AvantGarde - ..Are You Still Alive? - Reviewed By Heavy Metal Heaven webzine ! Check it out here at this link: https://www.heavymetalheaven.it/2021/01/07/recensione-avantgarde-%d1%82%d1%8b-%d0%b5%d1%89%d1%91-%d0%b6%d0%b8%d0%b2-are-you-still-alive-ep/
We are in Russia, in the easternmost part, in a “non-place” where Mongolian, Korean, Chinese and even Japanese cultures are mixed, in addition to the Soviet one.
The region is called Amure, and is the hostile and isolated territory of the AvantGarde .
Just thinking of the immense nothing that surrounds these territories, combined with the harsh climate (at the moment the thermometer marks -29) that I understand that metal, especially in its most extreme fringes, has suffering as its only denominator!
Not having an official biography of the band, only a few news are found on the net: their birth in 2008, the fairly conspicuous live activity and the victory of a contest in 2018, whose prize led them to the studio to record this project.
… Ты ещё жив?(or " Are You Still Alive ", as it is known otherwise) includes 4 songs, is presented as an EP, in reality I think we are dealing with a demo rather than a real extended play. Since the group has decided to wear full uniform to introduce themselves to the public, I will do the same.
Let's say right away that the songs are well composed and equally well played, the mix is discreet and all the elements come out clearly; the technical level is good, obviously they are not Dream Theater , but for the proposed genre they do not disfigure at all.
The singing is powerful and precise and follows all the rules of the genre without overdoing it, if it manages to do so, it helps to give depth to the songs and is supported by a good rhythm section.
Having only 4 tracks available, I can't evaluate it as a homogeneous work; each piece seems to have a life of its own, each of them has its own characteristic which leads to the loss of the overall vision of the project.
For example in the song Моя сила (or " My Power ") the solo part is dilated so much that it suddenly turns into an epic ballad, which could also work, but it is a commercial used only in this song, not there are other similar reminders, for which one remains a bit bewildered.
The basic genre is definitely thrash / groove metal, I would bet I can find posters of Kreator , Machine Head and Pantera in their bedrooms. But that their ratings are metal at 360 degrees shines through in every single note, as if they wanted to pay homage to every band that was important to them and, certainly, the aforementioned ones have been so more incisively.
In any case, the band is a steamroller and I'm sure that during the lives they make double that not listening to them from a stereo; unfortunately the sound is not the most original and probably the compositions are too affected by the listening I was talking about, but, despite the premises, I can't find the AvantGardeso obvious in their work. The band is quite interesting, I don't hear in this EP a trivial copy of more famous groups, rather it is as if they were taking a cue from the masters, and it is a notable difference that suggests a good starting point for respectable future compositions. .
In conclusion, I wish these guys to continue on this path, a road that is certainly uphill, because there is a lot of work to do. But I don't think they lack the desire to get involved and grow in a system they are quietly entering, hoping, in the meantime, that the EP will become an album. But above all the best wish I can make him is, without a shadow of a doubt, that of being able to look out on stages further to the West. - Heavy Metal Heaven Webzine
For fans of - Pantera, Soulfly, Machine Head, Kreator
The band was founded in 2008 in Zavitinsk , Russia . For a decade, the band has been making their own material, touring cities in the Russian far East, and performing at large and small festivals.
Sometimes the line-up changed, and for now AvantGarde band is:
Alexey "Sivlex" Sivokon - bass guitar
Vladimir "Lecter" Sereda – guitar
Dmitry "MrBudnich" Budnikov – vocals
Sergey "Skrxftt" Kravchenko – drums
Alexander "Sanchez" Ponomarev – backing vocals
After winning one of the biggest festivals (Cosmodrome 2018), The band received a prize in the form of an EP recording. After much work, in 2020 the band released EP "..are you still alive?" which contains the agony and madness of a world that has been going mad for centuries and has been covered by the pandemic.
However, the main idea of the album is that everyone chooses their own destiny. No one can help us but ourselves. No one can destroy us but ourselves. So who are you? A victim of the night streets, another piece in someone else's game, or a prisoner of chemical dreams? You checking every step, avoiding wolf pits and broken glass. You dance like a shadow on the asphalt of the stone jungle. Without asking for compassion or advice, you choose your path under the stars of neon lights - too free to be silent, too smart to speak, too strong to give up. The world around you is spun like meat grinder, somebody dead somebody have gone mad. You hear their whispers, you know the question that haunts them: why... are you still alive?
AvantGarde- "... are you still alive?" [EP] 2020
The following people took part in the recording:
Denis Neverkovets – vocals , chorus  (MAD COW DISEASE)
Daniil Buinitsky (КРАХЪ, Chanda Shankara, Volkolak)
Semyon Kochetov (Chanda Shankara)
Mikhail Bylin (Chanda Shankara, Volkolak)
Music: Alexey "Sivlex" Sivokon, Vladimir "Lecter" Sereda
Lirycs: Alexander "Sanchez" Ponomarev [1,2,3,4], Dmitry "MrBudnich" Budnikov [1,4]
SAN JOSE STUDIO, Khabarovsk, 2019
Vocal recording, choirs [1,3] Denis Neverkovets, Blagoveshchensk, 2020
Guitar recording [1,2,3] AVANTGARDE, Zavitinsk, 2020
Re-dumping, mixing, mastering, sound design – Evgeny Vinogradov, DAI Records ™ Studio( © 2020). dayrecords.ru
Cover artwork: MAYHEM PROJECT DESIGN, 2020
Links are as follows:
YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCYYQ_SfPZiP5YeRgg8Wrl5Q
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/ru/artist/avantgarde/1526186392
Yandex Music: https://music.yandex.ru/artist/9753670