Review Summary: Swedish melodic OSDM containing near perfect compositional attributes.
It’s very rare to come across good melodic death metal due to the numerous amounts of bands rehashing old ideas, and using the gift of melody in a really cheesy, unprofessional way. In fact, the main reason melodic death metal gets such a bad rep nowadays is because many bands try to gain “audience appeal” by flashing catchy riffs in your face and thus forgetting good music isn’t all about flash; but ultimately, good songs arise from the ability of an artist to compose all of the elements gracefully. “A Velvet Creation” is a perfect example of melodic death metal used in a very effective way, almost always favoring emotion over flash. Tracks like “March of Insurrection” and “Floating” offer a grand variety of tasteful riffs that blend well into the overall feel and atmosphere of AVC. The interlinear melodies play off each other, always giving a forward motion to the album even during repeated phrases.
One should “not” approach AVC as the type of OSDM album that focuses entirely on heaviness. Amongst many attributes, OSDM is known for both heaviness and groove. AVC favors more grooving melodies than atmospheric density, although thickness is almost always present with blazing fast tremolos, double bass kicks, and blast beats. Tracks like “Into the Cosmic Sphere” and “My Bleeding Tears” offer a well balance of "weight" and melodic characteristics but multi noted tremolos seem to always take the lead, which in this case is a very good thing.
The album flow of AVC is what I believe ultimately makes Eucharist’ first LP release so successful. The acoustic intro is very reminiscent of early In Flames works, Bach, and the popular song “A Spanish Caravan”. Like most elements of AVC, the acoustic intro doesn’t over stay its welcome as it blends perfectly into upfront, straightforward, melodic death metal. The ability of guitarist Marcus Johnsson and bassist Martin Karlsson to keep the listeners attention throughout AVC is nothing short of amazing. The placement of every single moment is very creative. The transition of “March of Insurrection” to “My Bleeding Tears” bass line is reminiscent of each other but carries each other’s high points to newer emotional levels.
The lyrical factor is very enjoyable and decipherable. When vocalist Johnsson screams “I speak only for myself, and I blame nobody else, For what I have done, I will always be left to carry my pain”, supported by groovy death-like riffs, the listener is graced by remembrances of Chuck Schuldiner from Death and Jeff Walker from Carcass. The lyrics are both sorrowful and beautiful, such as is the case of Floating’s “Everything looks cold, and the natural beauty surrounds this solemn province, but in my eyes, this blasphemous grace is falling apart”.
With very minor setbacks in the areas of the drum snare being too high in the production and occasional moments of odd song endings, AVC is one of the best melodic death metal offerings to ever exist; as well as being one of the best OSDM releases to come out of Sweden during the year of 1993. Eucharist has shown, as well as setting a solid marker for what “good” melodic death metal is capable of. This album is highly recommended for fans of OSDM, melodic death metal, and those who are looking for an introduction into accessible [in compositional terms] death metal.