Album Review – Azaab / Summoning the Cataclysm (2022)

An earthquake of different influences blended together through proficient musicianship by an up-and-coming Pakistani Death Metal horde.

Formed in 2016 in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, out of love for both old school and modern Death Metal, the up-and-coming five-piece horde known as Azaab (which is pronounced “aa-zaab” and translates roughly as “calamity”) is proudly unleashing upon humanity their excellent debut effort, entitled Summoning the Cataclysm, highly recommended for admirers of the music by Morbid Angel, Decapitated, Nile and Abysmal Dawn, among many more. Recorded, mixed and mastered by the band’s own guitarist Shahab Khan at Fractal Flow Studios, and displaying a demonic artwork by Ardha Lepa, Summoning the Cataclysm is an earthquake of different influences blended together through proficient musicianship by the aforementioned Shahab Khan on the guitars together with Saad Latif on vocals, Afraz Mamoon also on the guitars, Waqar Ghayas on bass and Adhytia Perkasa on drums, as well as a handful of guest musicians including former and current members from Death, Chthe’ilist, First Fragment and Worm, with the album’s lyrical themes spanning topics such as horror, politics, human nature, the end of days, war and even sci-fi.

The somber, acoustic guitars by Shahab and Afraz in the intro Pandemonium Twilight set the stage for Azaab to smash our senses in Carbon Plague, featuring additional vocals by guests Nick Mkhl (Brutal Sphere) and Aissam El Hassani (Vile Utopia), with Adhytia hammering his drums in the name of Death Metal while Saad roars deeply like an inhumane creature. More of their Technical and Progressive Death Metal is offered to us all in A Hollow Pact, where once again the band’s guitar duo extracts sheer electricity from their axes supported by the unstoppable bass jabs by Waqar, whereas Preachers of Hate is absolutely heavy and menacing from the very first second, with the guttural roars by Saad penetrating deep inside your mind mercilessly in a first-class fusion of modern-day Technical Death Metal with the band’s own Pakistani twist.

Featuring a sick guitar solo by guest Bobby Koelble (Death), it’s time for more savagery, gore and hatred by Azaab in When Worlds Collide, where Adhytia sounds infuriated behind his drum  accompanied by the always metallic bass by Waqar; and Shahab and Afraz deliver incendiary, crushing riffs in The Infernal Citadel, with a guitar solo by guest Phil Tougas (Chthe’ilist, First Fragment, Worm) this time, inviting us all to slam into the pit to their pulverizing Death Metal. Then a serene, acoustic intro explodes into sheer brutality in Trophies of Flesh, where all band members add tons of progressiveness to their core sonority, therefore turning it into the most intricate of all songs of the album. Azaab still have a lot of fuel to burn offering us all their venomous rendition for Decapitated’s The Empty Throne (check the original version HERE), showcasing an amazing job done by Saad on vocals, followed by B.L.O.O.D.B.O.R.N, a hellish, demolishing creation by the quintet with Adhytia sounding like a stone crusher on drums while Shahab and Afraz keep slashing our ears with their ass-kicking riffage and solos.

This unrelenting, vile horde hailing from Pakistan is waiting for you on Facebook and on Instagram to crush your senses with their top-of-the-line Death Metal, and of course if you want to show your total support to the underground you can purchase Summoning the Cataclysm from the band’s BandCamp page or from the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page (or click HERE for different locations where you can buy or stream the album). After all is said and done, Azaab were not joking when they said they had something for all types of Death Metal fans with their debut opus, as Summoning the Cataclysm indeed brings an amalgamation of elements from the past, present and future of Death Metal, all of course sounding very cohesive and as brutal as it can be for our total delight, positioning Azaab as one of the most interesting name of the Pakistani scene and, consequently, paving a fantastic road ahead of those death metallers.

Best moments of the album: Carbon Plague, Preachers of Hate and B.L.O.O.D.B.O.R.N.

Worst moments of the album: A Hollow Pact.

Released in 2022 Maxima Music Pro/Satanath Records

Track listing
1. Pandemonium Twilight 2:04
2. Carbon Plague 4:11
3. A Hollow Pact 4:39
4. Preachers of Hate 3:58
5. When Worlds Collide 4:49
6. The Infernal Citadel 5:02
7. Trophies of Flesh 4:11
8. The Empty Throne (Decapitated cover) 4:34
9. B.L.O.O.D.B.O.R.N 4:40

Band members
Saad Latif – vocals
Shahab Khan – guitars
Afraz Mamoon – guitars
Waqar Ghayas – bass
Adhytia Perkasa – drums

Guest musicians
Bobby Koelble – guitar solo on “When Worlds Collide”
Phil Tougas – guitar solo on “The Infernal Citadel”
Nick Mkhl – vocals on “Carbon Plague”
Aissam El Hassani – vocals on “Carbon Plague”

Album Review – Serocs / Vore EP (2020)

Bang your heads to the new EP of brutal and technical Death Metal offered by a rising force from the international extreme music scene.

What began in 2009 in Guadalajara, a metropolis in western Mexico and the capital of the state of Jalisco, as a Brutal Technical Death Metal one-man project by guitarist Antonio Freyre under the name of Serocs later transformed into a full-blown international band with members from Mexico, France and Canada, exploding to its full capacity with the release of their 2018 opus The Phobos/Deimos Suite. Now in 2020 the band comprised of the aforementioned Antonio together with vocalist Laurent Bellemare (Sutrah), guitarist and bassist Antoine Daigneault (Chthe’ilist) and drummer Kévin Paradis (Benighted) returns with the next step in their evolutionary career, the five-track EP entitled Vore, offering fans of Cryptopsy, Severed Savior and Gorguts, among others, an excellent sample of what Serocs mean when they say they play “Death Metal from all over the world”. Reamped, mixed and mastered by Hugues Deslauriers at Roarrr Sound Studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Vore is “a very important release for me. It has all the elements of classic Serocs at first but then it transitions into something new and exciting,” commented the band’s mastermind Antonio about the album, inviting us all to know more about his project and his passion for brutal and technical music.

A wicked intro explodes into brutal and extremely technical Death Metal in Anthropic, where Kévin dictates the rhythm with his vicious beats while Laurent blasts inhumane, gruesome gnarls for our total delight, with the band’s guitar duo also showcasing all their rage and dexterity with their scorching riffage. More intricate and absolutely visceral sounds invade our senses in Building a Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands, a lesson in Technical Death Metal spiced up by Groove Metal nuances where Antoine is on fire with both his guitar riffs and utterly metallic bass punches, not to mention the fiery guitar solos by guest Phil Tougas, whereas we’re treated to a few moments of peace in the instrumental bridge Shallow Vaults before the quartet comes crushing once again with their rumbling, venomous music in The Temple of Knowledge, with Kévin once again sounding very technical but at the same time berserk on drums while Laurent continues to vociferated deeply and rabidly in great Death Metal fashion. Then venturing through darker and more progressive lands the band brings forth To Self Devour, leaning towards pure Progressive Death Metal with Antonio and Antoine extracting sheer electricity from their guitars nonstop, providing Laurent all he needs to thrive with his vicious screeches. In addition, as bonuses to fans of Serocs’ music the band offers two demos recorded in 2011 for the songs Nihilus, from the album The Phobos/Deimos Suite (check the official and infernal studio version HERE), and Anthropic, both raw and demented, and both presenting even sharper and more thunderous bass lines and drums compared to their final, lapidated shape and form.

As mentioned by the band’s mastermind Antonio Freyre, Vore is more than “just” an excellent EP of Technical Death Metal, but a solid step in the career of a band that has been on a constant rise since their inception. Hence, you can follow Serocs on Facebook and listen to more of their music on Spotify to show Antonio and his henchmen all your support to the underground, and purchase your copy of Vore from the Everlasting Spew Records’ BandCamp page or webstore in regular MCD format or as a stylish MCD and shirt bundle, as well as from Apple Music, keeping the flames of brutal and technical extreme music burning bright and, consequently, fueling bands like Serocs to keep providing us all amazing options for banging our heads like maniacs, for practicing our musician skills, and for disturbing the peace of our quiet neighborhoods.

Best moments of the album: Anthropic and Building a Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Everlasting Spew Records

Track listing
1. Anthropic 5:17
2. Building a Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands 3:51
3. Shallow Vaults 1:22
4. The Temple of Knowledge 4:47
5. To Self Devour 4:40

Bonus tracks
6. Nihilus (2011 Demo) 3:18
7. Anthropic (2011 Demo) 3:09

Band members
Laurent Bellemare – vocals
Antonio Freyre – guitar
Antoine Daigneault – guitar, bass
Kévin Paradis – drums

Guest musician
Phil Tougas – guitar solos on “Building A Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands”