Dawn of Azazel - _Bloodforged Abdication_
(Hellflame Productions, 2003)
by: James Montague (7.5 out of 10)
This 7" EP marks my first venture across the pond into the New Zealand metal scene, and if Dawn of Azazel is any indicator, we face a stern challenge from our eastern neighbours. The band comes from the same stock as many of their Aussie brethren, firing out one impressive death-thrash hymn of their own, and a cover of "Plateau of Invincibility" by the godfathers of the style, Order of Chaos. The music is essentially a result of '80s thrash riffs breeding and evolving with modern death metal to become heavier, more downtuned and oppressive. The vocals tend towards the strangled, choked and screamed end of the spectrum, betraying a touch of black metal in the mix. The recording is pretty clear and heavy, while the graphic artwork, despite a printing fuckup that saw the lyrics placed on the inside of the slipcase, is striking. Most of all, this band thrives courtesy of a strong sense of dynamics, with riffs that beat you down, down, down, before breaking into some faster, traditional riffs that get the blood pumping and the head banging. These Kiwi chaps show ample talent with this brief taster, and are well recommended to fans of death-thrash icons like Destroyer 666 and Axis of Advance.

Contact: http://www.dawnofazazel.orcon.net.nz

(article published 21/5/2003)

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