AVKRVST
The Approbation


3.5
great

Review

by Trey STAFF
June 24th, 2023 | 23 replies


Release Date: 06/16/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While not yet a sum of their Porcupine Tree and Opeth influences, this is still worth a listen if you're looking for lush prog rock with an edge.

Looking at the band name and album cover, you’d be forgiven for assuming Avkrvst are another Norwegian black metal band or maybe post black metal, at best. What you probably wouldn’t assume is that they’re actually a modern prog band heavily influenced by In Absentia-era Porcupine Tree and Ghost Reveries-era Opeth. If you’re familiar with those bands, you can probably almost hear The Approbation in your head already. Soft crooning vocals, chill atmospheric prog rock, extraordinary demonstrations of musicianship that remain centered on songwriting, swaths of vocal harmonies, classy guitar solos, and a warm full production. The Opeth comparison is equally as obvious. It’s the dark undercurrent, specific guitar and keyboard tones, the cyclical delivery of the heavier riffs, and the (very) rare use of death metal vocals. Each song is dominated by the Porcupine Tree influences, but they bring in the Opeth style often enough to make The Approbation more than a PT homage.

If there is a problem with The Approbation, it’s less that the band wears their influences on their sleeves, and more that they’re just not the sum of their parts just yet. This isn’t much of a problem on the first four (relatively) short tracks. While the songwriting lacks the hooks and staying power to truly blow you away, within each song’s five-to-six minute runtime there’s enough going on to hold your attention and even bring you back for more. Pre-release song “The Pale Moon” makes excellent use of its melancholic atmosphere, and the eerie synth line is a highlight for me, but the melodies and hooks need to be just a bit more to sit next to its influences. Where the songwriting becomes more of an issue is on the ten- and thirteen-minutes closing tracks. Don’t get me wrong, there are some cool parts such as the chaotic first five minutes and lush final two minutes of “Anodyne”, but overall, these two tracks suffer from too much time and not enough substance.

Minor songwriting criticisms aside, The Approbation is a great debut album that should appeal to anyone missing that modern Porcupine Tree sound or to a lesser extent, the classic Opeth style. The shorter tracks demonstrate enough depth and intrigue to capture your attention, but the longer tracks suffer from a duration-vs-substance problem (not unlike Opeth, really). Nonetheless, Avkrvst's potential shines through, and with further refinement, they have the ability to create a compelling musical identity beyond mere homage. In the meantime, The Approbation is well worth a listen for anyone looking for some lush prog rock with an edge.



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user ratings (31)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
June 24th 2023


20197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

The Pale Moon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKKyOdHm7KQ

Arcane Clouds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWSXCfnpUME

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2023


20762 Comments


Nice! I'm actually in the process of adding these guys to ProgArchives. From what I've heard of this, I enjoy it quite a bit... although having such strong influences from Opeth and PT certainly helps, lol

Willie
Moderator
June 25th 2023


20197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Absolutely. I think having that feeling of familiarity kind of helps it to click.

Azazzel
June 25th 2023


937 Comments


>While not yet a sum of their Porcupine Tree and Opeth influences, this is still worth a listen if you're looking for lush prog rock with an edge.
wait this isn't the new Anchoret record? I'm only half kidding and I think I prefer that one, but this was a pleasant surprise too. I agree they're one to watch

Willie
Moderator
June 25th 2023


20197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Ha ha. The weird thing is although The Anchoret and Avkrvst both share the same overt influences, they don't really sound like each other.

I don't know which one I prefer more. The Anchoret is definitely the heavier and more energetic of the two. They have way more Opeth influence than these guys. I have this at a 3.5 and The Anchoret at a 3.4, so it's basically splitting hairs as far as preference.

Ectier
June 25th 2023


2308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I am very interested to check this out

MoM
June 26th 2023


5994 Comments


How do you pronounce their name? 🧐

Ectier
June 26th 2023


2308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Avkrust id imagine?

MoM
June 26th 2023


5994 Comments


😦 if that works for them, i guess

Ectier
June 26th 2023


2308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Maybe not idk thats just my guess atm 🤷‍♀️

MoM
June 26th 2023


5994 Comments


I don’t know how to read it any other way. I think you’re right

Ectier
June 26th 2023


2308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Im on thantifaxath atm before i get to this. Am really curious though

MoM
June 26th 2023


5994 Comments


I’m a bit curious about this too. Might give it a go soon! I hope you enjoy!

Willie
Moderator
June 26th 2023


20197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

There's a video online I saw, and they pronounce it exactly how Ectier spelled it out.

Ectier
June 26th 2023


2308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think ill probably enjoy it if its got heavy Opeth vibes

Willie
Moderator
June 26th 2023


20197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

For everyone that is interested in this, there is another band that just released an album, they're called The Anchoret and the album is It All Began With Lonliness. They basically have the same two influences (PT and Opeth), but lean heavier on the Opeth, and it's more of the proggy modern Opeth sound. There's no review for that album, though.

Ectier
June 27th 2023


2308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hmmm will defs look into it Willie. I like the vibes from this so far but its not really holding my attention fully. Think you may be on the money with 3.5

Pulyx
June 27th 2023


62 Comments


They sound super competent. Their influences being this obvious bother me a bit.
It's like that Pineapple Thief band. They don't even hide anything, they just want to be Porcupine Tree really badly.

These guys also throw some Meshuggah on the formula too.

Flugmorph
July 5th 2023


33249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pretty good peth worship

Flugmorph
July 5th 2023


33249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ok Anodyne is going waaaaaaay too far with the opeth dicksucking LMAO

its basically a pale communion b-side wtf



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