Featuring ex-members of The Negation and Insain, this is 52 minutes of uncompromising black metal. It’s great to hear more from the band after their very enjoyable split with Nirnaeth, and I’m quite happy now that I have a full album of their material to absorb the negative vibes from.
Speaking of negative vibes, there’s a depressive black metal streak to Azziard. It’s not the overriding feature of their sound, but it’s certainly there, lending a downbeat mood to the band’s otherwise spirited aggression. It adds to their overall package though, rather than detracting from it, and the songs on Metempsychose are enriched by the band’s incorporation of this aspect.
There’s a death metal side to the band’s material too. This is only a minor component to their sound, manifesting in some of the riffs here and there, but it adds a heavier, more muscular aspect to their sound that a lot of purestrain black metal bands lack. This feeling is further emphasised by a guest slot from the singer of Benighted on Archetype, which works wonderfully.
The songs are well-written and sound like they’re channelling something authentically evil. This nefarious feeling is present at all times, regardless of whether the band are churning out blast beats or slowing down to a funeral dirge.
The production is solid and professional, without compromising on the blackened underground aesthetics of the music. Lean and strong, the music is given the strength and freedom it needs, without any parts of it sounding sterilised or safe. It’s a fine balance to strike, but Metempsychose does it well.
With this latest album of theirs Azziard have crafted a lethal, virulent strain of meaty black metal. It’s a very enjoyable and satisfying listen, slowly revealing hidden depths the more you listen to it.