With its debut full length “A Hymn Of The Vicious Monster”, iranian band Azooma has given birth to one of the most impressive Death Metal album of the year. Bewitched by this release, Hypnos Webzine has taken the opportunity to know something more about the band and its work. Here’s what they have told us.
Hail Azooma! Welcome to Hypnos Webzine and thank you for having accepted this interview! So, after having certified the incredible high quality of your debut “A Hymn of the Vicious Monster”, I would like to ask you from where you have come out! What’s your story?
Band: We think, we got absorbed to each other by our minds, feelings and our thoughts. Not only the band members but everyone who has helped us through our journey which is a neverending story by itself. Ahmad and Farid have been friends since their childhood. They had same tastes in music and they had this dream to have a band. So they got their instruments and practiced together. Saeed, Farid‘s brother who has interests in drums, joined them. They covered songs from legendary bands such as Metallica, Kreator, Iced Earth, Death, Iron Maiden. Back in those days, Azooma shared their practicing place with another band called Vaspooher. Shahin was friend with members of Vaspooher and one day when we were at one of their practicing sessions, they covered the song “Phobia” and Shahin was singing it with them and we invited him to join us. And then Azooma decided to focus more on Extreme Metal styles. We have been together since that time and we came to this point to write our own material. Ahmad and Farid chose the name Azooma for the band and they found it in the book “The Music of the Sumerians: And Their Immediate Successors, the Babylonians and Assyrians” by Francis W. Galpin and there was this paragraph in it: “A hymn on the creation of man… where heaven and earth do meet on Azooma, both craftsman-gods together ye shall slay, and of their blood Mankind shall ye create….”.
How did you get in touch and obtained a deal with Xtreem Music for the releasing of “A Hymn Of The Vicious Monster”?
Band: “A Hymn Of The Vicious Monster” has been released by Xtreem Music, a label that recently has been releasing music by bands from countries which are not known for their metal scene. We have this great friend, Mohsen, who is the Chief Editor of Metal Shock Finland and who runs Stargazer Consultancy. We told him that we seek a good record label company for releasing our EP and signed a contract with him. He found this great company, Xtreem Music, which supports and has interests in real music.
I’ve written in my review that your music is a personal synthesis of the American Death Metal of the 90s, with Death like one of the most important influence, but your sound is quite modern in the approach. So, what do you think about your own style? What are you main influences and how have you developed the songs listed in your debut?
Band: We don’t want to specify or choose any genres for our music. We just do it in the way we think it is right, We have this feeling and we express ourselves in our songs. Each of us has his own tastes in music and we have so many things in common too and each member brings his own feelings in the music of Azooma and some of them are the same as other ones and some of them are different. Actually, we get influences by almost everything, the movies we watch, the books and articles we read, even the events which happen on streets for us.
I’m quite curious about the cover chosen for “A Hymn Of The Vicious Monster”. What symbolizes that kind of piranha on the cover and to whom do you refer as “vicious monster”?
Band: We really like the idea of telling a story throughout this EP, we want each song to be unique but all of them to relate and complete each other. We wanted to create something new and at the same time, staying true to the roots of Death Metal and its traditions. “A Hymn of the Vicious Monster” is about a normal person who seems to be a victim of the situations he is in, but eventually it becomes clear that if the conditions are right, he can turn into the monster which he thinks he is a victim of. It’s the nature of mankind. If he has the opportunities, he can turn into something evil which he thinks he would never be and do some vicious deeds. Everyone has this potential, but the true power and purity is not to let this nature, this essence grow.
In “Gyrocompass” as well as in the final track “Appendix” you have decided to mix Death Metal with the sounds of your homeland. How do you think that traditional music can be linked to the wrath of Death Metal? In your next releases, will there be more of these passages?
Band: There are some roots of Iranian traditional music that express our feelings. And we have found out that the blend of Persian scales and western music and the Iranian traditional playing styles with guitars and using Iranian traditional rhythms in Death Metal can link them together. And we think using Iranian percussion can be matched in Metal music.
What can you tell about the lyrics of your work? Unfortunately, I haven’t access to them and I would like to know if “A Hymn of the Vicious Monster” is a concept.
Band: Our EP is a conceptual one and it tells a story through tracks.
I’m quite ignorance about the presence of Metal Band and I thought that playing Metal in your country was not tolerated. How is the situation for a Metal band in Iran? Is it complicated to make a gig?
Band: There are many Metal bands and fans in Iran but unfortunately, as you mentioned, playing in live shows and concerts is kinda complicated, though there have been some Metal music gigs and shows and there are some metal albums which has been released officially in Iran too. You know, the situations are not really as hard or awful as you imagine. We told you there are so many bands creating and making music here and it shows that we have the opportunity to work. Maybe it’s not as easy as it is in other countries but we do exist. I can quote some bands like Arsames, Kahatmayan, Mordab, 5Grs, Tension Of Prophecy, Scox and so many more.
Still six months are passed since the release of “A Hymn of the Vicious Monster”, so I think it’s the right moment to ask you if you are working on a new release or if you have just planned to publish something new?
Band: We’re working on a new album which will be conceptual as our EP and we assure you that it’ll be unique and mind blowing and you haven’t heard something like it before.
Is there any chance to see you playing live in Europe in the next future, maybe as supporter of some famous bands, or is Azooma just a studio band?
Band: We think playing in live shows is the purest way which connects you with metal music fans and you can see their reactions directly and it gives you positive vibes and energy to keep going. Of course we want and love to play in live shows and festivals in all over the world.
So, it was the last question! Thanks again for this brief talk! I hope to have news from you very soon! Last words are yours.
Band: Thank you and your readers to give us your time and supporting us. Certainly you will hear more from us in near future. Hope to see you all in near future. We love to jam with other bands and fans around the world. As Chuck Schuldiner said: “Let the Metal Flow”. Keep on going. Keep Metal alive. Stay crazy.