2) Carpe Noctum
3) Hellfire Stomp
4) Black Lagoon
5) Bamboula Flame
7) Mephisto’s Gone
Creeping out of Apple Valley, California, Saint Azazel and the Hellkats combine rockabilly, surf and blues to perfection. Saint Azazel, Joey Jeepers and Jorden Marshall have self-produced their masterpiece of a debut album titled Death or Glory which is guaranteed to hook listeners in and keep them enthralled from beginning to end. I was graced with an advanced copy of this album and I guarantee that you will want to pick this album up the minute is released (which is 3:33am on August 13th,2019).
Sainta Azazel and the Hellkats kick things off with “Sangre”; it’s a thumpy opening track that does a great job setting the tone for the rest of the album. “Carpe Noctum” has a sinister feel where the guitar licks approach demented-surf territories. Throughout this album the instrumentals are fantastic; it is very impressive that this album is self-produced. The drums and upright bass sound great, but the lead guitar licks are what draws me into this album most. I would love to see Saint Azazel live and watch him shred this surf-inspired guitar while singing. “Hellfire Stomp” is another fun surf-inspired track and comes together as a very catchy tune.
“Black Lagoon” approaches more of a rockabilly/western track and is definitely a stand out track on this album. The upright bass really stands out nicely on this track and the guitar riffs are very original. “Bamboula Flame” Is a slower, more melodic track that feels creepy in the best possible way. “Nightingale” is a fast-paced bopper with some fun droning guitar leads. This album closes with fast paced “Mephisto’s Gone” which has some slappy upright bass and killer guitar tones.
This album is well mixed. All of the instruments stand on their own nicely without overpowering each other, which is not easy to do when producing your own album. My one critique for Death or Glory is that generally I prefer for the vocals to stand out more in the mix; at some points I feel that the vocals are kind of in the background behind the awesome instrumentals. This might be by design and everyone has their own personal preferences, but in my opinion more prominent vocals would add to the listening experience.
On a whole, Death or Glory is a debut album that most ‘billy bands would be envious of; Saint Azazel and the Hellkats should be very proud of this release. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and pre-order Death or Glory.