(NCS contributor Austin Weber provides this review of the second album released earlier this month by Philadelphia’s Azure Emote.)
As far as death metal supergroups go, Azure Emote certainly has not only a killer line-up but more importantly a willfull intent to make music outside the confines of their genre, an aim they achieve by taking death metal hostage and lifting it to unconventional heights of sonic ecstasy.
The Gravity of Impermanence is largely the brainchild of vocalist Mike Hrubovcak (Monstrosity, Vile), who brings more then just potent beastly roars to the table. He is responsible for the electronic elements — ranging from keyboards to diverse orchestral synths and electronica — on all but three of the tracks, and he also contributes some creepy harmonica playing to the sounds of pigs being murdered on “Sunrise Slaughter”. The way the electronic elements build up the music and flourish instead of being an afterthought is a large part of what gives The Gravity Of Impermanence such a unique identity for a death metal record.
All this talk of keyboards is not to imply that guitarist Ryan Moll (Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, Total Fucking Destruction) is lacking. He isn’t. He lays down a plethora of razor-sharp, heavy-as-hell riffs, colorful leads, and spiraling solo’s. A lot of his riffs subtly remind of old school death metal, though I had a hard time pinning down who I thought they sounded like. Rounding out the trio is the always fantastic Mike Heller (Malignancy, Fear Factory), whose steady blasting and interesting patterns strongly drive the rhythm section into overload, enhancing both the mid-paced moments and the faster, all-out assaults.