Our latest offering is both savage and strange. Check out the newest from Azooma!
First, the news:
- Unique Leader has reissued The Beginning of the End, the 2013 EP from the now-defunct Acrania. Pick it up here and brace for slams.
- Wormhole have proven that a good thing can be made great with the addition of a “Spaceballs” sample. Check out “Automated Distress Signal” off of Genesis, due out on November 30th.
- If you like your death metal bereft of melody (and vocals) and filled with only dissonant hatred, Thoren are streaming their debut album at NCS. This one was a bit dense even for me, so come prepared. You can get this abhorrent beast right here come tomorrow.
- In case you somehow missed it, Ulcerate are streaming Shrines of Paralysis in full right here. You don’t need me to tell you how good it is; pick it up when it drops tomorrow.
Azooma is an odd name, but it’s one longtime readers might remember. Their debut, A Hymn of the Vicious Monster, was briefly mentioned back when the Toilet was still in its infancy, screaming and shitting all over the blogosphere and flushing all who stood before it. We’ve matured a bit since then (well, kind of), and Azooma has as well. Whereas the debut was feral and untamed, The Act of Eye feels like it’s been trained to kill. It still carries the same primal energy that was present on Hymn, but instead of being turned loose, it’s channeled into something greater.
Act sees the band following the refined progressive path that was hinted at on “Gyrocompass,” which is somewhat surprising given the shreddy nature of the debut. Their music is expressed in a variety of different ways that draw inspiration from a plethora of diverse artists, ranging from Cynic to Opeth to Neurotripsticks/Leading Vision-era Gorod (which is especially fitting, as Mathieu Pascal produced the album). These are all simply influences, though; not jumping-off points. Azooma’s music contains familiar elements, but they use them in ways that feel new. The album gradually grows weirder and more alien over the course of its run time, slowly layering on synths, multiple shifts in tone, and some off-putting chanting. It all comes to a head in the latter half of “Act 7,” culminating in one of the most bizarre prog moments you’re likely to hear this year.
Tech death can seem like it’s running out of new ideas at times, but bands like Azooma prove that there are still plenty of fresh sounds out there. They bring together a variety of sounds from across the realm of tech death and combine them into something unique and interesting. The Act of the Eye is uncompromisingly harsh at times, quiet and contemplative at others, and always forward-thinking. Though the sound is entirely different, I could see this having a similar impact on the genre as the Deviant Process album from earlier this year. It’s ambitious, it’s smart, and it’s a fun listen.
The Act of the Eye is out now and available on Bandcamp digitally and Xtreem Music on CD. You can follow the band on Facebook, so if you like what you heard, go give them the Toilet’s regards. That’s all for this week, and until next time,
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