Catching the edge of the burgeoning black metal trend, Auhzia from simple elements built black metal in the flowing style of early Graveland.

Dark Emperors

Production: Lucid tones comprise little of the basis for the compositional development on this album and so are avoided, slurred into complexity by an ambient noise collage of distortion and tape flatness pushed to the extremities of volume. The end result is appreciable only by die-hard "screw the production" black metal fans.

Review: Streaming dark collaborations of tone and rhythm in a high speed melange of melodies that terminate in phrase-stopping dissonant counterpoints, providing a raw and unfettered sense of expansion as well as a heartpounding inexorability of destruction. Auzhia make it work through melodies composed in a style of cyclic intensity.

Each phrase augments the previous and leads concisely into the next, assuring an ever-increasing feedback loop of the dissonance of melody propelling its conclusions and the harmony of its affinity for all other notes in the composition. Although chaotic these pieces are assembled with care and diligence that make their intentionality a highlight as patterns evolve throughout often radically different styles. The closest match in previous work are the Greek bands of ripping melodic fame, such as Rotting Christ or Varathron.


1. Into the War
2. Shadows of the Forest
3. Black Prayer
4. Immortal Spirit
5. Dark Emperors
6. Empire
7. Screams of Darkness
8. Auzhia
Length: 57:47

Copyright © 1996 Storm

Dark ambient potential derives its power from its ability to modulate context to the will of each composition toward closure, a symbolic destruction that is both satisfying and ambivalent in this context. Screeching feral vocals alternate with starchly chanted spoken pieces which direct contrast toward the more organic constructions of the music. Highly powerful despite its loose edges, this band is sheer brilliance with duct tape holding together the details of aesthetic.

Avzhia/Auhzia - The Key of Throne
1. Fair Hour
2. The Key Of Throne
3. Supreme Emperor
4. Victory Is Ours
5. Majestic Winter
6. The Look Of Apocalypse
Length: 56:10
The Key of Throne (Old War, 2004)
In the area of aesthetics, this album has moved far past its ancestor and through the tendency of appearance to demand support from content, has regressed in some ways to a more dramatic version of itself; however, the damage is slight and the new incarnation of Avzhia, heavily influenced by later Graveland, produces more beautifully complex music that despite a tendency to lapse into melodies that are far too complete and self-serving, reinvigorates the romantic spirit of black metal. Romanticists tend to take the world literally, warts and all, and instead of trying to avoid its evils try to give them place. This causes a Romantic quest of forever seeking the meaning of the past and the future, and longing to be part of the struggle between emptiness and meaning that rebirths the world. Avzhia is very much in this spirit, with songs that unfold majestically from a few hard-hitting riffs into promenades of graceful riffs which by their emphasis on interchangeable forms, emphasize pattern and through it, structure, like an echo of the romantic ideal of understanding nature at a scientific level, but appreciating the beauty of consciousness that it enables at a scientific level. More riffs are here, and cheesiness is slightly higher in these, as well as in some of the chanted and whispered interludes, but on the whole, quality remains so high that both artistically and musically, this album surpasses its genre at this time. The tendency to recontextualize two oppositional themes is still as present here as on the first album, but now it has been given another dimension, in that like synthpop bands and classical quartets alike, Avzhia like to bring all of the unresolved elements of their music to a fever pitch before summarizing and concluding them. This is insightful, perceptive music and should be treated with respect as it is wholly inaccessible to most of the black metal fanbase at this time.

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