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Great Old Ones, The: Al Azif

The Great Old Ones are a French atmospheric black metal act from France comprised of Benjamin Guerry (guitar, vocals), Jeff Grimal (guitar, vocals), Leo Isnard (drums), Xavier Godart (guitar), and Sebastien Lalanne (guitar). Formed in 2009, in just a few short years they've managed to put together their debut release, Al Azif, which was recorded and mixed by Cyrille Gachet and mastered by Alan Douches. In addition, the band has also managed to get out on the road and play live shows with other black metal acts.

Al Azif can best be described as post apocalyptic black metal with plenty of doom elements. Most of the songs here are of slower, plodding paces, so if you are looking for manic speeds filled with raging tremelo picked riffs and thunderous blast beats, you've come to the wrong place. Not there aren't moments of crushing brutality, but Al Azif is more about atmospheres, moods, and textures. The guitars create walls of sonic density and colors, giving tracks like "Visions of R'lyeh ", "My Love for the Stars (Cthulhu Fhtagn)", and the title song plenty of richness. And as you might guess from some of the song titles, yes, the band is very much into H.P. Lovecraft. All the songs are quite lengthy, which allows for the band to fluctuate between passages of intoxicating tranquility, heavy bombast, and even symphonic clarity. Hearing the three guitarists playing in unison at times almost tricks the listener into thinking that multiple keyboards were used, but it's actually ringing guitar tones creating the beautiful soundscapes. If you love ponderous, dirge-like doom, then be sure to check out the massive "Jonas", as crushing riffs destroy all in their wake while those ringing tremelo picked notes and harsh vocals permeate the rest of the mix.

If black metal can be classified as dramatic, and dare I say "beautiful", then The Great Old Ones have created just that with Al Azif. If you've been completely engrossed in the stunning works of Wolves in the Throne Room the last few years, then make sure you check these guys out as well.


Track Listing
01 - Al Azif - 7:56
02 - Visions of R'lyeh - 6:55
03 - Jonas - 9:29
04 - Rue d'Auseil - 9:20
05 - The Truth - 8:23
06 - My Love for the Stars (Cthulhu Fhtagn) - 10:19

Added: April 8th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2278
Language: english

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