Sludge metal meets alternative metal meets 70s hard rock. I think that describes Totimoshi's Avenger quite well. Their style is characterized by a blend of fairly aggressive and heavy riffage, a lot of which is perhaps quite simple, but powerful in the same way that much hard rock from the 70s was. The impression of simplicity, however, is a bit deceptive, as the riffage is often backed by odd time signatures and other rhythmic comlexities, which gives the music on Avenger a certain progressive flair. But at the same time, you have twisted variants of the 12-bar blues popping up all over the place, which is a nice touch – and true to the blues-rock roots of sludge metal and alternative metal. Another feature, which is probably also inherited from 70s rock is the overall presence of a dark and slightly oppressive psychedelia not unlike that of Black Sabbath and Pentagram's doom-laden music.
Productionwise, the sound on the album is a bit raw and dirty and has a sort of grungy feel to it. The guitar distortion is both retro-dirty and modern sounding, and it sounds raw even in sections with clean-guitar passages. The bass also has a distorted edge to it, which is another nice touch, as the bass is defined when it does its own ostinatos as in 'The fool'.
This is a pretty good album, I think, and it starts out strong, and 'Avenger', 'The Fool', 'Mainline', and 'Calling All Curs' constritute a sterak of powerful tracks. However, the tunes do lose their momentum a bit towards the end of the album – that is, I think that all tracks are strong individually, and perhaps one gets a better impression of them by listening to the tracks individually (a plus, to be sure, in this day and age of the iPod generation).
In any case listening to Avenger is overall a positive experience, and it is an album which – with the presence of elements from a number of different rock genres – probably will have a broad appeal among fans of alternative rock/metal, sludge metal, psychedelic heavy rock, progressive hard rock and perhaps even dark progressive metal along the lines of Psychotic Waltz.
3. The Fool
5. Calling All Curs
10. Waning Divine