Azooma, a death metal band from Iran, first formed in 2005. They have been through a few line up changes before consisting of the members they do today with Shahin Vaqfipour on vocals, Ahmad Tokallou on guitar, Farid Shariat on bass, and Saeed Shariat on drums. The band have previously shared the stage with great names such as Gorod and have just released their EP, A Hymn of the Monster, through Xtreem Music. Here’s what I thought.
Track one, “Preface”, begins with 1:14 of spanish-sounding guitars which sound tense but intreguing. As they draw to a calmer conclusion, they sound sorrowful before they once more become energetic.
The next track, “Self – Inflicted”, seems to have no link between the sound of the first track and the second which is conventional death metal. The vocals, performed byShahin Vaqfipour, are deep and guttural and the track has a catchy rhythm. The interesting changes in timings mixed with the barbaric drumming makes for a thrilling track.
Track three, “Eridanus Supervoid”, begins as an unforgiving assault as it jumps into life in a mix of drums, guitars and growling. The energy within this track is unbridled. The guitar work in this makes me think of Dick Dale only a metal version before the song gets darker, leaning more towards black metal with its ominous tones. This is followed by some rather brilliant guitar solos and bass lines. The song then falls to a more relaxed sound with cleaner vocals and a slower rhythm for a short time before bouncing back to a darker sound once more to round off.
This is followed by “Encapsulated Delusion” which includes some guitars which are bordering in djent in the beginning before falling into a dynamic death metal sound with groovy baselines underneath it which makes for a largely exciting track. The changes in tone and time throughout this track makes it largely exciting.
At 10:37, “Gyrocompass”, is a monster of a track which features some fantastic drumming and guitar solos, perfectly audible and catchy bass and a great use of creepy whispers. At 7:59 the track seems to kick it up a gear in terms of energy and at this point they sound like Origin (never a bad thing!). Saeed Shariat’s drumming in this is exceptional.
The final track “Appendix” takes a return to the spanish sounding guitars with acoustic drums and clean vocals with more ominous whispers over the top. It’s unexpected but nicely executed.
Overall, A Hymn of the Monster includes everything I think a death metal band needs of their ep: fantastic solos, brutal vocals, interesting bass lines, powerful drumming and an abundance of energy. Perhaps the only criticism I would make is that I don’t understand the purpose of the first and last tracks. They sound good but I don’t understand why they were included. It is nice to have a parallel between the first and last track though. Overall I would recommend fans of death metal check out Azooma.
Review by Eileen Bate