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Avian - From the depths of time 3/5

Reviewed: 11-18-05


1. Through the past and into forever
2. As the world burns
3. Black masquerade
4. The fear
5. Final frontier
6. Across the millions
7. Time and space part l: City of peace
8. Single blade of vengeance
9. Blinding force
10. Time is all we need
11. Queen of the insane
12. Last moon
13. The depths of time

Avian's debut CD 'From the depths of time' arrived at both a good time and a bad time. On the one hand, I've really been into progressive/heavy metal bands lately and was very glad to have the opportunity to hear this. On the other hand, I have recent releases from similar bands like Anubis Gate and Pagan's Mind frequently rotating with this debut, which means the competition factor is very present. That said, 'From the depths of time' is a solid CD that, while not at the level as most of the material from the mentioned bands (especially their latest releases), is still enjoyable and shows a great deal of promise.

Avian's formation is quite involved. Vocalist Lance King and keyboardist Jonah Weingarten of Pyramaze, along with guitarist Yan Leviathan, are the main band members. But the remainder is made up of guest musicians, which includes David Ellefson of Megadeth fame on bass (who also co-produced the CD), David Small on drums and Roger Moore handles all of the guitar solos. Despite the involved formation, I've found the overall sound from the band to be a huge positive and not one that gives off the feeling that there are guest musicians. I really like Lance's voice, guitar work, drums, and both the guitar and keyboard solos are very good. There's not really a song variety however, as almost all of the songs are mid-paced heavy metal, somewhat melodic, with a touch of progressive metal and there are no more than a few faster moments. The pace is fine for me though, as I've got plenty of CDs with all-out speed.

Unfortunately, the one weak aspect of this CD happens to be one of the most important; the songwriting. While there aren't really any songs that are bad, only track 4 "The fear" and track 9 "Blinding force" (the fastest song) could be considered excellent songs (mainly due to their catchy choruses), leaving the remainder quickly forgotten and in the average to above average area. I do like the short intro "Through the past and into forever" and 2 short interludes (track 6 "Across the millions" and track 12 "Last moon"), the slower paced track 10 "Time is all we need" is nice, but more highlights are definitely needed, as the latest releases from Pagan's Mind and Anubis Gate are simply better. These guys do produce a great sound though and the few excellent songs prove they have potential, so I do think they're capable of providing us with a much improved CD in the future.




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