Onyx is a gem of mysterious qualities. Multilayered and appearing in many beautiful hues this rare stone has inspired artists since ancient times. Now AVA INFERI are presenting their own polished dark gem to the world with their fourth album "Onyx", which sparkles brightly with a perfect mix and mastering by Dan Swanö. "The onyx stone has been attributed with many meanings over the ages", states guitarist and composer Rune Eriksen. "An ancient tale relates how a crooked cupid cut the fingernails of the sleeping Venus. Coming from a goddess these were transformed into the gem known on earth as onyx. An amusing and inspiring tale, yet we aimed for the metaphysical properties of this peculiar stone as it is believed to increase happiness, intuition and developing one's instincts. In magical lore it has a darker side as well. An imprisoned demon spreads terror and nightmares to the ones within the gems reach at night and it might cause clairvoyance for its bearer. All these attributes concern our new album both on its lyrical side as well as inspiring our music."
AVA INFERI was partly born as the brainchild of Rune Eriksen. The Norwegian wants to cultivate darkness and despair in different ways than during his years as the composer of Black Metal cult act Mayhem. The other half is contributed by singer Carmen Simões, who has already captured attention as a member of different Portuguese outfits such as AENIMA, ISIPHILON and POETRY OF SHADOWS. The ultimate idea behind this union is the release and channeling of all frustration and misery that life sometimes brings, but also to give birth to a free and independent portal to the never-ending well of expression and creativity. When the wheels are set in motion during the year 2005 the circle is soon completed with bassist Jaime Ferreira and drummer Joao Samora.
AVA INFERI embrace the two hearts of their bi-national origins with blood-soaked hands. From Portugal derives a morbid fascination of death and ancient melancholy as materialized in its Fado songs full of longing and sadness. Norway contributes a harsh sense of darkness that has expressed itself most recently within the Metal genre. The joining of these two souls in a yin yang relationship becomes first manifest in AVA INFERI's debut "Burdens", which is released in January 2006. The title describes that collective soul of the band at that time, referring to the past and misshapenness of all kinds. "Burdens" is rooted in the essences of pain and fear, yet blooms with a permeating warmth and burning passion, which earns the newly founded Gothic Doomsters a hearty welcome and praise from the press.
Having found their very own style AVA INFERI continue to explore new boundaries and refine their style with their second release "The Silhouette", which is again out on Season of Mist in October 2007. The listeners are taken onto a journey of melancholy by doomsday-laden riffs, haunting melodies and Fado-like passages. "The Silhouette" invites to wander through cities of grief and dive into weeping oceans. The album also established Carmen Simões among the ranks of the strongest and most passionate female vocalists within the Gothic Doom genre. Her outstanding abilities cause fellow countrymen MOONSPELL to invite Carmen to sing on all their latest releases as the leading female voice and at times perform live, which she gladly accepts until today.
With their third full length "Blood of Bacchus" AVA INFERI serve the musical equivalent to a brilliant wine. Outmost pleasing to the aural palate are the rich and sweet vocals courtesy of Portuguese singer Carmen Simões resembling a golden Tawny Port. A far darker tint is added to the barrel by Rune Eriksen, who has changed the course of Norwegian Black Metal with his work in legendary MAYHEM. Yet in AVA INFERI the listener tastes a far more subtle balance born out of a unique blending of Doom and Gothic Metal influences, but always remaining faithful to Eriksen's distinctive style, which is beyond any average verse/chorus structure.
On "Blood of Bacchus" the band demonstrates carefully honed and exquisitely mature songwriting skills. A first tasting is offered on the Hellhounds Fest with Tiamat and The 69 Eyes in February 2009, which is very well received by their audience. In addition to their very own sound a guest contribution by enigmatic singer Kristoffer "Garm" Rygg aka Trickster G. (ULVER) adds further spice to "Blood of Bacchus". This masterpiece artfully combines titbits of delicate sweetness, melancholic bitterness and dark honeyed aftertaste inviting to take a deep sip of the "Blood of Bacchus" and rejoice.
Now "Onyx" witnesses AVA INFERI evolving into a slightly more straightforward approach. Their fourth album surprises with its groove and catchiness, while the trademark progressive elements are still lingering, but delivered in a subtle manner, which leaves more room for melodies and power. For all those interested in exquisite music not limited by boundaries of genre but rather defined by its quality and originality is the right time to discover AVA INFERI anew and delve deep into the dark beauty of "Onyx".