Auvernia | Towards Eternity

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Towards Eternity

by Auvernia

An interesting metal album with varied influences such as Power Metal, Black Metal, Death Metal, Progressive and Classical arrangements. Dark, fast, powerful and exciting; all keywords that describe this album.
Genre: Metal/Punk: Progressive Metal
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. A New World Is Born
5:21 $0.99
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2. A Little of Lust
4:08 $0.99
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3. How Cruel Is Destiny
5:41 $0.99
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4. You Will Come
6:23 $0.99
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5. Interludio Nro 1
2:41 $0.99
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6. Inherent Rage
4:33 $0.99
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7. Running On the Road
4:10 $0.99
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8. The Master Throne
4:19 $0.99
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9. The Successor
5:58 $0.99
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10. Blue Blood
5:03 $0.99
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11. The Show Must Go On
4:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Hailing from Buenos Aires, Auvernia is a Metal band with varied influences, ranging from Power Metal, Black Metal, Progressive Metal, to classical arrangements, being this mixture the spirit of their particular sound.

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REVIEW BY: The Metal Observer (8/10)

South America has always remained resolutely focused on upholding the true spirit of Heavy Metal. The dark years of Grunge and Nu-Metal in the 1990’s saw most of the world give up on the giant bands of the 80’s to concentrate on dishevelled men in either worn out jumpers or red baseball caps singing about how hard it was to be a millionaire. It cannot, then, be understated just who important South America (and not forgetting Germany) has been in keeping the Metal flag alive. And Argentina’s AUVERNIA can be added to an ever growing army of quality Metal bands coming from the country that gave us the hand of God and the best goal ever scored at the World Cup Finals.

That over and done with the inaugural offering from AUVERNIA sees the band weave a rich tapestry of Progressive Power Metal saddled with the healthy brutal vigour of Black Metal and Thrash influences. Fans of BLIND GUARDIAN, RHAPSODY OF FIRE and the obsequious HELLOWEEN will find interest in ‘’Towards Eternity’’ just as much as those that prefer the dark constraints of DIMMU BORGIR and IN FLAMES or even the arty flair of WOLVERINE.

There’s little doubt that AUVERNIA has something of a point to make. Each of the nine tracks is a mini-epic in the making, the last two track being covers, and the band go all out on delivering a tumultuous yet supremely executed piece of modern Prog Metal. Fronted by the impressive, soaring voice of Fernando Varela, he’s no less a talented guitarist to boot, AUVERNIA speed their way through such a varied array of Heavy Metal you’ll be left panting for adjectives beside brilliant, amazing and unique.

Kicking off with the stop start quirky time changes of ‘’A New World Is Born’’ which quickly bolts down the hatches with a rabid riff and manic drumming and yet, so prevalent throughout the entire record there is a prosperous Melodic streak like those propagated by the mighty DOMINE that marks the band out for some serious attention. ‘’How Cruel Is Destiny’’ wields the Power Metal sword with abandon but still managing to sound extremely Progressive in denouement. That song is superseded by the old school METALLICA-esque chugging riff of ‘’You Will Come’’ mixed with some superb instrumentation and Death type growls and super-charged drumming. Something is clearly in the water system of Buenos Aires as AUVERNIA unleash with little constraint the battering tirade of ‘’Inherent Rage’’ and the equally impressive Euro-Metal barrage of ‘’Running On The Road’’.

Of the two bonus tracks the QUEEN cover will be perhaps the best known. Being one, of many, of QUEEN’S finest compositions AUVERNIA do it justice but naturally the voice of Freddie Mercury will be forever irreplaceable and even though it’s a decent stab its place on the album is tenuous.

That aside this is one hell of a debut and with a new album due in 2009 the thought of a second AUVERNIA record is one to hold out for.

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REVIEW BY: Lords Of Metal (86/100)

In general I'm not a big fan of bands that have the urge to mix different kinds of music. Most of the time these bands do have a unique sounds, but make not much of an impression because the music sounds too confusing and messy. Most bands don't manage to get the transition from one style to another smoothly and to make it sound "logical" and their songs sound too incompatible.

For this reason I started having doubts about this album when I Read Auvernia's biography, because in their own words the band mixes power, black and progressive metal and also uses influences from the classical music. So having prejudged already I start my way with this CD. Already after the first song these Argentineans have swept off all my doubts completely. Yes, the band does indeed use all the in the above-mentioned influences, but make it merge into a beautiful and powerful unit. The transitions are so well thought off that there is not a single moment when you get the idea that you are listening to another band all of a sudden. Of course the song are highly variable and it's clearly audible that these gentlemen have put a lot of though and energy in the arrangements and details. With every listening turn there is something new to be discovered and therefore the album is hard to get bored with. This of course makes Auvernia's sound unique and hart compared to other bands directly.

The member's musical abilities should also not stay unmentioned! Whether the band is playing, melodic power metal tunes or fast and atmospheric black metal, the playing remains tight and although the band operates within different genres at the same time, the whole picture is convincing. On top of that, the vocal performance of Fernando Varela needs an extra point of appreciation, there where is easily changes from melodic and clean power metal vocals t more rough grunts and to hellish black metal screams. Sound technically the album is also in perfect condition and despite the presence of many variable styles the album has got a fitting sound. In short: 'Towards Eternity' is definitely one of the better debut releases of the year and metal fans with an expansive taste should definitely give it a listen.

Next to the nine self-compositions the album contains two convincing covers as bonus tracks! The first one is X-Japan's 'Blue Blood' and the second, less original, is Queen's 'The Show Must Go On'.

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REVIEW BY: Thoughts Of Metal

AUVERNIA is an Argentinian Metal band that mixes several styles in a unique way without creating any disturbance between these various influences. You have to go back to 1999, the year when Fernando H. Varela (vocals, guitar) and Juan P. Verni (drums) joined forces, accompanied by bassist Guido Quaranta. This line-up didn't stay together very long, as the next year Pablo Lurbe was the new bassist and Sebastián Olivera occupied the rhythm guitar spot while Eric Roldan joined as the new keyboardist. And so it goes on: Pablo Lurbe and Eric Roldan leave, although the latter continues to contribute to the band's music. Finally in 2006 a new bass player is found: Leonardo Boan. The group is ready for their first release, an EP entitled "You Will Come". Last year Maximiliano Vaccaro conquered the empty keyboards spot. AUVERNIA is now complete again and the work on the first full album has started.

Titled "Towards Eternity", the release was scheduled for the 10th June. This year, too, Maximiliano Vaccaro let the band due to various reasons, but he did get to contribute with intros and outros as well as solos. The rest of the keyboard parts were done by Eric Roldan. The music, as said above, is a mix of Power Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal, Progressive Metal and more, spiced with classical arrangements. Not one style per song, no, several styles per song and that makes it so interesting and at the same time complex.

I could make it easy and name some bands that came to my mind when listening to "Towards Eternity": AFTER FOREVER, ANGRA, AYREON, CHILDREN OF BODOM, CIRCUS MAXIMUS, DARK MOOR, DIVINEFIRE, DRAGONFORCE, DREAM THEATER, EMPYRIOS, FAIRYLAND, GAMMA RAY, HELLOWEEN, IRON SAVIOR, KALEDON, RHAPSODY OF FIRE, SECRET SPHERE, SYMPHONY X, SONATA ARCTICA, DIMMU BORGIR and more ofcourse. But that's only a tiny percentage of the review and far too easy. Applying this procedure would speeden things up enormously, but what about satisfaction then?

Already in the first song, "A New World Is Born", can you detect a variety of influences. The pace is for the biggest part set at uptempo with raging guitars and exotic keyboard layers, giving the song at some point a Techno and later a Black Metal atmosphere. Change is found in the riffs, melodies and ofcourse the tempo. Also keep your ears open for the great rhythm that dominates here. One word to top it: epic!

The midtempo start of "A Little Of Lust" might fool you, but the speed injection isn't far away. This track is guitar-driven with occasional keyboard interventions and accents. Technicality is the keyword here, especially in the drum department. Musically this song is closely related to Italian Power Metal and bands like ANGRA. Pure quality!

"How Cruel Is Destiny"? Judging by the heavier riffing, I wouldn't call it cruel, for it's a delight for the ears. ;-) Well, it's on the guitars that a "scratching" effect was applied, as weird as that may sound. Luckily this is only for very short connecting moments. The symhonic arrangements are nicely woven into the different compositions, one time as subtle backing, other times as leads. Pace-wise things go faster in the chorus. Interestingly enough the song ends with an organ, in MANOWAR-style. The organ is very important in several MANOWAR songs and it seems the guys from AUVERNIA too have understood that this instrument can be an added value.

The majority of the songs are Power Metal with ofcourse lots of Progressive twists and other influences. And it's in "You Will Come" that these other influences are a bit more apparent. Power meets Melodic Black with a vital role for symphonics and keyboards. You could compare it somehow with the Belgian Progressive Death/Black Metallers OCEANS OF SADNESS. Further in the song they get married to RHAPSODY (OF FIRE). At least, that's what my ears and thoughts told me. For the second time - first was in "A New World Is Born" - you also get two vocal types, clean and grunts, which is also an aspect of the Belgian band's music. Juan's technical drumming is once more an extremely important element, offering lots of diversity in tempo, beats, the pattern in general. Another highlight is the piano break before the keyboard solo and heavy, chuggy guitar. To cut things short: "You Will Come" offers so much that one can write a few paragraphs about it. Fact remains that AUVERNIA handles it with so much precision and ease it's unbelievable. I just have one little remark and that concerns Fernando's clean singing: there are times that a grunting voice suits the music much better or at least a clean voice with a certain level of roughness.

Time for a resting point. Gentle guitarwork is what you get in "Interludio No. 1". The result is a relaxing melody, one you can create an entire song with. Meaning longer than the measly two minutes it is now. So buckle up for part two of the wild ride.

This next part makes you instantly aware you're alive. The thunderous Metal, contrasted by the harpsichord, of "Inherent Rage" comes blasting out of the speakers and into your ears. Once again Power meets Melodic Black. The grunting is in a way comparable to BEHEMOTH, although the clean parts (and that's also when the tempo goes up many paces and the harpsichord going exstatic) remind very much of SONATA ARCTICA and their "Wolf And Raven" song, not only the vocal lines but also the music. The Argentinians also spent lots of time thinking of ways to give more freedom to the instruments and let them do the talking. Something I have nothing against. This one is easily one of the best songs on "Towards Eternity".

The fast pace isn't continued when the Doomy "Running On The Road" starts its first tunes, slowly building the tension and pace until... yes, the knob is turned fully open and the pedal pushed to the metal, DIVINEFIRE-style. To break the flow a bit, the bouzouki (I'm not sure, though) comes interfering a few times. A refreshing element to keep your attention vivid. Later on there's a piano moment during the breakdown before continuing in a pounding manner backed by keyboard-choirs. Oh yes, there are solos, of both guitars and keyboards. This is almost DIMMU BORGIR goes (Symphonic) Power Metal. The bouzouki (I think) also puts this song to bed.

The AUVERNIA guys are very fond of fast Metal, Power Metal in particular, and "The Master Throne" is another clear indication of this. RHAPSODY on speed, with a bit more technical twists and a DREAM THEATER or SYMPHONY X-like pattern. The pounding uptempo moment with grunts is again similar to DIVINEFIRE. But here too you'll find lots of change in atmosphere (Black Metal-ish), tempo, riffing, melodies. A combination that makes you sit/stand/lie in awe. How they will pull it off live... I don't know. Pure craftsmanship, I tells ya.

Ooooh, be silent, be afraid, for you're entering the dark and horrific cave to become "The Successor". That's at least how the intro makes it sound like. The organ is used to stress that atmosphere, later taken over by the keyboards assisted by the guitars. Once the right pace is found, there's no doubt that DIMMU BORGIR have had a huge influence. Not only regarding the atmosphere, but the music as well. But it's not like this all the way, since the Power Metal path is taken soon enough. You do get Dani Filth-like grunting/shrieking at some point, but it's the clean singing that occupies the majority of the lyrics. Solo-wise it's all for the guitar (a.o. arpeggios), but the keyboards provide the right backing for the fullness of it all.

Besides the normal tracks and own material, there are also two bonus tracks, both covers. I'm not familiar at all with X-JAPAN's music - I rapidly checked on YouTube -, but I have to say AUVERNIA's rendition of "Blue Blood" is very very good. Covers are usually a sensitive issue, but if it's done well, what's to complain about? Now, I do am familiar with QUEEN's music and here AUVERNIA had better not chosen this song, for the result is actually weak. DIVINEFIRE also covered "The Show Must Go On" (one of QUEEN's best songs) on their "Hero" album. Their impression was one hell of an effort.

Melodic Power Metal spiced with herbes from Black and Death Metal, in a Progressive layout and a symphonic dressing. In other words, a dish that would even put the restaurants with several Michelin stars to shame. Ok, I'm exaggerating and making a strange comparison. But truth be told that this Argentinian band called AUVERNIA has made an album that instantly attacks the bigger names and shows one doesn't have to be signed to a (big) label to be able to create pure masterpieces, although that might help to get recognition in other parts of the world and even get to tour every now and then. "Towards Eternity" is one of the jewels of 2008 and highly recommended not only for Power or Progressive Metal fans (see the mentioned bands above), but also for those that have given up on this great Metal genre, considering most of the recent releases have been soft or promoted as Power Metal but being closer to Hard Rock. So go to the band's website and order your copy now!

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REVIEW BY: Metal Review

South America's record increases to three of three, at least in terms of cool metal bands I've discovered in the last two months. After the ethereal doominess of Mar de Grises and the psychedelic doom of Reino Ermitano, I ran across this demo from Argentinian progressive power metal band Auvernia. The progressive part comes in through some off-time riffs and some complicated patterns but mostly through their sheer bombast, and all of that is overlaid on a rollicking blend of black and thrash and gothic metal with the traditional epic tendencies of power metal.

Now I'll admit that Auvernia sort of had me at the proverbial hello. My interest was instantly piqued as I read the press material and discovered that there was a Queen cover, that particular rock act being my favorite of all time, and then I read further and discovered that that cover was of "The Show Must Go On," that particular song being my second favorite Queen tune of all time. So our mutual taste in great rock bands established, I tossed in the Auvernia disc and proceeded to smile and gleefully bang my head for the next ten tracks or so.

As I mentioned above, most of this is progressive epic power metal, with all the pomp of Blind Guardian and loads of Dimmu Borgir symphonic black metal, some goth/dark-metal interludes and piano flourishes here and there, and a few moments of riffing that borders upon groove thrash. Vocalist Fernando Varela's pipes are suitably soaring, but he alters his approach to match the style of the song, rasping during the blacker parts and flying the falsetto flag during the more powerful moments. Although keyboardist Maxmiliano Vaccaro departed during the recording of Toward Eternity, that instrument is prominent, performed largely by session-man Eric Roldan (although in part by Vaccaro). The keys add atmosphere at times and often take the lead, but thankfully they never overpower the guitars and drums. Performed by Valera in addition to his vocal duties, the guitars are speedy with some tasty melodic lead work. The production is tight, and the performances are spirited.

All in all, a great listen for fans of the melodic epic power metal side of things… Blind Guardian fans take note.

(So how did they do on the Queen cover? Well, not so great, actually, but they'd have to ace it to make me happy, and this one's acceptable but not transcendant, akin to the Blind Guardian cover of “Spread Your Wings.” Much like Paul Rodgers and Hansi Kursch, Varela cannot hope to fill the shoes of the godly Freddie Mercury. Thankfully the rest of the record more than makes up for a by-the-numbers-but-not-as-good cover of a great tune by a legendary band. There’s also a cover of visual kei pioneers X-Japan, but I’m unfamiliar with the original, so I can’t comment much upon it, except to say that it’s a more enjoyable track than the one that I was primarily interested in.)

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REVIEW BY: Sea Of Tranquility

Here's a fun mix of a few types of metal (power, progressive, black, & death) from Buenos Aires, courtesy of the band Auvernia. Their debut album is called Towards Eternity, featuring 10 original songs and 2 covers, and it's pretty solid all around, packed with plenty of melody, beefy guitar riffs, manic double bass drums, symphonic keyboards, and a variety of vocal styles. References to acts such as Angra, Blind Guardian, Dimmu Borgir, and Symphony X pop up from time to time, so you no doubt can imagine where these guys are coming from musically. Lead singer Fernando Varela is quite the talent, as he ranges from soaring high-pitched vocals, to more gruff mid-ranged passages, and even plenty of evil black metal growls. Keyboard player Maxmiliano Vaccaro left the band during the recording process of Towards Eternity, but he's featured prominenty here, along with Eric Roldan, as these songs have a very orchestral & symphonic flair to them. Power metal fans will absolutely love the more soaring numbers like "You Will Come" and "A New World is Born", powerful rippers with crunchy guitar work courtesy of Valera and lots if intense drumming to go along with the walls of keys and mix of vocal styles. Elsewhere, look for crazed prog-metal meets black metal on "Inherent Rage", the brutal yet majestic "Running on the Road", and the sledgehammer, symphonic gem that is "The Successor".

The final two tracks are covers of the X-Japan number "Blue Blood" and the Queen classic "The Show Must Go On", both well done, especially the latter, as Auvernia really honed in on the Queen sound quite well. This band really shows a ton of promise throughout Towards Eternity, and chances are they won't be an unsigned band much longer after some of the major metal labels get a whiff of what they're cooking.

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