Released: 2013, Self Made God
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Azure Emote's second studio album 'The Gravity of Impermanence' boasts many things; including a great album name, about 300 band members, a ridiculous plethora of instruments, the sound of farm animals being tied to a furnace and genuinely some of the most bizarre music I have ever heard. I wish I could review this album solely based on originality, but alas I cannot.
The band is the brainchild of Mike Hrubovcak (pronunciation = dead), front man for Death Metal outfits Monstrosity and Vile. He compiled this project together to express his true inner being through music with no limitations.....and it's safe to say there are no limitations on this album. Having been released on 06/04/13 by Selfmadegod records, the band are looking to spread its infectious variety across the globe.
When the album started, I was instantly bored and wanted to dislike the album with everything inside of me. The opening track 'Epoch of De-Evolution' just filled me with the most futile feeling towards enjoyment, something that I heard done, and done badly thousands of times. However, by track 8 I was genuinely impressed and left lost for words. The band classify themselves as Death Metal, but I refuse to conform to this belief, this is Final Fantasy Core.
Ranging from 9-12 members, with a wide array of instruments including a saxophone, keytar, strings, several keyboards and various female vocalists, the album leaves nothing to be desired in terms of musicianship.
Track 9 'Obsessive Time Directive' even delves into a dub-step theme, mixed with the seamlessly perpetual saxophone. It is songs like track 6 'Veils of Looming Despair' which genuinely impressed me in this album; that smooth, calming sound of the violin will remind any gamers of Final Fantasy XIII battle music.
'The Gravity of Impermanence' isn't the best album I've ever heard, and in some places can be heard as a bit of a mess when it comes to song structure, however in places the album displays mad essences of genius and has left me with a strange feeling, like I have just listened to something created by life from another planet. 'Destroyer of Suffering' is an epic, one of those songs you'll remember (these songs are very hard to remember), probably the song which blends the plethora of instruments into a metal milkshake in the best way out of all the songs on the album.
I've spent the entirety of this review so far trying to think of which analogy fits the album best, and the closest themes are deformed circuses and mind altering stimulants, so here it is; this album is the closing act of an underground circus during a huge acid trip.
I can't see the album becoming a hit, mainly due to it's diversity. If the amount of people who watched X-Factor and sat on their asses eating turkey twizzlers whilst their kids chase cars in the street enjoyed this kind of music, then I'd see them at Glastonbury every year. Alas that is not the case.
The production of the album is....okay? Some of the guitars sound a bit off, and it doesn't lend to the albums sound, leaving it with that grimey blackened metal sound. The drums sounds perfect, as do the backing vocals and the rest of the instruments. Mike's vocals are also hit and miss, but nevertheless I still enjoyed it.
A bizarre album which definitely pushes the boundaries and shows how far music has come, with use of such a wide variety of instruments I am slightly disappointed the band didn't make more of the album, however I was generally impressed, if not a little underwhelmed by the end.
I'd recommend this album to those familiar with Mike's previous work, he's really pulled out all the stops and those who are partial to originality, who like bands who experiment and push the boundaries.
Review by Andrew May