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Mazikeen – The Solace Of Death

The Solace Of Death
by Aurora Kuczek at 30 July 2020, 3:06 PM

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia come forth the symphonic blackened death metal band entitled, MAZIKEEN. The project formed in 2013, and has recently released “The Solace Of Death” which came about earlier this year. The album features an array of various styles from symphonic to black metal to atmospheric elements. Though at times the band projects at rapid speed, with drums shooting into the crisp night air, some portions are quite slow and melodic giving a buffer for their pieces. Despite this, I think the project struggles with finding their own voice, and this is seen in the ending parts of the album as they cover tracks for pioneer type bands. The project has talented musicians, but the ideas lack a formality of uniqueness.

In an atmospheric jargoned plane, existed a land with ashen trees that smoked at the top like a fortress. “The Solace Of Death” starts the hymn with a blend of melodic guitars and shooting drums that exhibit impressive agility. Keyboards chime like bells in the distance, and screams of agony overlay this in a high pitched fashion that are malleable and diverse. The blend of instrumentation is energized and charming as the voice fades into the foreground and the mellisonant sounds continue. In an un-harmonious-like symphony of randomized guitar sounds, the vocals growl as these flow overtop as a wind fading the fire.

Apostate” begins in a slow drum beat. Lengthened guitar notes are spread thinly as a vintage sounding recording of a man’s voice is heard. This continues, as the guitars change into a harmonious sounding revelation, but not as complex. Vocals shift to deepened growls, and the guitars plunge then rise from the darkened waters. Chaos spreads rapidly and the drums beat further on in a faster mode. There is a breakdown in the song, and the tune exhibits more of a SLIPKNOT or metal core personality. Keyboards are overrun by the intensities of the notes. A man sings slightly, and a chorus echoes. The song ends similarly how it started but with off-noted keyboards.

Vexation Through The Golden Sun” features a loose guitar buildup that echoes around a mediocre reverberation that leads into shooting drums and screams that floats like madness. Guitars spiral upwards like an apparition and the forest beckons for more to come within its ashen walls. Harshened shouts panic their ways through the track, while keyboards synthesize eerie sounding creations. A chorus mimics this sound. A breakdown occurs and a singular guitar is heard solemnly with a squeaking nature. This is a placid break in a spacious chamber that escapes the entropy and morphs into a dulcet rhythm. From this comes poor recording or what sounds like air through a microphone, and the rapid drums resume with slight changes in the guitar until the final of the song.

Fractricide” involves singular and fast guitar riffs begin the piece with a high-pitched and edited scream. Though this is dipped within tepid waters, it sounds heavily edited and refined. A breakdown that comes from screams, features in a more melodic nature, the serene notes of simpler keyboard notes with the darkness of the guitars and the rapidity of the drums. A man sings alongside this, and the synths become more epic. The rawness of the track formed towards more symphonic as time pressed on, before eventually recombining back into the fragility of the genre at the ending but very well-done. This is their strongest track thus far.

In a celestial setting, “Psychotic Reign” starts as the guitars begin similarly to the last with more room to grow. As the roofs of the cavernous places become blacker, the air settles into the moss covered floors. This eventually formulates into piano notes and heavier synths backing up the raw notes. The drums still continue rapidly and multi-faceted throughout the track. As the track gets more in-depth, it becomes increasingly intense and varied, and the baselines are lower.

Harrowing Cessation” begins in a synthetic and unsettled land; a black bird lands upon the fortress and calls to find no one there. Airy guitars continue the setting with some notes louder than others. Feedback estranges the other notes in a creepy manner. Though it is interesting, it does not do much for the purpose of the album.

Mors Vincit Omnia” features a breeze  that flows through the land, and a piano takes flight with crisp low notes. It is a folklore of ancient times researched and rugged worn until there is nothing but scraps. This blends together with other pianos before descending towards a breeze of otherworldly nature.

Cerulean Last Night” continues the same feelings portrayed in the last song, but added to it a naturistic beauty of keyboard notes and atmospheric guitars that float majestically with this. The tune changes in an ancestral fashion, and the listener is transported to a past time. The vocals are portrayed in a talkative manner to mimic the instrumental sounds. The track seemingly changes to a varying genre similar to power metal and thus weakens the understanding of the track. Not before long the track breaks down in a comprehendible but interesting tale of visionary behavior. This continues until the ending part of the song that mimics the beginning.

The final four tracks of the album are covers from bands of MAYHEM, DISSECTION, DIMMU BORGIR and DARKTHRONE. Though the notes and setup were fairly the same, MAZIKEEN wrote “Freezing Moon” in a better recording setup with lower bases and guitar riffs settling in the beginning of the song. MAZIKEEN kept the notes informal, and decidedly blended it with the rest of the notes in the background to exhibit a smoother style. More drums were set into place in their cover, with the double kick hitting harshly. The voice growls and is not clearly understood as it may have been in the original. With a symphonic death metal spin, this makes for interesting take upon a classic piece, but the rawness of the original piece will not be outdone. I believe this does work in their favor, but I fail to see if producing a cover strengthens the band’s own ideas, and rather I think it only weakens this.

MAZIKEEN’s “The Solace Of Death” is a blend of complex techniques with various styles of musical sensation. At parts of the album, the songs take on a harsher tone and in others, a more melodic. The band jumps between genres to create a piece that is powerful, but lacks any clear distinction as it is quite jarring and transitions are confusing. Though the covers were well-done, they do not exemplify the band’s true originality and this does not strengthen them as they may have wanted to. MAZIKEEN has profound musicians, but their ideas need to speak for themselves.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Solace Of Death
2. Apostate
3. Vexation Through The Golden Sun
4. Fractricide
5. Psychotic Reign
6. Harrowing Cessation
7. Mors Vincit Omnia
8. Cerulean Last Night
9. Freezing Moon (Mayhem Cover)
10. Night's Blood (Dissection Cover)
11. The Mourning Palace (Dimmu Borgir Cover)
12. Transilvanian Hunger (Darkthrone Cover)
Marco Pitruzzella – Drums
Kris Marchant – Guitars
James Cronovras – Vocals
Andrew Shiells – Guitars and Synths
Aretstikapha – Piano and Synths
Record Label: Satanath Records


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