Released: 2014, Bud Metal
Some people are just driven to create and express themselves artistically. Pat from Avitas is one of those guys. I know there are any number of one-man bands out there that come and go but Avitas has been making music for well over a decade now. I reviewed a couple of his early releases back in 2002 right here on Metal-Rules and we recently got caught up on the eve of the release of his fourth full-length album, NORTHERN GHOSTS.
It has been five years since the release of his last album, SAGA OF THE NATIONALIST and obviously there has not been too much change when you are a one-man band, on your own label, in this case Bud Metal. In case you missed it, (because I certainly did at first!) Avitas is Sativa spelled backwards and Savitas is a type of cannabis, so you may get a feel for where Pat is coming from.
NORTHERN GHOSTS has a nice minimalist album cover artwork and the songs and lyrics have a more European sensibility now such as ‘Blut And Boden’ and ‘Hefeweizen, Kannabis, ind Krieg’. I'mThe sound is considerably more in the Black Metal camp than ever before. There is a minimalist approach to the song-writing but that leaves lots of room for atmosphere. There are certainly some ambient and progressive passages but not like that post-black Metal crap, this is the real deal, heavy, dark and misanthropic. The cut 'Awiss' runs over ten minutes in length anchoring the middle of the album. The drums have a bit of a tribal feel, simplistic and plodding, mostly mid-pace to slower not too many blast beats. The vocals are appropriately screamingly harsh and mixed a little father back at times. The tone and production are good for an independent production, the band improving in this area with each successive release.
I like the changes and evolution in the sound of Avitas. The lyrics are slightly less political, there is a little less emphasis on marijuana culture, all replaced by a shift towards a darker, Black Metal aesthetic. NORTHERN GHOSTS is likely the strongest album he has done to date and my favourite as well.