• AZATH - Through the Warren of Shadows LP/CD
The debut album from Los Angeles black/death metallers Azath features members of Draghkar, Ripped to Shreds, Falsehood and Lord Gore so you can kind of guess what kind of fetid, foul noise lurks beneath the monochrome beauty of the artwork. ‘Through a Warren of Shadow’ is out now through Pulverised Records.
After the opening ‘Into the Charnel’ sets the scene ominously, first track proper ‘Draconian Impalement’ instantly kicks in with a raw death metal assault. Riffs slice through the air with rusted precision, while guttural vocals belch and roar through a thick, swampy black metal atmosphere. The band’s mission statement is to play as fast as possible without becoming a grind band, and the kick of songs like ‘The Whirlwind’ and the howling rage of ‘Mortal Sword’ certainly achieve that aim. There’s a certain clattering chaos that really gives you a feeling of unhinged madness that I quite like, particularly my personal favourite track ‘Knight of Chains’, although the grinding nihilism of ‘Children of the Dead Seed’ pushes it very close.
Azath’s debut is fiery, raw and uncompromising. It barely stops for breath apart from the odd morbid interlude, and this commitment to honing their craft to a razor’s edge has served them well, because ‘Through a Warren of Shadow’ is a consistent barrage of necrotic psalms being spat out from your nearest swamp. Fucking brilliant.