Mixing ethereal beauty with harmonic dissonance, Azusa explore new sonic ground with their sophomore release, Loop of Yesterdays. An auditory hallucination that spans across the entire musical spectrum, Azusa craft an otherworldly soundscape of beauty and ugliness mixed together in harmony.
With a musical history as varied as the sounds that they bring together, Azusa are in good standings to undertake the monumental task of combining these clashing influences.
Hardcore morphs into dream pop and grind fuses itself with upbeat jazz as this musical fever dream unfurls itself into the listener’s mind.
While at times a bit disjointed in its diversity, Azusa bridge the gap between these varied genres with the skill that comes from mastering their individual crafts. While a hard driving metal sound is the backbone of the album, the dream pop interludes certainly steal the show and absorb much of the listeners focus.
Album opener, Memories of an Old Emotion, highlights this feeling with a grindy, old school Underoath feeling being frequently upended with ethereal passages of dreamy vocals and synthesizers. The transition will feel natural enough to fans of the more out there mathcore bands of the late 2000’s, but more casual listeners will have difficulty adjusting.
One Too Many Times continues the same pattern but keeps things interesting with much more dissonance added to the poppy interludes, giving the track a surreal nightmarish atmosphere.
Jazz and metal fans alike will rejoice with the incredible feature by the legendary Alex Skolnick on Detach. It’s by this point, however, that I feel most listeners will have cast their absolute judgment on Loop of Yesterdays. If you dig it, you’re in for the long haul. If not, there’s not much to convince you to stay.
More traditional metal fans will be able to appreciate the hard hitting grind sound of tracks like Rapture Boy with its especially smooth transitions and Kill- Destroy, with its hardcore, beat down feeling.
While not for everyone, Azusa lose no points for creativity here. They craft an emotional and hard hitting album that most certainly does not sound like anything else out there. Loop of Yesterdays is an otherworldly piece of art that will most definitely have you thinking. If you make it through, of course.
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