Review – Orpheus and Eurydice, Avenoir – Bands on Demand
Avenoir are part of the Bands on Demand directory and we review their soon-to-be-released track, Orpheus and Eurydice here.
Avenoir are a four-piece alternative rock/grunge band from West Yorkshire, an area not typically associated with being the epicentre of the grunge scene, but perhaps that’s about to change. Avenoir have had a startling arrival on to the scene, having playing the likes of the BBC Introducing Stage at Leeds & Reading festival, Leeds O2 Academy, along with many more venues around the country. Performing a high energy arrangement of primarily originals, they take no prisoners when on stage, thats a fact! Avenoir have played a large number of shows since late 2016, and are being championed by Mike Heaton from the band Embrace, along with having him as their current active producer
Before we get into the track, perhaps we need to put some background to the title. It’s unusual but, having a passing interest in Ancient Greece (I wrote a couple of novels on this era, but don’t worry, I’m not even going to link to them here), I recognised the names so I looked them up. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is a typical Greek myth. They rarely have happy endings. In a really overly simplified story, Orpheus was son of Apollo and was an incredible musician. He married Eurydice, a woman of extraordinary beauty, but she died shortly after having been bitten by a snake. Orpheus descended to the underworld and won her back from Hades by playing his axe (Lyre in those days). All he had to do was walk out of the underworld without looking back at Eurydice and his wife would have been returned to him. This being a Greek myth though, he looked back only a few feet from the exit and Eurydice was returned to the underworld forever. If that wasn’t bad enough, as Orpheus was a demi-god, when he was torn apart by beasts, the muses decided to keep his head so he could continue to sing for them. Oh, that’s alright then.
But what a story to make a song from. How on earth do you fit that into a few minutes and still do it justice?
Avenoir’s track starts gentle. And I mean very gentle, almost inaudible, but it lulls you forward as it builds, like a Radiohead track at their very best. Rob Arlke’s melodic guitar brings you forward, and then Jack Hendy’s sympathetic drum and Ethan Mumby-Green’s bass join in followed by the initially gentle voice of Tye Jozefowic.
By the end of the first minute of the track, Jozefowic’s voice has gargled gravel and the guitar distortion has taken on a proper grunge feel. The track builds into the first chorus and then stays on the rough, gritty, grunge trajectory all the way to Arkle’s guitar solo that stays hard until the end of the track.
This track has a great three-act storyline; a proper introduction for act 1 where each of the four members are introduced one by one in a way the listener can hear them, a proper middle act 2 where they are building the track and giving us something to bang our heads to, followed by a proper ending – a crescendo of drums, gravelly impassioned singing (bordering on, but never straying into screaming – more Nirvana than Slipknot), a distorted guitar and thumping bass.
The Avenoir boys did the story justice with this track. Orpheus’ dead head would have been proud.
Bring us some more boys, please.