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.

Dave Attrill (


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