Sunday, July 23, 2017

An Interview with Azarath

Poland's Azarath has been releasing incredibly brutal albums since 2001, but most metal fans probably only know them as Behemoth drummer Inferno's other band. With a terrific new album out through Agonia Records, the time may finally have come to redress that. As a longtime fan of the true brutal daeth matel, I got in touch with the band, and guitarist Bart was kind enough to answer my questions.

Dreams of Consciousness: Please introduce Azarath - where are you from? If you could describe your music in 5 words, what would they be?

Azarath was created in Tczew, a city in Northern Poland. Now everyone lives in another part of Poland.

The music in 5 words: Blackened unholy metal of death.

DoC: If you could, please give a brief history of the band - when were you formed? What led to you coming together, and what were your intentions?

Inferno formed Azarath back in 1998. The whole story could be easily found using Google so there is no need to copy it here anyway. The intentions were to play the violent and extreme music, music that we like to listen [to]. And all of us lived in the same city at that time.

DoC: You have a new album out called In Extremis. What were the writing and recording sessions like? How would you describe the difference between Azarath in 2001 (when your first album Demon Seed was released) and Azarath in 2017?

The writing process was as usual. Me and Inferno started with riffs at the beginning. When all [the] riffs were almost prepared we started rehearsals together with drums, and later with the whole line-up. Then we did final arrangements and booked the studio. We started recordings with drums in March 2016 and finished mixing in November 2016. All the recording sessions in different studios were very rewarding for us.

The difference between Azarath from 2001 and 2017 is enormous, in all music matters and musical awareness. We are better musicians and more experienced people. But with the same goal and passion to play such music.

DoC: Quite a few years had passed between the release of Blasphemer's Malediction and your latest album. What was the reason for the gap in time?

No specific reason. We started working on new riffs in 2012 and finished at the end of 2015. Then [in] March 2016 [the] recording session started. We finished the album in November 2016 but then we had to find a label. So finally, the release of the album was moved to April 2017.

DoC: In Extremis is released by Agonia Records. How did you get involved with them?

We worked with Agonia with our 4th album Praise the Beast as well and we were satisfied. So we again joined forces for newest release.

DoC: The members of Azarath also are in other bands. How do those commitments affect Azarath? How do you resolve scheduling conflicts?

We have to keep Behemoth's schedule in mind. But we try to play as many shows as we can, and often with session musicians, like Stormblast (Infernal War) or Adam Sierzega (Armagedon) on drums, and Killer or Reyash on bass. The other band I play in - Armagedon - doesn’t play often so it’s not a problem of course. Now we will have to keep in mind also Embrional's schedule, our new vocalist/guitarist's band.

DoC: Poland has a long history of great death and black metal bands, from the earliest days of the genre til now. How would you characterize the metal scene in Poland? How does Azarath relate to other Polish bands?

We are in touch and friends with many bands in Poland. Our scene is fuckin great, with lots of great death and black metal bands, like for example Infernal War, Stillborn, Mgla, KSM, Embrional, Bestial Raids, Doombringer, Christ Agony, Vader as well as some fresh blood like Bestiality, Thunderwar and some bands not existing [anymore] like Shemhamforash [and] Imperator.

DoC: Azarath has some of the most evil subject matter of any metal band. Where do you get the inspiration for your lyrics?

For this album the main concept for lyrics is death, manifested by deities, demons and symbols present in various cultures and traditions. Necrosodom together with our friend Malahida prepared all the lyrics for the In Extremis album.

DoC: Your song "Screaming Legions of Death Metal" is one of the greatest death metal anthems ever written. I don't have a question here, I just thought I'd let everyone know.

Thanks! It’s one of the songs from Diabolic Impious Evil, album no 3. We’ve played this song many times live, but now we play some other songs from this album live.

DoC: What's next for Azarath?

We are preparing for upcoming show on 10th August - Party San Open Air. Later, in September we will tour Europe and then end with a Polish tour.

Soon we will release MC version of our new album In Extremis. Cassettes will be available through our webstore.

Azarath on Facebook

Azarath Webstore

In Extremis on Bandcamp