A debut release made by seasoned Grenoble-based musicians for connoisseur listeners. The band´s take on Post-Metal is unique in form and performance and at the same time deeply rooted within the genre and open to nearby genres.
Although their musical approach to metal music is quite different, they have something in connection with Messa: Each song is carefully contrived and contains internal movements inside the song with the music changing imperceptibly throughout. Every song except one, opens with mellow melodic themes and instruments. The one that doesn´t “Thanatophilie” kicks off with heavy dense riffs, drums and bass, and coarse vocals. In this song, you will hear the unique interaction between the bass and drums that runs through the album, and with their diverse and constant rumbling hold the heaviness intact for the fuzzy guitars and vocals to ride on.
You encounter the mellowness in the first song. “Desseins Illusoires” with a strumming clear guitar on the left and an acoustic guitar coming in from the right. The song goes through three stages, first the mellow opening with the fuzz sliding in, finding the melodic theme. Then a pause and an onrush of heavy and dense distorted Post-Metal with hoarse vocals. A synth is gliding over everything as the music turns into a staccato part followed by a release. It is driven forward by fast melodic bass and diverse drumming while a synth in choir mode rises in the background.
Guitar-based music like this depends a lot on the sound of the guitars which also defines the sound of the band. Azimut has created its own distinct guitar sound as it adds hints of bright fuzziness to the heavy riffing parts of the songs. This creates a passionate glissading effect throughout the album. But as you will discover, the sounds from the guitars are quite diverse - from crescendos and tremolos, to mellow guitar picking and strumming, only to mention a few. The very varied second song “Écho Limpide” opens with a slow and lyrical melodic theme. A synth soars forebodingly while also embracing the guitar. Slow tremolos from another fuzzy guitar deepen the melodic theme and the instruments pull back to provide space for the bass guitar chugging on the strings, building up slowly to meet the coarse vocals melting everything into a dense soundscape full of distortion and sliding forward with the melodic theme. It is both extremely visceral and vivid at the same time.
The vocals on “Écho Limpide” become an instrument in the layers as it turns into growls while a high-pitched tremolo solo appears within the dense layers. In one section, the song turns on its heels to some funky rhythm before a mellow-sounding guitar takes over with droplets from the bass until the drums signal another part of heavy music led by distorted guitars laying out melodic parts while two hoarse voices answer each other. A guitar in glissando mode floats above the dense atmosphere as the song ends. It is an extremely strong Post-Metal song, conveying not only musicianship of the highest standard but also a great passion for the listener.
While the vocals are mostly hoarse and deeply embedded in the layers of the songs as an instrument of its own, the vocalist seems to use the whole range of metal-related vocals available. There are coarse vocals, growls, shrieks and screams. Written like this, it might seem strange, but when you listen to how it is used in the aforementioned song “Thanatophilie” it becomes really effective in the dense rumble of the song when the voice effortlessly changes from feral screams to hoarse growling.
The song “Euphémismes” holds some impressive vocals after the soft synth opening. The track morphs into heavy and dense music with growling vocals. The sonics open up and the vocals turn to hoarse screaming as light, high-pitched guitars assist before it melts down to heavy sonics again. The flow of music halts and a wide-open cinematic synth-scape appears with far away guitars and drums and bass and desperate vocals in the endless sonics. The vocals become coarse again as the bass takes the melodic lead and drives the heavy music forward to great effect. The drums take over from the bass and give an energetic drive as guitars and synths lift the sound and guitars play melodies in between.
The band closes the hour-long album with the thirteen minutes of “Palabres Enflammées”. It is a grand finale to an impressive album. In its opening, the synths transform into a light melody to soar along with the guitar and the drums. A strumming acoustic guitar appears. The timbre is mellow and beautiful as a fuzzy guitar rises up to lead to the heavy riffing that dominates while the synth still lingers in the sound and keeps the theme. The vocal shifts between hoarse-ness and growls. The rumbling of the rhythm section below gives everything real depth. A section with hammering drums between bursts of the music. It simmers down to one strumming guitar and echoes from another. The two guitars play along with each other, slow and mellow as droplets from the synth drip over it, the drums softly holding a steady rhythmic sense. Towards the end of the song, a section with only heavy riffing and bass shifts to clean guitar, drums, and bass, and a fuzzy guitar blends in playing around a melodic theme. A bright guitar emerges in the background before it fuses to the last crescendo with tremolos, riffs, and vocals to end the musical journey.
As with Messa who take Doom Metal to unexpected heights, Azimut take Post-Metal into new, unexpected avenues and shows how new bands are exploring and forming one of the most interesting metal genres today.