The AZOIC

Album: "Illuminate"
Label: Nilaihah Records (2004)
Style: EBM / Electro-pop
Songs: 12

A
 

Reviewed by: Darklight

Kristy Venrick and Steve Laskarides are back with what I feel is their best work yet. The songs here are extremely infectious with fast paced futuristic sci-fi electronic programming, manic beats, orchestrated melodies and Kristy's excellent singing.

Some tracks are pure energetic EBM, while others are more upbeat electro-pop. Each song has its own edge, and offer great structure, variety and choruses.

The complaints that I had with The Azoic's previous recording, such as the songs sounding a little too similar to each other and too many remixes, are not concerns on this CD. All of the songs on this album stand apart from each other, and there's only one remix.

If you like modern club EBM with female vocals, this album is a must.

 

Album: "Forward..."
Label: Nilaihah Records (2001)
Style: Dark EBM
Songs: 11

B

Reviewed by: Darklight

This once darkwave band has decided to change their sound to more energetic club floor EBM, and I couldn’t be happier with their decision. There is still a dark edge offered here, but it’s blended with much more futuristic sci-fi electronic programming and hard driving beats.

All but one song here feature the vocal talents of Kristy Venrick. She’s an excellent singer with a lot of range to her voice. She delivers emotion and passion along with memorable choruses that really drive these songs. One song, “Evolution”, features the angry growling vocals of Steve Laskarides. He does a good job of delivering raw angst, and it would have been nice if his vocals were used more than only once on this album. It just seems a little odd to only have one song here featuring male vocals while all the rest are female only. Also, I would have liked to have seen the band go more in the direction of other similar acts such as Flesh Field and L’ame Immortelle where they combine both male and female vocals into some of the songs. But I can’t deny the fact that these songs work perfectly fine with just the vocals of Kristy Venrick.

Every song here sticks to a similar formula of energy paced electro rhythms and beats playing over dark and dramatic synth melodies while Kristy sings passionately with the music. While each of the songs offer their own little unique elements, they all do tend to blend together without allowing anything to really stand out. Basically, this entire album sounds pretty much the same from beginning to end. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a little more variety wouldn’t have hurt.

One of the biggest problems with this CD is that it only offers seven original songs. The four remaining songs are remixes. Three of the remixes are for the song “Progression”, while only one is for the song “Evolution”. It would have been nice if each remix was for a different song.

This CD definitely shows The Azoic going in the right direction with their sound, and it’s a solid recording overall. But there is still room for improvement. I would like to see a greater contrast between male and female vocals on their next release along with more original songs and less remixes. But for now, this ’Forward…’ CD should not be missed by fans of modern club floor EBM featuring female vocals.

 

Album: "Where Broken Angels Lie"
Label: Worm Records (1998)
Style: Electro Goth
Songs: 13

C

Reviewed by: Darklight

This is a dark, cold and haunting gothic band that blend ambient sounds, samples, orchestrated synth melodies, electronic sequencing and drum programming with beautiful female singing and rough distorted growling male snarling. There is a good mix of variety to be found on this album. Some tracks are more instrumental in style, while others are a bit faster paced and could work in clubs. I like this aspect, and it does give the band an edge. The music here is very well composed with a lot happening in it. It's quite emotional and chilling, but at the same time has good rhythms and beats to draw you in. My main complaint here is that the male vocals just aren't that good. They are extremely distorted and basically sound the same on every track. Instead of being sung with harmony, they are spitted out in more of an angry talking fashion. Kristy Venrick, the female singer, has an amazing voice. She sings beautiful with harmony. She mixes it up on different tracks and sings in a spoken word style, chants and carries a tune wonderfully. This is why I don't understand why she isn't used a lot more here. With her quality singing talents I would think that her voice would be the main focus delivered. But instead, most of the tracks have the standard male vocals. I like it when the female vocals are mixed with the male vocals as a combination, but this doesn't happen too often. Another thing that I don't like too much here is some of the more experimental tracks where everything goes off in different directions and have no structure to them.  While this adds variety, these tracks just aren't that interesting. The band shows off its musical talents the most on the tracks "Drown" and "Summoning". These two tracks feature well composed structured tight and varied music with the incredible vocal delivery of Kristy Venrick. I have no idea why there aren't more songs like these here. After track ten, tracks 11, 12 and 13 are just empty space. Track 14 is ambient noise. Tracks 15, 16 and 17 are empty space. Track 18 is ambient noise. Tracks 19, 20 and 21 are more empty space. Track 22 is the last song on the album. What the point of the empty space is I do not know. Another disappointing factor here is that there are three remixes that don't sound too much different from the originals. The bottom line is that this band has obvious talent. However, they could be so much better if they stopped with the weird experimental filler and made more structured songs featuring Kristy Venrick's vocals. As for now this album has its moments, but all of the weird filler and too many remixes make it a lot less appealing in my opinion.