History & BiographyKult Ov Azazel was formed in the year 1999 as Azazel down in the Fort Lauderdale area of Florida. The black metal band issued a demo called Of Evil And Hatred a year later with the new name, which featured a Mayhem cover. The band appeared on a couple of split CDs with the likes of Krieg, Humanicide and ThyLord before obtaining a four-album contract for albums from Arctic Music label. The label was headed by Phil Fasciana of Malevolent Creation, which shared rehearsal space with Kult Ov Azazel. The band’s label appeared in April, 2001. Gus Rios of Upon Infliction drummed for the band in 2001. He would also join Malevolent Creation later on. Hammer became the band’s drummer in that year. Nocturath joined on guitar in 2002. He would leave in 2005 and be replaced by VJS from Demoncy. The latter man would only last a short while. The band has stayed with Arctic Music (where it originally signed on for four albums), although 2003’s Assaulting The Masses was issued through Autopsy Stench Records on vinyl.
The group played several shows and festivals in 2006, including an opening slot for Celtic Frost, and also offered a split album with Vrolok entitled Feast Of Sacrilegious Impurity. The group also had contribution from Possessed’s singer Jeff Becerra. A series of US and Canada dates was announced for the end of 2007. During the summer of 2007 the band went back to its original form of a 3-piece utilizing live session members to fill in. VJS rejoined the band only as session member. Both Necrol and VJS held live session positions within the band. Destroying The Sacred was promised for 2008. It appeared in June of 2009 apparently because the printer censored the band’s artwork. A DVD was preceding the disc. The band’s show at Autumn Equinox 5 Festival featured a couple of session members, as Hammer and Xul were not able to attend due to work. Imperial of Krieg and N.I.L. joined the band on vocals instead.
Kult Ov Azazel lost singer and bassist Xul in the beginning of 2010. The man was apparently taking a break from band activities. Xaphan would now perform all vocals. Now permanent was session guitarist Armanen (Tenebrous). Former member VJS was back as touring bassist. A DVD was due later that year. Hammer was unavailable for the dates booked in March due to the recently announced Testament tour dates. Instead, he’ll be out on the road working for those guys so Tony Laureano (ex-Dimmu Borgir, Angel Corpse and Nile) would be sitting in on drums for the Nihilistic Terror Across Texas tour dates and Gus Rios (Malevolent Creation) for the March Metal Massacre 5 Festival. The group often featured several drummers on one album given the nature of the music. In the meantime, singer Lenny Warmbrandt, drummer Steve Asheim (Deicide), bassist Xaphan (Kult Of Azazel) and Gio Geraca (Malevolent Creation) banded together in a band called Evil Amidst. The group was recording an album, but has no label yet. In 2010 Xaphan recorded guest vocals for the song Oath Of Blasphemy on an EP by Pennsylvanian death metal band Neldöreth called Invert Christ. Kult Ov Azazel recruited bassist Amduscias (ex-Hate Eternal) to begin 2012. The band was writing for its album, Violators Of The Covenant, due to be released through Negativity Records.
KULT OV AZAZEL - THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL - ARCTIC/CRASH
Kult Ov Azazel hails from a surprising country for a band so completely cognizant of the definition of black metal. The quartet comprehends the motif, musical violence, image and everything else that black metal needs and demands and delivers in all areas. Sure, the band sounds Swedish a la Marduk or Dark Funeral, but the Americans deliver a swift kick to the head of the mythical messiah and his followers with the best of them. A good sound - although the drums lack any kind of punch - and versed ferocity begin the opening song The World Is Full Of Violence (that makes George War Bush the foremost disciple of Satan) to closing number Bloodstained Path To Victory. Kult Ov Azazel proves itself a tight, serious and outstanding band on a scene riddled with posers like Dimmu Borgir. Lucifer is cracking a smile somewhere. - Ali "The Metallian"
KULT OV AZAZEL/VROLOK - Split - ARCTIC
Kult Ov Azazel is up to its usual no-compromise blasting black metal here even if the songs are a collection of older/unreleased/live tracks from the early part of this decade. The group blasts forth - especially drummer Hammer who presumably was already in the band during these recordings - with as little subtlety as possibly. A Sodom cover of Blasphemer is a dime a dozen nevertheless. Vrolok is new to me and more nuanced despite the clear no to bestial early sounds of Darkthrone and Hellhammer. A keyboard into starts things badly, yet the band soon comes out swinging with a prominent bass guitar sound as well as references to Pan-thy-monium. Remarkable artwork on the album’s cover of course helps. - Anna Tergel
KULT OV AZAZEL - DESTROYING THE SACRED - ARCTIC
Every once in a while comes an album with a sound made of thunder, image from the nefarious pits of hell and words comprised of wisdom unconventional and sovereign. Destroying The Sacred is that rare musical masterwork. With black metal as its mantra, Kult Ov Azazel has released an album that matches the glories of its brethren Marduk, Immortal and Dark Funeral from start to finish and makes no excuses for its American origin.
Track after track riddles one with Satanic speed, hefty heaviness and volumes that screech to the maximum. The band begins and ends on a high note of speed with a couple of songs, like the title track, slowing down, which in the case of this Kult implies crushing heaviness. The vocals are doubled up and the music processed for effect on occasion. The voice is screaming death. The musicians create as much power as anyone in the genre with a special nod going to the accuracy and blasting power of Hammer on drums. The odd man out is the unlisted closing cover version of Nuclear Assault’s Hang The Pope whose poetic title belies a punkish deviation away from metal purity to extreme punk realms.
The album’s cover artwork was censored in the land of the free and home of the brave. The impaled and beheaded character Jesus is now depicted inside the album’s booklet. With the events of September 11, 2001 having awakened a wider consciousness in the USA the band turns its bile not exclusively unto Christianity, but also to Islam and Judaism.
The penalty superlative bands pay for such power is alienation from the mainstream. Kult Ov Azazel will never be a popular band. For that they need our support and appreciation. - Ali “The Metallian”