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AevLord: The Nomad's Path

For a debut proper, The Nomad's Path has indeed felt like a long lonely trek, for it may well be the release that French Symphonic Black Metal act AevLord would like to call their beginning, but in truth this is attempt number three at getting it right first time. Welcome To My Kingdom eased the band into life in 2004 as a one-man project of vocalist and keyboard player Julien, before a female fronted version of AevLord gave us the History Of Mankind in 2007. Both releases were keyboard dominated affairs where Ambient Black Metal was the order of the day. However with the cementing of the line-up containing Julien (vocals/keyboards), Lennart and Benoit (guitars) and Flavien (drums) AevLord not only have found their feet, but they've also hit their stride. Unlike the past, the guitars are pushed right to the front of the attack, grinding out melodic flashes of brutality, which when played off against the excellent, full of character vocals make for a smart mix. However it is the infusing of this broth with interesting and unusual keyboard flavours which sets AevLord apart from other bands in the Symphonic Black Metal arena and may well turn them into a love it or loathe it band.

There are many acts using melody to lift extreme metal into new areas now, but few are doing it with the almost sinister cheerfulness that seems to ooze out of songs like "Northern Lights", or "Purple Haze" (no, not that haze of purpleness) giving an almost eerie, schlock horror Rob Zombie take on Black Metal. For some it will scream CHEEEEESSSSSSE, but I have to say that the bright, yet dark mashing of style and approach works remarkably well. Julien removes the need for a bassist by adding some bottom end keyborad oomph, while the guitar partnership brings a scything swipe of riffage and a stinging line in lead play. "Soldier's Willpower" brings all of the band's different elements crashing together in mighty style - jaunty, off kilter, vocally spitting and poweringly drummed - weaving and meandering all the time, while somehow retaining a real sense of direction. Although "The Marvelous Gems" (AevLord's spelling, not mine) proves that this outfit can also put their foot to the floor and hammer it out when the mood takes them.

I'm not suggesting the AevLord are reinventing the wheel with Nomad's Path, but any young band striving to push the boundaries even ever so slightly should be encouraged. With their first album proper (OK, third...) AevLord are doing just that. More Symphonic Black power to them for it.

Track Listing
1. Wandering
2. The Marvelous Gems
3. Lost In Despair
4. Northern Lights
5. Raging Storm
6. His Majesty Pharaoh
7. Purple Haze
8. Soldier's Willpower
9. The Temple
10. Zenith

Added: February 22nd 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: AevLord Online
Hits: 1831
Language: english

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