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Azken Auzi - Azekn Auzi

Azken Auzi
Azken Auzi
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 01 March 2023, 9:40 AM

Since the blend between elements of Doom Metal and Sludge Metal started, one of the greatest problems was to create the right sonority for the albums. Explaining: it was a big mass of fuzzy sonorities, because the bands had a wrong idea, recording things in a way that was hard to understand. One more time: to be filthy doesn’t mean to be organic, heavy or aggressive, just filthy. But since some years, things started to improve, so releases as “Azken Auzi”, the first album of the French trio AZKEN AUZI (that comes from Toulon), become understandable for a broader public. It seems to the ears that the trio promotes a form of Doom/Sludge Metal that has some traits of Stoner Metal as well (due the slow tempos and organic feeling that fills the band’s music).

The album sounds crude and primordial as the early releases of BLACK SABBATH, oppressive and bitter, filled with a nasty energy boosted by the guitars’ feedbacks; but as the same time, they don’t deny the use of very good and melancholic melodies (heard clearly on “Disgrace”). It’s a different insight of the usual formula of the genre, and as they mature a bit more, they can become a leading force into the genre. The band laid the responsibility of the sound engineering, mixing and mastering to Dactalex. The idea was simple: to create a sound quality that enables the trio to express its songs in a form that anyone can understand, but bearing the rough and filthy approach of Doom/Sludge Metal. The final result shows that they got it, laying the crudeness on the instrumental tunes.

For sure the fans of this specific genre will fall in love with songs as “Disgrace” (oppressive and based on slow paced tempos, but with very good bitter melodies flowing from the guitar riffs), “I Hate You” (this one can cause earaches on the fans, because the level of musical weight and crudeness is abusive, but with a very good set of rhythmic shifts guided by bass guitar and drums), and “K.R.L.H.” (it could be faced as a form of ‘sabbathic’ instrumental expression due its distorted and filthy appeal, but with good harsh tunes on the vocals). In other hand, the band enjoys some expressions on instrumental songs as “Azken Auzi”, “Rho Scorpii” and “Home”, all being very good songs (although on Bandcamp’s version there’s a bonus track, a vocal version for “Azken Auzi”). But it shows that they need to mature a bit more: no one is saying that is wrong to have such number of instrumental songs (if you pay attention, the number of vocal songs and instrumental ones is the same), but it can cause a boring feeling on the fans. And the vocals can mature a bit more as well.

For now, the work shown by AZKEN AUZI deserves applause, and “Azken Auzi” seems to point to a band that can become a driving force of the new generation of Doom/Sludge Metal acts.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Disgrace
2. Azken Auzi (instrumental)
3. I Hate You
4. Rho Scorpii (instrumental)
5. K.R.L.H.
6. Home (instrumental)
7. Azken Auzi (Vocal version)
Ludo Σ - Vocals, Guitars
Laurent Λ - Bass
Fred Φ - Drums
Record Label: Argonauta Records


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Edited 28 March 2023

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