Hi Bart and Necrosodom! Thanks for accepting this interview for Thrashocore Webzine, we really appreciate it. Can you please introduce yourselves and the band to our unfortunate readers who may not know the mighty Azarath yet?
BART – AZARATH was formed in 1998. I joined the band in 2000 before recording debut album and we recorded 5 albums so far. The whole detailed band’s story you can find on our website.
What does Azarath mean by the way, what does it refer to? Is it some kind of demon? I admit I never knew despite being a fan for many years. I could Google it but never did. Guess I'm just a lazy fuck haha. So please enlighten me guys!
BART – The name was taken from the track’s title of my previous band DAMNATION ”Azarath: Watching in Darkness” from the “REBEL SOULS” album. I can also add that Azerate is the hidden name of the eleven Anti-cosmic gods, and is also the key to the locked gates of the dark dimensions.
NECROSODOM – I think this name fully express our ideological way regarding to lyrics on the last album. Before I joined the band at the end of 2009, the form of the lyrics was simply and direct, but not so strictly concerned on chaos, philosophy and the anti-cosmic concept like today.
You’ve just released a new album called Blasphemers’ Maledictions. How are the reactions so far?
BART – We’ve released the album in the end of June 2011 and still new great reviews appear. So we are very satisfied with the feedback so far. We got interest of some labels asking for the next album.
NECROSODOM – Besides that, we got the great response from people standing behind the tours and festivals. At the beginning of December we start our raid with Hatefest and strike 17 European cities in company with Marduk, Triptykon, Kataklysm… We also have plans for the next year but at the moment we can’t confirm anything.
The new album cover is totally different from the previous, old-school, black and white artworks. It's brighter, shinier and way more detailed but still has that evil vibe going on despite being less obvious. And I think it perfectly embodies the new musical direction you took on Blasphemers’ Maledictions. Do you agree? Who drew that masterpiece? What's its meaning?
NECROSODOM – When we started to compose the songs for “BM” we knew that if we make revolution in our music, we need to break all rules thus far. We wanted this album to be excellent in every way so we needed real artistic opus as a front cover. The author of the painting is Zbigniew Bielak well known in the metal scene. He received from us all lyrics before he started to work to express the lyrical content as much as possible. Zbigniew also added his own visions for its creation.
Blasphemers’ Maledictions is indeed different from your previous work. It's more melodic and varied. There’s a wider range of emotions put into the riffs and vocals, I mean not only hatred and blasphemy. But it's still brutal as fuck. So to me, you guys managed to evolve, offering something fresh for the band, without changing completely. You still have that sound Azarath is known for, you just explored new horizons. What do you think?
NECROSODOM – We are persons with very wide musical spectrum. We listen to many kinds of music and our imagination is in progress all the time, that’s why we are able to create albums full of ideas we never used before. This album shows our different face but still in Azarath’s style. We are sure that Black Art needs to be unforseen and every formula needs to be refreshed from time to time.
I also noticed more black metal influences, especially through some Necrosodom's vocals like on "Under the Will of the Lord"...
NECROSODOM – If you take a look to my other active and past bands you will see that I always did varied vocals. I treat my throat as another instrument and try to implement emotional and interesting arrangements as a standard singing for Azarath. Black Metal was the most important genre for my musical progression since I decided to form my first band and through all the years I am on the scene, so this is natural for me to set free this kind of emotions.
Speaking of you, Necrosodom, you’re the new guy, handling both vocals and guitars now. How did you get the job?
NECROSODOM – I was in contact with Azarath members since 1999/2000. We are friends since many years and they know what kind of person I am. They say that I was the only sensible choice to replace Bruno, so I got the proposition. It’s an honour for me to be part of the band.
Is Azarath now your main band? Are you still a member of Anima Damnata?
NECROSODOM – It’s hard to answer yes or no, because beside Azarath I’m the member of 2 other bands and I can’t imagine to quit from any of them. I am the founder of Deus Mortem where I can fully realise myself, where I am the only composer and I can do what I want without compromises and also the form of Deus Mortem is the closest to what I always wanted to do. I’m still with Anima Damnata, we prepare at last to record new album at the begining of 2012. I need to balance between these bands, focus on their priorities and do my best.
Necrosodom, it seems you contributed a lot to the new album, vocally and musically. How did the writing process go?
NECROSODOM – Inferno and Bart composed all the music. They’ve sent me the ideas of the whole songs and then I started to write lyrics. That’s all the story. All I did for Blasphemers’ Maledictions
are vocals, guitar solos and some bass parts.
What happened to Bruno by the way? Why did he leave the band? Or was he fired?
BART – We’ve decided to split up with Bruno because of his lack of interest in the band since some time. He decided to focus on his own priorities, we had talked with him about that few times and finally we decided to change it. We needed 100% engaged line-up and we have such line-up at present.
Azarath was formed in 1998 and put out 5 albums so far. Yet, you're not very famous in the death metal scene. When people think about Poland, Vader and Behemoth always come first. It must be frustrating as you only released quality stuff. It's also surprising with Behemoth's Inferno being your drummer since the beginning...How do you explain it?
BART – You know, AZARATH is a band made of passion. Except Inferno all members have normal jobs and we’ve never been able to tour a lot. Few years passed until we’ve found good drummer (Adam Sierzega) who could replace Inferno during more shows/tour while he was busy with conquering the world with Behemoth. More to say, we’ve never been in big label who could promote us more worldwide and pay the money to concert agency for a tour. We’ve released three albums for Pagan Records. The fourth one through Agonia Records and Deathgasm Records (North America) and from this point I think we got more attention worldwide. The last album we released through great Polish label Witching Hour Productions and things are going better and better. I would like to add that we’ve never promoted ourselves as second band of Behemoth’s Inferno. Only our labels, after signing us, used that phrase for their ads.
Speaking of Inferno, he delivers one hell of a performance once again!
BART – Worth to say that except amazing drums Inferno also recorded his tracks and riffs on guitar for the first time. He always did some riffs/tracks for previous album, but for Blasphemers’ Maledictions
he composed more music on guitar than me and his guitar’s skill are so fuckin good nowadays that he is able to record his own ideas.
Azarath has been confirmed for the Hatefest with Kataklysm, Triptykon and Marduk among others. I’m glad I can finally see you guys on stage and foremost I think it’s a great opportunity for you guys to spread the word about Azarath...
BART – Yes, it will be our first European tour and we can’t wait for those shows. We’ve only played some festivals before (Inferno fest, Party San, Armageddon fest) so there would be great chance to spread our music in more places. You will see us 100% prepared!!!
The Polish Death Metal scene is the best in Europe along with the Dutch one in my opinion. So many great bands! How is the relationship between the bands? Are you all friends or is there a fierce competition?
BART – We are friends to many great Polish bands. Except those well known bands like Behemoth, Vader, Decapitated there are really great death metal acts like Stillborn, Anima Damnata, Embrional, Deception, Gortal, Armagedon, Hell-born to name a few we know very well. Speaking of Dutch scene I must say I am a big fan of SINISTER. Cross the Styx
is absolutely the best European album ever for me.
Speaking of Polish DM, have you heard the new Stillborn album! It kicks major ass!
BART – Yes, I’ve met Killer and August in Rzeszow during our tour with Bulldozer in Poland and I’ve got the latest Stillborn and Deception albums from them. The album Los Asesinos del Sur
is fuckin great, I am a Stillborn fan since their Mirromaze
I'm sure there are many DM bands from Poland that are still unknown outside your country. Do you have a few ones to recommend to us?
BART – I will mention as well Death as Black metal bands. Except those few I mentioned above I will recommend: Infernal War, Witchmaster, Deus Mortem, Infidel, Kriegsmachine, Mgla, Blasphemy Rites, Conquest Icon
NECROSODOM – Check also Non Opus Dei, Szron, Cultes Des Ghoules, Voidhanger, Doombringer, Plaga, Crepusculum, Evilfeast, Dahak, Leichengott, Demonic Slaughter and Diabolicon.
What are your favorite bands, your biggest influences?
BART – Surely Immolation, Morbid Angel (until Covenant
), Sinister (Cross the Styx
), Deicide (until Legion
), Bathory, Sarcofago, Venom, Krisiun to name a few favourite and inspirational bands
NECROSODOM – Bathory, Mayhem, Abigor, Samael (until Ceremony of Opposites
), Mercyful Fate, Darkthrone, Nifelheim, Inquisition, Burzum, Funeral Winds, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Beherit, Grave, Slayer, Sinister, Dissection, Morbid Angel (until Covenant
), Incantation, Treblinka/Tiamat, and many, many more.
What do you think about the new Morbid Angel album? It fucking sucks, doesn'it?
BART – I don’t like this album and I won’t buy it. I am their fan from their early beginning, I have all of their albums, but Illud..
is the first Morbid Angel album that I won’t buy because it truly sucks in my opinion. I tried to listen to this album many times, but always it bored me, it is not my kind of music. I’ve waited so many years for this album and finally I got really nothing special.
NECROSODOM – Morbid Angel has finished on Kill’em All
. My favourite albums are Abominations of Desolation
and Altars of Madness
and this my answer to your question.
What new bands blew you away recently?
NECROSODOM – Ascension, Obliteration, Trench Hell, Nocturnal Graves, Dead To This World.
Do you guys listen to other types of music besides metal?
BART – Besided wide spectrum of metal music I like to listen to some movie soundtracks, as well as bands like Dead Can Dance, Coph Nia, In Slaughter Natives, MZ 412, Current 93, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim to name a few.
NECROSODOM – I can mention King Crimson, Fields of The Nephilim, Danzig, In Slaughter Natives, Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, Triari, The Cult/Southern Death Cult, first 5 Scorpions albums, Arditi, Current 93.
The French metal scene is getting more and more attention from abroad. Do you know some French bands?
BART – You had great bands since the 90’s like Massacra, Loudblast. I am really impressed by Deathspell Omega, fucking killer! Also I listen to Drastus, Antaeus for example.
NECROSODOM – I am totally fucked up by your scene with such acts as Aosoth, Antaeus, Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega, Glorior Belli, Osculum Infame, Arkhon Infaustus, Eternal Majesty, Drastus, Hirilorn, S.V.E.S.T. I am also a fan of Agressor and Massacra.
What does death metal represent to you? Is it just a type of music among others or is it much more than that?
NECROSODOM – Death Metal is a form of Supreme Black Art which we use as a channel to express our beliefs. If I say Death Metal I don’t think about skillness and technical progression but rather about outburst of blasphemy and neckbreaking diabolic chaos.
Azarath's lyrics deal with anti-religious, satanic topics. Is it just for fun or does Satanism really show your true beliefs?
NECROSODOM – Fun is good for idiots or kids. We are Satanists who proudly stalk the Lef Hand Path. Since I am responsible for the lyrical side, we are more focused on our spiritual side that’s why anti-christianity isn’t so important on our last album. We place our ideas far from problems of the material world.
Poland is still a very religious, conservative country but it seems some improvement is being made towards more open-mindedness. Now you even have "The Voice Of Poland" starring Behemoth's Nergal. What's your opinion on that?
BART – There is a funny situation. People from “PiS” Party including their leader J. Kaczynski, some bishops, priests, journalists, celebrities and local authorities started to talk about Nergal and his participation in Polish “Voice of Poland” as promotion of Satanism in media, in public TV. There is no day free of comments and talks about that at present. This intensification nowadays is because of upcoming general election and those conservative people talk about that everywhere to get (earn) some election’s votes.
NECROSODOM – Catholic church in Poland owes their position for their attitude against the communist government. Since the end of the second world war until 1989 they were the force opposing to communists. That’s why even today we can’t be totally isolated from their influences. Many politics deal with them and lobbing for their business, but years pass by and people don’t need church. Situation is changing but very slowly. Society is too still too dumb to face the truth and think for themselves. I hope we will grow up as a country and someday situation will normalize and church won’t be donated through government and they will start to pay taxes like everyone. Then this relict of dark ages will finally fall into oblivion.
What's your plan for the future when it comes to Azarath? Do you have ideas for a new album already?
BART – Not ideas yet concerning new album. We are focused on the promotion of Blasphemers’ Maledictions
and upcoming European tour in December.
This interview has come to an end my friends. Thanks a lot for your time and see you in Paris in December! Last words are yours! Cheers!
BART – Thanks a lot for this interview! Stay ready for our December tour!
NECROSODOM – Hail the Old Spirits!