August 1, 2007 | , | 3

Sons of Azrael, The Conjuration of Vengeance

Like many of the death/grind hybrid bands that are releasing material this year, Sons of Azrael use a combination of death metal, grindcore, and thrash to deliver their vicious assault with lethal blows. Unlike many of their recent counterparts, however, they don’t solely rely on huge, chugging hardcore like breakdowns to punctuate their message. Instead, Sons of Azrael employ a combination of new and old school thrash, thriving on pummeling blasts and speedy, intestine ripping leads.

Take elements The Black Dahlia Murder, Morbig Angel, and Slayer, toss them into a blender and serve fresh corpse warm — this is what Sons of Azrael have produced on The Conjuration of Vengeance. Joseph Siracuse’s vocal aggression ranges from low sepulchral growls to ear splitting screams, belching out the lyrics of a ranting madman. Spinal rupturing leads and riffs are provided by guitarists Tony Lorenzo and Greg DePasquale. Rapid fire, thunderous drums and bass are provided by Derrick Sadkowski and Rob Steinwandel respectively.

All of the individual elements of this band come together at just the right moment, creating a violent, high paced listening experience.

Trail Of Flesh
Immediately upon the opening track starting you’re beaten back into your seat with a blast of frenetic thrash and riffs. The pace slows briefly as Siracuse let’s loose with his deeper delivery. The band blasts through thrash goodness again before descending into a final beefy breakdown.

Scent Of A Dead Whore
The band transitions quickly into “Scent Of A Dead Whore” — a track filled with more thrash than you can shake a… well… dead whore at. The chorus is pretty damned catchy and a bit melodic. You’ll find yourself repeating it well after the disc is done.

The Wrath
I love the opening riffs on this one. They complement the driving beat from Sadkowski’s drums well. This song has some memorable and melodic riffs that help break up the thrash blasts, but without going over the top — their subtlety is deadly. But man, when they let loose, do they ever. This one will have you headbanging for sure.

Mortal Human Form
Some thick riffs and creative drumming keep the momentum from the previous tracks driving hard. “Mortal Human Form” is a track that is pretty heavily influence by The Black Dahlia Murder. It’s soaring leads and thundering bass are accompanied by higher pitched howls from Siracuse.

Sweet Blasphemy
Machine gun fire blasts from the drums open up “Sweet Blasphemy” before the band slows it a moment for the vocals to kick in. Siracuse’s vocal range is pretty impressive, switching between pitches and styles with ease. The guitar leads are layered well and executed flawlessly — especially the bowel ripping solo at the 2:21 mark. Holy hell that thing is sweet.

End Of The Rope
After the abrupt end to “Sweet Blasphemy” the band picks the pace back up with a more melodic opening to “End Of The Rope.” They switch to a Black Dahlia Murder inspired attack then devolve a good bit into riffing thrash.

5 5 97
The longest track on the album contains some of the heaviest material the band has produced on this album. Huge breakdowns, unrelenting riffs and demon conjuring blasts from the drums make this one hell of a song. Siracuse’s vocals are at their peak with this one — guttural gibberish and indiscernible shrieks.

Turn That Crown Upside Down
After a good bit of brutality from “5 5 97,” Sons of Azrael open up this next track with slow, methodical riffs before opening up the flood gates to hell with what can only be described as the shriek of tormented souls escaping. This isn’t the most brutal song or the fastest, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t the personal soundtrack of the devil himself. “Turn That Crown Upside Down” is one of the most evil pieces of music I’ve heard in a while.

The Conjuration Of Destruction
“The Conjuration Of Destruction” is two minutes of black metal inspired ambiance. There are softly sung vocals and piano. I’m not the biggest fan of it, but some folks might like the respite before the last track.

Angel Dust
After that brief interlude, the band hits hard with huge blasts from the drums and angel shredding guitars. This is definitely a strong way to finish out a pretty damn good album.

~ ~ ~

Mixing elements of thrash, grind and death metal, Sons of Azrael have certainly conjured up some vengeful evil with their Metal Blade debut. “The Conjuration of Vengeance” is one hell of a way to announce yourself to the aggressive music world.

Favorite Tracks:
Scent Of A Dead Whore
Sweet Blasphemy
End Of The Rope
5 5 97
Turn That Crown Upside Down

Additional Notes: