Azoria - Seasons Change

Azoria Seasons Change cover
Seasons Change
Doolittle Group AB
Azoria are a project mainly manned, by members of ReinXeed. Led by their guitarist, Alex Oriz, who usually plays second violin, oops guitar there, to one Tommy ReinXeed as well as their bass player Chris David along with yet another ReinXeed member, albeit a touring one a certain Simon Jonsson, who they possibly didn’t want to pay full time. Oriz has also got a band, under his own surname, just as Reinxeed does and from that one they drafted, the drummer, Emil Eriksson.
The opening song “Just Like The Phoenix” features, Tommy ReinXeed, on lead vocals... and is a bad Stratovarius wannabe tune. Reinxeed is a bad joke, of a Kotipelto, without the range, finesse, or the technique and he sounds like a guy that somebody just kicked in the balls. This is bad 4/4 power metal that makes horrible bands like Sonata Arctica, sound original. Too bad, that the chorus, in that context is not entirely crappy, but gets crapped up by “Tommy”…
Thankfully on the second song “Inside My Heart” he decides to stay much lower and he doesn’t embarrass himself that much... by the way, on the press release they try to make it a big deal that he sings (more like contributes some vocals in Golden Resurrection) when their main singer is Christian Liljegren. Sad, really. Apparently he shares duties on this one with Mike E Gunnardo, if we are to believe the press release, even though, I’m not terribly sure about that… but then again, I suppose, verses and chorus, yeah, could be...
Mikael Dahl from Crystal Eyes is the guest singer for the keyboard swamped “Seasons Change”, a half decent, mid-tempo power metal riff number that at least is a lot more masculine, with his vocals. I’d rather have his, gruff, rather monotonous style, over the almost eunuch vocals of ReinXeed, any day of the week and he even attempts a higher note, rather gracefully too.
Mike Andersson (Full Force, Cloudscape, Ayreon) sings on the subsequent “Prophecy” and on “To the Land of Glory” and he’s a much better singer than the previous two, with a much more varied delivery while he's also given two quite decent mid-tempo songs to sing. I do however think that the vocal production is lacking, as is the overall production of the album that sounds too hollow, tinny and screams cheap.
There’s also a female vocalist on this album. Matilda Eriksson known from some Swedish TV show, who is singing the softer Nightwish like “When You Sleep”... which isn’t too bad... neither the song or her performance. This one song also seems to have a fuller sound too, a “phat”, fuller sound, which is kinda nice, for a change.
Then there’s a Mike E Gunnardo, who I’ve never heard before in my life and I suppose with good reason! He is the singer of “Nordic Mist” & “Jawbreakers” a half decent bloke, with a bit of an accent, that could be Italian, I guess. He’s not absolutely terrible, but he’s a far cry from being great.
“Love It Loud” is a fast-pace song that’s not bad, but ain’t great and “Inside My Heart” where he takes, turns with Tommy ReinXeed, is kinda good, the way their voices blend between verses and chorus.
Last but not least Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Dream Evil, Therion and many more) sings on the songs “Peace of Mind” & “Starlight”. Snowy also performs Alphaville’s classic “Big in Japan” that unsurprisingly is meant to be a Japanese bonus?! (Shocked!) On all three tracks he goes for his usual, psychotic, out of tune vocal acrobatics, with the latter two, having pretty interesting rather “dance-able” beats...
Honestly, rarely have I seen such a waste of time, money and talent. With a couple of glaring exceptions this is really average to bad, uninteresting, by the numbers power metal, with poor production values that’s not worth your time or money. The whole Doolittle Group, with it’s overpriced, CDs and barrage of useless self-centered releases based on its small roster of artists, doing projects, between themselves is fast becoming something like an even worse “TT” with the added insult to injury that they release an awful lot of white metal, pop and covers as well and they can hardly claim that they have released anything that one could consider a classic, other than Golden Ressurection’s debut.
Azoria’s “Seasons Change” is simply a huge disappointment on many levels.