When you list the originators of the Finnish Black Metal scene, names like Beherit, Impaled Nazarene, Archgoat and Barathrum are inevitable. You would almost forget Azazel was right there, formed in 1992 by Lord Satanachia. Perhaps the prolonged hiatus after some initial demos didn’t help, but it still gained the band a cult status in the scene. Although, this is probably not in the least due to their rather drunk performance at 2017’s Steelfest. But the truth is, the band has two excellent records under their belts in the form of `Jesus Perversions’ and `Witches Deny Holy Trinity’. Still going strong, the band released their third full-length album `Aegrum Satanas Tecum’ in September 2021.
Although considered one of the legendary acts of the Finnish scene, Azazel’s sound has always been more closely related to the early burst of Norwegian Black Metal like Mayhem and Darkthrone. That hasn’t really changed on `Aegrum Satanas Tecum’ either, and probably won’t ever change. The only Finnish band that Azazel remotely sounds like is Archgoat, although in a much less furious form. While `Witches Deny Holy Trinity’ had some 80’s Thrash Metal riffs, everything on `Aegrum Satanas Tecum’ oozes primordial Scandinavian Black Metal; simplistic, catchy riffs that are a bit clunky but undeniably charming. Whether the band intentionally pay hommage to the Samael album `Worship Him’ with the track `I Worship Him’ is unknown, but certainly the influences can be heard on the record and the music is a throwback to a time before Black Metal had come to full fruition. Similarly, `Welcome to Church Bizarre’ and `Succubus, My Infernal Vampire Spirit’ sound as if Black Metal never left the underground. The sound of the record is fittingly traditional, with a fairly thin sawy guitar sound (similar to Archgoat), loud drums and bass and strong focus on the vocals with plenty of good “oohs”. Azazel’s `Aegrum Satanas Tecum’ sounds like Finnish Black Metal in its most primordial form, a charming tribute (or flashback) to the earliest days of the scene without any pretentions.