Touting an eclectic lineup with a résumé including the Dillinger Escape Plan, Extol and Sea + Air, international collective Azusa emerged last month with their first single "Interstellar Islands" and introduced the world to their melodic and aggressive brand of psych-tinged progressive metal. Now they're back with "Heart of Stone," the second track from their upcoming full-length debut, Heavy Yoke. The song, which you can check out below, is a mix of raw electric energy and delicate clean vocals, spun together intricately without sacrificing heft even during the more dulcet interludes.
"'Heart of Stone' is one of the more direct and 'to-the-point' tracks on the album," the band states of the song. "It flirts with the punk/hardcore side of thrash and death metal and still saves room for weirder melodies and unpredictable shifts. Lyrically, this song sums up what the Heavy Yoke album is all about: There is a carnival of contrasts found in every soul, as in life itself. When changes in life bring instability, we're often driven by negative forces like fear instead of love."
The group has alluded to how the break-ups of their other projects has inspired a time of personal growth and creative excitement from which this project has grown. For the band members, Azusa represents a chance to traverse new musical paths rather than adhere to those lain out by previous expectations. You can hear the results in full on November 16th, when Heavy Yoke is set to be released in the U.S. via Solid State Records.
Azusa - Heavy Yoke track listing:
01. Interstellar Islands
02. Heart of Stone
03. Heavy Yoke
04. Fine Lines
05. Lost In the Ether
07. Programmed to Distress
08. Eternal Echo
09. Iniquitous Spiritual Praxis
10. Succumb to Sorrow
11. Distant Call