It takes quite a bit of balls to name your album something as minimal and, well, final as “Omega” but these Morbid Angel-worshipping Finns get away with it in spades, by dint of their raw power. Now Azaghal have put out a passel of cds and split releases, but most likely this will be the first one you can get without an extensive search and/or being ripped off. Bringing the primitive brutality and somewhat more advanced compositional skills in equal measure, Azaghal’s unholy din made me sit up and take notice repeatedly as avant-garde and progressivefragments are buried deep within an angry, heaving mire of black knives and horseflies.
So one the one hand, you’ll have the of more traditional suicide run that is “Kuolonkaame” with the speed amped up to maybe 17 instead of the usual 11 and then you’ll have the thrashy creeping atmospherics of “Quetzalcoatl," and Azaghal execute both equally unselfconsciously. The songs on "Omega" come off as a seamless flow, not the cut and paste rifferema that you often get in bad metal. “Vihani…” is just a completely fucking unhinged performance, with sub-primal id insanity vocals that are more slashes than words, backed by either horror movie keyboards or kinetic panic attacks of guitar noise. “Maailman…” turns on its heels to a dead stop in the middle of a berserker rage and suddenly just embraces total despair with slabs of melancholy sound.
As I alluded to before, this Brings to mind a lot of the same holy shit, wide-eyedness, that I felt when I first heard "Altars of Madness," talented musicians putting themselves through hell to try and reach some new level of violent ecstacy and musical freedom. You get the fucking sense that sometimes they’re even carried away by their own inexorable forward motion. And they’re one of about five black metal bands that make good, judicious use of keyboards.
- Matthew Moyer