(Wil Cifer turned in some thoughts about the debut album by the German band AZAVATAR.)
On a whim while clicking through my in-box I came across AZAVATAR’s debut album and decided to give it a spin and was surprised at the quality of songwriting that followed. This German band boasts vocals that are grim and scraping, closer to a croak than not. They are eager to blast beat you into submission if given the chance. I am glad these guys are not on the Deathspell Omega bandwagon, as that seems to be the case with every other band in my in-box. The drums do get a little overzealous toward the end of the opening song (“KVLT“) as the riffs grow more restless, but it’s not a total prog-out. This album is brought to you by the letter K as “KVRSE” comes after “KVLT“.
You might not be expecting lyrics you can understand, much less a black metal song with the line “as you kissed me goodbye” in it. They do hit a nice sonic field that floats you away on “KVRSE“. Midway through the song there is a cool change in guitar tone as it becomes cleaner and spacey.
“KAOS” …and yes every song begins with K… starts off at a creep to catch you off guard for the blast beats to come. The lyrics to “KAOS” focus on worshipping the stars and the sun.
The fourteen-minute “KREST” follows. It opens with a doomy throb, but from what we’ve heard up until this point I am expecting the speed to kick in at any minute; it’s a test to see how long they can restrain themselves from defaulting into it. By the three-minute mark the build has them about to burst if they don’t go into a blast beat, the drummer fighting the temptation with an undercurrent of double bass. They give in at the eight-minute mark, like you knew they were going to, but redeem themselves with the disjointed darkness they delve into in the song’s final three minutes.
They start “KRYPT” with the blasting, making no attempt to do anything other than blast you with it. They only keep it up for a minute and a half. It’s an eleven-and-a-half minute song, so you knew they would relent into something more melodic since that is the formula they seem to work with. They go for something dreadfully creepy after the blasting and keep digging into deeper and darker places, which is fitting for a crypt with a K. There is something about a putrid womb, as he tells his mother the crypt was her all along. So who doesn’t enjoy some self-deprecating black metal?
AZAVATAR’s songwriting is a notch above the pack, and I look forward to catching what they do in the future. Art of Propaganda will be releasing this album June 29th.