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Album Reviews : Agave Maize – Thrones of Isolation

By on February 26, 2013

6 Panel Digicase V2.aiAustralia is probably not the first destination that comes to mind when thinking about grim and frostbitten Black Metal. Listen to Agave Maize from Melbourne however, and if you thought that their latest album Thrones of Isolation was crafted in an isolated hut, deep in a Norwegian forest, in the middle of a cold and harsh winter, you’d certainly be forgiven.

The opening track “Great White Tongue of the Devil” has an almost Melodic Death Metal feel that compliments their gritty Black Metal style well and tracks like “Ode to Pestilence” and “Silent Hand of Mourning” following much of this tracks lead. “Wolves in Angelskin” on the other hand bursts out of the blocks with a sudden ferocity after the pained shrieks of the vocalist simply known as M. The track contains some quite catchy guitar riffs, but where the track really gets interesting is in the final section of the piece where the aggression displayed previously makes way for a much calmer piece of which similarity to the Metallica instrumental “Orion” seems apparent, before then launching in to a ripping guitar solo that leads to the conclusion of the track. “Utopia” and its doom laden outro is yet another that springs to mind as being a highlight.

The production of the album while not quite encapsulating the Lo-Fi techniques of early Black Metal bands such as Darkthrone and Burzum certainly does not embrace the modern metal sound of today either, instead meeting the two production styles somewhere in the middle, which serves to give the record a gritty, underground feel. The drums and vocals are notable where this is most evident.

12-minute plus closing track “Luna” shows the band at their most ambitious. The song seamlessly transitions itself through bleak, thunderous and rolling Black Metal passages to calm acoustic driven ambient sections and back again before the track fades out to serene classical guitars.

Agave Maiz, certainly demonstrate on many occasions during the album that they are well and truly more than a one trick pony, with differing styles poking their head through sections of the album that add a much needed flavour. Thrones of Isolation also has more than enough quality throughout it to suggest that the band will sure to go down well with both Black Metal purists and fans of the genre alike.

Band:  Agave Maize
Album: Thrones of Isolation
Year: 2012
Genre :  Black Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Melbourne, Australia

Tracklisting:
1. Great White Tongue of the Devil
2. Wolves in Angelskin
3. Ode to Pestilence
4. Silent Hand of Mourning
5. Pale Lifeless Divine
6. To The End
7. Utopia
8. Luna

About

In his spare time, between being a slave to the grind, contributing to MetalObsession.net and hitting up as many local/international gigs as possible. Gareth also contributes to Dutch based metal-zine MetalRage.com, books the odd show under the Inherit Earth moniker and plays drums for Sydney-based bands Whisky Smile and Swamp Harlot.