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Album Review

It's difficult for non-fans of the genre to understand at times, but it is in fact possible to tell the difference between a good death metal album and a bad one. (Admittedly, few styles have made themselves more open to blanket statements along the lines of "all that stuff sounds exactly the same," given how absurdly narrow the genre specifications are.) Sedition, the second album by New Zealand death metallers Dawn of Azazel, mostly falls in the latter category. The biggest complaint against this album is that it simply sounds terrible. Lead singer Rigel Walshe's bass sounds as if his amplifier wasn't even turned on, and although the band slimmed down from a quartet to a trio since 2003's The Law of the Strong, remaining guitarist Joe Bonnett seemingly wasn't told that he was responsible for writing and recording twice as many riffs. The thin guitar sound, non-existent bass and new drummer Martin Cavanagh's apparent inability to master the concept of tempo (it's doubtful the verses of "Master of the Strumpets" were supposed to randomly speed up and slow down like they do) make the ten songs sound utterly lifeless, without any sense of purpose or energy. Still, at least some of this could have been forgiven if the songs themselves were more interesting than they are.

Sedition, Dawn of Azazel
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