lunes, 13 de mayo de 2013

Review: Azure Emote - Chronicles Of An Aging Mammal (2006)

Probably, when you hear 'Industrial Metal', you think of bands like Rammstein or Nine Inch Nails, or, if you are more into this Industrial thing, GodFlesh, Fear Factory, or PitchShifter. Well, what I'm reviewing today it's not like any of those bands, but its industrial influences were well known in the underground scene a few years back.

This band is Azure Emote, project that started as a personal idea, and eventually became a band filled with reputable elements and members. The mind behind the beast is Mike Hrubovcak, actually in Monstrosity and Vile, and designer of album covers to bands like Sinister, Cephalotripsy, Pathology, Aurora Borealis, and many others. In 'Chambers of an Aging Mammal', his debut album, Mike practically does everything but to play guitars and drums, in a pretty ambitious experimental project.

The disc starts very promising with 'Clarity Thru Apathy', a song which, from its beginning has a sound that alternates with a not-too-abrasive Death Metal, some progressive passages and a lot of atmospheric elements. The first thing we notice is that, even not having a remarkable production, every instrument is audible and well balanced, letting us easily appreciate the different nuances. Riffs are finely crafted, not taking much protagonism, but standing out as the main rhythmical guide and adding the necessary aggressiveness.

In 'Complex 25', harder electronic elements start appearing, that make the song dynamic very interesting. In fact, what makes it interesting is the way they use the electronic elements, it's not aggressive, and it keeps the harmony and timing flowing through the song. Also, there are little melodic lapses, such as the inclusion of acoustic guitars, which change the dynamic of the song, to later brake between the synthesized passages. A very pleasant song, but it requires the listener to be open minded.

Samples are a constant variant in the general sound, serving as a bridge into the song, or increasing the oppressive feeling and serving as introduction to the next song. That's how 'Joy on the Face of Extinction' and 'Justified End' work, the first being the introduction and the second being the actual song. Fairly, 'Justified End' has a less intricate structure, with very enjoyable riffs. After the prior song this sounds like a rest, a concession to all those samples and 'weird noises'

But 'Cosmic Tear' is a 360º turn. After the 'catchy tune', this puts us back to the introspective and atmospheric state, in a song that stands out for its soft rhythm, taking us through dark passages even when the intensity rises. The different sound layers shift us through this ritualistic 5 minutes, filled with an amazing mysticism. It's a song that stands out for being homogeneous, if any of its element were missing, the final result would not be the same. To this point, the album is wonderful, constantly surprising and delighting

And with “Procreation Abnegation” we reach the maybe algid point of the album, where structures become more complex and link between riffs, and there's an impressive, and a bit fuzzy use of synthetized components, giving a schizophrenic touch to the song. Curiously, despite being a much more eclectic song, keeps the cadence and dark aura of the prior song, mainly because of that great cut that sounds malevolent and attractive.

'Behind These Speechless Eyes' works as a disquieting introduction to 'Submerged', a song where schizophrenia becomes the band best ally, submerging the listener into a whirlwind of impressive brutality and "mechanization". Azure Emote transforms to a pitiless, with the sole objective of crushing the listener. Again, the electronic elements magnify those feelings, raises them to their highest level, and enhancing the final results.

After a calm introduction that leads to an imminent destructive attack, turns out that 'March of the Chemical Pessimism' looks the other way. It's a march, ergo, it will be calm and balanced. However, the operatic voices, the soft timing which Hruvobcak has decided to use in this song keeps us from boredom, and, just like in 'Cosmic Tear', we get carried away into the diverse layers and nuances. Something I haven't mentioned yet is the guitar work. They never overuse technique; it's just a sole basis, the basic support on which every other element will work. This is something that a lot of people don't understand about Azure Emote, they don't want to have the riff as the whole thing, but to use the junction of various elements to get a final result.

'Misanthropic Disgust' brings us the most piercing version of the band; lots of blast beat and strength. Maybe at this point a certain downward in composition becomes noticeable, due to some sections which don't seem to fit in the general idea. This is from 1:20 to 2:10. The problem in this section is that the melodies seem to be out of place, sounding a bit forced into the song. When that period ends, the song goes on a good way again.

In the final song, 'Dementia', we find a series of samples framed by the already mentioned feeling of melancholy and introspection. This introspection doesn't brake throughout the whole 5 minutes of the song, while the samples keep flowing, predictions of the nigh end.

Despite some minor stumbles, Azure Emote has presented a unique disc, with an identity of its own and a sound that very few have explored in these times.

Score: 86/100

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario