Band Biographies: AVERNUS

Established in 1992 in Chicago, AVERNUS was one of the premiere bands mixing death metal with doom elements as evidenced by early demos over the next couple of years -- ‘A Tracery of Red’ featuring singer Rick McCoy and drummer Rick Yifrach and fan-favorite ‘Sadness,’ which added guitarist Erik Kikke to the lineup. In addition to becoming a live staple of Midwest shows and fests, a rippling effect began throughout underground circles. In 1994 AVERNUS’ reputation caught the attention of now-current M-Theory Audio president Marco Barbieri. At the time Marco worked at Metal Blade Records and included the band’s track “Godlessness” on ‘Metal Massacre XII’ in 1995. The song showed the beginnings of the group reaching for more melodic and gothic tendencies. Marco urged Metal Blade to sign the group but there just wasn’t enough enthusiasm from above. Marco felt so strongly about AVERNUS that he contemplated starting his own imprint then but the group instead signed with M.I.A. Records (Darkest Hour, Oppressor, Spirit Caravan) and released their ‘Of the Fallen’ album in 1997. The same year guitarist James Genenz (later of Fleshgrind, Jungle Rot) joined the ranks. AVERNUS didn’t make the breakthrough evidenced by their early talents and hard work. Recording a couple more demos the band wallowed in obscurity in the 2000s despite the efforts of remaining constant member, founder Rick McCoy. AVERNUS slowly crumbled away.

But things never truly die and nostalgia for the group was urged by fans and even band members slowly the pieces were assembled, reunion shows played and new music written culminating in the song released today and the forthcoming full-length album. By far the most cohesive and powerful recording assembled by a more experienced and yet calmer head to create truly a masterwork.

“Decades in the making. We have known Marco Barbieri since he was with Metal Blade Records. Marco has supported us since the mid-‘90s. He was the main reason we were given the opportunity to be a part of Metal Blade’s ‘Metal Massacre 12’ compilation.”

“Forward to now… we finished recording a full-length record. Somehow the stars aligned and the conditions were right, and it fell into Marco’s hands. Soon after, with a short discussion and knowing the history that Marco has with so many great bands, we formed a partnership and became part of the M-Theory roster. This journey really has been “decades in the making” and came together as a “perfect storm”. We are humbled and honored to be a part of the M-Theory Audio family.”

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