AVENTYR – Driven (2013)
It has been said million times: never judge an album by its cover, but let’s face it, the first visual impact is the initial selling point. Looking at Norwegians AVENTYR debut album “Driven” artwork you think in a thrash, death metal act, maybe traditional heavy.
Well, let me tell you the music spread through these ten tracks is an energetic, yes, but melodic compendium of sharp melodic hard rock mixing early Def Leppard / Helix riffs, straight Backyard Babies sleazy attitude and some modern sonic elements ala Hollywood Burnouts, all produced and mixed by legend Beau Hill.
Aventyr’s style is quite simple and to the point but effective and fun as hell, brimming with chunky riffs, great melodies and excellent playing throughout.
Revving up with a Joe Satriani vibe on the intro to “Driven” gives a clear indication that Aventyr are a band that aren’t going to shy away from using their guitar players to maximum effect. It’s a high octane rockin’ piece with dirty riffs littering the melodic highway along which they travel. The pedal is most definitely down to the leopard print floor mats as backing vocals spill out of classic melodic rock, harmonised by a choir of fallen angels. What an opening. Took me by surprise if I’m honest. I wasn’t expecting anything this good.
“Betrayed” shows no signs of letting the side down and continues in much the same vein. A rolling bassline pollutes the atmosphere with a smokey haze before a jumpy riff takes over, making way itself for more of the harmonised backing vocals through the chorus. Close your eyes, think Def Leppard jamming with Backyard Babies. If that thought scares you then steer well clear of “Driven”, if not then buckle up and join the ride.
“Trouble” unleashes wave after wave of style with a searing solo that could be attributed to Steve Stevens. With the mix & production by Beau Hill (Europe, Winger), the album has a wall of comfortable sound that plays out like a well polished platinum record.
Smooth grooves lead nicely into “Tomorrow”, a track that somehow recalls Hellacopters crazyness, followed by “Torpedo” which explodes into a shining ball of hard rock fury and the soundtrack to an insane ride down “Crazy Roads” empties the tank quickly by pushing the needle into the red like H.E.A.T on steroids.
Singer Roger Olsen has a smooth commanding style behind the mic. Crooning yet loud his presence is similar to that of Billy Idol in some ways. There’s a harder edge to these guys than first thought, and “Empty Bottles” proves the point as it injects a nitro burst firing up Motorhead sized engines and showing a different angle to Aventyr not seen on the previous tracks.
Then for the end things turn stylized, melodic and quite suave on “Wanted”, adorned with synths and a sharp, really good guitar work, where the vocals jumps here and there following the mostly midtempo pace.
As you see, there’s an arsenal of influences on Aventyr’s great debut “Driven” but all baked into a pretty original way and with a distinctive sound.
Packed with effective, energetic songs clocking around the three and a half minutes, one of the album’s powerhouse attributes is the brilliant production delivered by expert Beau Hill, bringing the crunchiness of the old guard combined with a slick modern touch.
“Driven” is more than a promising start for this Scandinavian band, a pulsating and rocking collection of songs plenty of attitude and style.
01 – Driven
02 – Betrayed
03 – Trouble
04 – Tomorrow
05 – Torpedo
06 – Crazy Roads
07 – Outside
08 – Delirious
09 – Empty Bottles
10 – Wanted
Roger ‘Stevie Stiff’ Olsen – Vocals
Jan Tore Befring – Lead Guitar
Steinar Aven – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Roger Pettersen – Bass, Backing Vocals
Trond Vilnes – Drums
BUY IT !