Azar – “Keeping The Faith” EP Review (cyber-unblack metal)

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To the closed-minded – read no further.  What we have for you goes against the norm in numerous ways.  That’s why we like it.

Azar seems to be steeped in mystery as there is next to no information about them listed on the net.  The incredible blog at http://unblack-archives.blogspot.com/2017/11/azar.html reports a Facebook page which is no longer active but states they are from Italy.

A vew months ago Vision of God records released in this four-track EP, Keeping The Faith.  

The album, musically speaking is rooted in black metal but presents itself in an extraordinarily innovative style; cyber-driven beats, piano lines and various analog and digital synth layers.  Regardless of your attitude on faith-based extreme music, there’s just nothing else out there like this.  Included in the EP is a cover of “Message In A Bottle” by the Police which at first is virtually unidentifiable to the original but Azar truly makes it his own.

Unconventional and unexpected chord progressions with treated guitars, buried but effectively mixed vocals and complex layers of the keyboards with various patterns give Keeping The Faith its spirit.  It takes a few listens to really sink in, but it makes sense once it does.  The vocals are even done in such away that they sound like whipping winds through the mix, really adding to the atmosphere.  

Unblack metal is a highly controversial sub-genre with attitudes varying from passionate “live and let live” to those which are a waste of time to mention because of the degree of anger.  But my two cents: You don’t have to have faith to enjoy this music.  The “black” in black metal shouldn’t be specifically based in Satanism.  Rather it should be referenced to the abstract darkness that lies even within some texts in the Bible and Christian history.

I hope that Azar does in fact keep the faith and keeps delivering more music.  This material needs to exist.  If you have an open mind, please go check it out and support some of the great work that Vision of God is putting out.  On a side note, go check out the fantastic blog at http://unblack-archives.blogspot.com.  

Keeping The Faith is available on limited edition CD and digital release.

Tracklist:

  1. Let The Light Shine So Close
  2. Keeping The Faith
  3. In Love With God
  4. Message In A Bottle

https://visionofgodrecords.com/product/azar-keeping-faith-ep-cd/

https://visionofgodrecords.bandcamp.com/album/keeping-the-faith-ep

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