azazello_02

Short Bio

Azazello history has its roots far back in time. In ’92, Alexander Alex Kulak formed thrash metal band SIDS. Alexander invited accomplished drummer Andrew Kupryakov, guitarist Alexander Kuleshov and on bass Dmitry Buckeye. The team recorded a 5 track demo and two amateur videos for local TV.

Their concerts shocked local viewers accustomed to a poppy show. After awhile the band realized the music was to dark so they decided to change their name and musical direction, they were now to be called: M.O.R.G. – My Lonely Joyful Voice. By the end of 94 the band realized that the new material did not fit into the framework of M.O.R.G. so they had decided to create a side project. They needed a new name one that people could identify with for all future recordings.

Azazello was born and established on January 15, 1995. The name Azazello came from 20th century novel by Mikhail Bulgakov called “The Master of Margarita” Later, it became clear from the theosophical dictionary E. Blavatsky that Azazel is the Hebrew God of Victory.

It was time to compose new material. Somewhere during this time the first performance took place at a local festival. The Band was comprised of: Alexander Fist (Guitar & Vocalist), Vladimir Ostanin (Drums), Dmitry Buckeye (Bass) and Sergey Buzhin (Guitar) who wrote several songs for the first album. The album was recorded live in primitive conditions (only vocals and guitar solos were imposed) on the reel to reel tape recorder for the album “Too Late”. The debut release was designed in the spirit of hard rock, with a slight touch of grunge which was fashionable at the time the album also included a few ballads. By this time, SIDS was completely abandoned and unfortunately ceased to exist.

Azazello’s new sound was heavy with technical mastery which became more apparent, by the end of 95 Drummer Vladimir Ostanin and Guitarist Sergey Buzhin both leave the band due to discrepancy between the views of the band. Sergey was replaced by session keyboardist Vitos Afanasiev. Not long after that it was decided to make Vitos a full-fledged member of the collective. It is with this line up that the band had defined their style, it was clear that this was now a progressive metal band. At the beginning 96 the band adopted professional military band drummer Idris Faridonov. New material is ready for more than half of an album, and there is no way to record all. The band also wanted to re-record the accumulated works and the beautiful acoustic songs written by Kulak and Buzhin. In mid-1996 the band is prepared to record the acoustic album “The Wind In The Head.” Original guitarist Alexander Kuleshov decides to leave the band at the beginning of the recording sessions of the next album, there were attempts to find a suitable replacement for him, but then the team decided to remain a four piece band.

In early ’98 the album was finished and the band released the album “Black Day.” The album was self released on CD. In March of 2000, the album was re-released by the California label Moonchild Records, things seemed to be looking good, there were negotiations on the table for the band to participate at a California prog festival. But after a few months the company collapses.

Azazello experiments with new sounds for the next album “Upastairs.” Upstairs was warmly received by critics from different countries and the group was offered a contract with one of the biggest progressive labels Musea Records. In October 2001, the album was released in France and became available to lovers of art-metal all over the world. In November Azazello is first to perform in Moscow at “Intellectual Music Festival” the band also performs in Norway at a big festival sharing the stage with international stars (Jorn Lande, Ronnie Le Tekro etc.)

In the summer of 2002 they finished recording an album consisting of one 35 minute song “Wings.” For the convenience of the disc it was divided into 8 individual songs. The album was released by Starless Records, which was created by Vladimir Milovidov, Editor “In Rock”. A year later, the album re-released by well-known Italian company Mellow Records.

The group tours extensively, and often headlines festivals.

In 2004 “Seventh Heaven” the bands 6th album was released by Starless Records, this is one of the toughest albums to record, it was also the best sound that the band created so far. Cover artwork was created by Khabarovsk artist “Eugene Alexeenko,” who designed the “Upstairs”.

At the end of 2004 drummer Idris Faridonov and keyboardist Victor Afanasyev leave the band for family reasons. This has become a serious problem to find replacement in the small town Tynda (home to about 40,000 people). During this time the “The Wind in the head,” was re-mixed and refined which was released via Starless Records.

In 2005, the group adopted a new drummer Edmond Davtyan, and later keyboardist Lavr Niktitin. The new material was simpler and not as complex as previous compositions, but there are advantages to this, the songs became more powerful and more understandable for all. With the new composition in hand the band continued headlining major festivals such as bike fest in Vladivostok “Facing the Ocean.”

In 2006 “Doors of Paradise” was recorded as a demo album, at the famous Moscow studio “33”. But the album is not finished for various reasons, one being not having a sound engineer. The band wonders if it will ever see the light day. In 2007 Nikitin & Davtyan leave the band as the band heads out to participate in various festivals. Faridonov and Afanasiev join the band to write new material, but the song writing never happens.

In the mid-2010’s Fist assembles new composition the next Azazello album: Azazello went into the studio and recorded the album “Transfiguration” which featured special guests: Ian Zhenchak (ex-Pesnyary, In Search For) – vocals, guitar, violin, keyboards, mixing, mastering, Sergei Osipov (Pesnyary) – flute, Alex Baev (Extrovert) – vocals, Andrey Drozdov (SBP) – bass; Nikolay Tonev (Chain Reaction), Valeria Shavina – vocals. The album was released on the Moscow label MALS Records in the early summer of 2011.
In October 2011, Vladimir Demakov dies in a car crash, he was only 20 years old. The group managed to record 5 songs for a new album, Idris Faridonov returns to the band and with him the band played a concert in memory of Demakov at a festival in Blagoveshchensk.

In December 2013 AzaZello releases MegaDream

January 15th 2014 sees the release of the instrumental version of MegaDream

November 1st 2014 Vladimir (fist) Kulak passes away at the age of 19

Band Members

Alexandr Kulak: Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars, 7-stings, Bass, Slide Guitars, Keyboards, Flute, Vocals & Percussion’s.
Vladimir Kulak: Keyboards
Yan Zhenchak: Lead & Backing Vocals
Vladimir Demakov: Drums & Percussion’s (R.I.P. 12.10.11)

Discography

InsTruMental MegaDream (2014)
Mega Dream (2013)

Music

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Video

Links

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Power of Prog