Hello, my Needle Drops. Wow, that looks weird typed to me. Well, let's move on. Track review time. 'Nother text one. Hey, when y'all read this, do you hear it in your heads as my voice? Weird, right? Right now, we're focusing on a track from a death metal album I was smitten with a few weeks back: Azarath's Blasphemers' Maledictions. These guys are from Poland, and this is their fifth album if I'm correct.
In previous reviews, I've been really open about my thoughts on death metal. I've got a bigger crush on the older stuff, and it's mostly because I prefer the natural filth found on records like Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness.
Sure, things change, and I'm fine with that, but generic production techniques and drum triggers have lead to a sea of modern death metal albums that sound like plastic. It doesn't even feel like I'm listening to an actual band in some cases, which really kinda ticks me off.
I can understand the desire to be technical. To go the extra mile is a longstanding tradition in metal. Bring things to the next level. Yes. Cool. Sure. I'm For it. Death is one of my favorite death metal bands, and they're quite technical. Even a band like Behold... the Arctopus has space in my music collection. But there are just some sounds I can't get past. Triggers. Ugh.
Thankfully, Azarath doesn't screw around with that crap. They're not the only death metal group I could commend for that, but I think this group is a special case. These guys are extremely tight and fast. Plus, they pull it all off while still sounding like a full band, not a machine. They add a bit of a black metal edge to the whole mix, too.
To start on the track this review is targeting, "Firebreath of Blasphemy and Scorn," the vocals are absolutely wretched. Of course, that's a compliment. At many points in this track, they're layered with two voices that growl in different inflections.
Added to the voices are loads of guitars churning out speedy leads and riffs, but they don't exactly stick out for me. That's because the drums steal the show, and not in a way that I think saves this track. The drummer here, Inferno, is also plays for Polish metal veterans Behemoth, and it's obvious he's a beast.
Inferno's technical ability gives Azarath a more unique edge. The extreme speed and volume made this song stick out to me. It was exciting. It got me going. Some of the melodies felt pretty original, the guitar solo was intense, and the total package was relentlessly vile.
Ultimately, my issue with this track is that after numerous listens, the thrill I was getting from the intense volume and speed sorta wore off for me. Then I was left thinking, "Dammit, it happened again!"
This occurs in a lotta metal records for me. Not all of 'em, but a great deal. It happened especially quick when I got a hold of this entire Azarath album. Nearly every song is as relentless as this one. There's little to no breathing room for many of the riffs, and it's mostly because everything is trying to be as loud and fast as possible at once.
It's not really a matter of this record being too hot to handle. I just get bored with the lack of variation a bit. If everything is fast, then nothing is. If everything is loud, then nothing is.
Still, the technical ability of this group is something to behold, and I'll be looking forward to their next release. There are some great riffs and grooves hidden in that menagerie of metal instrumentation. I just wish they didn't feel so buried.
What do you think of this track? Love it? Hate it? Why? What should I review next?
Stream: Azarath- "Firebreath of Blasphemy and Scorn"