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Avandra 'Descender' Review by Allyson Kingsley



Blood Music

April 26, 2019

Review by Allyson Kingsley, Music Journalist

Line up:

Christian Ayala Cruz - Voice, Guitars, Synths
Luis Javier Rivera Guilbot - Guitars
Adrián Arroyo Schuck - Drums
Gabriel Rodríguez Martinez - Bass

Featured Artists:

Guitar solo in track 2 - Christopher De Léon Jones
Guitar solo in track 4 - Richard Henshall (Haken)
Guitar solo in track 5 - Israel Romero Pérez
Keyboard solo in track 7 - Kevin Moore (ex-Dream Theater, Chroma Key, OSI)
Percussion programming in track 8 - Daniel Schwartz (Astronoid)


Avandra started with humble beginnings as a single man project by Christian Ayala in hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico in 2017. It was never intended to be a live band, but with the May 2017 release of Tymora, there was a great demand to see this work brought to life. After several shows, the island was almost destroyed by Hurricane Maria and Ayala set to work on his second creation Descender After capturing the eyes and ears of Nelson Varas, who is noted for his metal music documentaries in other cultural regions, Avandra was signed to Blood Music. In 208, they gathered in New Hampshire to record their new album with Daniel Schwartz of Astronoid, along with the mastering talent of the legendary Magnus Lindberg. Descender also features guest spots from current and former members of HakenDream Theater, and Astronoid. 

Starting off with the first two songs, “Beyond the Threshold: Part 1 - Helios Awakens” and “Beyond the Threshold: Part 2 - Helios Descends,” we have two masterful pieces that ascend and descend beautifully. The central riffs are undeniably fantastic and the choruses rush you along with musical euphoria, and the fiery instrumental that emerges in the second parts are undeniably awesome. “A Decision Must Be Made” languishes in a slower vibe, deeper and a little darker and certainly more reflective than the others. My choice pick is “The Narrowing of Meaning” which has a style of its own; it has heart and soul to it, and that plays out on the frets and in the concise melodies. I do have a few other favorites too, such as  “Adder's Bite,” a wonderful single with lots of replayability.  “Derelict Minds” is an immense song that blows me away every time; not only is the chorus fantastic, but the way the central riff mixes with the intense melody really feels perfect. 

The album flows wonderfully and consistently. Every track plays a part and every song is well composed. Descender proves to be quite a fantastic odyssey.



Blood Music


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