JULY 25th 2015

Review by Lady M

Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Hometown: Auckland

Produced by:  Mana Recording Studios (Brian Elliot and J.J Hrubovcak)

Band Members:  
Rigel Walshe - bas/vocals
Joe Bonnett - guitar
Jeremy Suckling - drums

About Dawn of Azazel:
In 1999 these 3 amazing and unique individuals rose up from the depths of the metallic ocean to form Dawn Of Azazel.  They are a New Zealand based progressive death metal band who credits influences by Order Of Chaos, Immolation, Sarcofago and the like.  They definitely hit the ground running with an intense and busy touring schedule through out Australia and New Zealand making a name for themselves in the underground community in the early years.  The band’s infamy  grew not only by the band’s violent and Satanic lyrical content but also due to frontman Rigel Walshe's occupation as a police officer which became the topic  of  media buzz world wide.

Dawn Of Azazel, released their debut album The Law Of The Strong through Agonia Records in 2003 followed by a very extensive tour  through  Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium. Their Second full-length album  Sedition, was unleashed via Ibex Moon Records where they toured Thailand, Indonesia, United States and Europe.  The band chose famed Mana Studios in Tampa, Florida to record their third album, Relentless, released via Unique Leader Records.  To add to their already impressive repertoire they have toured with and done support slots with heavy hitters such as Immolation, Megadeath, Morbid Angel, Slayer, Korn, Motorhead, Suffocation, Deicide and Kataklysm plus many others.  Year 2010 through 2013 the band went on a hiatus due to Walshe being offered a covert nature position within his police department.  During this time they focused on getting their personal affairs and creating new material.  Then in early 2014 the band resurfaced once again to record their fourth album The Tides Of Damocles through Mana Studios.
Album scheduled to be released on April 28th, 2015.

The Tides Of Damocles Track Listing:
1. Strike First, Strike Hard, Strike Often
2. Irresistible Foe
3. Vassalplasty
4. The Odious Tides
5. Forever Enduring, Always Ready
6. Controlled Burn
7. Progeny of Pain
8. The Eagles Grasp
9. Damocles
10. Tarnished Gold

First off can I say just how much I love the name of the band and album with the metaphors behind it?!  The Dawn Of Azazel...how cool is that?!  Azazel is the name of a fallen angel or demon mentioned 3 times in the Hebrew Bible.  The Tides Of Damocles - "Damocles meaning - fame of the people-is a figure featured in a single moral anecdote commonly referred to as "the Sword of Damocles" As in Richard Westall's Sword of Damocles, circa 1812,  "The sword of Damocles is frequently used in allusion to this tale, epitomizing the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power.  More generally, it is used to denote the sense of foreboding engendered by a precarious situation".

I personally love to see a talented artistic endeavour  put some serious thought and metaphor behind their offerings.  Ok, now on to the music review now that we have had a bit of a historical literature lesson , hehe!

Overall, I would describe these guys as very original... Precise, not pristine but, still intensely death metal with a cupful of thrash, a healthy dose of doom and some haunting instrumentals mixed in.  Dawn Of Azazel is definitely their own unique sound with subtle hints of influences from other prominent bands,  such as vocally, I heard a slight resemblance to Jens Kidman (Meshuggah), instrumentally touches of Immolation and Morbid Angel comes through.

I absolutely love their swirling groove that is especially noticeable in the #3 track Vassalplasty and talk about some great guitar and bass action going on in this song!  Intense vocals and lyrics with a beat you can really get lost in.  My next favourite in The Tides Of Damocles is the #9 track Damocles,  I have nothing but good things to say about this song..I only wish it was a longer set!  It clocks in at a modest 2 min 48 seconds, but with its rolling, haunting grooves  with guitar and bass, supported by enthralling drums and minimal but hypnotic vocals you want it to just continue on...its definitely a song worthy of carrying the namesake of the album itself.

In conclusion, these guys are awesome and you will be doing yourself a diservice if you don't check them out!

The Tides Of Damocles will be released independently via the official DAWN OF AZAZEL BandCamp page on April 28th, 2015.. Will be available digitally and as a deluxe, six-panel digipack with 20-page booklet. Preorder your copy today.


Follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dawnofazazel