Monday, February 27, 2017

Black Metal History Month- Azarath : " In Extremis"

This an album that makes me explore when does something become blackened and when is it just death metal, doom, sludge...etc ? The opening track off of the new album from Poland's Azarath strikes me as just being straight up death metal. The way the faint melody writes in the guitar riff could be the slightest hint , but how does this differ from what Morbid Angel does on the regular ? Drummer Inferno is from Behemoth, but that doesn't grand father then in as black metal. This experiment a bit here and there, but all death metal bands should be doing that rather than just dialing it in. This isn't to take away from what they are doing here, as that is impressive in the blast of the first song, but can they maintain that is the question posed to every band this heavy.

The vocals are very Morbid Angel. The way the layers chime in also remind me a little of Deicide. Death metal is not my thing as much as doom or black metal, so a death metal band needs to try a little harder to engage me. By the time we get to the third song "Annihilation" they are beginning to lose me a bit. They are going for a break neck blur, which is impressive drumming , but not great when it comes to how does this hold up as a song. What is being done here that I haven't heard before ?  While it is very much playing off of a formula fatal to the flesh, "the Slain God" does stand on it's own two feet better as a song. I think this is because it slows down and allows the guitar to create some texture.

I can hear where fans of older Behemoth would like "At the Gates of Understanding" . To my ears it snarls by quickly and doesn't do much to engage me. I am still listening for little bits of blackness to creep through by the time we get to the "Parasu Blade" . It is pretty much straight forward death metal. It does find a pit churning moment here and there , but cool riffs alone do not a good song make. "Sign of Apophis" is another that is all aggression and little else by way of substance and  makes me grateful that I caught all this the first time around when it sounded a lot fresher. "into the Nameless Night" makes it clear these guys are good at what they do . They question poised to me then becomes do I like what they do. I don't dislike that the what it is, I just have this need already met.The drummer is awesome and they are good at what they do I'll give it a 6.

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