Aviana – Epicenter (Review)

Aviana - EpicenterThis is the second album from Aviana, a metalcore band from Sweden.

Aviana play modern metalcore that’s mixed with elements of 90s nu-metal and a slight contemporary progressive/djent edge. They play on the heavier end of the metalcore spectrum, and although there’s clean singing included, it’s still with a focus on heaviness overall.

Yes, the singer has an impressively angry bark. He rages and tears through the songs for the most part, occasionally stopping to deliver emotive cleans that are still frequently rough around the edges, in a very good way. His performance is sheer ferocious class.

Epicenter is certainly on the heavy side, as I say. In fact, I don’t usually use the word ‘brutal’ to describe bands like this, but Aviana definitely have their moments. Combined with the crunchy, punchy production, this record is heavy enough to crush your house.

A good thing about this album though, is that it’s not just about heaviness for the sake of it. The huge distorted riffs are pressed into the service of actual songs, and there’s enough melody and texture to ensure that the enjoyment lasts longer than simple “Oh my, that’s a heavy riff!” moments. There’s substance here too that comes from the well-written songs and well-delivered sound that the band have crafted for themselves.

Unlike a lot of bands playing metalcore, Aviana do actually mix things up with their speeds and paces here and there, which is very welcome. Most of the time we’re in mid-paced territory, of course, but not always. There’s a range of dynamics spread over these songs, from brutally fast aggression, to restrained, emotive sections led by soaring clean singing.

I like Epicenter a lot. 2019 has been a much better year than normal for modern metal/metalcore, and Aviana are now officially up there with the best of them in my book.

Very highly recommended.

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