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Azooma - A Hymn Of The Vicious Monster Award winner

A Hymn Of The Vicious Monster
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 30 September 2014, 2:35 PM

As anyone who caught Sam Dunne’s excellent film, Global Metal, will know, the Middle East is a surprisingly fertile breeding ground for fearsomely heavy bands. With the possible exception of ACRASSICAUDA though, none of them have gained much attention in the western world but nevertheless, there’s been some serious word of mouth about Iranian death metallers, AZOOMA. have already given this release a glowing review, and they were also singled out for praise by MORBID ANGEL back in March, so word of mouth is definitely on their side.

What definitely aren’t on their side however, are the tight restrictions on music by Iran’s Ministry Of Islamic Guidance. While it’s difficult to work out their exact stance on blood soaked, technically minded Death Metal, it’s a pretty safe bet AZOOMA won’t be championed across state TV any time soon and getting a break will be harder for them than most bands.

If they’re destined to remain in the underground however, it’s a real shame because “A Hymn of a Vicious Monster” is absolutely ferocious. The band’s enthusiasm isn’t held back at all and they’ve also got the skill to match. Ahmed Tokallou for example, is a terrific guitarist, spinning out elaborate solos and groove-laden riffs like the best in the business. Just check out his furious fretwork on “Eridan’s Supervoid”, this guy doesn’t make love to his guitar, he punish fucks it!

Shahin Vaqfipour meanwhile, is one of those vocalists whose main concern is to keep the aggression coming, and he does just that. At times he sounds so pissed off it wouldn’t be surprising if he had a problem with being constantly bitten by venomous cobras, and while his melodic vocals are admittedly a bit weak, he rarely uses them and for the most part rages like Iran’s answer to Corpsegrinder Fisher.

Backed up by the highly competent rhythm section of the Shariat brothers, this is one of those “head bang constantly” albums that serve as a reminder of just how awesome Death Metal is. But it’s also bursting with intricate flourishes that show they’re not just cavemen bludgeoning their instruments to pieces; “Gyrocompass” for example is over ten minutes of sophisticated mosh metal that changes time signatures so often it’s dizzying, while “Self-Inflected” is another bruising pit inducer that is way more mature than it should be.

In other words, AZOOMA have struck gold. This is accomplished, sophisticated Death Metal that it is itching to find a cult audience. If they’re lucky, this will result in a few high profile support slots because these guys have got a real chance to “do a SEPULTURA” and be embraced by the wider Metal market. Do yourself a favour and check this out as soon as you can.

4 Star Rating

1. Preface (Intro)
2. Self-Inflected
3. Eridan’s Supervoid
4. Encapsulated Delusion
5. Gyrocompass
6. Appendix
Farid Shariat - Bass
Saeed Shariat - Drums
Ahmed Tokallou - Guitars
Shahin Vaqfipour - Vocals
Record Label: Xtreem Music


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Edited 02 February 2023

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