1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Idimmu: We decided to collaborate with K-2T4-S (demon vocals), so that he would also sing on that song, “I Worship Him” and Satanachia only does a little bit of chorus part there. We wanted to show that Azazel is not only Satanachia. Azazel is a band, and there are other musicians too, and K-2T4-S who is old friend, joined and Infernal Tormentor Necrocorpse von Demonblood did also one part. He is our label-boss. Great men, both.
Satanachia: We played a great re-recorded version of “In nomine Dei Nostri Satanas” too (from the 1993 demo). It’s ultra-blasphemous and reaks old spirit. This song ends the album… and in the very end you can even hear a little tribute to our passed away original guitarist, Samiaza (RIP, 2015). Raakalainen is nowadays Azazel’ss 2nd guitarist, talking more about the current guys a bit later. Mavrofos has been in Azazel for 10 years now, and suits the band greatly. Idimmu has been the drummer for pretty long time too, and keeps us going and we got a new bass-player, when Wakboth left the band in year 2019. His name is Lucifuge Rofocale.
2.You have a new album, coming out during September, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Idimmu: Here you will find the filth of Jesus Perversions alongside the more haunting and even stately sensations of Witches Deny Holy Trinity. But, somehow the whole thing is better, more focused now. The song-writing is perfect, there are no boring moments and the songs are very various with speed/hooks. The main thing on Aegrum Satanas Tecum is the spirit! Primitive and raw (but still clear enough) old school black metal, without compromises.. If you compare this to our The Night of Satanachia EP, the stuff sounds a bit more like Archgoat, Blasphemy, Beherit... that direction, but it's still more "Norwegian" sounding compared to those mentioned acts. If you listen the first two albums, this is very logical continuation, but perhaps Azazel will surprise some people with a bit better sound/killer song-writing, etc.
I think Aegrum Satanas Tecum sums up everything that has been great about Azazel, greatly. At least as a full-length album it's the best Azazel recording. Only problem is that there is no competition between the demo Crucify The Jesus Christ Again. That's certainly the best Azazel-release of all time, ever. I am not worthy.
3.This is also your first album in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Idimmu: Compared to Witches Deny Holy Trinity album, our new lineup has changed with 3 new guys: Raakalainen-2nd guitar, Lucifuge Rofocale-bass and K-2T4-S- demon vocals & growls (guest). Azazel played some gigs between 2015-2020, but other wise things have been progressing quite slowly... also we "lost" pretty much a ready album, when Wakboth decided to use the songs he had for Azazel, on his own project. So in 2019 we had to start the process again. Luckily Mavrofos had great inspiration and only in several months he composed some of the most strongest Azazel-songs in history. Mavrofos also composed "Black Mass" and "Sacrifice Virgins to Satan Again" for previous Witches Deny Holy Trinity album. Otherwise not many things changed. Azazel remained Azazel. We don't care about trends or anything. Satanachia pretty much lives in the PAST...! We hate modern society / internet-"warriors" as well... Wakboth (guitar/bass/song-writing) had to leave the band in 2019. He didn’t suit to Azazel anymore and wanted to concentrate to his own band, Wakboth. It’s musically also different… I think everything went great. Azazel didn’t turn out to be a black/thrash band. Mavrofos wrote new black metal-hymns in TRUE Azazel-style ... and they are really killer!!! We all are proud about Aegrum Satanas Tecum!
4.In the 90's you also released a demo and an ep before going on a 15 year hiatus, what was the cause of the break and the decision to come back?
Idimmu: As far as I'm concerned Azazel tried to reform already in 2003-2004... Things were just progressing really, really slowly. Only in 2009 things got to a bit more serious level. There were some gigs, and then finally the split with Goatmoon, that
showed that Azazel has arisen.
Satanachia: Werewolf came up with this Azazel/Goatmoon-split idea in Jyväskylä, at a gig where was also Barathrum + Saturnian Mist. At least Wakboth, and some Charnel Winds/Saturnian Mist guys were in the band back then who were also playing in Azazel (at the time 2007-2011). Anyway, it sounded like a good idea and the split turned out good and successul. It showed everybody that Azazel is not dead….
5.The band was also a part of the early era of Finnish black metal, how would you describe the progress of the FInnish black metal bands over the past 30 years?
Satanachia: I think I met mr. Mika Luttinen from Impaled Nazarene at some festival. He suggested to me to start playing black metal, and so we did. We used to have a band called Behemoth, who played death metal. I wonder where the tape is… it was also very good.
Azazel was never called Behemoth, it was just another band with 4 guys (like I said death metal) which featured Satanachia and Samiaza as members whom eventually left to form Azazel. Think about Immortal, Burzum, Darkthrone... all those bands started with death metal, when you think about it! There was almost none black metal in the beginning of 90’s. Nobody spoke about such genre of music. Of course there was death metal and other styles, like grind. The demo (1993) was fucking great, but I was not satisfied with Night of Satanachia as a recording and also the recording-sessions themselves sucked. I had to play drums… because the drummer back then passed out to sauna for drunkness…
There were really chaotic times too..back when we decided to reform Azazel, we rehearsed at Virrat. Guys: me (Satanachia), Matias (Shu-Ananda), Osku (Sandh), for some time Samiaza (RIP!), and of course Wakboth, who carried us for a long time and composed most material until “Witches Deny Holy Trinity” album. Those were the guys back then. Azazel line up changed in 2011, when Idimmu and Mavrofos joined. They were more dedicated to Azazel and things started to get to better direction.
Worth to mention bands from Finland: Archgoat, Barathum, Beherit, Black Crucifixion (old), Impaled Nazarene (old), Unholy-demo era, Diaboli, Satanic Warmaster... also: Flame, Evil Angel, Morgal, Forlor, White Death, Urn, Korgonthurus, because they are a little dirtier / more metal than some of the more polished bands. We don’t like much the new Impaled Nazarene stuff for example. New Beherit sucked. It's not Black Metal!
6.A lot of the bands lyrics, band members names and the band's name is heavily rooted in Satanism and Demonology, can you tell us a little bit more about your dedication to the black arts?
Satanachia: The message is now much more heavier, uglier and more blasphemous. The night of Satanchia EP showed a bit softer lyrical themes. Now-a-days Azazel is brutal. Blasphemy, angel and nun-raping, satan worship…. do I have to continue?
We are serious with this subject. I have been worshiping Satan since...day 1. These things are open to all, who want to find out. I have met Demons. Idimmu has met a Succubus.
7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
Idimmu: Chris Moyen/Throncross did it. K-2T4-S got in touch with him. He asked pretty much a "traditional" Moyen-style cover. And we got it! To describe the feeling of Aegrum Satanas Tecum:
the spikes and the corpsepaint, the pentagram, the image of a cloven-hoofed, goat-headed demon defiling a nun (this is a strong/central theme on the album), were also added by arrogant and insulting blasphemy of the song titles.
Moyen is known for his works with Beherit, Archgoat, Blasphemy (Friday the 13th live, etc. First two Blasphemy-album covers are NOT done by Moyen), Purtenance, Black Witchery, Goatlord, Impreaction, Naked Whipper, and many more.
This was like a dream to ask! Thank you so much mr. Moyen! http://www.chrismoyen.com/
8.What are some of the best shows that has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Idimmu: I would only like to talk about the good ones.. as there were a couple of really bad ones too (because of Azazel's alcoholism problems). The best ones so far have been the following: Rites of North-fest, Oulu 2020, Hammer Open Air, Lieto 2013,
Varjobaari, Tampere 2018, Vernissa Rot Fest 2019. We don't want to speak about anything unnecessary. Some (all?) know that one of our gigs didn't go the perfect way... yet it brought us a lot of attention.... so, maybe not even that bad, in the end. haha
9.The new album is going to be released on 'Primitive Reaction', how would you compare working with this label to your previous label 'Werewolf Records'.?
Satanachia/Idimmu: Otherwise always tasty and good releases at Werewolf, but we were really unsatisfied with how long time it took to produce those vinyl-records. We had to wait like 6-8 years… too long time. I guess lack of money perhaps. We decided to change label. Even Satanic Warmaster has changed label many times, so this shouldn’t be anything that dramatic. Our new record label is Primitive Reaction, and we’ve known Tuomas Karhumäki of that label for a long time… I am sure those first two records are now available in many places (just google?). It’s of course good to have them on vinyl-format. Also our new album will be out on vinyl (September 24th, 2021). Black vax is black metalheads Gold! Please go to Primitive Reaction site if you really want to support Azazel and Azazel's current record label. www.primitivereaction.com
10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
Idimmu: I've talked to a few young lads at Vernissa Rot Fest, who were even under 18 year-olds. Of course they liked our stuff. I think somehow it's good that Azazel partly reached the "mainstream", as at least some of those kids really check out, what is this all about, and probably hear about the whole thing for the first time. This doesn't change the fact that Black Metal as a musical style Globally is very "out of fashion" and probably way more popular amongst the older people. Just think about it: Kids who were born after 2009 or so, what could they see in this music style? Have no idea. Hard to say what's the future of Black Metal going to be, but we will always stick dedicated to this style, and will NEVER change.
11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
There are Rienaus (Mavrofos) and Satanic Torment (Idimmu) for example. Raakalainen used to play in Goatmoon and Barathrum, but not anymore. To Satanachia Azazel is EVERYTHING. Lucifuge Rofocale's first serious band he joined..
is Azazel (no previous experience).
12.What are you listening to nowadays?
Satanachia: I’d like to especially hail the Greek and USA's Black Metal Scenes. Some other ones too. Well, mostly I listen to old stuff, but also some new stuff of course.
that I hail especially Greek and American Black Metal. Of course also Polish, Scandinavian, South-American bands, etc. Here are some examples: Funeral Storm, Medieval Demon, Goatvomit, Goat Semen, Nifelheim, Armagedda, Blasphemy, Mystifier, Denial of God, Profanatica, Morbus666, Necromantia, Zemial, Kawir, Rotting Christ (old), Veles, Graveland, Cultes Des Ghoules, etc. Sometimes some ritual music or horror-movie soundtracks and of course old heavy metal too (Kiss, W.A.S.P. etc.), why not death metal also? Morbid Angel, Deicide, fuck ass!
Idimmu: I pretty much only listen to Iron Maiden. haha.. Just kidding! :)
13.Before we wrap up this interview,, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Azazel: Hail Satan! Ave Gloria luciferi exelsi!! Buy Aegrum Satanas Tecum now.