Released: 2005, Nightmare Records
Another month, another batch of releases from Nightmare Records. That’s what it feels like lately, as I’ve reviewed a seemingly endless stream of releases from the label, with another three added this month. The good is, they’ve all been quality releases, and occasionally, in the case Pyramaze’s LEGEND OF THE BONE CARVER, they’ve been mind-blowing. Now with Avian’s debut album, we’ve got a mixture of keyboard and guitar wizards (Leviathan and Jonah Weingarten), the amazing vocals of Lance King, and the solid bass of ex-Megaman David Ellefson. It's an intriguing collection of musicians to be sure.
So what does this conclave bring to our ears? A mix of power metal/progressive hard rock is the chosen style, no surprise coming from Nightmare Records. As usual, King’s vocals lead the charge, and he is as impressive as ever, no doubt. It doesn’t feel like Ellefson adds much, other than his name, as the bass is typically buried behind the guitars and keyboards. He is audible, but is his usual non-flashy self. With bands like this, it is the guitarist and keyboardist that have to shine – it’s a good thing these guys are up to the job. Fiery solos abound, strafing the music like a double shot of Malmsteen.
It’s all very well-played, but many of the songs are not too memorable. Opener “As the World Burns” has an infectious chorus and main riff, but many of the other songs come off as something Pyramaze would do, only not as good. There is absolutely nothing bad about this release, but there isn’t much that stands out either. If this is your favorite sub-genre of metal or you are a Lance King or David Ellefson fan, then by all means, jump on board. Everyone else can probably pass.
Avian definitely has the talent to put together an absolute barnstormer of a record, but FROM THE DEPTHS OF TIME is not that record.