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. www.azoriametal.com