With this sophomore release from mad scientist Mike Hrubovcak (Monstrosity, Vile, Divine Rapture, Abraxas), he pulls out all the stops and turns The Gravity of Impermanence not just into a two-disc monstrosity, but also creates an army out of some of the biggest names in metal.
Inviting musicians from bands like Death, Fear Factory, Tristania, Rumpelstiltskin, Grinder and more, this supergroup works together to create something amazing that captures elements from various shades of metal into one beacon of a release.
First glance, the album cover looks like a depiction of Lord of the Rings if it took place in Chernobyl. My take is this. Beauty out of destruction; a re-building from a sense of chaos, it bears meaning to life after some life-altering event. But even in this landscape, things are never the same, but in all nature triumphs from a magical abyss.
And maybe that’s what Azure Emote meant to do by gathering a group and creating something magical out of a familiarity. The sound does feel fresh and for such a symphonic release, it’s one of the more constructive ones I have heard.
The band uses non-traditional metal elements to put a little spice into the sound: a keytar, harmonica, and a saxophone, to name a few.
What I like about this album is that there are very little operatic elements brought into the construct of the songs. Yes, “Carpe Diem” is the poster child for symphonic metal with wailing female vocals singing arias over face-punching, blistering metal. And “Marching Forth” has a musical-numbing ending that works less as a battle cry as it does narrative babble under the gunfire of a double kick, pounded in succession so fast it’s almost not humanly possible. Other instances pop up throughout, but it’s used intermittently.
The album sounds like the essence of Middle Age folklore if history re-wrote itself and sent someone or something to come in an created an act of genocide.
I cannot tell you what really appeals to me about this album beyond variety. I listen to it once and pick up on certain elements, while the next listen, I find others that suit my fancy. It is a deeply, complex album through and through. It’s an exploratory piece unlike many that adheres to set fundamentals. Using extremism as a foundation, the way this album was programmed, constructed and designed is its charm.
Also having accomplished musicians and experts in their field does not hurt either. Metal heads, prepare to be blown away.