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BEST OF 2017 -... - special
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FUNERAL NATION - review
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UNDERGANG - interview
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MYSTIFIER - review
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DAWN OF AZAZEL
DAWN OF AZAZEL
Bloodforged Abdication
(Hellflame Productions)
10:03min

From the land of Peter Jackson come the new conquerors; gas mask-clad DAWN OF AZAZEL, a blistering kiwi answer to OZ's hyper Speed Metal masters STARGAZER. Apart from a major screw-up by the pressing plant in sealing the full color sleeve and entombing the lyrics and thanks list inside, the packaging is first rate; and thankfully the band contrived a lyric sheet insert at the last minute. This two-song sandstorm begins viciously enough with the title track; a twisting and turning, turgid burst of sonic violence I dare say not too many bands could keep up with. Technical but without losing any of its ferocity, the band managed a production style that walks a fine line between order and chaos... ahem. The crunching guitars and slathering vocals lead the charge, backed by tightly produced drums and a sizeable bass undertow. The lyrics, while well written, cover more of the 'we shall conquer' ground we hear so much about these days, but fit well into Rigel (the brightest star of Orion the Hunter) Walshe's bestial spew. Side B is a cover of ORDER FROM CHAOS' 'Plateau Of Invincibility' (send your "conflict of interest" complaints to Frank Stöver so he may have something to fill his recycle bin with) and is the first recorded ORDER FROM CHAOS cover I am aware of. DAWN OF AZAZEL did not attempt a note-for-note recitation, rather they worked the song into their style as far as possible and have come up with something even more violent than the original. DAWN OF AZAZEL even worked in the closing Gustav Holst 'Mars, Bringer Of War' rhythm from 'The Angry Red Planet' (from ORDER FROM CHAOS' "An Ending In Fire") to end the EP. What the song has lost here in abject heaviness (and perhaps continuity), it has gained in raw power - illustrating part of the paradox that makes such a conservative form of music as Metal so effective and lasting, its ability to adapt and evolve. Contact: www.hellflameprod.cjb.net, sunandiron@hotmail.com

Charles Keller

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