Diviner – Avaton


Formed by Yiannais Papanikolaou and Thimios Krikos, who had been in Inner Wish back in 1998, Diviner originated in 2011 and by late in 2015, the band released their debut Fallen Empires . As often happens, members change and before recording for Realms of Time was to begin, founding guitarist Thimios Krikos left the band and Kostas Fitos was brought in. For Avaton, only vocalist Yiannis Papanikolaou remains and is joined by guitarists Teo Ross and Alex Flouros with George Nidriotis on drums and Lefteris Moros on bass.

Following an acoustic guitar and keyboard intro, the band launch straight into what I would label as a signature track for their sound in “Mountains High”.  A heavy, dark riff opens up the track and then Yiannis Papanikolaou’s vocals come in channelling Dio and Geoff Tate in all their power and majesty.  At once powerful and melodically smooth, his vocals are a perfect fit for this genre.  The two new guitarists, Teo Ross and Alex Flouros, have an early chance to shine here in the track trading solo slots and some harmonies as the track progresses.  The songwriting and composition here is excellent with a quieter spoken part building until the main guitar riff returns and Yiannis’ vocals roar back to full volume.  This is one of those tracks that make you want to stand on cliffs and rage along with the band.  The intensity and majesty continue with “Dancing in the Fire” which also shows good interplay between the guitarists.  These two songs have everything you would want from and are probably nostalgic for from classic metal of the mid-late 80’s and yet the sound is fresh and new for those who didn’t live through those times.

“Cyberwar” has a bit of a shift to it and for my ears hearkens back toward Operation: Mindcrime from Queensryche which is another classic.  I can hear similarities in the guitars and vocals as the song progresses and may be a function of getting two new guitarists bringing different influences.  “Waste No Time” has the same guitars and song structure along with some incredibly catchy hooks combining the vocals and guitars in a demonstration of great songwriting.   What I can definitely appreciate is the restraint and skill in how the guitar solos are incorporated into the songs and the thumping bass work from George Nidriotis which really comes to the forefront in the song.

The album closes with two epic tracks, each coming in around 8 minutes long, which is a bit of a bold move and quite a contrast from the rest of the album and Diviner’s songs in general which tend to be somewhat long but more compact and seeing this was a bit of a concern.  As it turns out, there was no need for concern.  When the songs are playing, you hardly notice the length as there is no wasted parts with everything fitting together.  “The Battle of Marathon” does start out with some acoustic guitars and drums setting an epic medieval atmosphere before launching into the full band and distorted guitars all driven along by George Nidriotis  bass and Lefteris Moros drums keeping the song moving and providing that solid foundation.

As Diviner has done on Fallen Empires and Realms of Time, they follow the classic, perhaps traditional power metal and NWOBHM formula, keeping toward the older, darker tones from bands.  Changing out the entire band beside vocalist Yiannis Papanikolaou had me wondering how the sound may change and there were some subtle changes, but it seems mostly the changes were in approach and production.  The band had a bit of a chip on the shoulder, something to prove edge and bravado on the earlier albums that has been replaced by a confident maturity which is notable since this is the first album for the lineup.  I’ve been waiting for the follow up to Realms of Time and I’m not disappointed, Avaton is a great album.

Rating: 8.5/10

Written by John Jackson


  1. Avaton
  2. Mountains High
  3. Dancing in the Fire
  4. Cyberwar
  5. Waste No Time
  6. Nemecic
  7. Hope Will Rise
  8. Dominator
  9. Hall of the Brave
  10. The Battle of Marathon

Band Members
Yiannis Papanikolaou – vocals
Teo Ross – guitar
Alex Flouros – guitar
George Nidriotis – bass
Lefteris Moros – drums

Release Date: November 10, 2023

Record Label: Rock of Angels Records

2015: “Fallen  Empires”  (review)
2019: “Realms of Time” (review)
2022: “Avaton”

Weblinks: Facebook / Website / Twitter

Video for “Mountains High”

Lyric video for “Dominator”

Video for “Waste No Time”

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