This is my first time hearing Italy’s Azrath-11, and my first impression of the band is that they love old Morbid Angel and Behemoth. I know this is kind of redundant because Behemoth pretty much worships at that old Morbid Angel altar, too. Face it, early Morbid Angel is still some of the most brutal, soul-tearing Black/Death Metal ever created, and though it’s been ages since Altars of Madness and Blessed Are the Sick, those two albums still run circles around most of the releases out there to this day. As for the Behemoth aspect of this band’s sound, that mostly comes through in the production. Ov Tentacles and Spirals has that Vader/Behemoth sound with powerful, driving guitars and somewhat artificial triggered drums. The way that Azrath-11 tries to differentiate themselves from the hordes of Behemoth clones is by going back to the source and incorporating more old-school Floridian Death Metal into their riffing. That helps them a little bit, but the net effect is that they sound like Behemoth doing Morbid Angel songs, and in fact Azrath-11 does cover “God of Emptiness,” slightly retitled, ov course. I know that the Vader/Behemoth sound is really, really good, but if Azrath-11 wants to stand apart from the clones, they have to find something new. Maybe a different studio or a different engineer might make the difference. Their music is pretty good, and while not wholly original, it does kick some ass. They just need to find a sound that is uniquely their own.
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