Interview with guitarist Azter by Patrick October 2012…

Denial of God returns to pages of Canadian Assault 12 years later! Both Patrick and I loved their new album Death And The Beyond. We talked on the phone one night and Patrick set off with his marching order to acquire an interview with great, dedicated band that have traveling the underground scene for over 20 years! I tape traded for a copy of their demo tape in the 90s and I have been disciple of their dark black original music ever since!!  ~ Dale



Hails Azter! Thank you for taking the time to fill out this interview. Please introduce yourself to the readers.

Hell-o Patrick, and thanx for letting the evil spirit into your world. I am Azter, guitarist and composer for Denial Of God since the band was formed 21 years ago.

At what age did you first get into metal? Who  were some of the first   bands  you listened to? Who are some of your current favorite bands?

I got into Metal in 1986, at the age of 12. By then I probably had heard a couple of major Metal bands, but what bewitched me one night was Venom. When I first heard the “Black Metal” album…Despite being so extreme and unlike anything else I had heard at that time, this album captured me with its utter darkness, and this is where my love for Metal began. Besides getting into a lot of the more well known bands like Iron Maiden, W.A.S.P., Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, I also – almost by coincidence – discovered that there was an underground with totally unknown bands that had only released demo tapes, so you could say that I experienced and enjoyed the dark pleasures of the underground along with the famous bands. Very early on I discovered Alice Cooper of whom I obtained every single release I could get hold of. Despite not really being Metal all the time, I found such an enormous musical legacy and story telling which to this day makes me a devoted fan, and Alice is for sure one of the most important artists (or bands, if you count the original Alice Cooper band in) along with bands like Venom, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Death SS, Paul Chain Violet Theatre/Paul Chain, Mayhem, Bathory, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Ripper, Infernäl Mäjesty, Slayer etc. etc. As you can see, I never had THE band or artist to influence me, I have always been listening to such a wide variety of musical styles because I found something that connected with me in so many bands. The bands which I was exposed to at such a young and impressionable age will always remain the most important ones for me, and I still listen to them today with the same devotion as I did 20 years ago. Of newer bands my favourites are definitely those that I have done releases of on Horror Records, like Abysmal Grief, Black Oath and Hands of Orlac along with Confraternita del Vuoto Immenso (of whom I will release the debut LP next year) and Evil Spirit to name a few. Furthermore I want to give a special mention to Kraftwerk who are anything but Metal, but whom at such an early age taught me that music could have a real concept and was more than something one would just hear on the radio. This band will always remain one of my all-time faves.

When did you get the idea to form Denial of God? The band was formed over twenty years ago! When you first started up the band did you ever think you would still be going this strong today?

When the band was formed in 1991 at our first rehearsal, we already had played with the idea of forming a band for a while (even before picking up any instruments), so the idea definitely goes back to the late ´80s. What do you do when you cannot play (nor own) any instruments but wish to start a band? You try to write lyrics, think about concepts and come up with an array of song titles. One of these early song titles and lyrical ideas was “Klabautermanden” which was written and recorded about 10 years later. So the horror was always there from the very beginning.

Denial of God has quite a variety of traditional metal styles combining black, death, even some doom. When you had the vision for D.O.G did you plan to bring all these styles into the bands sound or did it just evolve over the years?

As I said previously, I/we were always into so many different styles, so it was obvious that we were not going to copy any band(s). I can not agree with anyone who says that we have with time brought any styles into the band because they have always been there. Our influences and sources of inspiration have been the same since day one. It is no secret, however, that what we are doing now is the closest we have come to what we always wanted to create, and this involves using very dynamic song structures which obviously will make listeners think of various musical styles. After all, we are writing 2012 and one is bound to be compared to what came before (and even being compared to bands that did not even exist when we first started). Listen to early songs like “The Crypt Has Eyes” or “Follow Those Who Died” and you will see that already back then our sound involved a lot of styles. Denial Of God was never about just doing one thing, and this is also why we can evolve so much without really changing into something we never were before.
















The bands newest cd "Death and The Beyond" was recently released through Hells Headbangers rec. How did you come in contact with the label? Are you happy with them so far?

Since I run my own label Horror Records I have been doing a lot of business with Hells Headbangers through the years and when I learned that Justin of Hells Headbangers was really into our “The Horrors of Satan” album, I asked them if they would have any interest in releasing the new album “Death and The Beyond”. At this point in time we were in very heavy doubts if we should ever sign to any label again due to the bad experiences in the past, but after some negotiations we reached a very fair deal and decided that we would go for it. It is of course still very early in our cooperation with them, but so far I can definitely say that we are very happy with them as everything was released when and as we imagined. And their promotional work is also very good as we have definitely received more press these past months than we have had for years. So far I have only good things to say about the Hells Headbangers brothers!

How has the response been from the fans and the press so far?

It is important to note that we did the album exactly the way WE wanted to hear it, so what everyone else thinks is secondary. But, of course, I am delighted to know that some of our most hardcore and long time fans have been embracing this album and that many of them consider this our best work to date. That is very rewarding, of course! The press response has mainly been of a very positive nature as well, but to be honest this means a lot less to me. While it is nice to read some good reviews, I also notice that a lot of the people who seem to like the album do not seem to have the slightest knowledge about us, our music or music in general. I do not fall into major depressions over bad reviews, hence I do not go crazy over good ones either.

As mentioned earlier the band have been a part of the scene for over 20 years. How do you feel the scene has changed since you first got into the underground?  What are your thoughts and opinion on technology like computers, email, social-networks etc.. Do you feel these are good tools for the UG bands, labels to use or more of a way for unwanted posers to find out and infect our scene?

While I do acknowledge that we somehow may be part of a scene, I do not FEEL that we are anymore. To me the word “scene” should imply a group of individuals who have some common ground, but to be really honest, as the years have passed I have felt that I have less and less in common with anyone around me. And this goes for the band in connection with the scene as well. What people call a scene has long been a come-and-go swing door phenomena with people entering and leaving all the time. Trends have come and gone and Denial Of God has remained artistically unaffected by this because no matter what happens we will always remain the same band and evolve on our own terms. The internet is definitely a good and cheap tool for promotion, but on the other hand it is also available to absolutely everyone these days, so there is such an overkill of information that no one has the ability to get a proper overview of everything. Here today, forgotten tomorrow! It no longer takes any dedication to get knowledge about music and what you call the scene, so the majority of people into it will never ever feel (or need) the same dedication as it took 20 years ago.

Over the last 5-6 years I have read and heard some people say the underground metal scene is dead or dying. Would you agree with this statement? Or maybe just evolving with the times?

There is still an underground with truly dedicated persons, but with the internet and all everything is becoming more blurry and the step from underground into mainstream is smaller. It also depends on what you consider “underground” to be, but in the past it was a scene of music which did not have any commercial success and thrived on its own DIY way of working. Nowadays the underground has a lot of labels which was definitely not the case in the past where there were fewer labels. And if you go way further back, you either were on a big label or on no label at all. I think there still is an underground but it has become more similar to how the rest of the business works.

The band comes out of the Denmark underground scene so I was curious what your opinion was of the scene in Denmark?

I never had high thoughts of the underground scene in Denmark because there were too many unserious people around. Mere jokers who did not respect the Darkness which we ourselves conceived our music in. The swingdoor phenomena is still present, but I do see that nowadays there are more people into the underground than before. The question is how many of these people will stick to their guns…Only time will tell!

Who are some of your all-time favorite bands from Denmark? Are their any new bands the readers should check out?

Definitely Mercyful Fate and then King Diamond (if you wanna consider that a purely Danish band). One of the most (if not the most) underrated bands is definitely Metal Cross of whom I will release an anthology on Horror Records next year. Other bands from Denmark I really like(d), past and present, are Witch Cross, Samhain/DesExult, Wasted, Evil, Crystal Knight, Heavy Chainzz, Victimizer, Church Bizarre, Altar of Oblivion, Death Rides a Horse, Mirage, Black Creed/Invocator and Mental Decay.

The bands lyrics seem to be based around classic horror/suspense movies. What are some of your favorite horror movies of all-time?

While our lyrics certainly take inspiration from horror movies (or rather the feeling of them) as well, not a single one has ever been based on a movie! Favorite movies include (in no particular order and leaving out too many): Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Fog, The Beyond, City of the Living Dead, Phenomena, Suspiria, The Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Nosferatu, Dracula, The Curse of the Werewolf, The Devil Rides Out, Shutter, The Sixth Sense, Poltergeist, Jaws, The Omen, The Exorcist, Dead Silence, Wake Wood and many, many more! And these are just some of the horror movies – I do like a lot of other movies as well, even if horror will always be my favorite genre.

What do you feel makes a good horror/suspense movie?

I feel about movies the way I feel about music. I like different kinds and feel that what is produced today often lacks that certain something that made the old masters as great as they were. Some movies are great because they have a great storyline (for example the old Universal and Hammer movies), others because they manage to create an intense atmosphere (like those of Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento or a movie like Shutter from Thailand). It is hard to pinpoint exactly what makes a movie great because it all depends and many different ways to approach the work can work well. While I absolutely love the extreme violence portrayed for example in an Argento or Fulci movie, I think that too many new movies rely too much on the violence itself and lack the dark aspect of a really good horror movie. I hate the thousand-cuts-per-minute approach of many new movies which in my opinion is just made to cover up the lack of a good story and because the modern movie watcher has such a short attention span. I like the zeitgeist of old movies.

Well Azter we have reached the end of the interview, do you have any final comments for the readers before we close the interview?

Go to the Hollow Hills



The Denial Of God Discography 

Oscularium Infame Demo 1992

The Dawn of Aemizaez Demo 1993

The Statues are Watching 7" EP 1995

The Ghouls of DOG  MCD 1996

The Ghouls of DOG Mini-LP 1999

The Curse of the Witch 7" EP 1999

Klabautermanden MCD 1999

The Crypt has Eyes 7"EP 2000

Robbing the Grave of the Priest 7"EP2001

The Crypt has Eyes Picture 7"EP 2002

Robbing the Grave of the Priest Picture 7"EP 2003

Klabautermanden Mini-LP 2006

A Night in Transylvania 7"EP 2006

The Horrors of Satan Full-length CD 2006

The Horrors of Satan Double LP 2006

The Book of Oiufael single 2007

The Dawn of Aemizaez: Demos 1992-1993 2008

Advance Demo 2009

Incubus 7" EP 2009

Resurrection of The Damned / Brides of The Goat split 7"EP 2009

The Red Terror EP 2011

Death And The Beyond Full-length 2012




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