Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Aeverium - The Harvest (EP) (2014)

We've all heard the generic radio anthem of the minute. Doesn't matter if your poison is Nickelback, Daughtry, or any other clones of a classic grunge band that have bastardized rock music for all ages. They all share things in common: arena rock riffs, basic guitar progressions, and a penchant for easily digestible, easily regurgitated lyrics that everyone can sing along to, but no one will ever respect. That attitude isn't isolated to the American rock scene. It has gone global. Aeverium is a band in their infant stages, but they have a hard lesson to learn. Their blend of melodic hard rock and gothic undertones isn't a far cry from some of the biggest bands in the world. There are moments when you could close your eyes and hear Evanescence or Within Temptation blaring through your speakers. But for every heavy riff, blasting drum beat, or soaring vocal melody, there is an iron weight bringing it down. At days end, "The Harvest" is big on music, but all too light on substance.

There aren't a whole lot of bells and whistles to dig for on "Do You Remember," which stands as a fairly strong opener. It says a great deal about the band's style, that of a melodic metal band, focusing on strong riffs to build upon. The light keyboard touches do add depth to the mix, but more in the electronic sense. Vocally, you have your choice of three distinct efforts; a beautiful female voice, provided by Aeva Maurelle, and the contrasting male vocals, both cleaned and grunted, by Marcel Römer. Their dynamic together is fairly strong, as on "Rest In Peace," despite a lyrical theme that is less than groundbreaking. Where the band both succeeds and fails is their straddling of the mainstream radio line; they could be accepted by picky melodic metal fans, or condemned as disposal radio meta (a contradiction we in the US have grown to accept). For their part, they are good at what they do, from structuring to delivery. But as time passes, it is harder to swallow the lyrics, which seem to be recycled from band catalogs from yesteryear. It exhausts the contrast between Maurelle and Romer, especially in the last two tracks. But where "Heaven's Burning (Harvest Time)" and "The Ground Beneath Your Feet" stumble in lyrical quality, they regain ground with sheer strength of will. It isn't an ideal mix, but it works here as it has for many before.

Perhaps it is because, in the year 2014, lyrics just don't matter anymore, in metal or otherwise. Bands throw lyrical quality out the window in favor of making the words fit. Dangerous. Aeverium can craft a riff, can build a vocal harmony, and can give you a splash from time to time. But for a band to really seal their fans, they have to do more than that. You have to give your fans something to hold up and say "this is what I need," and that is what they lack at this early. Their songs, for better and worse, are disposable for anyone looking for deeper meaning in the words themselves. By no means are we saying they have to be politcally charged, religiously affiliated, or outright disgusting. But something more than a rhyming combination of words and phrases seems to be the bare minimum to show your creative side. The band is young, and they have a long time to grow and hone their craft. But with their next album, they can't repeat the mistakes of "The Harvest." They are going to have to replant the seeds and start again.


Official Site - http://www.aeverium.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/aeverium

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