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Azazello - Transformation CD (album) cover



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4 stars Russian band AZAZELLO was formed in early 1995 as a side project for the members of thrash metal act Morg. They have four full-fledged official releases to date, the most recent of these being "Seventh Heaven" from 2004. "Transformation" marks the fifth chapter in their history as recording artists, and was released by the Russian label MALS Records in the fall of 2011. Existing fans might also note that this is the first production featuring what appears to be a brand new line-up.

While Azazello as a band might not be purebred innovators of their chosen genre, their skill in utilizing gritty intensity on one hand and subtle stylistic details on the other make this album well worth experiencing. Fans of Dream Theater and Symphony X will most likely be the key audience for this production, and I presume many of those will find this CD to be a nice addition to their music collection.

Report this review (#528830)
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Azazello's latest album 'Преображение' (or 'Transformation' in English) is the sixth album by the Russian group, which consists of Alexander Kulak, Vladimir Kulak, Vladimir Demakov and Vladislav Chala. The album is naturally sung in Russian, making understanding of the album impossible to English listeners (like myself). For this reason, I can only remark on the experience of listening to this album.

The music on this album is your standard mix of metal combined with some prog influences. I hear strong Uriah Heep influences on Enchantress, and Phoenix seems to play out rather like Dream Theater's Hollow Years. Sadly, besides the Russian lyrics, there's nothing very unique about this album. Everything you hear here on this disc can be heard somewhere else, and would probably sound better. Nevertheless, Azazello have definitely released something with artistic merit.

Perhaps the main fault with this album lies in the mixing. When I think of prog rock, I think of very fine music, like Firth of Fifth and Heart Of The Sunrise. In my opinion, none of the tracks on this album are 'fine'. The mixing, though not awful, just doesn't seem quite right. Often the instruments will sound like they aren't being played together, or one instrument will sound much louder than another. This doesn't ruin the album, but seriously hinders my enjoyment.

When listening to Italian progressive music, I've found that I don't need to understand the lyrics in order to enjoy the music. After listening to this album, I can say that the same does not hold for Russian music. I can't even tell if this is a concept album or not! Whilst being technically competent, the band do not impress me with their musical style. In summary, this is an album that's not very pleasant on the ears, and is really for fans only.

Report this review (#540885)
Posted Monday, October 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Azazello's fifth studio album named Transformation from 2011 is another worthy prog metal release from their catalogue. I know them since they relased Upstairs in 2001 and since then I'm with an eye on their music being quite pleasent surprised. This is good prog metal with all the ingredients must have this type of album, complex passages, great interludes between guitar and keyboards and an ok voice sung in russian. Pieces like Clock Face or To win are great Azazello prog metal pieces for sure. Well, to me their best album remains Upsairs but aswell Seven heaven or this one are close. 3 stars in places 3.5 , for fans of Symphony X or DT. Good prog metal band that is very often to low appreciated.
Report this review (#1035896)
Posted Monday, September 16, 2013 | Review Permalink

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