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Azazello - MegaDream CD (album) cover



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kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Many years ago I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Azazellos' third album, 'Black Day' and I was mightily impressed. A while later I was sent a copy of their seventh album and again I really enjoyed it. So when I saw that Kerry Kompost had guested on their newest album then I knew that I had to grab a copy. Unfortunately drummer Vladimir Demakov, passed away in December of 2011 so he never got to hear the fruits of his labours, but he would be pleased to know that his mates had done him proud. Led by multi-instrumentalist Alexandr Kulak, along with Vladimir Kulak (keys) and Yan Zhenchak (vocals), this is a band that apparently have no understanding of boundaries and are happy to play whatever pleases them, so if that means coming across as Metallica on one song then all power to them. These guys can really riff when they want to, with more than a hint of Voivod about them, but they are way more than just a fancy metal band and bring in folk and more overtly progressive influences to create something that isn't quite Western, not quite Russian, but always interesting and compelling, much in the way that Dream Theater used to be, but with more instrumentation (the violin is particularly effective)

Kerry is not the only guest on the album, with Misha Ogorodv (Pierre Moerlen's Gong) and Bill Berends (Mastermind) also making their presence felt. I was fortunate one night to catch Mastermind in concert, and by the end of the gig my jaw hurt as it had been hanging open most of the night in awe. Those guys can play, really play. That is the same for all those involved here, as we morph and move all over the place, but a special mention should be made of 'Run In Parallel (Leo)' which is the first time I have heard a happy baby over the top of an acoustic guitar! This is an album with real depth, and the more I have played it the more I have enjoyed it. Yet another outstanding album from Azazello, well worth discovering. To hear a sample or to download digitally then visit

Report this review (#1036734)
Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of two long awaited albums of second half of 2013 for me - Megadream by Azazello (the second one is The Theory Of Everything by Arjen Lucassen, which is in charts already). The album is allowed only in MP3 version yet and can be downloaded from website of producer company. Final release was scheduled to 20th of november, so I will receive my copy with author's sign directly from distant Tynda only by the end of 2013...

The music of album is a set of various progressive rock/metal (I'm looking to album music from prog-rock side) compositions, which are united by common mystic story. Despite of all their differences, each piece shows the recognizable Azazello sound style which consists of heavy guitar riffs of band's lead guitar player Aleksandr Kulak, gentle acoustic guitar playing of band leader Kulak Aleksandr, huge significance of gorgeous keyboard passages, enchanting russian folk music tunes (which are the main sparkle of track entitled Across the Frontier), and of course complicated drum breaks and scales which are different not only from 4/4 but even from 3/4. All these points together form the true and unique musical language of the band.

Beginning from previous Azazello album "Transformation" released in 2011 after long-time break, Yann Zhenchak from Belarus became lead singer of the band. Having the most powerful voice timbre, he uses both clear voice and growl in this record. He also plays violin sometimes when he isn't singing.

As in previous album all drum parties in Megadream were played by talented drummer Vladimir Demakov (who suddenly died in october of 2011). It needs to say that growing complexity of music since Transformation and conceptual storyline of Megadream make drum parties much more complicated and professional as you can notice hearing hi- hats/cymbals nuances e.g. in track Nothing But A Shade.

Besides the musical component of the masterpiece I'd like to say couple of words about thing which is necessary for any serious progressive-rock work in our time. I mean album art. The full set of fantastic illustrations, posters and covers along with 3D video on Carnal Caravan have been created by Ed Unitsky - well known prog-related artist who has worked with many musicians and bands in the genre.

All in all, Azazello has weaved another one spider's web to catch both old and new fans: this is the album where heavy sound has interlaced with beautiful lyrical pieces of music and even with atmospheric tracks played with synthesizers and Yann's violins, growl has adjoined with clean vocals and choir parts, electric guitar riffs have been dressed in delicate piano laces, fusion-fashioned MiniMoog solo (Carnal Caravan) sounds over highspeed blastbeats and russian folk music flows near blue-notes and screamy guitar solos. So it seems I'm deeply in the web already because it is a third day I'm hearing the album without stopping since I've downloaded it.

I'm sure Megadream album is how contemporary russian rock music should look like... and doesn't matter this release is in english because it's going to be special version with russian lyrics and some additional things, as authors say.

Report this review (#1082894)
Posted Thursday, November 28, 2013 | Review Permalink

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