Reviewed: December 2020
Released: 2020, Agonia Records
Reviewer: Rossy Maguire
“Saint Desecration” is a new extreme illumination revealed by AZARATH at the altar of blackened death metal. Unrepentant and provocative to the core, the album is set to astound the connoisseurs of sonic terror.
AZARATH crept from the shadows over two decades ago and is often described as a demonic mutation of Krisiun, Behemoth, and Immolation. Co-founded by a sole original member & drummer Inferno (of Behemoth fame), the group comprises long-running guitarist Bart (Damnation, Armageddon), long-time bassist Peter (ex-Lost Soul), and new vocalist Skullripper (Embrional).
The album opens with the track Death at will, which begins with an eerie guitar intro to set the scene. Immediately, this is proceeded by a heavy drum roll throwing the listener straight into the foray of AZARATH’s death metal sounds. Starting the album this heavy and with satanic themes throughout really creates an idea of what to expect throughout the rest of this album.
Adding to this, there is no respite from this as Sancta Dei Meretrix jumps straight in with growling vocals, heavy and fast drum patterns, and loud shredding guitars. This track showed the incredible talent of Inferno’s drumming, Bart’s shredding, Peter’s bass licks, and Skullripper’s growling vocals really come to life.
Throughout the rest of the album, I did find myself experiencing disinterest as I felt some of the tracks sounded the same with little to no variation between each. However, that isn’t to say that these tracks didn’t have their unique charm, whether that’s Let Them Burn to start with heavy bass guitar intro backed by light ride cymbal hits until 8 seconds then chaos ensues or Profanation being super heavy and all over the place but all tightly fitting together.
Ending the album is the longest track Beyond the Gates of Burning Ghats. This takes all the energy, aggression, heaviness, and raw talent from the previous tracks and combines to create a powerful finisher to this welcoming addition to AZARATH’s discography.
I feel harsh giving this album a 3/5 but that is mainly based on my judgement on not really listening to the genre of blackened death metal. However, this has sparked my interest and I am willing to explore it further.