Averlanche – Life’s Phenomenon (Concorde Music Company)Tuesday, 24th November 2020
Combining a wonderful melodic mix of gothic, symphonic, and power metal influences, Finnish act Averlanche take a host of influential groups from their domestic scene and develop quite a catchy debut effort for Life’s Phenomenon. Properly seeking out solid studio support with producer Hiili Hiilesmaa who has worked with HIM, Moonspell, Sentenced and Apocalyptica, these ten main tracks (plus two supplementary short intros/interludes) keep the proceedings moving along at a focused clip, designed to get the main melodic components and hooks pumping to get the material easily into your brain and stay with you consistently and incessantly.
Instantly noticeable are the combination of Rebecca Spörl’s gothic/symphonic nature to her vocal delivery and the thoughtful, bluesy guitar work that can be powerful one moment, then mid-tempo and melancholic when necessary depending on the atmosphere and emotional magnitude Averlanche wish to present song to song. You’ll hear some uplifting chord progressions that drive home keyboard/guitar syncopation and neo-classical charge, including semi-blast beats in sections of “Hate” that make it a mid-album highlight, taking aspects of early Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius to today’s generation. On the softer side of the spectrum, “Flowers” with its acoustic embellishment and calmer, restrained vocals pushes out the commercial side of the band, a possible future singalong staple much in the vein of Nightwish with a bit of a folk aspect in the instrumental sections. Finnish language elements crop up in the intro “Kuvittelematta” (translation: without imagining), “Rakastuneet” (in love), and sprinkle in occasional spots of other tracks, the pacing of the record adequate where you don’t get overwhelmed by sheer speed or bombast. For every uplifting number such as “Imagined Nothing” you get a more straightforward, Sentenced or HIM-like aspect to “The Sound of Insomnia”, the harmonies and melodies conventional for maximum retention even for the first timers exposed to these songs.
Hitting a wisely tidy thirty-six minutes and change, Life’s Phenomenon has a lot going for it since the band has only been together for three years. Most who love the early 2000’s crop of acts from Finland that started to wield their craft into the international spotlight will find Averlanche addictive, catchy, and promising to see how things develop as they gain more seasoning, confidence, and experience.