Azaghal - Alttarimme on luista tehty
Immortal Frost Productions
Black Metal
11 songs (38:17)
Release year: 2023
Reviewed by Goat

Blasting from the north, these Finnish warriors have been cranking out their particular form of spinechilling bleakness since 1998 and on the evidence presented here, their twelfth full-length, still have much to say. Despite their age they're clearly a forward-thinking bunch, as the songwriting here is a step removed from the orthodoxy presented on previous albums; the opening title track presenting a nice contrast between brutal blasting and an almost Swedish sense of melody and most songs here having a guitar tone close to a Dismemberesque buzzsaw. The band have often operated as a trio and do so again here, mainman Narqath (also of Wyrd) handling most instruments alongside vocalist Thirteen and drummer Lima (also of Wyrd, Lathspell, and er, Amberian Dawn among others) and they're tight musically. Whether verging into blackened thrash territory on Kuolemanmarssi or taking a groovier pound with oddly danceable piano and folksy synths on Kultti, the band keep surprising you, making Alttarimme... a more interesting listen than detractors of Finnish black metal would have you believe possible.

The highlights are frequent, be it the dip into doom territory on Paholaisen Musta Kieli or the touch of atmospheric grandeur to Syvyydestä Liekkien Takaa. Yet it's clear that the band's heart is in the blasting, and that's where they're at their strongest. The likes of Kaaos and Vertivirta rage along with almost grindcore intensity - you can tell that the band share musical DNA with countrymen like Impaled Nazarene and Rotten Sound - and allow just enough melody in to light the shadow's darkest corners. Songs rattle along mostly in the two-to-three minute range, leaving long before they've outstayed their welcome, and at just under forty minutes the album is tight and lean. Only the opening and closing cuts are longer, the six-minute Seitsemän ihmisen irvikuvaa especially closing the album well by allowing the crushing riffs to develop a little more as it takes an atmospheric hammer to ears, Burzumic keyboard plinks shivering the spine as they always do. A more than solid addition to their discography, Azaghal are a name worth remembering for those whose minds yearn for northern darkness.

Killing Songs :
Alttarimme on luista tehty, Paholaisen Musta Kieli, Kaaos, Syvyydestä Liekkien Takaa
Goat quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Azaghal that we have reviewed:
Azaghal - Of Beasts and Vultures reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Azaghal - Nemesis reviewed by Charles and quoted 80 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Sep 12, 2023 9:20 am
View and Post comments