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Azaghal is Azaghal - 78%

Felix 1666, February 13th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Aftermath Music

Finnish black metal always gets my blood boiling as long as we speak about the "trve" variant of this style. Azaghal, no doubt about it, have sold their souls to the never ending darkness. In particular mastermind Narqarth ensures that the Satanic aura is omnipresent. Admittedly, I would not say that each and every album kicks ass and "Perkeleen luoma" holds a few songs that have some regrettable scratches in the paintwork. The acceptable "Käärmeen laulu" ("The Serpent's Song) for example, passes by without evoking great emotions, because its fairly melodic chorus does not surpass a solid level. The title track wants to be an interesting, industrialized sound collage with a gloomy atmosphere. I wonder that Tom Warrior did not put such a number on "Into the Pandemonium", but maybe he thought rightly that "One in Their Pride" is torture enough. Times gone by! Azaghal's outburst of hate from 2004, this much is true, does not suffer from a great number of defects, because a lot of ugly, mega-black bastards guarantee that the full-length crosses the finishing line without problems. This album does not run out of breath, it masters the playtime of more than 50 minutes in a good manner.

In general it can be said that everybody who likes the band's further albums, for example "Nemesis" or "Teraphim", will enjoy big parts of "Perkeleen luoma". Azaghal is Azaghal and nothing else. Songs that embody fanatic hatred are combined with less fierce numbers, but the overdose of misanthropy is reflected by every "regular" song, only the intro and the aforementioned title track send slightly different signals. But let's get back to "Teraphim", the group's work from 2009. Its very good song called "Filosofi" (The Philosopher), a mid-paced lamentation, was originally released on "Perkeleen luoma". But these two versions differ substantially from each other. The here presented variant is less precise during the rather slow part, yet it surprises with a raging end which is completely missing on "Teraphim". A good closer, but not the highlight.

By contrast, "Verenkirous" (Bloodcurse) belongs to the best tracks. A hailstorm of violence is connected with icy leads. In some moments, they give the orgy of chaos a surprisingly melodic touch. The inhuman screaming and nagging of the lead vocalist underlines the brutality of Azaghal's approach. Songs like this one kidnap the inexperienced listeners and send them to hell without warning. Its merciless riffing at the end confirms the impression of the first four minutes of this sonic predator while proving evidence that Narqarth and his evil comrades are not willing to slacken the reins. Further tracks originate from the same womb. The bestial chorus of "Rivaaja" (Demon) can cause nightmares, the restlessly attacking "Perkeleen kitaan" (Into the Devil's Mouth) has a certain groove without showing even the smallest signs of - mostly shitty - black 'n roll and "Rutonkantaja" (Plaguebearer) behaves like a typical opener: wild, insanely fast and equipped with extremely sharp riffs. For me as a fan of the second wave of black metal, it's hardly possible to resist the impact of these diabolic eruptions. The pure essence of black metal reveals its fascinating power of attraction anew.

Of course, the sub genre does not need a clinically clean sound. Given this situation, Azaghal have chosen a rasping, relatively blurred sound. In its best moments, it puts the lacerating guitars in the right light, but sometimes I think it would be interesting to listen to these tracks with a well defined sound. The bass comes of badly, but after all, black metal follows its own rules and therefore this production can be deemed adequate. By the way, I do not really care about the question whether a computer or a human being is responsible for the drums. I enjoy the rapid drumming which includes blast beats and I cannot say that the songs suffer from an industrialized or mechanized approach. From my point of view, it is of greater relevance that Azaghal hold the flag of the black genre high. One can call them headstrong, stubborn or inflexible. But nobody can will dare to claim that "Perkeleen luoma" is a lukewarm work. It mirrors the passion and conviction of the band members. This fact and the big number of hellish hits make it easy for me to recommend this album.