Azure - King Of Stars, Bearer Of Dark
Swedish Azure has been around since 1995, and is a creation by Robban Kanto. This is a band I haven't really heard much about throughout the years even though the band seem to have been quite busy releasing albums, mcd´s, cassettes and various promos. King Of Stars, Bearer Of Dark was put on the hard drive by Robban Kanto and Mattias Holmgren, former drummer of Swedish Naglfar. Azure is a duo, and for this recording several session musicians were involved in this creation. The bass work is handled by Peter Uven, who's duties normally can be heard in the band Embracing, and to this can also be added a guest appearance by Nils Norberg of Nocturnal Rites.
King Of Stars, Bearer Of Dark was produced in Umeå, by the bands drummer Mattias Holmgren and is released through Pulverised Records. The result is quite good. The production aren't the heaviest but it's cold and precise in its sounding. Dissections Storm Of The Light's Bane doesn't feel to far away if we talk about the sound. The music can best be described as melodic blackened metal with progressive influences that are represented by acoustic guitars, pianos and keyboards. Influences from already mentioned Dissection are obvious in songs like Shadows In Midark and The Storm. These two songs are also the best ones without any doubts. Good individual performances can be heard here and there, and there are great bass lines and drums on the Selene-The Spirit song and several good solos. However, the vocals from guitarist and song writer Robban Kanto are a bit thin for my taste. Almost Sabina Classen like, and that's a bit to raspy and light for this music. More depth and darkness, please.
An ok album. I'm not overwhelmed by it, but King of Stars
has its good moments. It works best when they step forward and really
let the music stretch out, so to speak. They know their way of playing
with same intensity as aforementioned Dissection and also Dark Funeral,
to name another band. But the shape shifting, which almost flirts with
the power metal genre, I can live without. All in all an interesting