Mazikeen – The Solace of Death (Review)

Mazikeen - The Solace of DeathMazikeen are an Australian black metal band. This is their debut album.

There’s 78 minutes of material here, spread out over 12 tracks. The main album consists of the first eight songs, with the final four being bonus covers of Mayhem, Dissection, Dimmu Borgir, and Darkthrone songs.

The band contains current and ex-members of bands such as Rings of Saturn, Six Feet Under, Astral Winter, Atra Vetosus, and Somnium Nox. Their music is inspired by the second wave, specifically the symphonic style. Although clearly referencing the old-school in their approach, Mazikeen offer a modern interpretation of this period of time’s music. This makes for an album that can be thought of as an updated version of something like Dimmu Borgir, (who are clearly an influence, and not just because of the cover version), mixed with a band like Chthonic.

The songs frequently focus on speed and intensity, tearing into the airwaves like multifaceted aggressors. There’s a lot going on here, with the synths and guitar solos adding layers to music flush with harsh grandiosity. The songs are involved and border on the chaotic on places, as all of the various components jostle for place in increasingly crowded musical landscapes. Not only do Mazikeen manage to largely keep things together, but they also manage to channel these frenetic energies back into the music, making for songs that have an unhinged quality to them on occasion. This seems especially true with regards to the technical drums, and some of the vocals, (the band have a main singer, as well as some guest vocalists).

Mazikeen manage to put a slightly different spin on symphonic black metal, with hyper-aggressive elements and a technical, modern edge. Give this a listen and see if it’s to your taste.

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