Aruna Azura are a band from Russia that plays a very progressive and technical form of death metal and this is a review of their 2013 album "A Story Of A Worlds Betrayal" which was released by Metal Scrap Records.
Drums range from slow, mid paced to fast drumming with some blast beats being utilized at times, while the bass playing has a very strong and powerful sound with heavy riffing that dominates throughout the recording.
Rhythm guitars range from slow, mid paced to fast riffs that combine progressive and technical death metal together to create a sound of their own with some thrash, jazz and funk influences along with some melody being thrown into the riffing, while lead guitars are very technical sounding death metal guitar solos and leads, as for the acoustic guitars when they are utilized use finger picking to add some progressive sounding elements to t he album.
Vocals range from deep death metal growls, high pitched screams, clean singing, whispers and some spoken word parts, while the lyrics cover philosophical themes, as for t he production it has a very strong, powerful, heavy and professional sound where you can hear all of the musical instruments that are present on this recording with some of the songs being long and epic in length.
In my opinion Aruna Azura are a very great sounding progressive and technical death metal band and if you are a fan of t his musical genre, you should check out this recording. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Rites" "Substance" and "Azure Sun". RECOMMENDED BUY.

OccultBlackMetal (The True Bringer Of Death Zine)

This one seem to be a very elaborate release. From the band name to the album title to the lay-out to the music there seems to have gone a whole lot of thought into this. If that is a good thing or not time will only tell. Whenever I come upon an album like this my mind immediately drifts towards Canadian DBC. They wrote a massive concept album called “Universe” that to this day still do it for me. I have no idea if this album by ARUNA AZURA will live with me for that long. Musically this could best be described as all over the place. You get you death metal, your tech metal and your more soft moments in just one song. Call this progressive if you like. I know what I think of it… and that is that this was not perhaps the album I had wanted but I can do with what I got. So if you like your metal extreme and progressive and don’t mind being tossed both left, right and every other way then this is for you. I’ll settle for saying that this wasn’t too bad.

Anders Ekdahl (Battle Helm)

The people who invented Google Translate deserve a Nobel Prize. Of course its an utterly useless tool for proper translations, but the carelessness with which some people use it often leads to downright hilarious results that have brightened many a gloomy day. According to Metal Scrap Records this is the debut conceptual full-length album by uneasy guys from severe shores of Northern-West Russia. Who needs an album review with such poetry?
What starts out as five uneasy guys (how about a Valium) playing decent but rather unremarkable death metal takes a surprising turn around the second song, when the fast-paced brutal riffing is suddenly exchanged for proggy sounds, and growls make place for clean singing. Now theres an unexpected twist. From that point onwards A Story Of A Worlds Betrayal veers between technical, rather American sounding death metal and prog, leading to excruciatingly long, pointless songs. This album would have been a lot better if Aruna Azura stuck to their death metal chops because, even though hardly spectacular from a songwriting perspective, these guys play rather well. Similarly, a clear choice for growled vocals would have greatly benefitted the album, as the clean vocals are simply awful; off-key, lacking charisma and quite often simply ridiculous. What could have been a completely run of the mill death metal album has become a death-prog abortion that is going nowhere slowly.

50/100
Martin (Lords Of Metal)

Throughout the years I've come to a certainty: lengthiness is the worst enemy for progressive-oriented artists. What makes "Unquestionable Presence", "Focus" or the alike true milestones and not just good albums is the ability to sum up a number of ideas, concepts and "raw materials" in a bunch of songs that do not exceed an average of thirtyfive-forty minutes in total. This is exactly where Aruna Azura, with its progressive death metal, misses the target.
The five-piece from Murmansk has its numbers: skilled players, the idea for a concept album (focused on a book of knowledge, the so-called "Book Of Consequences", maybe not that original, but still effective), a fair ability when it comes to write music, a capable producer in its ranks with the guitarist Max War-M. Despite all this, the debuting band still lacks the ability to put everything together. "A Story..." is made of seven songs for a total running time of almost sixty-three minutes, and even taking into consideration the overall inspiration and the pleasantness of this music, it is very easy to give up to boredom when the average length of a song is just under ten minutes.
Speaking about the music, what striked me is the general absence of rhythm guitars. The progsters from Russia really take themselves seriously: the work on the neck of the axes is neverending, and even when one of the two guitars is supporting the solo, ends up being totally overwhelmed by it. The rhythm section, though, does an excellent job: its bass guitar, solid and round, recalls what can be heard in the style of Cynic's Sean Malone, while the drum patterns are varied but always sharp and clean (even if in the rare blast beats, such as those in the opening "Rites" and the closing "Azure Sun", it might be not perfect). Paul G. Wicker, the writer of all the lyrics in a more than fair English, even if better at growling than with high notes, sings with a good and adaptable timbre.
However, the main feature of this album is the work on lead guitars; better, the technical virtuosities the two guitarists play them for, in a neverending flux of accelerations, slowdowns, solos, and so on. The two axemen are never at peace, always looking for a new road to follow, a new unlikely solution to play, a solo faster than the previous one. Maybe the lenghtiness of "A Story Of A World's Betrayal" is a consequence of this extreme self-satisfaction coming from the technical show-off, which caused a loss of focus on the true goal: the entertainment that should come out of the music. When Aruna Azura will work on being more solid, even pragmatic I would say, they will definitely become a standout in the everyday ocean of new releases; but in order to do this, they need to "lighten their burden", musically speaking.

Bosj (Aristocrazia Webzine)

Don't know why but I thought these guys were Swedes, well, they certainly look like Swedes (except for the drummer). Anyway, Aruna Azura is a combo from Russia founded in 2009 and this is their debut album, a powerful display of technical skills. The major part of this record is a sort of Groove Death Metal, quite traditional and straight-forward, but there are also some absolutely delicious parts influenced by Progressive Metal but also lots of Faith No More-like grooves and vocals where the band proves to be full of potential. Their compositions are not as mature and tight as they should be, but I'm sure they will improve a lot and the next release will be a complete blast, all of them are very skilled musicians, with a special mention for the bassist who's all over the place on this record. If you think a combination of Death Metal with Faith No More and Pyogenesis sounds interesting then don't miss this album, it has all that and much more. Thumbs up!

9/10
Adrian (Pest Webzine)

A story of a sleeve's betrayal more to the point as a promisingly interesting cover conceals simply snarling death metal instead. Don't judge a book by the outside, you all say and boy I can just about try not to here. Aruna Azura aim high at the progressive target, taking away a lit of the extreme metal tedium as they move the gears round.
Dark, sludgy yet strangely mellow rhythm guitars seem to make you forget about the vocal form until front-man Paul Wicker returns to the mic each final time, and the moving acoustic start to 'Disaster Lullaby' is an incredibly pleasant surprise. The solos don't hog the lane as long as expected, Wicker deputising with a subtle side to his voice - yes he actually sings too and rather well.
An album that grows, these seven tracks don't bore the death - doubtful as much as you worry it will, even if their epic length keeps them from being even more accessible.

7/10
Dave Attrill (metalliville.com)

soulgrinder zine 1Albums like this are difficult to review. This is fairly technical Death metal with not too much to talk about, the thing that kills this cd is the voice changesit is terrible, but the heaviness and musicianship bring it slightly above average. This band is from Russia, they try to imitate Meshuggah a lot, I must say this band is not afraid to experiment and maybe in their metal scene it works out for them, I rather to hear bands that are much more convincing. I’m afraid with my music collection, this would only collect dust. I’m going to try and forget this terrible experience and move on.

 

Paul Caravasi (Soulgrinder Zine)

Rlyeh zine 12Na sam dźwięk słów “techniczny Death Metal” robi mi się niedobrze a spożywane właśnie piwo przestaje smakować. ARUNA AZURA ma jednak pewien plus, ale o tem potem. Przede wszystkim muza jest potwornie przekombinowana, aranżacje wydają się być dziełem szaleńca, a sama muza raczej odpycha jak wciąga. Zwłaszcza te rwane motywy i dziwne przejścia. Można nazwać takie granie popisówką instrumentalną i owszem- tak to właśnie wygląda. No dobrze- co więc ze wspomnianym „plusem”? Otóż zespół w tę swoją „techniczną” grę udanie wplata elementy psychodelii nadając całości bardzo zimnej atmosfery. Do tego fajnie wpleciono muzyczne podkłady z horrorów, czy akustyki budujące dość ciekawy klimat na przemian z czystymi, chóralnymi niemal zaśpiewami. Cóż, w sumie wychodzi na to, że całkiem nowatorskie jest to granie.

7/10
R'lyeh 'zine #12

 

object1205369700

total metal records logo

another side records logo

PNGLogo1

total metal pr agency logo

total metal distribution logo