Avian - From the Depths of Time
Ok, this is what...the third different Lance King-fronted band that I've reviewed in the last 2 months. But do I seem perturbed about it or sick of it? I think not! Being one who loves the newest Balance of Power, but who liked the Lance King-era better, I can certainly handle all this overdosing of Lance King that the music world is giving us lately. While I personally like Pyramaze better than this band Avian, I think this disc ranks above the other King-fronted band Shining Star.
This melodic power metal album starts off with a killer opener, "As the World Burns." This driving metal tune with a highly addicting chorus is sure to have you singing it the rest of the day, long after you're finished listening to this CD. The next song, "Black Masquerade", is probably one of my least favorite on the disc. While the pre-chorus has some wicked dark and aggressive guitar playing, the chorus then kicks in with it's corny 80's metal feel with King hitting the stratosphere with his vocals. While he's perfectly capable of hitting the high notes, this lame chorus just kills the song in my opinion.
The next couple songs, "The Fear", (with it's ominous bass line ala Stavesacre) and "Final Frontier" (with it's strong Balance of Power feel) find the band back in the groove that they started the album with. The songs in the middle of the album, despite some nice acoustic guitar and keyboard intros, tend to lean more towards filler than killer. The ninth track, "Blinding Force", finds the band in better territory again. I like the Jimmy Brown (Deliverance) inflection in King's vocals in the chorus. Combine that with the great guitar solo, tons of double bass, and nice intro and outro, and you have a terrific power metal song. After a few more decent songs, the album ends in great fashion with the barely controlled chaos of "The Depths of Time." Probably the heaviest song on the album.
Overall, not a bad debut. The songwriting feels a little disjointed at times with choruses that seem forced and don't really fit with the rest of the song...or vice versa. But really, if you love Lance King's vocals and dig bands like Balance of Power, Edguy, or Gamma Ray, this band should satisfy. If they could somehow channel all the magic they had on songs like "As the World Burns", "Final Frontier", "Blinding Force", or "The Depths of Time" into the rest of the album, this band would've blown me away. Instead they "settled" for just making a very good first impression. Definitely a band to keep an eye on though.
Review By: Matt Morrow
Label: Nightmare Records
Total Songs: 13
Total Time: 54:58
Tracklisting: 1. Through the Past and into Forever, 2. As the World Burns, 3. Black Masquerade, 4. The Fear, 5. Final Frontier, 6. Across the Millions, 7. Time and Space Part I: City of Peace, 8. Single Blade of Vengeance, 9 Blinding Force, 10. Time is All We Need, 11. Queen of the Insane, 12. Last Moon, 13. The Depths of Time.
Best Songs: Tracks 2, 4, 5, 9, & 13.
Band Lineup: Lance King - Vocals, Yan Leviathan - Guitars, David Ellefson - Bass, Jonah Weingarten - Keyboards, David Small - Drums.
Band Website: http://www.avianband.com or http://www.myspace.com/avianband