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Azazello - Upstairs CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.35 | 21 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The Russian Progressive Metal Band from Tynda is back with a release that's actually even better than their strong debut CD "Black Day" (Russian: "Cherniy Den"), released earlier this year on Moonchild Records Label.

AZAZELLO is playing Prog Metal with great harmonies, complex compositions and lots of changes in rhythm, mood and tempo. The DREAM THEATER influence, which was very present on their debut, is now less obvious. They have come closer to their own originality on this release with the addition of female back-up vocals, flute and a guest appearance of the folk band "DIVO". Due to all of these things, they have come closer to their roots. When I'm hearing the Russian female choir and the flute I instantly start thinking of Russia. The interplay between guitar and keyboards has become even better on this album too, and it's now one of the most exciting things in AZAZELLO's music.

Once again, the guitarist Alexandr Kulak has written all the songs. He's also responsible for all the arrangements. Alexandr have been very kind and he has sent me his and AZAZELLO's work continuously the latter years. The song "Wake Me Up" is one of those. I received a demo cassette of this track in 1999, and it's one of the highlights on this album and perhaps also the most complex thing they've ever recorded. "Pulse?" is another really interesting track, which shows the drummer in full performance. On this track it becomes obvious that the drummer is a highly technical master on his instrument.

"Upstairs" is showing a band that has matured and become a lot more experimental since the debut. Keep in mind that this is only a cassette copy. And although there's some dropouts on my cassette and the fact that the sound quality isn't all-professional, this is an astounding example of high-quality Prog Metal from a land we don't often hear any music at all from. I hope I will get the chance to get this album as a proper CD- release some day. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

(The song titles is written in English in this review to make it understandable for the reader, but the vocals and the original song titles are all in the Russian language.)

Greger | 5/5 |


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