Avario is a musical duo with a bit of theatrical flair (they only state their names as “The Master and The Puppet”), but stick mostly to established sounds on their debut EP Songs Sung in Silence; acoustic guitar ballads playing familiar chords and some strained vocals, as well as some classic bass-snare-bass-snare beats. They do what they do pretty well, though, so I’m happy to dive in and discuss the track list here.
The EP begins with one of the faster and most interesting tracks, “Hello Satan,” the first of several distinct post-grunge homages. Avario states that they’re influenced by Alice in Chains, and it’s obvious that the vocalist is going for this wholeheartedly, inflecting his voice in the much-imitated style of Layne Stanley throughout the EP. Given this, the song is enjoyable. Some eastern-sounding guitar and tribal drumming set the stage for an understated and creeping tune until the chorus kicks in, and brings with it a very obvious chord progression and sound that clashes with the mystical tone of the verses. The vocals are also slightly out of key, but this could easily be fixed with another take. Overall, the song interested me in the rest of the work due to its verses, and I was still curious to hear how it progressed from here.
Next came “Behage Mor,” an acoustic ballad with fuzz bass (which was an addition I loved). The vocals are a bit overblown, but it transitions between being charming in a “Send Me on My Way” way, and high-school musical glee club way (which was usually in the chorus), which again struck me as too straightforward with the vocals moving in and out of key once again. This song, stylistically, was generally straightforward and felt like a strange transition from the first song, but I really enjoyed the addition of the fuzzy bass guitar and the quickly-strummed bridge section.
“A Ghost” arrives next and it was much closer in sound to “Hello Satan” with a great opening acoustic guitar line that pleasantly recalled Pink Floyd’s track “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” and kept suspension musically almost all the way through. However, again, the vocals (and lyrics for this song, specifically) really pulled me out of the song. The aforementioned problems quickly reemerge, and, with the vocals so very high in the mix, were difficult to look past. Avario has me until the vocals appear in almost every song. I do, however, enjoy the echo on the very last line of the song. If there were more subtle effects like that, I think this song specifically would benefit from some atmospherics.
“The Scream” is another ballad, but it didn’t really stand out to me in a positive or negative way. “We’re Sorry,” however, grabbed me with some very interesting guitar and bass work, until it became a very straightforward post-grunge-sounding song.
My overall impressions of this EP are that Avario would probably work better if they either stuck to one sound (preferably the snake-like acoustic rock of “Hello Satan” and “A Ghost”), or experimented much more, went a little more subtle with the vocals, and really challenged themselves to write material that is really out there and unique instead of sticking to established grooves. Both members of Avario are talented musically, they just need to take that next step and decide who they are as artists.
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