Waltari and Avanti! – Yeah! Yeah! Die! Die! Death Metal Symphony in Deep C

Waltari and Avanti! – Yeah! Yeah! Die! Die! Death Metal Symphony in Deep C – 4/5

Performed live in Helsinki (Finland), this collaboration between the Progressive metal band Waltari and the Avanti! Classical Symphony Orchestra is not your standard affair. Whilst many artists in the past have used orchestral backing, few have combined them in such a way as to make the orchestra seem so integral to the piece. However, despite the name, I would hesitate to call it any form of Death Metal, though it certainly has a metal tone to the proceedings, and not some simple power metal tone either. They have pushed the extreme end of the genre onto the orchestra, complete with growls and blast beats, soprano and carefully composed orchestral tracks that revives the spirit of the likes of Wagner, and resulted in a spectacular combination of old and new.

If you’ll forgive the comparison, the two specific styles of music performed here feel as though a ‘perfect blend’ is nearly impossible to truly achieve, and what has resulted is – if you’ll forgive the analogy – an ‘oil and water’ blend of the two styles. Both sides feeling distinct and somewhat separated, despite both being present, and as much as you mix things up, this ‘perfect blend’ cannot be achieved. Instead, what results are frequent rapid changes in styles and aggression, an instantaneous transition from death metal fury to the classical backing, and then onwards to more progressive avenues. Yet despite this hindrance, its unique nature more than compensates for any shortcomings in this regard.

I could do a Mr. Chan length review (read: longer than 1500 words) quite happily describing all the different instruments here, the flute solo’s, the chaotic violins in “The Struggle…,” the completely orchestral introduction, or the use of soprano complementing the whole host of different vocals presented here, but I will refrain. Whilst the orchestra performed magnificently, the band, particularly with use of bass, at times felt monotonous, and simply being aggressive for the contrast and contributing little. Furthermore, the experimentation already shown was sufficient to sustain a far longer release, and despite this, inexplicably they begin to use an electro beat towards the end, with what I can only really describe as semi-rapped vocals, and whilst the rapped vocals were worked in to not feel over-done, I cannot fathom why the dance beat was required.

With so many different elements, you can’t help but feel much of it seems rather redundant and contributing little to the end result. Despite this, given the sheer quantity of elements and how they were worked, it at no point feels stagnant. A piece intended to be listened to in its entirety, its main drawback is perhaps the requirement that you not only be a fan of prog metal, but also of classical music. If you satisfy both these conditions, then this is one release sure to have you on the edge of your seat.

Highlights: A Sign, Completely Alone, The Top