Azarath are a black metal band hailing from Poland who have been on the scene since 1998. Over the years members have come and gone, but what has remained consistent is the quality of the band’s output which, arguably, reached a peak this year with the release of the quite outstanding ‘Blasphemers’ maledictions’ which was released on CD and vinyl through Witching Hour productions.
Thoroughly disinterested in compromise, Azarath have toured with both Behemoth and Vader, indication enough of the esteem in which they are held, and are set to embark upon an European tour with Kataklysm, Triptykon and Marduk – a line-up which surely has the power to entice any serious death metal fan to witness it. With stunning artwork adorning their latest work, astonishing songs in their back catalogue and a demonic sense of purpose pushing them ever forward, we felt it was time to catch up with the band and get them to talk us through their turbulent history. Read on and discover one of Poland’s finest death metal acts…
Just to kick off can you tell us about Azarath:
What does the name mean?
Necrosodom: Hail! In the 90’s there was the band in Poland called Damnation where members of Hell-Born, Behemoth and Azarath have formerly played. The name Azarath was taken from Damnation’s song under the same title from their “Rebel Souls” album. I like to go one better and to equate its’ name with Azerate which is the hidden name of the 11 anti-cosmic gods – the key to the gates of darkness, beyond limitations of the cosmic laws. This is close to our beliefs and things we are interested with and also this name strictly regard to lyrical themes.
Where in Poland are you from?
N: Bart and Inferno live in Tczew in Pomerania – the northern part of Poland. Me and P. come from Wrocław in Lower Silesia – the south-western side. There’s a distance between these cities of about 400 km, but who cares? We are really dedicated to keeping the band active and strengthening our position all the time.
How did you form initially?
N: Azarath was founded in Tczew in 1998 by Inferno, Bruno and the guitarist D. Since that time some line-up changes took place. We hope the current line-up won’t change so fast and the situation will be stable. We have the same goals inside the band and usually we don’t need the words. This special atmosphere makes our motivation stronger and lets us be focused on priorities without any compromise.
You’ve had quite a high turn-over with band members over the years – what are the causes of that and was there ever a point where it seemed Azarath just might not continue?
N: Sometimes personal reasons caused people to leave Azarath, but also lack of the aforesaid spirit between all members at one time was the deciding factor. In my opinion if you are a part of a band you need to be aware of being one flesh and all the things related to this, from the ideological side to the music creation. It’s like an order where only well-thought-out idea and action has the right place and sense. As I know, some members of the previous line-ups were far from this kind of attitude.
The new album has stunning production, where did you record?
N: It was created in Hertz studio in Białystok. That place and people standing behind made our ideas possible. The work was hard because we couldn’t get the appropriate sound for the drums and guitars. I think at the end of the record session they started to hate us for mixing the album again and again until we were satisfied.
How long did it take to record the new album?
N: Almost two months with some days off.
Is there a set process you go through to record an album – anything you do to develop songs or do they form in rehearsals?
N: Bart and Inferno are the composers. They start to rehearse together on guitars, working with riffs and profiles of the songs. If any opus is ready, the works go on with Inferno on drums. Often they bring also complete songs that don’t need any changes. This is the way the last album was born and I think before I joined Azarath this process looked similar.
The artwork on your latest album is just stunning – who was responsible and was the band involved in the creative side of things?
N: The author is Zbigniew Bielak – Master of The Arts! Before Zbigniew began, he got from us the whole recorded album and lyrics. It had to be the best vision corresponding to “Blasphemers’ Maledictions” content.
The black metal in Poland is clearly a reaction against the overt power of the Catholic church in your country– have you had issues between yourselves and the Church over the years?
N: Not directly. I think this style of life is mainly caused by the needs of becoming enlightened man, standing above human shit and problems of this world. Of course church and their bollards in government can be annoying and here is also the seed of our hatred, but I’d place the spiritual aspects on the first place. Azarath never had any serious problems with this childfucking order except some protests intended to cancel our shows, etc. Fuck them. They are totally harmless to us.
‘Blasphemer’s maledictions’ is your fifth full-length outing – how do you feel you have developed as musicians and songwriters in that time?
N: For this album I wrote the best lyrics and did the best vocals in my life. I recorded very skilful solos, like never before, so personally it took me to the higher level. If it’s to the music, maybe on the next album I will tell you more about it. I hope I’ll join Bart and Inferno in composing new anthems.
What bands were your key influences?
N: This is one of these questions I really don’t like. There’s so many inspirations and it’s hard to mention or even to be aware of all of them. Our creation is always close to our roots, to the sounds that echo inside our hearts since years. Our vision changes but there’s still true metal spirit in it. The greatest inspiration for us all are mainly metal bands from the 80’s and first half of the 90’s. Today we find also great bands but our addiction and never ending respect to metal classics always wins.
And what about lyrically?
N: Lyrics on” Blasphemers’ Maledictions” concern on the dark side of human mind and soul, worshiping Death as a release from the mortal shells, praising Chaos Gods as the destroyers of the cosmic order, hailing to Lucifer as the manifestation of the black light, blaspheming against the false bastard god – creator of the universal prison. We search the godly elements of our beings far from material world. This is the way the Dragon leading to become the gods, finally through Death… We are inspired by our beliefs and lives, our thoughts and visions.
You’re touring Poland in September, are there any plans to head out into the rest of Europe and/or Britain?
N: Yes, we have a tour with Bulldozer, Witchmaster and Deus Mortem. We start on September 2nd to crush 8 polish cities. It will be good validation of new line-up and new songs o the battlefield. Besides that, at the beginning of December we go for 17 shows with Triptykon, Marduk and Kataklysm under the banners of Hatefest 2011.
With the likes of Behemoth and Vader gaining international success are you finding it easier to gain listener’s attention than when you started?
N: Today they are bigger bands then 13 years ago and their success for sure caused international audience to pay attention to the Polish scene. But believe me, we have more bands well-known to maniacs all over the world: Infernal War, Kriegsmaschine, Mgła, Christ Agony, Szron, Stillborn, Supreme Lord, Witchmaster and many, many more.
What would you consider to be the high point of the band thus far?
N: I’m in the band only 2 years and during that time our shows with Watain and Impaled Nazarene were such moments. I expect more in relation to upcoming tours. I am full of respect for Bulldozer, Marduk and Triptykon, so I can’t wait for live rituals with them.
Any final words for our readers?
N: Support Satanic Propaganda! Arise The Black Flame!
Find out more about Azarath and their amazing last album here at the offical site.