"Scouting the Boneyard" (Metal Blade; 2010)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

On "Scouting the Boneyard," Sons of Azrael blast down the gates with a cartoon sense of blasphemy and gore backed with a skillful set of extreme metal chops to back up the frivolity. The band lets loose with a barrage of dastardly black metal with a Swedish death metal twist that is competent but relies too much on traditional treadmill ideas and the modern cut and paste cookie cutter card to be considered a cut above.

Despite a rash of demonic dive-bomb riffs and scorching rhythms with a proper death croak growlingly guiding the affair, the sophomoric splatterhouse vibe is a tough one to shake, rendering this disc a durable quick fix that reveals a fair share of Emperor, Immortal and Entombed influence.

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"The Conjuration of Violence" (Metal Blade; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

With its rapid fire blast beats, cookie monster vocals and high-wire intensity, "The Conjuration of Violence" serves up a devastating platter of extreme music.

Buffalo, New York's Sons of Azrael meld grindcore, thrash and death metal -- from both the old school and the new -- to create an out of control sound that's ... well, not out of control. Instead, "Conjuration" jackhammers along at its unrelenting pace, pumping out notes like a machine gun pumping out bullets and leaving the listener not only banging their head furiously but checking themselves for exit wounds.

Vocalist Joseph Siracuse amazes with his ability to growl like a demon yet make himself almost perfectly understood while the dual guitar attack of Tony Lorenzo and Greg DiPasquale has the potential to rip skin from flesh. Meanwhile, Derrick Sadowski and Rob Steinwandel attempt to pound your bones into powder with their crushing, locomotive rhythms.

This band would fit perfectly on the Ozzfest Second Stage and that's the only real trouble here. While "The Conjuration of Vengeance" may have the power to destroy, it's a power shared by many other bands who don't sound that much different. In a world of too many soundalikes, Sons of Azrael would have been better off trying to make "Conjuration" even more original.

Sons of Azrael: Joseph Siracuse - vocals; Tony Lorenzo - guitars; Greg DiPasquale - guitars; Derrick Sadowski - drums; Ron Steinwandel - bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2010 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Sep 2023 21:55:33 -0400.