Prophet Azal - Elijah Returns

Published Thursday 1st September 2011
Prophet Azal - Elijah Returns
Prophet Azal - Elijah Returns

STYLE: Blues
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 116718-18270
LABEL: Trailer Trash Music
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Martin I Smith

'Elijah Returns' is the 10th record from the Arkansas-born bluesman Gypsy Carns, who has this time adopted the moniker Prophet Azal to play the part of the central figure in the album's concept-narrative. The album tells the tale of Azal, a native American musician who is burdened with exploring the book of Daniel and the end-times message contained therein. The prophet pulls no punches in communicating the text's themes of judgment; the lyrics "my Son is coming in a timely state, to cleanse, kill and annihilate!" found in the opening cut "Who Can Stand Alone" pull you right out of the comfort zone before the record has even hit the one minute mark! While the upfront lyrical attitude is obviously reflective of the prophetic nature of Azal's calling within the story and thus conceptually appropriate, it sometimes feels like it sacrifices the creative finesse that a subtler approach would have lent to the project. Musically, Carns and his group (bassist Michael Brignardello and drummer Greg Morrow return for the third album in a row) have gone for an all-out rock venture, though the influence of blues never feels far from the gutsy guitar riffs. Combined with the consistent old-school vibe of the disc this influence makes Zeppelin a tempting comparison, but equally the heavier moments wouldn't feel out of place on an early Iron Maiden record. However you slice it, how many apocalyptic rock records are you going to hear this year? Check it out.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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