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RELEASED IN STANDARD JEWEL CASE
Fourth full-length album from the Polish death metal masters! 11 dark and sinister tracks of blistering speed and crushing brutality. Features Inferno (Behemoth) on drums!!!
Global Domination [7.5/10]:
“Polish”. “Death metal”. What do you think of when you hear those two combined? Vader? Behemoth? Yup, me too. Azarath is a Polish death metal band with Inferno of the aforementioned B on drums. Anyone care to guess what they sound like? Yup, you guessed it. Sleazy melodeathcore with clean vocal choruses. Not. This 11-year old DM platoon has now released its fourth full-length album, and it does sound very much like the two big ones from their home estates, especially Behemoth; but there’s something that’s different about them. They’re…dirtier. More malignant. More pure death metal without synths, no slow bombastic sections and not as much thrash influences, with more nods in the BM direction instead. This is quite good (evil?) shit, actually.
The overall atmosphere of the album is very dark and relentless, and the tempo is quite high throughout the disc. The riffage almost never slows down but keeps the listener’s balls in a tight, furious grip, showing no signs of merciful release. When the tempo does go down the bass drums still hammer away at blazing speeds (example: the chorus of “Throne of Skulls”, great stuff!), but soon enough the onslaught continues with another blastbeat stunner. There are some quality tremolo riffs and leads with dual guitar harmonies (think Morbid Angel or Nile, not Iron Maiden or In Flames) and also some guitar solos, which don’t impress me too much but they do their job. There’s also a very neat gloomy clean guitar part at the end of the title track, reminds me a bit of Meshuggah’s clean interludes. Have to mention the album closer as well; “From Beyond the Coldest Star” is one of the best instrumentals I’ve heard in this genre. Nice riffing and an ethereal feel.
The drumming is immaculate, as would (and should, by now) be expected from Inferno. Without a drummer of his caliber “Praise the Beast” would fall to pieces in an instant; all the blasts and other complex beats require an elite force behind the kit to even sound comprehensible, let alone good. I can assure you that they sound fucken awesome. Everything is exceptionally well performed; though the snare could’ve been mixed lower, especially during blasts. The bass drums’ trigger is also a tad too loud, but doesn’t bother too much if you don’t specifically focus on listening to it. All in all the production is quite good, it’s clear enough but still dirty. Y’know. Bruno’s meaty vocals are another plus; deep, brutal and ominous growls fit perfectly with the soundscape.
On to the negatives: overall it feels like “Praise the Beast” is nothing new or spectacular, it’s like I’ve heard most of this before. (Well, duh, I’ve heard Morbid Angel, Behemoth & Vader.) Also, after having listened through this several times I still don’t remember almost any single riff…but it’s nice to listen to, while listening to it.
All in all this is fast, violent and very well-played death metal with a dark atmosphere of ill-will, but not too original or catchy. Recommended to all fans of brutal DM.
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