As with many bands, a pair of friends getting together to work on music before realizing that they have something that is starting to sound like the real deal and wanting to then take what they have created, refine it and get others on board to create a fully fledged band is at the heart of Averted. Starting out in Southampton, guitarist Jamie Stevens and drummer Merlin Parr got together in April 2018 to play some Technical Metalcore. Putting on the search lights, they located bassist Logan Adshed and former Ashka and Beyond The Dust vocalist Syhem Angel and together the inked their first EP “Silenced” in June 2019 before recording in October of that year with producer Jack Stephens, known for his work with Bloodshot Dawn and Mask of Judas.
Never judge a book by it’s cover is phrase you may very often hear and it’s often true of album cover art as well. In the case of “Silenced” however, the tank rolling through a war torn landscape is apt because it marks one of the three lyrical pillars that run through the whole of the debut offering from Averted. Those three are War, Mistakes and Retribution, with vocalist Syhem Angel straining every sinew to deliver a vocal performance of impressive range. It’s not just the power either, but the control. The test of any vocalist is knowing when to bark and when to bite and Angel delivers both beautiful, intricate melodies and savage throat splitting screams at the right time. For the right lyric. Opening cut “The Plea” is a fine example, with a demonic opening verse over some powerhouse DJent fueled riffage that breaks into a bright clean verse before breaking back once more. If you didn’t know any better or hadn’t seen any video footage of the band, you may well believe that there are a pair of vocalists in Averted. A battering ram of an opening, it has the effect of a police dawn raid. Jamie Stevens plays both rhythm and lead guitars on the EP and as the opening flows into the title track “Silenced“, his stills are mesmeric. Periphery esq technicality with poly rhythms and tapping sections, not to mention a ripper of a solo is all from that top drawer – but there is still plenty of chug and headbangability – there is no aimless wondering on show here. “Vaecordia” keeps that high quality on show with a number of catchy, sing-a-long parts and the talent is undeniable. Only the repeated pronunciation of the word “so” gives away any kind of global geography. Drummer Merlin Parr shines on “The Curse” with some powerhouse drum fills for the darker atmospherics as the track features more demonic unclean vocals before doing the same for the DJent laden first single “Sacrifice“. A track filled with staccato grooves and bright leads that soar to match the clean vocal parts, it has to be said that it is rare to have a debut offering of this level of musicianship that sounds so polished and complete. There is no point at which the Averted are trying to find themselves or experimenting with any left field ideas, instead they know what they’re trying to do and do it to perfection. “Absolution” ends on a pounding, skull crusher of a track that is follows seamlessly between the catchy chorus and the blunt force trauma of the verse. Tech-Fest main stage in two years? Averted are greater than the sum of their parts and this debut sets the bar very, very high indeed [9/10]
“Silenced” by Averted is out 13th May with pre-orders available here