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AZURE EMOTE

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States


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Azure Emote biography
AZURE EMOTE is the musical brainchild of Artist / Vocalist Mike HRUBOVCAK, who is best known for his album cover illustrations (visualdarkness.com), and also as the vocalist / touring frontman for death metal bands MONSTROSITY and VILE. After playing straight forward Death & Black Metal since 1992 and after the depressing breakup of Mike's main band at the time - DIVINE RAPTURE - Mike set out to create a project where he could express his own vision without the genre limitations that were often present within his previous projects. AZURE EMOTE was then conceived in 2003 with the help of Guitar shredder Ryan MOLL (RUMPELSTILTSKIN GRINDER) who was also the bass player in DIVINE RAPTURE. Other musicians were then recruited to fit the needs of each particular song or album.

AZURE EMOTE's goal was to create music with no boundaries and experiment with mixing together inspirations from Death Metal to Industrial, Electronic Techno, Noise, or whatever else happened to come to mind at the time, drawing strength from the bravery of such bands as BETHLEHEM, LAIBACH, ARCTURUS, ENSLAVED, THE KOVENANT, STRAPPING YOUND LAD, ULVER, RED HARVEST, DEAD CAN DANCE, THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX and many others.

In 2007 AZURE EMOTE released ''Chronicles Of An Aging Mammal'' on Czech based EPIDEMIE RECORDS, which was an eclectic and spastic dose of originality and featured contributions by members of MONSTROSITY, HATE ETERNAL, DIVINE RAPTURE, RUMPELSTILTSKIN GRINDER, SOLACE IN THE SHADOWS, VILE, I.C.E, MOURNING, TODESBONDEN, AUTUMN TEARS and more.

Chronicles Of An Aging Mammal received much praise in zines, blogs and forums worldwide. Over the next 5 years however AZURE EMOTE was inevitably put into hiatus, as Mike focused his time primarily on recording and touring extensively for Death Metal bands MONSTROSITY and VILE and also the formation of the Thrash/Death band ABRAXAS. The strong desire for personal creativity however surged once again, and Mike resurrected AZURE EMOTE in the summer of 2011 and started writing for another full length album. ''The Gravity of Impermanence'' was completed in late 2012 and released in 2013. It features contributions from members of DEATH, FEAR FACTORY, TRISTANIA, SINS OF THY BELOVED, RUMPELSTILTSKIN GRINDER, MONSTROSITY, MALIGNANCY, VISIONS OF ATLANTIS, HATE ETERNAL, YAKUZA and many others.

''The Gravity of Impermanence'' embodies a whole new polished and evolved sound, with the addition of Violins, Saxophone, varying o...
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AZURE EMOTE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 2 ratings
Chronicles Of An Aging Mammal
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Gravity Of Impermanence
2013
3.86 | 2 ratings
The Third Perspective
2020

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AZURE EMOTE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Third Perspective by AZURE EMOTE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.86 | 2 ratings

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The Third Perspective
Azure Emote Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars There are some bands that are just too weird, too wild and too outside the box of orthodoxies for the mainstream to even consider as producing viable music for consumption and despite the extremities of metal music, many metalheads are the most conservative of all finding a niche or two that they like and not deviating from within their boundaries or at least not very far. That means bands like Philadelphia's AZURE EMOTE that while being based in extreme death metal but mixes in all kinds of non-metal elements such as electronica, progressive rock and even ethnic influences. just doesn't jive well with many except for those like myself who happen to be nerdy enough to delve into every aspect of musical expression that exists. Oh well, it's a lonely room but bands like AZURE EMOTE that take these nosedives into bizarre experimental places that few dare go make nerdism all worth while.

While this project led by multi-instrumentalist Mike Hrubovcak may not get a lot of love, his involvement with "real" metal projects that include Hypoxia, Monstrosity, Vile, Nader Sadek, Divine Rapture, Abraxas, Rumpelstilskin and XXX Maniak have, well at least his vocal performances on the California based brutal tech death metal band Vile have! This side project that consists of Hrubovcak on vocals, flute, maracas, straw, harmonica, keyboard, samples, electronics, drum programming along with drummer Mike Heller (Disembowel, Fear Factory, Malignancy, Success Will Write Apocalypse Across The Sky, System Divide, World Under Blood, Zillah) and fellow Rumpelstiltskin Grinder guitarist / bassist Ryan Moll has been missing in action since 2013's "The Gravity Of Impermanence" and with such a title may have given the impression that this fringe project was a flash in the pan with no more to give.

Emerging from the crypts the project that hosted eleven musicians on "Gravity" returns as a mere trio in 2020 with the third album aptly titled THE THIRD PERSPECTIVE. The most immediate noticeable difference is that this one is a much more focused affair as the project's first two albums were all over the place navigating the truly unexplored nooks and crannies between death metal, IDM, progressive rock and pretty much any other bizarre detour that Hrubovcak fancied to partake in. While using death metal as the canvas to paint upon, THE THIRD PERSPECTIVE manages to focus on tighter rhythms, more accessible styles of riffing and although the electronics and progressive rock elements are still in full regalia, they have been demoted to be the decorative artistic extras for the death metal basics with some occasional doom metal sounds for contrast. The jazz elements that were prevalent on "Gravity" such as the saxophone have been completely eliminated but there are still plenty of uses for the violin and electronic effects.

THE THIRD PERSPECTIVE delivers six tracks with two, "Dark Realms" and "Solitary Striving" racing past the ten minute mark with the latter closing track providing some of the most non-metal elements as the album pretty much sticks to the death metal playbook and using all the accoutrements as a nice psychedelic supplement with atmospheric extras. "Solitary Striving" is probably the most focused single track that this band has ever done. It begins with some electronic swirls, a female vocalist evoking tribal ritualistic vocal utterances with thick cloud covers of atmosphere and some recited poetry by Hrubovcek before breaking into the death metal routine but the track remains somewhere in between symphonic metal and melodic death metal and the key word for THE THIRD PERSPECTIVE is melodic. This is by far the most accessible album of the three. While "Chronicles Of An Aging Mammal" and "The Gravity Of Impermanence" were designed to alienate, this one clearly wishes to invite others to the party.

While more commercial in nature, AZURE EMOTE delivers another interesting slice of avant-garde metal based in death metal guitar riffs, growly vocals and blastbeats and channels the adventurous live wire keys, flute, violin and other instruments to craft an atmospheric counterpoint rather than a brume of cacophonous noise. Personally i love the first two albums for the extreme boldness of taking death metal into unthinkable territories but i find THE THIRD PERSPECTIVE to work on a completely different level and that one is a more orthodox delivery of the death metal aspects while the atmospheric and prog rock elements expanding the musical conversation. On the metal side of the equation, these guys deliver the expected chops with excellent technically infused metal bombast whereas on the atmospheric side envelop the compositions with moody surreal ambience and psychedelic detachment. Looks like no end in sight for this project and despite the more accessible approach this time around, AZURE EMOTE manages to craft an interestingly unique style of experimental metal.

 Chronicles Of An Aging Mammal by AZURE EMOTE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Chronicles Of An Aging Mammal
Azure Emote Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars There are quite a few strange experimental extreme metal bands out there these days but even in a crowded room there are still a few that manage to stand out. AZURE EMOTE is one of these strange beasts and their debut release CHRONICLES OF AN AGING MAMMAL caught my eye in the discount bin with their cute little Bhuddist monkey dude in front of an oncoming storm. Lucky for me that this seems to be a little too far removed from the average metalhead's comfort zone and banished to the crevices of avant- garde obscurity making it dirt cheap! But there is a lot to like for an adventurous prog metalhead such as myself who craves new bizarre angles to experience many of my favorite genres mangled up into a musical equivalent of a lava lamp churning through its humble glass abode.

AZURE EMOTE swells from the fertile imaginative and interpretive concepts of Mike Hrubovcak who set forth to create a form of metal that was highly unorthodox and free of those pesky genre boundaries. This is basically his baby as a side project from his other bands which include Monstrosity, Vile and Abraxas with members of those bands lending a hand on some of the instrumental duties. Other help comes from various members of Hate Eternal, Divine Rapture, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, Solace In The Shadows, I.C.E., Mourning Todesbonden, Autumn Tears and even more, so this is basically a huge collaborative effort where geeky tech death dudes get to conjure up their wildest aggressive musical fantasies without any constraints. The results are quite bizarre but equally brilliant in how it all melds together. A true work of passion here.

While the template of their sound is brutal death metal with blistering guitar riffs, blastbeats and growly vocals, there is tons of other influences on board. The ones i can ascertain include the progressiveness of Enslaved, the industrial spasticity of Strapping Young Lad, the space metal touches of Arcturus and electronica frenzies that can bring bands like Ulver or Coil to mind. I also hear a lot of spoken sampling that actually reminds me of the bizarre industrial deathrock antics of Alien Sex Fiend. The main gist of things is basically an alternating pattern instead of true fusion for the most part. A perfect introduction to this band would be to check out their official video for "Complex 22" which displays their intricate use of electronica, death metal and progressive song construction. Also on display is their sci-fi inspired misanthropic proses of how homo sapiens have been the masters of self-destruction and how the roles of religion and thirst for power have paved this route. While this particular track displays an interesting ratio of death metal with progressive metal and a healthy dose of electronica, it is basically the formula for the entire album with each track having a different emphasis on the various elements.

This is a strange beast indeed as we get the bizarre marriage of genres, avant-garde meanderings, strange time signatures and exotic instruments jumping in from time to time. Despite the avant-garde label there is a strong emphasis on melodic developments with catchy hooks that keep it fairly accessible for being as weirded out as it is. While the hooks are there, this is still a complex release that took me many listens for it to sink in. The hooks are just catchy enough to grab ya the first time but the bizarre interplay between the instruments and unorthodox song structures are what keep me coming back. While widely considered less focused and refined as their second release "The Gravity Of Impermanence," CHRONICLES OF AN AGING MAMMAL is special in its own right. It is the heavier sounding of the two with a more "anything goes" approach creating some intense and interesting music. I'm hooked.

 The Gravity Of Impermanence by AZURE EMOTE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 1 ratings

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The Gravity Of Impermanence
Azure Emote Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

— First review of this album —
4 stars Due to his involvement with his bands Monstrosity, Vile and Abraxas, Mike Hrubovcak was forced to put his AZURE EMOTE project on hold but in 2011 found the time to bring his ambitions back to life as the inner avant-garde was beckoning to be unleashed. As with 'Chronicles Of An Aging Mammal,' the second release THE GRAVITY OF IMPERMANENCE contains an eclectic posse comitatus of contributions in this case by members of Death, Fear Factory, Tristania, Sins Of Thy Beloved, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, Hate Eternal, Yakuza, Visions Of Atlantis as well as by Hrubovcak's other bands. So once again we get a larger than life genre bending mashup of crazy misanthropic infused weirdness.

THE GRAVITY OF IMPERMANENCE embodies a whole new sound and a major shift away from the aggressive debut. While death metal aggression is still in plentiful supply, this album has a slicker and more refined overall sound with a less frantic feel. The most striking of the new sound comes from the addition of violins which add a gypsy flair and can bring bands like Unexpect or Sleepytime Gorilla Museum to mind. The addition of the saxophone adds a hitherto unheard jazzy touch to the mix bringing bands like Shining from Norway or Ephel Duath at times to mind. Most of all the most drastic change is in the addition of the operatic vocals with a verified diva reminding of Fleshgod Apocalypse. Add an occasional harmonica, electronic programming and sampling and we have a veritable even stranger beast than the first album!

Once again the main focus is on the melodic developments and with the addition of the violins and operatic vocals we get an overall slowed down effect that has easier to digest song structures. While the debut was in-yer-face avant-garde to the max, GRAVITY is more elegant in its refined approach of the parade of sounds that find their proper place and bring the right mood inducing timbres to fruition. Fear not metal heads, there are still plenty of killer death metal riffs, growly vocals, sizzling guitar solos and brutal metal to bang yer head to. Just check out 'Conduit To Atrophy' and hear all these elements gnaw off their leash and rock the bleepin' house.

It seems the overall consensus is that this is the more mature album of the two and that it has found a more loyal audience but i personally wouldn't call it better or worse than the debut, simply different. I find both albums are quite brilliant in their own right and the differences are what make AZURE EMOTE proving itself to be a wellspring of creative energy that allows a new assemblage of musicians to synergize their various talents into an imaginative cauldron of productivity. As with the debut the production is also noteworthy as it must be ridiculously difficult to mix all these elements together but the hour long album passes by with nary a glitch and an impressive array of parading elements that seamlessly wends and winds through the lands of opera, gypsy folk, death metal and beyond without ever resorting to sounding like any of the influences that were the inspiration. This second album is just as much a keeper as the first. Anxiously awaiting a follow up.

Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition.

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