|A Story Of A World's Betrayal
|Metal Scrap Records
|Facebook – Reverbnation
Throughout the years I've come to a certainty: lengthiness is the worst enemy for progressive-oriented artists. What makes "Unquestionable Presence", "Focus" or the alike true milestones and not just good albums is the ability to sum up a number of ideas, concepts and "raw materials" in a bunch of songs that do not exceed an average of thirtyfive-forty minutes in total. This is exactly where Aruna Azura, with its progressive death metal, misses the target.
The five-piece from Murmansk has its numbers: skilled players, the idea for a concept album (focused on a book of knowledge, the so-called "Book Of Consequences", maybe not that original, but still effective), a fair ability when it comes to write music, a capable producer in its ranks with the guitarist Max War-M. Despite all this, the debuting band still lacks the ability to put everything together. "A Story…" is made of seven songs for a total running time of almost sixty-three minutes, and even taking into consideration the overall inspiration and the pleasantness of this music, it is very easy to give up to boredom when the average length of a song is just under ten minutes.
Speaking about the music, what striked me is the general absence of rhythm guitars. The progsters from Russia really take themselves seriously: the work on the neck of the axes is neverending, and even when one of the two guitars is supporting the solo, ends up being totally overwhelmed by it. The rhythm section, though, does an excellent job: its bass guitar, solid and round, recalls what can be heard in the style of Cynic's Sean Malone, while the drum patterns are varied but always sharp and clean (even if in the rare blast beats, such as those in the opening "Rites" and the closing "Azure Sun", it might be not perfect). Paul G. Wicker, the writer of all the lyrics in a more than fair English, even if better at growling than with high notes, sings with a good and adaptable timbre.
However, the main feature of this album is the work on lead guitars; better, the technical virtuosities the two guitarists play them for, in a neverending flux of accelerations, slowdowns, solos, and so on. The two axemen are never at peace, always looking for a new road to follow, a new unlikely solution to play, a solo faster than the previous one. Maybe the lenghtiness of "A Story Of A World's Betrayal" is a consequence of this extreme self-satisfaction coming from the technical show-off, which caused a loss of focus on the true goal: the entertainment that should come out of the music. When Aruna Azura will work on being more solid, even pragmatic I would say, they will definitely become a standout in the everyday ocean of new releases; but in order to do this, they need to "lighten their burden", musically speaking.