Azell – Death Control


Rarely has a band with two members produced so much sludgy, powerful, pummeling sounds as those on the debut album Death Control from Azell.

Azell from Louisville, Kentucky, looks to have an origin out of the band TIMŌRĀTUS (full of reverence toward God, devout) which was a project from David Napier and Courtney Napier and some others.   From my review of Reverentia from 2017, “There is a sense of boldness of purpose in this album and one can sense the emotion behind it.  These types of albums are tough for new listeners, but deserve a chance.”  I would have to say much the same with Azell and the Death Control album.

The album opener, “Death Control” opens with a wall of feedback that plunges straight into a slow, plodding, sludgy heavy barrage of chords with deep, near black metal vocals screamed over the top. Quite the introduction to the band and sets the tone for the rest of the album.  The pounding music is relentless throughout the song.

“A.M.” continues in the same vein and also has a video to go along with it, which in some ways makes sense as the track is based on the short story I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison which tells the story of sentient supercomputers torturing survivors of a nuclear war (think Terminator and Skynet).  Courtney Napier’s ominously viscous vocals speak for the A.M. (Allied Mastercomputer) as it threatens destruction.

For me, the first two tracks were interesting despite my not liking slow, sludgy, death/doom in general. My interest fading significantly during SCUD, the first of three instrumentals on the album with the other two being Wallow and the closing track “Echoes of Eternity”.  For me, without the vocals adding some distinguishing touches to the songs, these three sounded very similar to each other and with “SCUD” being the third track, I think my ears were overwhelmed and I struggled for the rest of the album to really tell any track apart from the others with one notable exception.

“End it All” goes completely off the rails compared to the rest of the album and adds some very much needed variety.  The song which is just over 1 minute in length, begins with a wall of feedback and launches into a fast punk rock beat picking up a bit of a groove at one point.  Vocals are still the screamed death/black style but with a little imagination, this could be a punk rock track.

Azell have managed to produce one of the heaviest, sludgiest, hammering albums I’ve heard in a long time.  The songs are just crushing in both intensity of the vocals, dark subject matter, and the music. This is not an album for everyone and for me it’s one I need in small doses, but it is one worth checking out.

Rating: 7/10

Written by John Jackson


  1. Death Control
  2. A. M.
  3. Scud
  4. Apocalypse Verdict
  5. Chemical Chains
  6. Cosmic Requiem
  7. Wallow
  8. End it All
  9. You Failed Me
  10. Echoes of Eternity

Band Members
David Napier – Instrumentation, vocals
Courtney Napier – Vocals

Release Date: March 1st. 2024

Record Label: Rottweiler Records

Social Media: Bandcamp / Facebook / Instagram / X (Twitter)

Lyric video for “Death Control”

Video for “Wallow” (live)

Video for “A.M.”

Video for “Death Control” (live)

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