[Review] AVKRVST – The approbation

The Scandinavian music scene has always attracted me for its sophisticated sounds, especially in the Progressive field. This new Norwegian band AVKRVST impressed me from the very first singles with its blend of Prog and Heavy traits. The debut album “The Approbation” was released on June 16, 2023 by InsideOut Music, with its 7 tracks in concept form. “Østerdalen” is a short 26-second intro with gentle guitar arpewggi, leading us towards the massive guitar riffs of “The Pale Moon.” A rhythm section full of tempo changes and fine acoustic guitar interludes and solo inserts. The orchestral background of keyboards adds a symphonic and melancholic touch, giving the sound that touch characteristic of northern European bands. The vocals are dynamic and expressive, alternating solo and choral parts that passionately interpret the lyrics. An alternation of vocal parts and fine instrumentals, concluding the song in a musical crescendo with more Heavy traits. The distorted guitars that conclude the previous one open “Isolation,” a concentration of energy and technique between Prog and Metal. The drumming is gritty and enriched with tempo changes and accelerations that take the sound into Progressive Metal territory. The keyboards intertwine perfectly with the hard guitar riffs, offering elaborate and distinctly Prog ideas and passages. In the middle section, the guitar offers an enveloping solo insert, and then in the second half of the song a dynamic and expressive vocal enters. Dark atmospheres permeate the song, which closes in the finale with a metal passage and keyboards as protagonists. Siakmo in the middle of the album and “The Great White River” continues in the interweaving of Heavy sounds and symphonic openings. The drumming is softer and the atmospheres more Rock with a delicate touch, allowing the vocals to interpret the lyrics softly. The intensity increases as the minutes go by, and the vocal turns into an appreciable growl. The second part of the track is more symphonic and with dreamy atmospheres, with the return of the vocal concludes. “Arcane Clouds” links up with the previous one thanks to effects, and opens with a fine interweaving of guitar and keyboards. The rhythm section is solid, with a deep, load-bearing bass line, while the drumming is enriched with tempo changes and elaborate fills. The vocals lend a melodic touch to the sound in its interpretation, and the track evolves into a crescendo in the middle section. Returning to softer, enveloping sounds, it takes us to the final section, where the band’s more Heavy Prog traits close the track. A distinctly symphonic choral intro opens “Anodyne,” one of the longest tracks in duration, exceeding 10 minutes. With the entry of all instruments, the band develops an elaborate theme where guitar and keyboards duet with technical, energy-laden melodies and textures. The rhythm section allows the development of heavier and softer passages. A succession of tempo changes in a long instrumental section accompanies us to the central part of the track. The track has two sides, in the second segment the band develops more delicate sounds with markedly symphonic traits and dilated, enveloping vocal parts. The title track “The Approbation” closes the album, an epic over 13 minutes long, which encapsulates all the musical essence of the band. Technical passages, forays into heavier sounds and symphonic openings. A fresh and modern sound, enriched by continuous tempo changes and the use of some more electronic passages, developing long instrumental textures that enhance the band’s compositional and performing technique. Progressive Rock and Metal are blended, a band that shows its ability to move between the two genres thanks to its personal style. A band that presents itself in style, offering a solid and technical album that showcases their skills in both composition and performance. Their style is personal and original, a modern blend of Progressive Rock and Metal, in line with the evolution of the genre. Records and artists like this are a real pleasure to listen to and review. A recommended listen for all lovers of new sounds of Prog with a heavy touch, the tracklist is intense from beginning to end for an album of absolute value.


01. Østerdalen (0:26)
02. The Pale Moon (6:15)
03. Isolation (5:41)
04. The Great White River (6:30)
05. Arcane Clouds (6:05)
06. Anodyne (10:15)
07. The Approbation (13:37)


Martin Utby / Drums, Synths
Simon Bergseth / Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Øystein Aadland / Bass, Keys
Edvard Seim / Guitars
Auver Gaaren / Keys

Read our Exclusive Interview with the band here: [Interview] Exclusive interview with AVKRVST

Purchase the album here: https://www.insideoutshop.de/

AVKRVST |Official Website|Facebook Page|Instagram|Spotify|

InsideOut Music |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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