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This has really grown on me. - 87%

immortalshadow666, September 29th, 2006

Put simply, this is the finest metal act in New Zealand. And that’s how I kick this review off.

On a personal note. I first heard Dawn of Azazel when they opened for Disgorge earlier this year. I’d heard some material from their debut album, but wasn’t really too impressed. Cutting to the chase, they absolutely blew me the fuck away. I was so impressed by their live show that I went straight over to the stalls and picked up this monstrosity. I’ve not once regretted my purchase.

The opening track, “Spare None”, is a real head-ripper. This is really, one of the most violent tracks I’ve ever heard. The song opens with two guitars gradually fading in. And then…HOLY CUNT. Vicious tritone chords blast out the speakers, and you fire up. This particular song is reminiscent of American nut-stompers, Hate Eternal, and the intensity does not slow down. The pace is more than kept up during the instantaneous switch to “Swathed In Impurity”, in which they manage to keep up the intensity. However, they also have some slower parts in this one, and listening to these it’s like you’re getting hit in the face repeatedly with a football.

The vocals on this album are fantastic. Rigels screams are executed with precision, and he hits all the right notes. “Master of the Strumpets” is his finest effort on here, choking out some of the damn coolest lyrics around. The solo on this effort is great too, as these are few and far between for the band. Probably they have decided that it doesn’t fit the music, but it certainly tops it off nicely.

Other highlight tracks include the hellishly violent title track, “The Road to Babalon” (despite the strange spelling of the word “Babylon”), “Descent Into Eminence”, and…actually, fuck it. If you like one track on here, you’ll like them all. There are no epic tracks, leaving no time for pissing around with long intros, samples, epic passages or anything. They just plug in and rock harder than hell from start to finish, with the CD coming to rest in at a little over 29 minutes.

So here, Dawn of Azazel have managed to put together an album that is fairly light by modern standards, and turn it into a crushing and murderous album that will leave you banging your head all night, and then singing lines the following day at work, school, whatever. In fact, I daresay this is the most head-banging metal since Reign In Blood. It’s really that good. If you’re looking for metal from the Oceanic/Pacific region, keep your fucking eye on Dawn of Azazel. They will be bigger than Psycroptic soon. 87%.