Avertia, like many of Norway’s most prolific black metal acts, hails from the rainy and gloomy city of Bergen. Formed in 2006, they have put out three albums prior to Midnight Returns, which was released on June 25th of this year. Avertia’s frontman and main composer, Kristoffer Georg is previous also a member of awesome black metal band Last Lightning, of which Kacper Sliwa has been hired for the drumming on this album.
After some years spent in the eastern part of Norway, Kristoffer Georg relocated back to the west coast and re-assembled a full Avertia line up now consisting of five members, including guitarist Alfhar who plays in the band Heimland which we reviewed earlier this year.
Avertia’s music is heavily influenced by 90s black metal bands like Darkthrone, Taake, and Mayhem. With Midnight Returns, they seem to have gone for a more atmospheric and melancholic approach. Let’s dive deeper into the album.
“Ild og Regn” is Norwegian for “fire and rain” and serves as the instrumental intro track for “Midnight Returns. The soft acoustic guitar sets a sad tone with the crackling of a fire-pit in the background. As the track transitions into “Snakkes i Helvete,” a more distorted electric guitar takes over.
Avertia has already put me into a pondering state of mind as the drums kick in, bringing the track to a faster pace. This song features some beautiful riffs that remind me of Darkthrone’s “En Vind Av Sorg” from the album Panzerfaust. Kristoffer Georg’s vocals strike a good balance between grit and well timed touches of higher shrieks, making the lyrics clear. The album’s lyrical content explores themes of inner struggles, death, and depression.
- Ild og Regn
- Snakkes i Helvete
- Dark Patterns
- Light of our Dying Sun
- I Mulm og Mørke
Lyrics from Dark Patterns, 1st and 2nd verse:
I see the mountain disapear
The meaning of life fades
when will there be light
Again I face myself
the Next part of life begins
I am aware of my loss
There is no forest – there’s no path
only white ice
Midnight Returns has a lot of standout guitar solos and riffs that really pop out to me. One can clearly tell that a lot of thought and emotion has been put into this album. Emotions of grief, depression, and anger are perceptible throughout this melancholic album. I appreciate that the musical image reflects so well what the lyrics portray.
From Dark Patterns, 5th verse:
I sink down in the meaning of life
Caught in a storm of thoughts of death
a Mystery of patterns
My time has come
Avertia really hits the sweet-spot for me with Midnight Returns length. The album has a total runtime of 31 minutes which I find to work very well with more mentaly heavy melancholic albums.
Excerpt from Light of our Dying Sun, 1st verse:
My mind cant figure it out – why are we?
a lifetime of thoughts – every night
there is a constant battle between the demon inside-
and the human you see
The fourth track, “Avfeldig,” is a stunning piece. The guitar riff that kicks in at the 0:37 second mark is one of the finest I’ve heard in a while. This track combines the longing sadness of the guitars with the anger in Kristoffer’s vocals.
With that in mind, Midnight Returns is an album that should be absorbed from start to finish, preferably in the darkness of night while the rain falls outside your window.
Avertia is a band of highly skilled musicians who create thoughtful and heartfelt black metal.
I would recommend “Midnight Returns” to listeners who enjoy melancholic and atmospheric black metal, as well as fans of the Norwegian scene of the 90’s.
Note: Kristoffer Georg kindly sent me the official lyrics for this album, and I would like to express my gratitude for that.
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