I'll give Azazello this much: The Wings, some sort of concept album featuring an epic nine-part title track, is a much better record than the Russian band's 2001 convoluted mess of a CD, Upstairs. Formerly a thrash/death metal band known as Morg (as in "Morgue"), the members of Azazello — which take their name from a character in Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita — completely reinvented themselves in 1995 as something they call a progressive-metal band.
Apparently, the quartet's still searching for an identity, as The Wings alternates between about a half-dozen genres or subgenres in the span of 40 minutes. As on Upstairs, the best tracks here are the instrumentals, which take on jazz and symphonic overtones and sound less chaotic than Azazello's native-tongue vocal arrangements. The playing is solid, if unremarkable, and The Wings still lacks character, emotion, hooks and even effective melodies. "The Sun," an add-on track at the end, is a mid-tempo acoustic number with a flamenco flair that's much more laid-back and enjoyable than the preceding epic. But it's too little too late.
1) The Wings (35:08)
2) The Sun (5:02)
Total Running Time (40:10)