By Candlelight and Mirrors...
In today's metal scene, female-fronted gothic acts are unbelievably plentiful. Try as you might, hearing even half of all of these bands is about as likely as drowning on dry land. Thus, picking which of these innumerable acts to spend your hard-earned cash on can be a challenge, even for an experienced veteran in the genre. Although there are a handful of superb female-fronted gothic metal bands out there, far too many are content with sounding clichéd and just like the hordes of identical bands on the scene. Ava Inferi has created a decent album with Onyx, but this doesn't do anything to stand out from the crowd, and it actually sounds a bit dull at times. This isn't a bad album by any means, but it's severely lacking in powerful and memorable moments. Fans of gothic metal may want to check this out, as it's a professional and high-quality release, but in the end, I'm not too impressed.
Onyx is a gothic/atmospheric/doom album with touches of progressive rock. While that sounds like something I may enjoy, the songwriting is surprisingly dull and unimaginative. I'm not hearing any really powerful moments throughout Onyx, and despite some standout moments here and there, they are too few and far between to hold my attention. Ava Inferi's latest effort just doesn't move me in any way, and that's ultimately the crippling factor here. Despite the almost unquestionable quality of material here, it doesn't strike a single emotional chord inside of me. Songs like the title track or especially "Venice In Frog" are pretty enjoyable, but I daresay that the rest of the album is downright boring. Sorry guys, but even a stellar Dan Swanö production and sleek musicianship can't save this for me.
Onyx isn't an album that impressed me very much, though I think that fans of gothic doom metal may want to give it a spin. This is a polished, professional, and high-quality product, but it just doesn't move me at all. I hate to rate albums like this - Ava Inferi has created a decent CD here, but when it comes to my own personal enjoyment (or lack thereof), this just isn't something that I'll put on often. I'll go with 2.5 stars in this case, though fans of the band can easily add another star.
2. The Living End
3. A Portal
6. The Heathen Island
7. By Candlelight & Mirrors
8. Venice in Fog