heavy metal rock tributes
Category: Harder than Steel Published on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 21:17 Written by Chris "CountRaven" Papadakis Hits: 736
AVIAN feature the amazing vocal skills of Lance King (Balance Of Power, Pyramaze, Gemini etc.), guitarist and main songwriter Yan Leviathan, ex-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson (F5) and Cellador's Bill Hudson. They deliver impressive timeless Heavy Metal for fans of US legends like Savatage or European heroes like Hammerfall and Edguy.
Musically AVIAN is a nice blend of old school heavy metal and the power / true metal of nowadays...
Chris "CountRaven" Papadakis - 2009
Guitarist Yan Leviathan, who had been in several local bands over the years, but never anything remotely serious, formed AVIAN (pronounced A-VEE-YEN) in November of 2002 after being inspired by a metal festival that featured performances by Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, Edguy, and a number of other fantastic bands.
Feeling extremely inspired, on the flight back home, Yan decided to concentrate all of his attention and efforts to creating a band that combined all of the best elements of the great European metal bands and the classic U.S. metal bands. As soon as he arrived home, Yan essentially locked himself in his studio and began writing songs. Before long, he had a couple of songs completed and began looking around for the right studio in which to record them in.
Yan eventually ended up in a studio named The Saltmine, which is located in Phoenix, Arizona. While speaking with the owner, Don Salter, Yan had mentioned to him that he was looking for a bass player and a drummer to help him with the recording. Don mentioned to Yan that he was a good friend of David Ellefson's (ex-Megadeth, F5) and that he would ask him if he would be interested in the project. Obviously, Yan was very excited at the possibility of working with such a well-known and highly respected musician such as David. A couple of days later, a meeting was arranged between Yan and David. In the meeting, Yan explained to David what his goal was and David seemed interested. The meeting ended with David receiving a very rough demo of one of the songs and it was agreed that he would listen to it and decide if he would like to commit to the project. A couple more days passed and David called Yan and told him that he really liked the song ('Final Frontier') and that they should record it ASAP. It was also agreed that David would produce the sessions in addition to playing bass on the songs.
The following week, Yan, and David, along with a session drummer, met in the studio and recorded the song during a 10-hour session. At the end of a very long day, the guys realized that they had created something pretty special and that they needed to record another song right away. Yan played David a new song he had written ('Queen Of The Insane') which excited David very much. The two agreed that they would meet again in a couple of weeks to record it. This process, which began in December of 2002, continued through September 2003; every few weeks, the guys would get together in the studio and record a song, sometimes two.
During that time, Yan and David had many discussions on who should sing on the songs. During one of those discussions, David had mentioned the name Lance King. After listening to some of Lance's work with previous bands, most notably, Balance of Power, the two immediately realized that Lance would be a perfect fit for AVIAN. David contacted Lance and explained to him what he and Yan were doing. Lance seemed interested and was sent two songs to record vocals on. When Yan and David heard Lances vocals over the songs, they were blown away and immediately asked Lance if he would do all of the songs. Since Lance and David had previously discussed working together at some point in the future, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so and Lance signed on to do all of the vocals on the album. At that point, what had begun as a demo project for Yan, escalated within a few short months into a major recording production with world-class musicians on board.
By early 2004, the majority of the songs were recorded and ready for mixing. It was then decided between the three guys that a keyboard player should be brought on to add some atmosphere to the album. Lance suggested his Pyramaze band mate Jonah Weingarten. Yan spoke with Jonah on the phone and the two agreed that Jonah would fly out to Yan's home studio (Yanmonster Studio) to record the keys. The two locked themselves away for 7 straight days working 15 hours each day and managed to write and record all of the parts within that time span.
All that remained as far as recording was concerned, was the guitar solos. A number of specialists were considered, some even auditioned but none really stood out. Lance mentioned his good friend Roger Moore. The two were together in a band called Gemini, which achieved moderate success in the mid nineties. As soon as the guys heard Roger play, they knew he was their man. Roger worked on his solos at Lances home studio (Nightmare Studio) during the second half of 2004.
Around that time, the guys had to decide on who would mix the album. Lance suggested to Yan and David that perhaps he should do it since he had prior experience working on the Balance of Power albums. Yan and David agreed to let Lance have a shot at it and realized t hey had made a very wise decision as soon as they received some of the initial mixes back from Lance.
The following months (late 2004 Summer 2005) were spent on putting the finishing touches on the album and getting it ready for release. This process entailed, mixing, mastering (which was done by famed producer Tommy Hansen most recognized for his work with Helloween), overdubs, artwork (created by Mattias Noren), and last and surely not least, finding a record label.
For this process, Yan hired a management firm. As soon as a mastered CD was available, the management guys went to work. The album generated a lot of interest by some very well know record labels. Ultimately, AVIAN signed on with Massacre Records for the European release, Nightmare Records, for U.S., and Hot Rockin for Japan.
The name AVIAN was chosen by Yan from his favorite novel; The Rama series by Arthur C. Clarke. In the series, the AVIAN is a bird like creature with great intelligence and compassion. The debut CD, "From The Depths Of Time", is a concept album dealing with the end of days and a warning to mankind that there are guardians out there watching us: "From The Depths Of Time" they're rising, fearing none they march ahead, through the past and into forever, they're the ones approaching with the storm. Musically AVIAN is a nice blend of old school heavy metal (think Iron Maiden!) and the power metal / true metal of nowadays (such as Hammerfall, Edguy and the likes plus the classic US metal bands like Savatage and Megadeth). Strong songwriting, great guitar / keyboard parts and brilliant vocals are displayed on the 13 tracks (14 in Japan). With "From The Depths Of Time" now available world wide, the heavy metal scene for sure hasn't stopped bringing great bands to the world of music - AVIAN being one of the very best.