The Great Old Ones - Al Azif review
|Band:||The Great Old Ones|
|Release date:||April 2012|
01. Al Azif
02. Visions Of R'lyeh
04. Rue d'Auseil
05. The Truth
06. My Love For The Stars (Cthulhu Fhtagn)
I am going to preface this review by stating clearly that MS is not on the take. We are not getting baguettes and Bordeaux under the table from the French Ministry of Awesome Music for favorable reviews* for French artists… the French just seem to be doing some great stuff. Deathspell Omega, Glorior Belli, Dirge, Eibon, Blut Aus Nord, and I could go on and on…
Al Azif by The Great Old Ones starts with an ominous build of tension with ringing tones and occasional power chord mashing - dark clouds on the horizon - before a maelstrom of non-Euclidean black metal fury ensues.
Al Azif was the original writing of the Mad Arab, which later found its way to Greece and was dubbed "The Necronomicon", and as one might expect with paeans to the concepts in that book, there are lots of twists and turns on the way. Raging black metal gives way to stark, almost jazzy, interludes, before the band resumes a ferocious assault on your earhole.
Stylistically, I suppose the easiest comparison would be to fellow Frenchmen Deathspell Omega. The Great Old Ones also show an affinity for creating songs with one of old school Darkthrone's greatest traits… a damn near hummable melody line over rampaging tremolo riffing and drum pounding. (Think "Transylvanian Hunger.") They also exhibit the knack for slowing down to a sludge-paced funeral march on other tracks, to find a nice middle ground between the stark dissonance to build tension and the full throttle blackened fury.
The music is also presented in such a way that it feels simultaneously murky and massive, sprawling. The net result is a pretty great sonic spectacle. The shifting moods from ominous build up to blasturbation and back again never allow you to get entirely settled. The moment you feel in place, the floor falls out from underneath you again.
While perhaps not as innovative of other French Masters, I still found this a thoroughly entrancing release. Definitely worth checking out.
*While I don't take bribes, if Le Ministre De L'Excellente Musique wants to send a few baguettes and bottles of Bordeaux my way for my efforts in exposing and promoting their works, I will gladly accept all packages.
||Written on 17.04.2012 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.|
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