Despite being of a classic sound, Finland’s AZAGHAL seem to be progressing according to a current trend in Black Metal. The material does have a very Finnish sound, with certain elements similar to SARGEIST and BEHEXEN. Without the depression of the former, or the intensity of the later, much of the structure is similar, with more than a nod towards classic HORNA.
As with HORNA, this is progressive regression, taking Black Metal back to a state of simple, catchy riffing engineered in the 80’s. This is done more than well, with some riffs being so ferociously contagious that the head-banging disease threatens to tear your head off. Akin to recent DARKTHRONE, riffs have that inherent greatness through simplicity, though this is still more firmly rooted in blackness with very little, if any, Punk influence.
I’m not going to waste too much more time talking about this album; I’d rather bring out the beer and enjoy this properly. Suffice to say that if you enjoy old-school rhythms in the vein of early SODOM as well as the better slices of Finnish Black Metal from the last decade, this album should not disappoint.
(Online December 3, 2006)