Azath – Through a Warren of Shadow (Review)

Azath - Through a Warren of ShadowAzath are an international death metal band and this is their debut album.

I’m a fan of both Draghkar and Torture Rack, so as this band features members of both, (and other bands), I knew I wanted to check out Through a Warren of Shadow. Besides, apparently the aim with this project is to use as much speed as possible, and it’s been described as a fast version of bands like Incantation, Immolation, Ritual Necromancy, and Autopsy. It’s hard to pass up on something with a description like that.

Focusing on speed like this is a risky business, but here it pays off. Through A Warren of Shadow is 37 minutes of ripping blast beats and daemonic vocals, (these range from ultra-low grunts, to murderous growls and savage screams. They do what they do effectively and with grim relish). You can hear primitive thrash and bestial black metal influences in the band’s ugly, aggressive sound too. Azath’s adopted approach to filthy old-school death metal is enriched by these influences, and the album pummels, blasts, and destroys everything around it with contemptuous ease.

The relentless drumming is infectious, and the guitars keep things from becoming too one-dimensional. The band do occasionally offer other things in their sound too; although infrequent, mid-paced groove, macabre atmosphere, and dark melody all appear. The album’s title track is a good example of this, showing a few different facets of the band in one six-minute centre piece.

Azath’s combination of brutal death metal with blackened riffs and feral thrash sneer works very well. Although the intro and outro are largely pointless, (as almost every intro and outro by almost every band ever usually is), the songs themselves are solid and enjoyable. This is a great album for when you want something brutally nasty, but without opting for the snub-nosed bluntness of brutal death metal; Azath offer brutality, but with sharp blackened barbs that cut deep.

Through the Warren of Shadows is an enjoyable trip into old-school aggression, one which is recommended for any fan of harsh death metal.

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