Monday, September 09, 2013

Azure Emote: The Gravity of Impermanence (2013)

What the Hell am I Listening To?

Review by Metallattorney. He is the law.

What a weird album. I am not even really sure how to classify this band. I suppose the best way would be to compare them to a group like Hollenthon, Septicflesh, Sigh, or the oddball projects of Dan Swanö. In other words, they seem to have influences from a wide variety of metal styles, such as black, death, and industrial. Never has the term avant-garde been more fitting than when listening to this album from Azure Emote.

This is Azure Emote's second album and it has gained them a fair amount of interest. I have been in a little bit of a metal black hole in the last few months due to an extremely busy work schedule and even I have heard some hype about this release. Azure Emote is the new band of former Monstrosity frontman Mike Hrubovcak. But it definitely does not follow in the footsteps of Monstrosity. Monstrosity was a fairly paint-by-numbers death metal band. As previously stated, this is anything but formulaic. The songs do not follow any traditional song structure and the music is widely varied, crushing and intense one minute, slow and dissonant the next, and allows with a number of sonic surprises.

Azure Emote is at their best when they are pushing the boundaries of extreme metal. Utilizing synthesizers, strings, saxophones, and all kinds of other weird and eclectic instrumentation (harmonica, really?), Azure Emote never settle on anything that can be considered traditional metal structure and instrumentation. These moments are frequent and lend a schizophrenic feel to the overall listening experience. There are still obvious metal riffs, but those seem somewhat lackluster when not accompanied by some off-the-wall instrument or sample.

The only real complaint I have about this album is that the band sometimes does too much. There is a lack of cohesion to a lot of the moments and the whole thing feels like a collection of disparate parts rather than one impressive whole. It can be a little off-putting at times.

Azure Emote is certainly unpredictable and have a lot of talent, but at times they just appear to be weird for weirdness's sake. That can be problematic and often prevents any real connection with the listener.

I was impressed enough to give this 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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