Dawn Of Azazel: The Tides Of Damocles

Unsettling Kiwi killers continue their deathly revolution

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It’s hard to pinpoint what it is that makes Antipodean extreme metal so distinctive, but a new Dawn Of Azazel record does much to reaffirm the idiosyncratic approach that may or may not be a direct result of too much sunshine and shit lager.

If New Zealand has ever struck you as a beautiful and peaceful place to live, these slaves to abhorrence continue to present a powerful counter-argument.

The Tides Of Damocles is unnerving in its violent precision and startling in its disregard for structural conformity, with numerous lissom rhythmic twists and turns and atmospheric switcheroos helping to strengthen the impact of this band’s riff-driven core. The scattershot percussive attack that underpins Irresistible Foe hints at a kinship with the likes of Psycroptic and Gorod, but the warped subtleties lurking within the riffs and chord progressions of Vassalplasty and Controlled Burn are what gives this such an air of edginess. It climaxes with Tarnished Gold: nine minutes of gruelling menace that’s a mark of their great fearlessness.