "Smile Back to Me", the part that talks about "Denial", have darker and aggressive guitars, drums and vocals, "King for a Moment" which speaks of the "Fugue", and where is one of my favorite performances of Linhares, with the vocalist passing by operatic and even guttural vocals, and that phrase, which is also in the previous song, "There's no turning back to where you once called heaven", which remained stuck In my mind for days, as well as the melodies, highlighting also the diverse climates of it, with parts bordering the extreme Metal.

You will notice the bells, which will be present throughout the songs, which would be a kind of guide on the way. The dramaticity in the "Victimization" phase in "This Loathsome Carcass", a slow-tempo piece, highlighting the tribal percussions. The melodies have something oriental nuances. And it is also where we have the question to be answered at the end: "Am I the Master of my life?" "Parasite", represents the "Wrath". and is very heavy and very aggressive. Was also the first song presented. Border the extreme Metal in various moments.

"Breaking Up Again", the "Craving", where the Emotional Admits that he can not handle the problems alone, but again there is a confrontation. We have a beautiful and melancholy introduction of piano and voice, and then find ourselves wrapped in a whirlwind, with aggressive passages intersected by symphonic and progressive passages; "Empowerment" a crucial part of the journey, the "Reflection", in a symphonic and vibrant musical piece.

The final four songs are a culmination, with "Nihil Mind" (the Balance) and its diverse climates, great orchestrations and corals. Remarkable melodies on vocals and guitars, and a memorable chorus, plus the surprise of the accordion; In "Purple Letter" the guitars with flanger open this phase, which represents the "Courage", the hour that the character abandoning the old life. Faster drumming, symphonic and cinematographic climates are intercalating, highlighting the beautiful female vocals in counterpoint with Linhares' voice.

"Sola Mors Liberat", the time of "Decision", the moment that marks the end of a cycle, is translated into a melancholic piece, where we have a fantastic atmosphere on keyboards. Note also the final phrase, where the words "My Friend" are spoken in duet, representing the reconciliation of Rational and Emotional. Highlight for the inspired and melodic guitar solo at the end.

The beautiful ballad "When Shadow Falls", a melancholic waltz, representing the "Freedom", the reconciliation of Emotional and Rational. Percussions, cellos and acoustic guitars give the tonic of this song. An emotional end.

There are ambitious albums that get lost amidst pompous productions and exacerbated complexity, forgetting the main one, which is to compose great songs, and therein lies the differential of "The Beloved Bones: Hell", an album with large doses of musicality and feeling. To paraphrase what I have said at the beginning, if the band says that this is their best album, it will not be a mere cliche. The Dark Avenger sought to evolve, dared and hit an memorable album!

Text: Carlos Garcia

Band: Dark Avenger
Album: "The Beloved Bones: Hell"
Country: Brazil
Style: Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal
Production and Mixing: Glauber Oliveira
Lyric Concept: Mário Linhares
Mastering: Tony Lindgren

Get pre-sale:  (payment by pay-pal)
International distribution, digital and physical, to be announced soon.

Mário Linhares: Vocals
Glauber Oliveira: Guitars
Hugo Santiago: Guitars
Gustavo Magalhães: Bass

The Beloved Bones (Unconciousness)
Smile Back to Me (Denial)
King for a Moment (Fugue)
This Loathsome Carcass (Victimization)
Parasite (Wrath)
Breaking Up, Again (Craving)
Empowerment (Reflection)
Nihil Mind (Balance)
Purple Letter (Courage)
Sola Mors Liberat (Decision)
When Shadow Falls (Freedom)


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