Athiria are back with Conjure The Beast and a new singer to boot. Released eight years after their second album, Vicious Circle, this was allegedly promised four years ago. Whether the inclusion of Andy Schaf in the band is enough to bring them back to the attention of the congested Death Metal market remains to be seen.
Athiria – Conjure The Beast (Kvlt und Kaos Productions)
Release Date: 10 November 2023
Words: Paul Hutchings
What is evident is that the band have put huge amounts of work into this release. The Austrian quartet rely on venomous, blood-curdling roars from Andy, who packs a huge punch.
Another of the line of female death growlers, her harrowing screams are an asset to the band. Athiria deliver an album that batters away at the senses from the opening song, Decay, through to the concluding track, Determination.
There’s a modern feel to the Death Metal that Athiria play. Whilst they draw on the same formula that provides the cornerstone to all solid Death Metal bands, they don’t rely on the same style as many who focus on the Old School Death Metal approach.
That said, there isn’t a lot of variation to the band’s music. Razor-sharp lead bursts rip out from a barrage of machine gun riffs, pummelling drums and a ferocity that rarely slows.
Tracks such as Retribution do change tempo but lose none of the intensity that the band create. Indeed, their slower work presents as a little more measured and crafted.
It’s powerful work throughout, as the songs rage away. You can detect many influences in the band’s sound. They draw as much from some of the more extreme Black Metal outfits as they do from their Death Metal peers.
Athiria have planned Conjure The Beast well. The songs are sharp. None overstay their welcome, with only Determination clocking in at over five minutes. Most of the songs are at least a minute shorter, providing the listener with a salvo of intense tracks that are blistering in their delivery.
The production may be a little too polished, lacking the raw edge that might be expected. That is a minor quibble, though, for overall, Conjure The Beast ticks many boxes. The fusion of Black and Death Metal works well overall, although a bit more variation would have helped.
If you fancy a decent slab of fiery Death Metal that rarely strays outside of the lines but is pleasing to the ear and contains ample melody throughout, Conjure The Beast is an album you will want to check out. You can find out more about Athiria here.