Avrigus - The Secret Kingdom review


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Band: Avrigus
Album: The Secret Kingdom
Release date: 2001

01. Overture
02. Solitude And Salvation
03. Dark Angels Ascension
04. Veritas
05. Qliphoth
06. Desolate
07. Flesh
08. Til Death Do Us Unite
09. Shade Of My Heart
10. The Grail

Avrigus come from Australia and consist of Judy Chiara and Cruciform/s former member Simon Gruer moving in atmospheric/symphonic doom metal soundcapes evoking a devout dark atmosphere surrounding you. "The Secret Kingdom" is Avrigus' debut album after one EP, "The Final Wish", and is a very promising one for the atmospheric doom metal scene since both members combine their influences and personal ideas in such a wonderful way; Chiara's lyrics are deeply esoteric and they are written in a poetic mood evoking emotion pacing with her beautiful melodic voice that harmonizes with the guitar riffing at times whilst at others melancholic guitar chords and the overall devout, serene and melancholic at times whilst at others dark and emotionally intense atmosphere.

Your journey to "The Secret Kingdom" begins with the utterly atmospheric "Overture", a composition filled with a bitter sense of melancholy evoked by the inspired keyboard melodies and Chiara's descriptive voice singing of her condemned fate leading to "Solitude and Salvation" with the guitars, Chiara's interpretation and generally the structure of the song reminding at times of Faith and the Muse; the symphonic ideas make the atmosphere more intense and utterly emotion as Chiara's sweet voice floats in the air like a tragic serenade's lament. The ending of "Solitude and Salvation" prefaces the following composition, "Dark Angels Ascension", an intense dramatic piece with Chiara sounding as if she was a nowadays' Cassandra having visions of our doom, of the rising dark, of the death of the sun and all hope keeping the emotional charge of the album in high levels with the operatic voices and the intense symphonic pieces escalating at times the song. A composition based on acoustic guitar chords and Chiara's descriptive voice, "Veritas", lets the album flow in utter bleakness making you shiver like a rose in the autumn.

And you keep on wandering in "The Secret Kingdom" with "Qliphoth", based on both serene moments with Simon Gruer almost reciting and emotionally escalating moments with Chiara and intense symphonic melodies reaching an instrumental piece, "Desolate", with the keyboards evoking an intense suffocating mystic atmosphere prefacing "Flesh". Everything consisting of this piece, the oblivious piano melodies, the intense keyboard symphonies evoking an epic feeling in the air, the simmering guitars and Chiara's oblivious interpretation is played in the ideal way making "Flesh" one of the high-lights of the album. The church's mourning bells and the wolf's howling open the following "Till Death Do Us Unite", an utterly wailing composition with Chiara enshrouding the listener in her darkness; the dramatic lyrics pace with the utterly emotional atmosphere and the inspired piano and keyboard melodies harmonizing beautifully with Chiara's voice. A nocturnal devout instrumental piece, "Shade Of My Heart", follows leading to the ending theme of "The Secret Kingdom", "The Grail", an utterly lyrical piece filled with emotion and poetry. The piano for one more time enchants the listener along with Chiara's bittersweet sentimental voice ending the album in the best way drowning you in a bittersweet nostalgic dream.

If you are a fan of The 3rd and the Mortal and you're searching for something really good in the atmospheric doom metal scene, "The Secret Kingdom" is for you.

"Skies of violet, eyes of love reflecting firelight.
I seize the day, i seize the stars, the moon, the velvet night"


Written on 30.12.2004 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."

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