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Azoria was founded in early 2013 by the band leader and lead-guitarist Alexander Oriz. Alex Oriz have worked hard the last years as A producer, songwriter, guitarist and technician. Alex Oriz is also one of the guitar-players in the successful power metal band ReinXeed who released their great studio album ”A New World” in 2013 who has received fantastic reveiws in metal media around the world!
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AZORIA Seasons Change album cover 1.50 | 2 ratings
Seasons Change
Power Metal 2014

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AZORIA Seasons Change

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
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Kev Rowland
Azoria are a project that was formed by lead guitarist Alexander Oriz (ReinXeed, Oriz). He has been joined by bassist Chris David (ReinXeed, Oriz, Sledge Leather), rhythm guitarist Simon Jonsson (ReinXeed) and drummer Emil Eriksson (Oriz, JD). Yep, they have all been playing together for quite some time, and the more perceptive of you will notice that a singer hasn’t been listed. That is because this is a project and so Alexander has brought in a load of guests to help out. It is of no surprise at all that one of these is Tommy ReinXeed (ReinXeed, Golden Resurrection) and he is joined by Mikael Dahl (Crystal Eyes), Mike Andersson (Full Force, Cloudscape, Ayreon), Snowy Shaw (Sabaton, King Diamond, Dream Evil, Therion, Dimmu Borgir etc...), Mike E Gunnardo and the sole female Matilda Eriksson.

The impression is that Alexander wants Azoria to be the next Avantasia, but there are just too many times on this album when it just doesn’t fire as it should. It’s not that it is inherently bad in any particular way, but rather that the music and performances aren’t exactly inspired. When the band should be really pushing through there is the feeling that he guitars are just behind the beat and are lagging instead of charging: not exactly the most inspiring thing in a power metal act. But, Matilda proves herself and her performance is one of the standouts of the album. To me this is solid middle of the road stuff, so listen before purchase to see if this is for you.

AZORIA Seasons Change

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Seasons Change (2014) is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish heavy/power metal act Azoria. The group was founded by guitarist Alexander Oriz (ReinXeed) with the apparent intent to create something in line with what Avantasia produces. As such Seasons Change features a host of guest vocalists including Tommy Johansson (also of ReinXeed), Michael Andersson (Cloudscape) and Snowy Shaw (Mad Architect).

I'm not really sure how this happened given Alexander Oriz background in ReinXeed (who I see as quality act despite not enjoying their last offering A New World (2013) too much), but the music on Seasons Change is some of the most boring heavy/power metal I've ever encountered. The guitar riffs are dull no matter which of the two musical directions the album takes. Even the faster paced power metal sections feel lifeless with absolutely no energy to them. I suppose the singing itself is the album's strongest feature (although strangely I did not enjoy Snowy Shaw at all on this record whereas I liked him in his band Mad Architect) but when dealing with such weak music the only effect the vocals really give off is to make it seem that everyone is trying too hard. I don't think they are though, but the weak music and even weaker production job certainly make it seem that way. The exception would be the only female singer on the album, Matilda Eriksson, who was given the mid-paced track When You Sleep to sing. The song itself seems a bit stronger than the album's standard to my ears and is the highlight, although the music itself still suffers from the same weak sound. There are guitars that should sound heavy and rocking, but ultimately don't provide any oomph and overall the track feels more like a ballad despite the pacing (though by power metal standards any other song would seem slow). I think it's an indication that Seasons Change has serious flaws though that it's only this one track that I find semi-praiseworthy.

There's not much else I can really say about a release like Seasons Change. It's not exactly offensively bad but when I listen to power metal releases (even heavy power metal release like this one) I want to be using terms like epic or energetic to describe them, but instead Azoria gave us bland and uninspired. There's really no way to beat about the bush here trying to find something to be positive about; a 1 star rating is all I can fairly justify.

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