Avandra ascends to the upper reaches of the prog sphere. With sophomore album “Descender”, the Puerto Rico-based fourpiece demonstrates a massive growth in writing and production, displaying a mastery of progressive metal seen in their genre forebears – Opeth, Dream Theater, Devin Townsend, Porcupine Tree, The Ocean Collective – and injecting the soulful intensity of R&B heavy-weight Seal. After making waves locally on such a scale as to register in mainland America and Europe with their debut, the band are set to become the new name to watch in progressive music. Taking their blend of heavy grooves, soaring leads, and dreamy synths to further extremes, the added dramatic flair of delicate piano and acoustic guitar passages propel the album's tale of Helios' descent upon the world and the gift of fire to mankind to heady narrative territory, woefully absent in the genre since Opeth's “Watershed” over a decade ago. Navigating between hard hitting assaults, agile fretboard runs and double kick patterns, ethereal synth beds, dynamic piano accents, and introspective laid-back grooves, the progressive juggernaut is bound together by frontman Christian Ayala Cruz's powerful voice. Cutting through the dizzying displays of technicality and contemplative sonic observations, his performance stands as a unique voice which takes Avandra's progressive pedigree and carves out a realm in the pantheon which belongs to them alone. In “Descender”, Avandra rises to give the fiery gift of progressive music back to mankind.
1. Beyond the Threshold: Part 1 – Helios Awakens
2. Beyond the Threshold: Part 2 – Helios Descends
3. Decision Must Be Made
4. The Narrowing of Meaning
6. Adder's Bite
7. Derelict Minds ft. Kevin Moore