On November 18th, 2022, the progressive metallers from Puerto Rico AVANDRA released their latest full-length, “Prodigal“, and I took the opportunity to catch up with Christian Ayala & José Miguel Vázquez to find out more about Avandra and the latest release.
“Codename: Pharaoh” introduces the album by incorporating Eisenhower’s speech on the dangers of unifying the private sector’s military-industrial complex with the government. The track explores the cyclical nature of war. Musically the band delivers emotive soaring vocals and intricate instrumentation that is also capable of explosive power. The narrative of the album sees the protagonist introduced in “The Downpour“, a thunderstorm is revealed to be the distant dropping of bombs traveling towards his village. AVANDRA uses guttural harsh vocals and emphasis on bass tones to explore the dark side of the album, interweaving an array of textures throughout the track. Prodigal follows the protagonist through a difficult journey of loss and betrayal; from joining the military only to discover they were responsible for the bombing and destruction of his home, to returning and rebuilding. “A Trace of Home” races at an intense, high-speed pace. Harsh vocals and soaring cleans produce a dynamic contrast bringing together multiple moods and exploring the complex thoughts and feelings of the album’s central figure. Dreamy piano melodies and atmospheric synths accompany haunting whispers in “In Träumen“, while “Dissembling The Artifice” sees AVANDRA venture further into the heavy and dissonant without fully abandoning the light. “Daybreak” makes for a dramatic conclusion; an encompassing amalgamation of the elements presented across the tracks. AVANDRA has produced a highly technical, deeply poignant, and thoroughly thrilling album in Prodigal. Musically the outfit’s compositions display an immense understanding and skill of the progressive genre, not only creating compelling music but aptly writing to convey the album’s overarching concept.
Find Avandra online at:
Christian Ayala – Vocals/Guitars/Synths
José Miguel Vázquez (Chemie) – Bass
Luis Javier Rivera – Guitars
Adrián Arroyo – Drums