Let’s say this: You’ve checked out Consecration’s latest album and came to ask me “What the hell is this band doing on a progressive rock webzine?!” In that case I guess I broke your image of progressive music, as this term is not simply based on super complex music or tons of tempo changes, but having a clear vision of the music you make, and Danilo Nikodinovski, the mainman of this Serbian band is a visionary of that kind, but then again, I can say with assurance that he’s a regular dude playing “irregular” music.
The biggest curse that can happen to a quality band that comes from Serbia or this region in general is probably that the band doesn’t come from Sweden, Germany or the US. Why? Well, if there is only an ounce of justice in this world, Consecration would already be known worldwide, having the best possible support by labels, promoters, radio & TV stations, etc. It might sound to pretentious, but this band easily stands shoulder-to-shoulder with such acts like Cult of Luna, Goodspeed You! Black Emperor, Isis, God is an Astronaut, Mono, to name a few.
.avi is the second album of this Belgradian band and I can say fully objectively that .avi is one of the most innovative albums coming out of Serbian’s sleepy music scene. This album has a history. That’s right. It was previously recorded live and was released under the name Live 2nd April 2008, with the addition of a brief interlude on this studio record and of course with some musical and production improvements.
In comparison with their debut aux, .avi shows that Consecration has grown, matured and stepped forward. With Danilo’s and the other members’ wide influence spectrum, which goes from Pink Floyd to 65dayofstatic, this album can be marked as an essential gem from many reasons. While aux is mostly surrounded by melancholia and doom arrangements and fits well with the major bands of this type such are Katatonia, Anathema or Opeth, .avi makes a distinct change towards more a strong reflection of the type of music mentioned before.
Rare are the bands that can successfully transfer the energy of live playing to the studio, and Consecration has managed to do it very well. The reason for that is probably because .avi has been recording in a sequential manner, which makes it all the more complete.
.avi is divided into 6 tracks, with a total duration of about 57 minutes. Aligator opens the album with strong riffing which increases as the song flows, and I have to say that those “picnic” guitar solos remind me somewhat of Metallica’s from Load, which is good. The title track feels like it was dropped straight out of an Isis or Explosions in the Sky album, but no, it’s in .avi. Danilo’s singing sounds more like cosmic chanting, very nice atmospheric/post-rock guitar motifs of Nikola Milojević here and Nemanja Trećaković’s FX’s make you feel like you’re floating through space and seeing all of the cosmos. Cisterna is a short interlude which delivers distorted bluesy standards and breaks into Somna, which is adorned with backing vocals of Milutin Jovančić, the singer of Block Out, one of the most influential Serbian bands. I should add that there’s a video for this song, which was homemade, and this album comes with it. Up next is Idiot Glee, the heaviest song on the album. It includes death growls, strong riffing work and a greasy bass. Đavo nije urban, what could be translated as The Devil is Not Urban, sets Consecration’s journey in the post-rock direction, similar to the one presented on Somna and the title track, with nice acoustic guitar chord voicing and the spilling samplework of Nemanja Trećaković. You will notice that I didn’t write a single word about drums, so I will do that now because Matija Dagović excels in every segment of this record, from compassionate jazzy passages to really heavy stuff like blast beats.
And all of this for three measly euros. that’s how much you will have to pay for this masterpiece, but it wouldn’t hurt you to give some more money. Too bad it has not been released as a physical CD for collectors, but who knows, maybe that will change in the future.
In couple of years from now, this album is going to be referred as an album of cult status and time will be the best judge of that. Consecration has made .avi feel like a HD (High Definition) soundscape and that will probably stay remembered. And these dudes really make me feel proud. Listen and shiver!
05. Idiot Glee
06. Đavo Nije Urban
* Danilo Nikodinovski – guitar, vocals
* David Lazar Galić – bass
* Nikola Milojević – guitar
* Nemanja Trećaković – keyboards, samples
* Matija Dagović – drums, percussion
* Milutin Jovančić – backing vocals on Somna
* Jelena Stanićević – backing vocals on Idiot Glee
* Stojan Reljić – guitar on Cisterna
* Aleksandar Zec – photography
* Marko Jovanović – recording/production