Dawn of Azazel
Relentless is an apt title for the debut album from this Kiwi blackened death metal troupe, for it is truly unrelenting. It's also nasty, gnarly and very unattractive. Just the way they and many metal fans around the world love it.
From a strictly personal point of view, I would prefer it if the name of the album was 'Relentless, and yet still melodic and varied' and still lived up to that. But that's just me. There is minimal melody or variation on display here; it's strictly for people who love their death metal raw and completely uncompromising. The desperation in singer Rigel Walshe's voice is palpable, and his vocals rip and tear your eardrums to shreds. The guitars are fairly functional, although occasionally hit upon some slightly more technical riffage, and also given a sound intended to cause maximum aural damage. The drumming is blast furnace busy and has two speeds: flat knacker and slightly less so. The production appears to have been kept deliberately basic and unpolished, in keeping with their dour and primitive overall vibe.
Top pick would have to go to the six and a half minute beast 'Overcome it All', with its flesh ripping chorus and awesome middle eight breakdown/groove section. 'Liquor and Lust' is also worthy of your attention, a late album epic that is given the length to provide more enthralling twists and turns than most of the rest of the album.
For a listener raised on melodic and progressive heavy sounds, this album wears fairly quickly. But if you favour metal in its roughest and most primal form, this album will absolutely float your boat. And New Zealand not being known for producing much in the way of heavy bands, it's great to see these guys breaking out and being heard beyond the shores of the land of the long white cloud. Support this band for this, if nothing else.
(Prime Cuts Music/Riot! Entertainment)
More from Dawn of Azazel
- Tides of Damocles, The [review]