Having seemingly dropped off the edge of the world, Aviana have made their return. The Gothenburg metallers had spent large portions of the last couple of years inactive due to the departure of their former vocalist. However, with new record Epicenter, Faith hast been restored in Joel Holmqvist, the bands new vocalist, which means the band can pick up where they left off with their 2017 debut Polarize.
Time away from a band can be beneficial; it’s time to recuperate and collect ideas, experiment with new sounds, building on what is already established. In the case of Aviana they have done this through the inspiration of 90’s nu-metal, folding the iconic sound into their already established Gothenburg metalcore sound.
Epicenter is an expected, and necessary move forward for the band. It's a record that layers a blend of progressive guitar leads underneath the Swedes patented head pounding, gut churning breakdowns that define who this band are. While this new move is diverting slightly from the sonic thrashing of their debut record, the essence of Aviana is kept well and truly alive. These metal upstarts are paving the way for a new era of the genre, following on from the likes of In Flames, At the Gates and The Haunted, and it's not difficult to see the band quickly asserting their sound into the metalcore scene from here.
Perfectly framing the sound the band have gone for on this album is ‘Red Sky’ a track that builds on the progressive guitar lead that raises up and up, until the formidable breakdown. Whereas ‘Erased’ brings a dirtier, gritter sound to the table, still very much hitting the nail on the head with where they want the sound to go, it is a pit worthy tune that reverts back to their Gothenburg roots.
Epicenter is an album that is redefining the progressive metalcore scene, and it's evident that Aviana have both truly discovered and defined themselves here. Somehow in a saturated genre, the Swedes standout by producing a relentlessly rigorous album that you'd expect will shoot the band into a new stratosphere.