Formed in the fatal year of 1992 Azazel is among the first black metal bands to hail from Finland – and undoubtedly one of the most cult ones. The band released its first demo in 1993, and a mini-album in 1996, but then receded into the shadows and misery for many years to come. Following a split album in 2011, however, the black flame of Azazel was burning brightly once again resulting in full-lengths “Jesus Perversions” (2012), and “Witches Deny Holy Trinity” (2015). And while it seems that the shadows of misery ensnared the band again some demons never die…
Now, at long last, those shadows recede and reveal Azazel‘s long-awaited third album “Aegrus Satanas Tecum”. Immediately and righteously recognizable as Azazel, “Aegrus Satanas Tecum” is a unique record in that it bridges together all the band’s eras whilst opening new portals into the black beyond. One will find the near bestial filth and fury of “Jesus Perversions” alongside with more haunting and even stately sensations of “Witches Deny Holy Trinity”. But, like anything in Azazel‘s wild and weird world, ramshackle insanity runs often a riot and, thus, is a variety of songcraft employed to mangle the mind and ruin the spirit. And, yet, the finesse with which Azazel accomplishes it is playing something “primitive” but in clear and cutting fashion (and vice versa), which bespeaks some strange magic on the band’s part and lends even more staying power to their ever-uncompromising sound. Above all, “Aegrus Satanas Tecum” is an album that is equally early ’90s as it is now – Azazel is more undead than ever.
– Accomplished? Perhaps.
– Ancient? Always.
Azazel may be predictably unpredictable, but “Aegrus Satanas Tecum” proves that its twisting saga is far from over.
Chaoszine caught up with the band’s founder, vocalist Lord Satanachia to discuss about the making of “Aegrum Satanas Tecum”, the Steelfest show in 2017, which made the band an internet sensation within the metal world, and what black metal means to Azazel and its members in 2021. Read the full interview and pre-listen the band’s upcoming “Aegrus Satanas Tecum” album below:
Hello Lord Satanachia! How is it going in the autumn of 2021?
Lord Satanachia: Everything is going great. Just waiting for the new album to drop in 24 September via Primitive Reaction.
As you already mentioned you will be releasing your third album titled “Aegrum Satanas Tecum” 24 September via Primitive Reaction. Can you tell a bit about the making of the album? I heard that it was recorded in several different locations…
Lord Satanachia: The album was written and recorded in several different locations, and it took us a long time to finalize the tracks for the album. After getting the song writing process done we recorded the album in a bar called Rock Bear in Korso, Vantaa, and also at my home, at the chapel of Mänttilä.
The biggest difference in relation to music with our past albums is that Mavrofos wrote, like, 75% of the material on this upcoming album, and in the end wanted also in the memory of our late original guitarist, Samiaza, to record some tracks from our 1993 demo “In Nomine Dei Nostri Satanas” to the album, as well.
Previously Tyrant Werewolf roared our demon rumbles [first two albums], but now they were handled by Kim Strömsholm (ex-And Oceans / Festerday, The Mist from the Mountains, Black Acid World, .Ä.C.I.D.). We have been satisfied with switching the record label. Primitive Reaction has a professional approach to the job, and I get decent black metal, especially Greek and American, from Karhumäki [label owner]. “Aegrum Satanas Tecum” does not bow to anything except for Satan. The record is full of killer black metal without any compromises.
Your previous album “Witches Deny Holy Trinity” came out six years ago so the time span between the albums is quite long. Did you write this album during the Covid-19 period, or when was the album written? Were there any specific reasons why it took six years to come with a follow-up to “Witches Deny Holy Trinity”?
Lord Satanachia: Composing process started in 2019. Wakboth did compose songs for the record even earlier, but he decided to use them as his own material when he left the band. Those songs did not match too well with our own style, either. I want to address that there was no fight or anything there, and everything is in good terms between us. Azazel is pure black metal, and black/thrash songs went with Wakboth. Initially Eetu (Mavrofos) made the demos after which we rehearsed the songs together, and finally I added lyrics to the finished songs.
The album has a quite primitive sound nodding to the roots of black metal. How important it is for Azazel to stay loyal to your roots, and the roots of black metal?
Lord Satanachia: It is very damn important! It is what sets apart bands like Azazel and Archgoat from many other bands. Years roll by and bands don’t change. Somehow it sits with us well… And I don’t listen to any “miracle” bands.
“Aegrum Satanas Tecum” means freely translated “sick Satan is with you”. Where did the name come from, and why did you end up using Latin in the name of the album for the first time?
Lord Satanachia: This “sick Satan forever” appeared in my mind one night, and it felt like a fucking good name. And it goes perfectly as a name for the record. It doesn’t sound as good as the names of the albums or the names of the songs when translated into Finnish, which are often translated from English into Finnish.
What’s the message of “Aegrum Satanas Tecum”? Is it stapled around a specific theme?
Lord Satanachia: Blasphemy, obscure events among Christian believers, satanic worship, seducers who come to sleep, darkness, evil… Songs do not follow any pattern except for the songs about Incubus and Succubus [tracks 6 and 7]. It seemed logical to have them come one after another on the record. On the lyrics side, however, I got some help from our guitarist’s cousin, who is really dedicated to black metal.
Black metal has changed a lot as a genre over the years and has become a much broader concept than what it was in its early days. What does black metal mean to Azazel today?
Lord Satanachia: Way of life. Old union black metal. “Black metal” bands with tights on their faces wrapped in anonymity is not our thing, and we are not interested in that shit. We follow traditional black metal: flesh, blood, and Satan.
Black metal became originally known as a style of music that didn’t bow to anyone or anything. Music was made without compromises and on its own terms. How do you personally see today’s black metal scene? Has it changed over the time, since the origins of Azazel?
Lord Satanachia: With regards to Steelfest 2022 it can be said that the mood has changed. Commercial acts have forged themselves and no longer represent the attitude you would expect from black metal. Bands like Impaled Nazarene cancel their gigs because of an anti-fascist pressure. I never would have thought that to happen! Luttinen [Impaled Nazarene] originally inspired us to form Azazel. We are still making black metal with the old school attitude. Impaled Nazarene, though, has not even been black metal for a long time. Also, all the other bands that canceled their gigs at Steelfest just piss me off. Azazel doesn’t cancel. We don’t do any compromises. By the way, some bands like Beherit are no longer the same they used to. Of course, their old stuff is just as awesome and as dark as it used to be. I also appreciate bands like Denial of God, Profanatica, Inquisition, and Archgoat. I also respect bands like old Rotting Christ, Master’s Hammer, Necromantia, Kawir, and Bathory. I mainly listen to old bands although I do buy new records regularly. The new Cult of Eibon album was, for example, amazing.
Your gig at Steelfest in 2017 received less flattering worldwide attention when you performed quite heavily drunk, and because of that the performance got even humorous features. What kind of memories do you have from the gig?
Lord Satanachia: I wouldn’t want to remember it but, yes, we were totally drunk, and the show didn’t go as planned. Especially Mavrofos, our guitarist, was really fucked up. I was, of course, too, when I noticed that the show wasn’t going too well. That’s why I started drinking with both hands before the show! The drunk show has been viewed for over a million times on YouTube. On the other hand, the name Azazel got a little more exposure if something positive is to find from the show. It was a shitty show but we pulled it through like we promised, and we didn’t cancel it. We drank everything that was listed on our raider that night but we also got paid from the show. Some Marduk guys weren’t too pleased with us – fortunately they didn’t kick our ass.
You played virtual at Steelfest  in a way that the rest of the band performed at the venue, and you sang your parts from the comfort of your very own couch because you got sick and didn’t want to cancel the show. What was that experience like?
Lord Satanachia: We all saw the situation differently in the band but I didn’t think it was a good idea to be sick in a place where there were a bit more people anyway, and even though the gig was virtual, there was still an audience and, of course, staff. I belong to a risk group so my first thought was just to cancel the show. Then our drummer, Idimmu, had this sick idea that what if we pull the gig anyway having me singing at home, and them playing at the venue. So we made some very special adjustments and pulled it through. It was a good thing even though I was a bit wasted that time, as well. Azazel does what Azazel wants.
Thank you so much for your time, and all the best for the upcoming album.
Lord Satanachia: Thank you, Satan. Go and buy the new record, you won’t be disappointed. Worship Satan and burn churches and desecrate graves while you are still young – when [if] this old dude no longer can, hahaha… Restore the old crazy days! Gloria Satanas!
Pre-listen “Aegrum Satanas Tecum” here: