UNDER NIGHT’S COVER is an Australian Heavy / Power Metal band, formed a few years ago (2009). Last year they released their first EP: “The March Of Avernus”. This EP should have seen the light of day back in 2012, but circumstances weren’t favourable, also due to line-up changes. But with renewed force the band continued their hard work, which did make the release happen last year. This album will take you to a place not suitable for cute things, puppies or a baby in his click stroller.
“The March Of Avernus” contains six tracks, including an intro, and has a playtime of a good 34 minutes. It all begins with the intro “Ambush”, which sounds exactly like that: war, shootings, commands or speeches being uttered in the back, … Not exactly a bird and bees kind of track. The violent Metal attack of “Yesterday… When The Peace Ended” kicks in instantly with powerful guitars and thundering drums. Johnny’s clean vocals contrast nicely with the music, yet give the songs also a more epic touch, in my opinion. Straight-forward verses link with the blastbeats of the pre-chorus and so into the Thrashy (or Speed Metal) chorus itself. Awesome and catchy stuff! The obligatory solos are reserved for the end, at which point the music also changes a few times to keep the listening experience attractive enough.
“Shadows In The Dark” is next and here there’s more room for an intro and melodic building, creating tension. This theme continues, now in a more Metal and rhythmic version. Once this first hurdle is conquered, fastn uptempo Heavy/Power Metal is unleashed. Again, the music grabs your ears and doesn’t let go. The catchy vocal lines are a great asset here. It’s nice, also, to hear how the intro is re-used right before the chorus. The chorus is slower, doesn’t feel as happy – so to speak – as the verses. Like before, all solos are set at the end. Not a bad decision, because it also allows the band to really give their all for those last few minutes. UNDER NIGHT’S COVER continues to deliver.
“Depraved” also commences with an building intro, although the *bang!* effect is bigger here. The theme continues like automatic fire, transcending into Speed Metal! I had to think of the first few NOSTRADAMEUS albums (the Swedish Power Metal band) and that’s a good thing. The pounding, hymnic chorus sounds very much IRON MAIDEN-influenced, only UNC adds more power to the music. Even BLAZE BAYLEY’s solo albums can be thrown in the comparison, like “The Man Who Would Not Die” (see my review here, 2008) or “Promise And Terror” (2010). Before the chorus starts, there’s a nice Proggy drum twist. It’s not needed, but it adds a little extra spice to the music. This time the solos are mixed in between and not all set at the end of the song. This allows for more variety and come back to the fixed parts.
Ballad time then with “Euphoric Desolation”. At least, that’s what the acoustic guitar in the beginning indicates. A misleading factor, since there is Heavy Metal to be played, only at a slower pace. The contrast between the (calm, atmospheric) verses and (heavier) chorus cannot be denied, though. A good song, but not as spicy or attractive as the speedier ones on this EP.
Last but not least, there is “Oubliette” to kick your ass back to reality, especially after the rather calm “Euphoric Desolation”. The contrast couldn’t be bigger. Furious Thrashy/Speed Metal is on offer with a pounding pre-chorus, while the chorus itself flows onwards at high tempo. Variation remains key for UNC (abbreviating the name makes it look like a political party), but “Oubliette” is wild and energetic from start to finish.
The lads of UNDER NIGHT’S COVER are passionate, driven and more. This first release, “The March Of Avernus”, couldn’t be bigger proof of their determination. UNC delivers the Heavy/Power goods from start to finish, unrelenting, pressing on and on. Pleasure is of course a vital element when one plays music and it sounds like there’s no end to that. The musicianship is very good, the clean vocals go well with the powerful sounds, but foremost I have to mention the honest production. Such releases are refreshing among the gazillion other releases each year of which several tend to sound overproduced, plastic, too compressed, … Long story short: “The March Of Avernus” is highly recommended material!
- Yesterday… When The Peace Ended
- Shadows In The Dark
- Euphoric Desolation
Johnny Guagliardo – vocals
Jacob Cummins – guitar
Hayden Weidner – guitar
Mark Garroway – bass
Alasdair Belling – drums