Asofy – Percezione (Avantgarde Records)Friday, 24th May 2013
Responsible for launching the careers of Behemoth, Carpathian Forest, Katatonia, and Keep of Kalessin, Italian label Avantgarde knows how to pick ’em. It would be nice to have the sort of blind faith in a label, ala when Earache and Roadrunner could do no wrong in the early 90’s. But, we all know the reason why that can’t be the case these days…metal is simply too big in scope. That said, when a band falls under the Avantgarde banner, there’s surely a dark sway to it, and Italy’s Asofy have that in abundance on their elusive, yet highly compelling Percezione album.
Comprised solely of multi-instrumentalist Tryfar, Asofy can make an easy case for sliding into post-black metal territory, with a post-metal twist. (We need to quit using the word “post.”) Tryfar doesn’t make much of an appeal vocally (he has this ugly spit to him and is rarely in synch with the music), but he makes up for it with deft usage of dynamics, as heard on standout “Saturazione.” Here, the blending of solemn melodies and atmosphere works like a charm, culminating in a song that is rich in dynamics.
The subtle note-dancing, then shift into grinding black metal on “Ombra” is utterly charming, and is the album’s most hypnotic moment. It’s a poignant happening, an unexpected one, too. Above all else, it falls right in line with the label’s long-standing mission of delivering avant-garde metal to those fancy out-there and dark music. Chalk up another winner for label head Roberto Mammarella.