Azure Emote is one of the many bands I stumbled upon by accident while browsing through the budget metal section of my local record store - the cover artwork for their 2007 debut album, Chronicles of an Aging Mammal, immediately grabbed my attention, so I picked it up and enjoyed it for quite some time afterwords. Blown away by the Philadelphia outfit's unique and experimental approach to death metal, I was later disappointed to find out that the project had been put on hold shortly after the release of its debut; fast forward almost six years, and Azure Emote has finally released their sophomore album, The Gravity of Impermanence. Set to drop on April 3, 2013 for Selfmadegod Records, The Gravity of Impermanence is another tremendous release from this unjustly obscure act - no fan of avant garde death metal should miss out on this one!
Musically, The Gravity of Impermanence has a firm foot in death metal territory for sure, but still deviates from the norm quite a bit. Largely due to the spacey keyboard tones, the entire album has a futuristic and dystopian atmosphere that is accentuated even further by Azure Emote's frequent deviations into progressive and avant-garde territory. Saxophone and violin soloing, melodic synthesizer lines, and choral vocals are not uncommon on The Gravity of Impermanence, and while this gives the album a quirky and unusual edge, it never sounds as off the wall as other extreme avant-metal outfits like Unexpect or Sigh. Azure Emote does a tremendous job blending death metal, classical music, progressive metal, and avant-garde into a coherent and surprisingly melodic sound; as jarring and twisted as some of the arrangements are, The Gravity of Impermanence has a very melodic foundation that lends itself to a level of memorability not usually seen in this genre.
While its hour long playing time will undoubtedly challenge most listeners at first, tremendous compositions like "Conduit of Atrophy", "Annunaki Illuminati", and "Puppet Deities" (to name just a few) are enough to make The Gravity of Impermanence well worth a purchase. Azure Emote does a great job seamlessly blending technical death metal, avant-metal, melodic death metal, and progressive metal together on this release, and its stellar production values make it perhaps even more worthwhile than their debut. I can only hope that The Gravity of Impermanence reaches a wide audience upon its release, as it is bound to impress any fan of adventurous and forward-thinking death metal - strongly recommended!