Son of Azreal / Sons of Azrael

Scouting the Boneyard

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Although a small minority of black metallers have made derogatory comments about death metal, and a small minority of death metallers have made derogatory comments about black metal, the truth is that death metal and black metal are a perfectly logical combination. Many death metal fans are also major black metal fans, and in fact, death metal and black metal have been successfully combined on numerous occasions. They are certainly combined successfully on Scouting the Boneyard, the second album by Buffalo, NY's Sons of Azreal. The term "blackened death metal" has been applied to many bands that brought a strong black metal influence to a death metal orientation, but that term isn't applicable on this early 2010 release because death metal and black metal elements are equally prominent. Bands that are described as "blackened death metal" are essentially death metal bands; death metal is still the main ingredient. With Sons of Azreal, however, the death metal and black metal elements are seriously integrated. On Scouting the Boneyard, black metal's wicked rasp vocals don't take a back seat to death metal's Cookie Monster growling vocals -- both are main ingredients -- and it is clear that Sons of Azreal is an American band with a very Scandinavian-influenced sound. It is also clear that these metalheads don't think twice about going for the jugular; throughout Scouting the Boneyard, Sons of Azreal's death metal/black metal hybrid is unapologetically harsh and bombastic. But one thing that separates this 31-minute CD from so many other extreme metal albums is the fact that the lyrics are usually easy to understand; whether one is getting the Cookie Monster or the rasp, Sons of Azreal seldom render their lyrics indecipherable the way that countless other extreme metal bands do. Scouting the Boneyard falls short of excellence, but it's still a decent demonstration of Sons of Azreal's ability to unite death metal and black metal with brutally caustic results.

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