Six years have passed since their debut „Moonlight Legend“ (between was the mini-CD „A Vicious Age Lasting“) and now, the Swedes of AZURE are back with their second full-lenght album „Kind Of Stars – Bearer Of Dark“.
The around 40 minutes music offer good to mediocre Death-/Viking Metal, reminding of AZURE’s compatriots and genre colleagues MITHOTYN. After the intro “Greeting Chaos”, it starts promising with “Dead Men’s Shadow Flickering” (a cool, catchy banger with double bass assault and blast beats) and “The Lake Of Death (Magnion)” (as well catchy but with a cool riff and melodic chorus and a great keyboard part at the end). The following “Whispers Of Echoes Passed” is also quite accessible but with some time, it turns into a kind of boredom. They have some good approaches but they are only a few and the songs are too long. Lyrics, vocals and music start to disharmonize with the time. “Selene (The Spirit)” is an example for this. It’s boring and meaningless because in its minutes, it offers not much more than same rhythms and badly balanced vocal lines. The closing is also very lengthening. Less would be more!
Moreover, one should teach Robban Kanto how to pronounce “sword”. This word is often used and it’s getting annoying to hear it again and again that faulty. “Shadows In Midark” is than a pure filler. It’s not necessary to tell more about this song. The solo is great but the rest doesn’t fit together. The vocals have no melody and the structure of the song is again too catchy. The clean vocals in the bridge don’t really help – in contrary! The blast beat banger “The Storm (Hill Of Heimad)” seems to amaze at first but with some spins, this song also tends to be boring, mainly due to the boring second part of this track. The mid-tempo closer “King Of Stars – Bearer Of Dark” is also much too long, the lyrics are repeated three times but offers some nice keyboard and acoustic guitar melodies. So, it’s a more or less decent closer for this album.
“King Of Stars – Bearer Of Dark” is surely no must-have, other bands in this genre have much more to offer. But it’s worth a check out because this album is not that bad as it may sound and there are surely people, who like a band like AZURE. (Online March 27, 2006)