AZRAEL were presented to me as an avant-garde Black Metal band... that attracted me, because I really like ARCTURUS, DORNENREICH and other bands that dare beyond in terms of experimentation yet keeping the Black Metal roots. On the other hand, I realized that this was not only one but two CDs on the same package, a double release that also excited me, because I thought that AZRAEL really did have a reason for this, something conceptual rich enough for an extra size offering... to start, let me tell you that "avant-garde" is a too big word to define this music... AZRAEL just play melodic Black Metal... ok, they use a contrabass, but using a bizarre instrument doesn't make you avant-garde, if you're not creative with it, and also with all the other gearings that build your art. Expecting an interesting concept, I was also wrong... after completing the pretty boring experience of listening to the first CD called "Act III: Self" I thought that with "Act IV: Goat" could come some heaviness, something a bit more electric, less shallow I don't know something interesting under any meaning that word can enclose but nothing... this double CD contains more than two hours of some of the slowest, least defying Black Metal you'll ever find.
This stuff is composed basically upon three elements: an empty game between the contrabass and a mellow guitar (that doesn't change at all in the two hours), a dull drumming and an oxidated voice that is ok but the vocal lines are as boring as the rest of the music is. The rhythm is dreadfully slow all the time, with acoustic interludes that can last an eternity and well, the overall ambience here sounds like someone playing easy exercises with his guitar, accompanied randomly by a plain drummer and a vocalist that only help to make this shit a little bit less tedious... anyway, no need for more talking because believe me that there is not a single reason to buy this album.
(Online March 8, 2007)