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Atmospheric yet riff-based black metal - 80%

vorfeed, July 19th, 2011

The production on this demo is quite raw, with a fuzzy, distant guitar sound. The three songs seem to have been recorded and/or mixed at different levels, which keeps this demo from having a unified sound, but it's not too bad. The drums also seem a touch louder than they should be -- when they're blasting they sometimes overwhelm everything else -- but I really like the way the whispered vocals blend into the guitars.

Azoth play atmospheric black metal, with a pleasantly surprising emphasis on the riffs. The interplay between the vocals and tremolo-picked guitars creates a convincingly eerie mood, while the drums add plenty of texture. The opener, "Cruor Macula", is the most aggressive track on the demo, with a simple, driving main riff and plenty of blasting. "Mehm" is my favorite here: its odd, hesitant main theme contrasts with its cavernous vocals, screams, and blasting drums. The quiet section before the end is utterly convincing, as is the change of mood which follows it. It transitions into "Babalon", a six-minute epic packed with shifting riffing and tempo changes. The mid-paced part that starts around the two-minute mark is one of my favorite moments on the demo, and the last few minutes are equally great.

I like this demo quite a bit. Azoth's mood changes and riff patterns are nimble and clever, their musicianship is solid throughout, and the atmosphere they create is very convincing. Recommended.

Standout tracks: "Mehm"

Review by vorfeed: