Ava Inferi – “Onyx” (2011)


Label : Season of Mist

Review by Stina

Barely five years ago, the first studio album “Burdens” marked their debut, introducing their gloomy and refined sound to the audience. “Silouhette” found them stepping to the next level by unfolding their signature mournful atmosphere. “Blood of Bacchus” saw them further thickening it and coating with ambivalent Bacchanalian tragedy and a veil of dramatic and anguished elegance. The latest “Onyx” captures them at their most bombastic and multifaceted to date: of course it’s Ava Inferi, the bi-national, Yin / Yang brainchild of the talented pair formed by Rune ‘Blasphemer’ Eriksen and his fiancée Carmen Susana Simões who enjoyed well-deserved critical acclaim as a member of Portugal darkwavers Aenima, and their fourth stone is sure to earn them to rank among the elite of dark and melodic European metal. Ava Inferi made a career out of being a band in constant motion, studiously avoiding redundancy by constantly reinventing themselves along the flow of a certain Goth/Doom-oriented inspiration, propelled by Carmen’s passionate vocals and Rune’s polyhedral songwriting skills: with “Onyx”, their knack for leaping beyond Doom Metal‘s formal sonic signposts is further emphasized in a sound that is structured as to allow for a broad variety of allusions, last but not least a subtle but tangible homage to 80’s Goth Rock and the soft, haunted 4AD atmospheres of bands like Clan of Xymox and Cocteau Twins although with a decidedly heavier, more solemn bent – all this while emitting a misty vapor trail of sumptuous proggy attitude behind it. The result perfectly qualifies as the cover art and title’s sonic embodiment: nocturnal, sparkling and mysterious in a way that makes it a slow grower but also a rewarding listening, as any Ava Inferi fan knows. The nocturnal, multi-layered guitar constructions of Rune, Carmen’s ever blossoming vocal talent (the album captures her vocal evolution at best, showcasing her knack for ethereal harmonies as well as surges of nearly operatic passion), a masterful balance of heaviness and melodic charm definitely make “Onyx” a recommended purchase for any Ava Inferi loyalist, as well as a pleasant surprise for any fan of female-fronted metal or simply of quality music.

Rating – 80/100



  1. Onyx
  2. The Living End
  3. A Portal
  4. ((Ghostlights))
  5. Majesty
  6. The Heathen Island
  7. By Candlelight & Mirrors
  8. Venice in Fog


Line Up

  • Carmen Susana Simões – Voices
  • Rune Eriksen – Guitar
  • Andre Sobral – Guitar
  • Joana Messias – Bass
  • Joâo “Bandido” Samora – Drums



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