Rock Impressions

by Leonardo Cammi

A “real and true” black metal band can be also christian! This is what you can read in this interesting interview made with the singer Azahel, from Frost Like Ashes.

First of all you must introduce yourself and your band.
I am Azahel. I am the vocalist for Frost Like Ashes. Right now we consist of four memebers, Adonijah on Drums and Keys, Syntyche on Bass, Sebat on Guitar and of course myself.

If I’m not wrong you was, before entering in Frost Like Ahses, the vocalist of another band, Possession. Can you tell me something about this experience?
Yes, I was the vocalist for Possession. We were together from about '92 until around '98. It was a great experience for me because I really began to develope what my sound would be and honed my lyrical abilities greatly.
Also, just the chance to meet all the great bands and musicians that I came in contact with through Possession is something I will always value.
I expect that as FLA grows I will continue to meet great people. I think that with Possession having a steady line up for most of that time together really helped me grow in every aspect of what I do.
I didn't have to worry about what was going on with a new person in the band all the time. I knew everyone well and they knew me so I was free to work how I wanted to work. Even when John Longstreth joined for a very short time it was as if we had worked together for years because we had been in the same circles for many years. I do wish Possession had lasted a bit longer. We had some fo our best material ready to be recorded but then it just didin't happen. Some great songs lost forever.

Also Sebat played in others band, right? Can you tell me something about?
Sebat played in World Funeral and Coven. I think from my conversations with him that he really learned how to be professional and have a good work ethic from those bands. They seemed to be fairly serious about what they were doing and I am sure alot of his stage presence came from all the shows with those bands. He was the vocalist for those bands. FLA is the first band that he has tried his hand at guitar but he is doing an excellent job.

In your musical style we can find black metal as for example death and also a little thrash touch (in ‘Immortals’, for example). Do you agree? Is this you style actually of are you changing something? Your fave bands?
Well, I think thrash has greatly influenced Sebat, Adonijah and myself in our early years as musicains. So for that to come out in FLA's music is not surprising although we are certainly not a thrash band. For me it has been a progression from thrash type bands like Testament, Sodom, Destruction, et al through the Death Metal of the early '90's. But I got into the Scandinavian Death Metal much more than American Death so it was an easy thing for me to move on to Black Metal as soon as it started emerging. It was very natural for me. I was listening to Black Metal all the while I was in Possession but there wasn't much room in that band for me to expand my vocals in that direction. Although if you listen to the song we had on Call To Irons II, Revelations, you can definately hear the beginnings of what I am doing now. As soon as Possession ended I began to think of what it would take for me to get a Black Metal band going. When I met Sebat and he had a very similar vision I decided to join what he had already going instead of heading it myself as I had intended to do in the first place. I think it has taken us a while to find how wwe want FLA to fit together and you can hear the progression of it on Pure As...but I think what your here on "Tophet" will be true FLA in every aspect. Of course we will continue to develope but "Tophet" will be the first release that I think will show the world who Frost Like Ashes is.

Can you describe deeply the meaning of your lyrics that we can find in the miniCD?
Well, to describe all the lyrics on ‘Pure As...’ here would be a huge effort. It may be something I undertake and put up on our site someday but I will touch a little bit on each song for you.
‘Notions Of Insanity’ is really about the obsurdity of a pagan or satanic or mostly a secular humanistic worldview when compared to a Christian worldview. When you look at the results and accomplishments of Christianity in the governing of society over the past two millenia it is almost obscene to suggest that another worldview can provide a better life for its adherants as well as those who do not follow its precepts. At its base secular humanism is illogical and requires so much more faith than does Christianity that it is laughable. ‘A Cruel Verse’ is simply a recitation a Scriptures that speak of the horrible judgements that have been issued to mankind in the past and relates that to the idea that however terrible those events wer e they are but pale reflections of the judgement awaiting all of us in the end if we do not accept the Blood that will cover our sin. ‘Adorers Of Blood’ is a song of praise to Lord Sabaoth and the Blood that we depend on for our salvation.. ‘Immortals’ is an anthem declaring our immortality to a dead world.
I would be willing to expound on specific aspects of the lyrics for anyone who asks.

In your miniCD there’s a cover by Black Sabbath entitled ‘After Forever’. Do you think that this song has a christian attitude? What do you think about Black Sabbath? Someone say that they are satanic, and some other call them christian (expecially for their third album)…
Well, I would never suggest that Black Sabbath are Christian at all. I actually don't like Black Sabbath much, mainly only when Dio sang for them but we thought that this was a good song to cover. If you read the lyrics it is surprising how much of the Gospel is spelled out in it. I don't understand where Ozzy was coming from when he penned that song but I felt it was lyrics that deserved a second play. Black Sabbath is an institute to many Black Metallers so it was a good match for us. I don't want to say whether they are satanic or not, I mean, because of my beleifs anything that is not soundly Christian could be labeled as satanic but I think Christians have done that in the past and it is not understood by most people, Christians and non-Christians alike. At some point it injures all credability. If a band come out and claims that they are satanic then I have no problem calling them a satanic band but to equate a pagan bands or an Odinist band or a gore band as satanic is a misuse of terms in my opinion.

How did you choose to play like christian metaller? Is for you a mission?
I venture to say that I was chosen to be in Metal. From the first note I heard I knew it was in me. I had been desiring to be a vocalist for several years before I ever heard my first metal album but in everything I listened to before that I was always drawn to the most extreme aspects of it which pushed me to where I am today. I think for everyone in a band it is a mission.

You are american. What do you think about ar in Iraq and Bush leadership?
I am in full support of Bush in regards to Iraq. I think it is something that had to be done and thankfully he has had the guts to do it. This will not be the last battle we face. I think there is too much emphasis by the opposition on Iraq. They miss the point of this war. Just yesterday we remembered those murdered on 9-11 and that is why we are at war and we will stop at no country in our effort to eliminate this threat. I am in full support of this.

What is the religion of the band? are you protestant, catholic, other? And why?
We are all Protestants although we attend very different churches. I am Nazarene which is Arminian, Sebat and Syntyche attend a pentecostal church which learns Arminian and Adonijah attends a Calvary Chapel which is Calvinist. We have set aside our differences in doctrine because we know God has brought us together so who are we to stand in His way? Answering the question of why is difficult but the easy answer is that we each fell that our beliefs reflects as closely as possible what the Bible teaches us about who God is and how He has interacted with us throughout history. We have many differences in our beliefs but on the essentials of the Christian Faith we are solid and in unity.

Is there a good christian scene in Kansas in in general in USA? What can you tell us about your label, SotD Records?
The U.S. is a huge country,so to say there is a scene here would be a misnomer. There are alot of bands here that claim Christianity. How many are any good is up to you to decide.
In Kansas City there are some bands but this is not a real large city and mostly when a band gets good they do not spend much more time here. We are not really involved in the Christian scene, it is not where we are needed or wanted for that matter. SotD, I think is trying to do a good thing with the bands that he is working with and I don't think I have met any other label with the vision of where he wants to go. If things can move forward in the future this will be a very good label.

Why did you choose to use face painting like black secular bands?
We play Black Metal and we are Black Metal, so we look as such. I have not liked the trend of the older Black Metal bands to forgot the corpse paint. They have their reasons and had done it for a long time. People change and ideas change but the essence of this music doesn't change so we are satisfied with being fairly traditional in our appearance and to not let people down when they want to see a good show on stage. That is not to say that the paint is simply for show. It has much deeper meaning for us as it did for the originators of Black Metal. We take nothing lightly.

Have you problems with black satanic bands? What your opinion about these stoopid?
We have had only minor issues with individual satanists but truthfull we have had more problems with Christians. We expect it so it is not a huge thing for us. I have dealt with this sort of thing for years. When the satanic bands see that we are serious about what we do and we are good at it and we are not fakes then they are open to us as a band. There are purists but even they don't deny what we are as a band. Some of our closest freinds in the black metal community think we are a blasphemy of sorts, which we are but not to the music, to their ideals. To the music we are faithful.

What can we expect from Frost Like Ashes in the future? Have you some new release ready?
We are in the studio now doing drum and bass tracks for ‘Tophet’. It will cause you to think of ‘Pure As...’ as a mere shadow of what we have become. This will be a very important release for us in every way. We are developing a stage show that will be in swing for the release of ‘Tophet’. Sometime in early '04 is when we expect the release. The future nof Frost Like Ashes is very very dark!
Tell us why in you opinion blood over the snow is a symbol of purity.
It comes from a Northern phrase "Pure as the wind-driven snow" so I took the idea of the Blood which is the cause of our purity and the snow which is a symbol of purity and put them together. ‘Pure As..’ is really all about the Blood. Tophet is about the War.

Your last words for ROCK NOT ROLL readers…
Check out ‘Pure As The Blood Covered Snow’ for the most extreme Christian metal release you will ever hear until ‘Tophet’ is released. If you want motivation for the war that is around you at all times then we will provide it for you. Plus it will make you bang your head! Hail Lord Sabaoth!!


Line Up:
Azahel: vocals
Adonijah: drums (and keyboards)
Syntyche: bass
Sebat: lead guitars


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