Hails! First of all, congratulations on your killer music with AZAZEL! I consider AZAZEL to be the embodiment of all that is sacred and pure about black metal. In terms of your musical approach and ideas, what is the core philosophy behind AZAZEL?
Azazel is about Satan.
You’ve been pretty consistent with your last three albums. All quality releases! What’s the key behind staying consistent and inspired?
Based on what
I've observed, you are influenced by bands such as SODOM, BATHORY, MORTUARY
DRAPE and DARKTHRONE. However, I can also hear the trademark Finnish elements
in the riffs. Is my evaluation correct? The sound is undeniably old-school in
the true sense! What bands inspire you the most?
Bathory is Satanachia’s favorite band, but mostly first 4 albums. He said that he got into black metal in year 1988!! He was already back then into Slayer, Bathory, Venom and Celtic Frost… so there’s some TRUE old school for you!!! XD P.S. Satanachia confessed that “Blood on Ice” rules too…!
How would you describe your drumming style? Do you have any favorite drummers or inspirations?
I am actually not very technical drummer. My style is quite clumsy and primitive and the way I perform live is more like energetic and very powerful. Of course I have some favourite drummers anyway… I can tell: Nicko McBrain, Proscriptor of Absu, Chris Reifert (Autopsy), Away of Voivod, Fenriz during Soulside Journey-death metal -era, etc.
music experience includes playing in SLUGATHOR and many other bands. Would you
mind telling us a bit more about your other projects?
There is now only 1 active band for me, it’s called SATANIC TORMENT. Its bass-driven black/death metal, like Necromantia, Barathrum, Beherit. So far Satanic Torment only released 1 full-length and some demos and eps. The full-length is called “Submit to the Lord of Darkness”. The ST-guys including me also had a side-project called HOSTIS HUMANI GENERIS, who plays old school death metal like Nunslaughter and Asphyx, but that band is on ice right now. I also had some different projects with the same guys, like Witchtiger and Evoked Curse, who are both dead, and then I played drums for all recordings of NECROSTUPRUM with Tomasz of Throneum. Death Metal-band Slugathor released a new album this year (2022). It’s called “Crypt of the Ancient Fire” with pretty much the all old line-up (Tommi, Axu, Antti, Jarno, Immu). This album was originally recorded in 2010, and now only finished and released last and this year. There is also one doom band, but things are working slowly, and I have nothing to tell yet….
After releasing a new album, SLUGATHOR broke up again. (At least according to metal archives.) Why? How is the reaction to your new album so far?
Slugathor never reformed. This is misunderstanding. We just dug up our unreleased 2010 studio-recording, that was supposed to be released already back then. We listened to the stuff and thought that it's actually really strong material, so of course we wanted to release it. I am sure most of our old fans were into the album. We received at least nice words from Bill of Disma and Make of Eternal Darkness…
I have seen that movie, but I’d rather not comment too much, except to me it was silly and childish version of the events in Norway. The reality was much darker and not so “Hollywood”. About Mayhem. I have seen the new documentary-series called Helvete - Historien om norsk black metal, and there was some pretty interesting things on it (except the last episode: “Let’s make Norwegian black metal commercial”). My opinion of Mayhem? I am only into them until “Wolf’s lair Abyss”, but those cover tracks on “Daemon”-album are really nice too actually (Death Strike/Death/Morbid). So… to me the true Mayhem is the 80’s and early 90’s stuff. It was always hard for me to get passed with the idea about Mayhem without Euronumous…
We are planning a split recording with one band that we maybe shouldn’t announce at this point. We are still on Primitive Reaction Records, and plan to release besides that split at least one more album with Azazel (who knows when, last time there was 6 years gap with 2nd and 3rd album…). We are going to record some old track also for that split-release, most probably it will be “Azazel” from 1993 demo, but we are not 100% sure yet. Of course new songs as well. We aim to be even more old school than on “Aegrum Satanas Tecum” of course. Azazel won’t play live anymore. Or maybe 1-2 times, but not really. That stuff is really too complicated for us because of various reasons…