(Here is Karina Noctum‘s interview with vocalist Skullripper of Poland’s Azarath, whose latest (and seventh) album was released on November 27, 2020, by Agonia Records.)
I remember that as a teenager I started listening to Behemoth and I liked Inferno’s drumming so much that I wanted to see what else he had made. I was pretty happy when I found Azarath. with all its rawness, brutality, and intensity. I like it more than Behemoth, actually, and I love the fact they have their own distinct sound. The band became one of my favorites from Poland together with Trauma, Hate, old Decapitated, Lost Soul, and Vader, of course.
The Polish scene has such quality, especially when it comes to Death Metal, that it is one of my favorite musical realms. My first interview with Azarath was distributed in print at Hole in the Sky and that was a long time ago. I’m pretty thankful they still keep playing and releasing albums and that I get to interview them again. This time around I asked about their new album Saint Desecration, in which the band play a technical, aggressive, and pretty fast Death Metal. I really hope to catch a live show in the future as they are absolutely crushing and the sound is super-powerful live.
For all of those who are not familiar with Azarath, can you tell us how the band started?
Azarath was formed in 1998 by Inferno, Bruno, and D. Due to “life” reasons, the lineup of the band changed several times, however Azarath never changed their approach to the music. It’s still blackened death metal. No compromise in this case. During the past 22 years, Azarath recorded seven full-length albums. Each of them is different, but all are full of madness, aggression, and the devil.
The newest album Saint Desecration in our opinion opened the next blank page of band life. Motivated and inspiring each other, we created a beast that was fed by the past and inspired by the future.
The best way to check the history of the band is just to listen to all the records, one by one, close your eyes. and flow away straight to hell…
How long did it take to compose the new album?
Generally, the whole material was prepared for 2 years. We didn’t hurry, because nobody pushed us to compose. This was perfect for preparing good songs of which we are proud.
At the beginning of 2020, a pandemic came and all of us had to stay home. This gave us an opportunity to focus on the new album. Our work accelerated, and at the beginning of June 2020 we were ready to record.
However, to be honest, for us time is not important during the creation process. Now it looks like 3 years from the last release, and the next time might be later, depending on our productivity.
Our main goal is to work as long as we need to achieve the best result. Time does not exist in such an approach.
How do you compose? Do you create lots of material, then pick the best?
Usually, we record lots of riffs and then send for opinions. Sometimes we create whole songs and meanwhile change the riffs, it depends on our vision.
At the end, we had all the songs ready. Next, we prepare pre-production with drums and vocals. It gives us the possibility to listen and change something, if necessary to obtain the best final result. Nothing spectacular.
What aims did you have when you composed Saint Desecration?
Every time the aim is simple – the album must cut your neck! We don’t accept any deviations. When we feel that the music is capable of causing that shiver down our back, then the aim is reached.
What are the most important sound qualities for you when it comes to recording?
Our main aim was to achieve the most natural sound. We decided to reject any triggers on drums. We focus on guitars and bass sound as well. We used two combined amps for guitars to get a dark but relatively readably sound. It was challenging to achieve a good final effect, especially in such intensive death metal.
Who produced the album?
All of us had something to say during production. We shared ideas to achieve the most devilish effect, and I think we made it.
What do you think about the Polish metal scene these days?
The Polish metal scene is very strong nowadays, especially if you like black metal but not only that. Generally, we have lots of talented musicians. Depending on what kind of metal music you prefer for sure, Searching in our underground you will find something interesting and outstanding.
Any Polish bands you would like to recommend?
For sure worth to check are Kriegsmaschine, Terrestrial Hospice, Untervoid, IW, Thunderbolt, Armagedon, Ahred Dev, Damnable, Gortal, Witchmaster, Supreme Lord, Dissenter, Devilyn…
How has the fact that Inferno wasn’t touring influenced his involvement in Azarath?
Inferno is a very talented musician, composer, and producer. He was deeply involved in the composing process of each Azarath album. Of course, he is not touring often with Azarath due to his commitment with Behemoth, However, this is understandable. Fortunately, we have close friends, who perfectly represent Inferno during his absence.
Are you planning to do a tour whenever possible?
We would like to do a tour when it becomes possible. We’ve got some tour proposals, but it’s really hard to plan anything during these crazy times. Probably when this pandemic madness will finish, you can expect some gigs. We hope that till spring we will announce some dates. We will see.
What makes Saint Desecration distinct from previous albums?
I think that this album can be treated as a bridge between new and old releases. It’s still the blackened death metal, however, some new melodies are listenable.
It was a pleasure for me to take part in the composing process.
In my opinion, our great cooperation, chemistry, and full passion for the music make that album distinct.
Anything you would like to add?
Thank you for the interview. Hope to see you on the gigs soon!