Friday, October 10, 2008

AZAGHAL - Omega CD Review

Moribund Records

The reason why Moribund Records is my favorite label is very simple. They find all these great bands and expose new listeners to works we would not have ever heard about on these shores. Case in point, this Finnish four piece AZAGHAL have been
around since 1995, have released six full lengths plus a dozen or so EPs and Split
releases. And now thanks to Moribund, more people will get to hear AZAGHAL's brand of Black Terror Metal Hell. I'm glad as well since this is a blistering Black Metal barrage that switches tempos from intense to atmospheric in a way to keep your attention. And that's just the music, vocally there's a split from harsh powerful to out right screaming to guttural thunder. Taking as a whole package this 9 cut CD is the equivalent of a Black Metal Crusade on all non-believers of the genre. Another important note is that the production on here is not thin sounding. I'm not saying it's clean and pure like the wind driven snow. That would be sacrilegious to the genre. It's just that AZAGHAL took the time to place all the instruments and vocals in balance to not have one overpower the other. Comparisons to their more notable Norwegian or Swedish brethren are inevitable. But taken individually the songs on Omega are murderous.

Starting with the opener, "Taman Maailman Prinssi", which comes out at you like
opening the door to a room filled with starving rats. Out they come and chew you to pieces. Hey cool sounding eerie intros are fine by me but opening songs that kill
plus set the menacing pace are my favorite. The vocals are savage, guitars alternate from frantic strumming to melodic swirls and of course the drumming is pure blast beating intensity. "Pirun Verta" is another brilliant piece of bile erupting mega-blasting with riffs that chase you down. Plus the synth near the end just adds more depth to the song. By the third cut,"Quetzalcoatl", an almost epic style seems to come into play which broadens everything that you've already listened to on here. "Kuolonkaarme" might try to rein them back into the fiery blast furnace of hell spawned riffage but not for long. Other songs like "Vihani Raivoavina Valtamerina" and 'Kuolemankulti" are place you into a symphonic realm. The closing cut, "Kaikkinakevan Silman Alla", is the soundtrack song to a scorched earth policy.

I have a bad habit of throwing lines out like "one of the best this year". But
honestly when December rolls around and I have to put together a favorites list.
AZAGHAL's Omega CD will be on it. Now is it the overall best Black Metal release of 2008? Well so far the competition is fierce but I will say that this is so far in

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