Going back to the early 2000s, I think the first SOA show of any significance was with All Out War at Xtreme Wheelz or something, maybe I’m wrong. But anyways, since the early demo days, Sons of Azrael was a force to be reckoned with on the Buffalo metal scene and an act you just couldn’t afford to miss. If you didn’t know who they were, you didn’t know the scene and that alone made them the city’s jewel. It also came to zero fucking surprise when the boys announced back in ’06-’07 that they had been signed to Ironclad Recordings (Remember that label Trevor from Unearth started? You know, the Metalblade subsidiary?). Joe Siracuse (RIP), Tony Lorenzo, Greg DiPasquale, Rob Steinwandel and Derrick Sadkowski (2007 lineup) had something ridiculous to share with us and the first culmination of the band’s early efforts manifested in the form of an album called, The Conjuration of Vengeance.
A long time ago in a metal scene far, far away, some jackass with a drop tuned Fender something (presumably) started abusing the fuck out of breakdowns and making us all look like a bunch of uneducated, single note riding, disco dancing, musically inept pussies. The mid 2000s were crammed with this shit. I mean, you thought the death metal trend was bad, or the hair metal trend? If you were around in those days, I bet you never thought hardcore would infiltrate metal in such a predominant way, that major bread winners would be spawned from a swirl of open notes. But, meanwhile, while all the kids were running out to Guitar Center to buy their first ax and take a stab at this unsightly trend, your friendly neighborhood heroes in Sons of Azrael weren’t buying it!
Fueled with rage towards JHC, nasty leads, fun thrashy rhythms, crushing low end and blisteringly fast blasts, The Conjuration of Vengeance gave Buffalo exactly what it needed. The old school showgoers who just wanted their death metal scene back got plenty of gutturals, shrill highs, evil tremolo riffs, blast beats and Slayer Esq solos to choose from, while the kids who came to mosh got lots of angry sludge and groove to jive to. Meanwhile, in the grey area, everyone in between was certainly happy as well and got their fix of diversity, aggression and tasteful headbang worthy segments.
“Trail of Flesh” and “End of the Rope” are superb and ridiculously fun to listen to, combining all my favorite aspects of The Black Dahlia Murder, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Abysmal Dawn, Arch Enemy and a hint of Job For a Cowboy (in those mosh parts). It was also great hearing better quality/tightened up versions of “5-5-97”, “Mortal Human Form” and “The Wrath”. It’s always great to revisit demo tracks on later full lengths and compare. However, all those other great tunes aside, my favorite would have to be the final track, “Angel Dust”. Lyrically and musically, it’s unmatched in my opinion. The riffs are great fun and it’s just such a driving tune throughout. I’ve always thought I wouldn’t like it as much as I do had it been an earlier track, though. I think ending the album on such a strong aggressive note really does it.
But don’t take my word for any of this. Thanks to people with computers, high speed internet and YouTube, you can listen to the entire album here:
Want more flashbacks? Want fewer flashbacks? Want this entire blog taken down off the internet? We LOVE feedback! So, by all means, cast some stones and let’s have a good time! I’ve got some juicy “Who You’re Not Listening To” articles coming up, showcasing some artists I don’t hear enough of you talking about. I’m also going to bring back “A Storm is Coming” and talk about some new bands that are just going to kill it around here and you don’t even know it. Toodles for now, though.
Thanks for reading!