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Puerto Rican band Avandra has been through a lot in the last couple of years. Starting as a one-man project by Christian Ayala and evolving into a full on liveband in 2017, the band has been on a consistent musical journey that blends the technicality of progressive metal with the ambience of post-rock into a sound that is both familiar, yet completely their own.With their releases Tymora and Descender, the band created a musical universe that listeners can lose themselves in, but also get energized by. Christian’s philosophical lyrics and distinct voice add to the depth that the music of Avandra provides. The band’s second album Descender garnered international attention through it’s release by Blood Music in 2019. This brought the starting band to new audience that embraced their sound, landing them favourable reviews in international magazines & webzines.

Riding the high tide from this release, the band secured a place on the prestigious Progpower Europe festival in 2020 (which unfortunately got suspended to 2021) and the band got back to working on new material. However, reality sometimes throws us curveballs and with Covid-19 spreading across the world, Puerto Rico (and thus Avandra) were also hit heavily by this pandemic. The band was already in the proces of writing material for their third record and had everything done to start recording in March. This obviously, ended up not happening with everyone having to adhere to social distancing rules. This could have been a damper on the bands’ creativity and productivity, but that was not the case here.

Instead of sitting around and waiting for things to pass, Christian started writing a song entitled “Celestial Wreaths” which was dedicated to the situation the world was in when the pandemic hit. This was supposed to be a one off song and nothing more… But creativity cannot be stopped.
And within 2 months, 7 songs were written and recorded in Christian’s home studio that started to sound a lot like a new release. The band kept in touch all this time and the shared excitement over these new songs, was felt even when the members were physically distanced from one another. Another addition to this release, are the contributions by acclaimed synthplayer Vikram Shankar who provided his signature style of playing to lift the songs to a new level.

With the new music finished and produced, the band decided to call this release “Skylighting” and unleash this new record onto the world in November 2020 through independent Progmetal label Layered Reality Productions. This new album showcases a more introspective and ambient side to the band’s sound that sounds wider, deeper and thus more immersive than their earlier releases. Yet at the same time when this album decides to hit hard, it leaves an impact. The production for this album was done by Daniel Schwartz (Astronoid) and the mastering was done by Jamie King (Between The Buried And Me, Scale The Summit, The Contortionist and more). Avandra’s album “Skylighting” will be available both as a physical digipack release and through digital distributors worldwide.

Avandra © 2021

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