Reviewed: October 2021
Released: 2021, Lunar Apparitions
Reviewer: Kira Levine
Spaniards Aversio Humanitatis have delivered a live album comprised of performances of five songs from last year’s LP, as well as four tracks from their prior releases.
“Since their formation in 2010, Spain’s AVERSIO HUMANITATIS have patiently perfected their craft over the course of their Abandonment Ritual debut LP in 2011, successive splits in 2015 and 2017, and an EP in 2017, all before the breakout release of their second album, Behold the Silent Dwellers, in 2020. By then, their shadowy, shapeshifting black metal had reached a fever pitch of sound and vision, all unified for one massive & malevolent purpose.”
When it comes to live albums, 2020 certainly won’t be regarded as one of the best years. No-one is going to look back fondly and say those 12 months were filled with the greatest gigs of their lives. With multiple lockdowns and restrictions put in place thanks to the ongoing pandemic, physical concerts and festivals were cancelled or postponed. So, why have Aversio Humanitatis chosen to put out a physical live album that was performed last year (to nobody)?
Aversio Humanitatis‘ music does contain many gentle accents, and the absence of crowd noise allows these moments to be appreciated without any distractions. Much of the harsher tones in their sound are delivered by the vocalist, his voice adding another level of intensity to the songs when growled over blastbeats and also contrasting with high-pitched melodic riffs at times.
Many bands resorted to live video streaming, as a way to bring shows to people in the safety of their home, usually selling virtual tickets and/or asking patrons for donations. The immediacy and exclusivity of this approach has more appeal, as everything happens more or less in real-time, with audio and visual, instead of resurfacing the following year like Silent Dwellers – Live MMXX.
This release seems like it was played in a ghost town, which is unfortunate as the songs themselves are executed superbly. Without a live audience, the recordings do lack that added atmosphere. Silent Dwellers… comes across more like a session recording, because the sound is so clinical and all that can be heard is the band. Being able to hear the cheers, whistles and random yells from fans at the beginning and end of songs provides a completely different listening experience, and also indicates how well the show is being received. Another missing element would be AH’s ability to interact with the crowd – at least verbally – because there isn’t one.
It’s a solid, well-arranged set, but the sound is way too clean for a black metal gig. Here’s to hoping the black metallers’ next live release will have some audible input from a physical audience. Check them out if you like bands like Mgła and Schammasch.
Get your copy of Aversio Humanitatis’ Silent Dwellers – Live MMXX here.
1. Longing for the Untold
2. Prison of Shattered Glass
3. The Presence in the Mist
4. The Watcher in the Walls
5. The Sculptor of Thoughts
6. Spears of Unlight
7. Advent of the Inescapable
8. The Weaver of Tendons
9. The Wanderer of Abstract Path
S. – guitars
J. – drums
A. – vocals, bass
D. – guitars