This is progressive death metal that sees the band upping their game from their already quite impressive debut release A Hymn of a Vicious Monster. The Act of Eye continues and refines their style, mixing Opeth and Death with elements of more modern bands such as Obscura, Gorod and Gorguts.
Once again the band have a good, strong sound. All of the instruments are clear, including the bass, which also makes a meaningful contribution to the songs.
The deathgrowls of the singer are gruff and bestial, but not without focus or restraint. He has a good voice for this kind of work and shows what he can do very nicely over these 60 minutes. Other vocal types appear occasionally, including a more shouted style and even some non-traditional clean work here and there. It’s all very good.
One of the things that I like about Azooma is the fact that they appear to have quite successfully carved out their own little niche sound for themselves. More than this, I also like the fact that they don’t appear to have gone out of their way to try and do this either; rather, the impression I get is very much one of this happening quite naturally and unforced throughout their development as a group.
Recognisably death metal enough to satisfy fans of brutality and carnage, Azooma nonetheless incorporate enough progressive influences into their sound that they offer the listener something a bit different to the vast majority of death metal bands out there. Whether this is good or bad thing depends on your individual perspective of course, but when the songs are as well-turned out and finely realised as these, I’m very much a believer in the former of the two viewpoints.
Their technical prowess is not to be sniffed at either. There’s some lovely riffs and passages on this, and some cracking solos and leads to boot. As with the best of this kind of thing though, it never gets in the way of the song itself.
There are a lot of good ideas and frills attached to this album too. This can appear as lighter passages, orchestral enhancements, odd singing, strange time-changes, added effects or just a killer riff. Regardless of what it manifests itself as at any given time, it all points towards Azooma’s proficient talent. This is a sterling body of work that showcases not just their performance skills, but their songwriting ones too.
Very impressive. If you’re in the mood for quality death metal that does more than just kick your front door in, then make sure The Act of Eye is at the top of your to-get list.