Avralize – Freaks (Arising Empire)

Friday, 5th April 2024
Rating: 9/10

It’s tough to make a mark on the modern music scene, tougher still to do so with a unique sound. Germany’s Avralize have seemingly come out of nowhere to accomplish both of these things with their debut, Freaks. Incorporating a myriad of modern elements from different genres and sounds, Avralize takes little bits and pieces and turns them into this incredibly fun, intriguing, and cohesive sound that manages to pull everything from incredibly heavy to gloriously catchy, all while keeping a vibe that feels more like an engaging party than a stale bout of anger.

Electronic infusions, djent-y progressive noodling, soaring melodies, deathcore-inspired breakdowns, it’s only a portion of what Avralize bring to the table. While the surface level of their music might indicate more of a fun, almost party atmosphere (something almost akin to say, Electric Callboy at times), its with repeat listens that Avralize truly showcase what they are made of. A song like “Canvas” more or less embodies the band’s wide breadth of influences and sounds. Rumbling low end riffing and monster grooves, playful bass work and hooky melodies that sit on the bouncy, pop end, the song later takes an exciting swerve with a proggy swing and saxophone solo. On the more intense side of things is “Higher,” which begins with some adrenaline-pumping grooves and metalcore-esque riffing and screams, but then it flips the script to fully dive into a huge melody complete with soaring guitars and catchy vocals. But it isn’t done yet, with a punishing breakdown and guttural roars – all while maintaining a bit more of an accessible edge to it. It’s visceral and aggressive, yet it never strays so far that it feels out of place or something that would detract to anyone’s experience. “Stab by Stab” taps into this same mentality, with a very present electronic dabbling and heavy groove moments. “Alive” counters it with a more floaty, melodic edge that sits counter to some punchy djent grooves and moments of darker atmosphere. To finish things off, the band offer the title track, which seems to meld all of the aspects they’ve shown on the album to that point, alternating heavy riffing and groove and interspersing it with rollicking, party-esque melodies with a solid dose of electronic augmentation.

The future seems incredibly bright for Avralize considering what they have done on their debut, Freaks. It’s a diverse album that never feels like it’s trying too hard or attempting to do too many different things. Instead it feels like a first rate amalgamation of varied aspects of the modern heavy music scene without getting any of the stale trappings. Freaks is an outstanding debut that should thrill anyone looking for a fresh act that isn’t willing to play by the normal genre conventions.

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