Let's not mince words: 2007 was a dreary year for metal. But the black-metal lifers in Texas trio Averse Sefira-guitarist Sanguine Mapsama, bassist Wrath Sathariel Diabolus and drummer the Carcass-have become a road-hardened unit, and it shows in the blistering grooves of Advent Parallax. The fourth album of the band's 12-year career has no gothic frills or weedy "kvlt" production, just eight battle-ready blasts jammed with parched-throat howls, scything guitar riffs, blistering drums and hooks that stick. Here's to the first great metal album of 2008.
-Steve Smith / Tme Out New York