High production values haven’t always been welcomed in the metal underground, but it’d take a formidable sonic Scrooge to deny that Azziard’s sound cries out to be rendered in big, bombastic shades of black. Metempsychose is light years ahead of the French crew’s first two albums, both in terms of production and songwriting, wherein the band seem to have grown exponentially to fit the grandiloquent possibilities that technology increasingly allows. Put simply, opening epic L’Enfer sounds fucking huge: a barrelling onslaught of pitchblack, abyss-conjuring nastiness that fills the room like an infernal poison gas attack. Nastier and weirder than their near-symphonic opulence suggests, songs like Ascension and Archetype marry ornate death to feral black (or is it vice versa?), all delivered with a level of steroidal bellicosity that might even make Dark Funeral think twice before engaging.