Review by Woody
Azoria is a melodic metal project put together by guitarist Alexander Ortiz of ReinXeed. This the debut album Seasons Change features a whole host of guest musicians including vocalists Tommy ReinXeed, Mikael Dahls (Crystal Eyes), Mike Anderson (Ayreon), Snowy Shaw (Sabaton / King Diamond), Mike E Gunnardo (Nordic Mist) and female vocalist Matilda Eriksson.
Seasons Change is a bit of a mixed bag of styles, essentially melodic metal, but there are lots of styles thrown into this nine track collection. Unfortunately I feel this stylistic overload and various singers make the flow of the album disjointed and feel almost like a compilation album. Many albums that feature so many guests suffer for having so many different musicians involved, sometimes it works like with Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia and sometimes it doesn’t. Seasons isn’t a bad album but the disjointed flow makes the album as a whole feel inconsistent.
For me it’s a very hit and miss affair but when it does hit it really leaves an indelible impression. For example my favourite song is ‘When You Sleep’ which features the sole female vocalist performance on the album by guest Matilda Eriksson and it really got under my skin and it went straight on repeat. It’s a symphonic number with an amazing haunting keyboard flow with a sublime chorus and stellar performance from Matilda who sings like a siren (the mythical creature not an emergency vehicle!).
‘Inside My Heart’ has symphonic touches to it and a rather tasty melodic commercial chorus and ‘Prophecy’ a driven melodic metal number has an epic traditional metal chorus. Album closer ‘Peace Of Mind’ is a bit of a Goth rock song most notably in Snowy Shaw's deep vocal delivery, now I’m not a fan of Goth rock normally but this track is a real stand out here and for me makes one of the biggest impression’s here.
For those who are into their melodic metal and like the appeal of an album with varied stylistic elements thrown in you may enjoy this album far more than me. There is Symphonic elements, speed metal thrashings, traditional metal choruses, soaring vocals and also deep Goth melancholic vocals. Some of the strong performances here do elevate its appeal for those who appreciate some good old fashioned traditional melodic metal making it worthwhile your time to check out.
Track Listing: Just Like The Phoenix / Inside My Heart / Seasons Change / Prophecy / To The Land Of Glory / When You Sleep / Love It Loud / Starlight / Peace Of Mind
Album Rating: 6/10
Woody’s Essential Track: When You Sleep
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