Sons of Azrael, "The Conjuration of Vengeance"
Sons of Azraelís debut, The Conjuration of Vengeance, is a brutal dose of well-played blackened death metal/metalcore. The vocals are vicious, most of the songs revolve around catchy, semi-melodic riffing and tasteful lead work, and the lyrics revolve around the basic depravity that keeps bands like Cannibal Corpse in business. Overall, itís a good recipe. On many of this albumís tracks, though, thereís more than just a whiff of the olí metalcore breakdown, and in nary a place does it help the song evolve. In fact, itís pretty much the only thing keeping Sons of Azrael from reaching the lofty heights that bands such as The Black Dahlia Murder inhabit.
By now, breakdowns as found on The Conjuration of Vengeance are so overused and similar in style to so many other bands in the metalcore scene that they go beyond just sounding dull, or clichť, they tag the band using them as unable to do better; unable to walk their own path. This is really sad, because everything else Sons of Azrael show us on this disc hints at the serious possibility that they can bring some real fire to the metal scene. In all, The Conjuration of Vengeance is a strong disc worth checking out, especially if your metalcore tolerance is high. The fact that a number of the songs are put straight to pasture the instant the band reaches for the breakdown is semi-tragic, and should be corrected on future albums, but it doesnít take them out of the running for future releases.
Scent of a Dead Whore