|Undoubtably the leaders in taking New Zealand metal to the world, New Zealand's foremost extreme metal band Dawn of Azazel are set to raise the bar both here and abroad with their brutal, violent and innovative second album 'Sedition'.
Dawn of Azazel was formed in 1997 in Auckland, New Zealand, and several years were spent with various members coming and going before the first serious lineup came together in the end of 1999. The first half of the year 2000 was spent practising and tightening the new lineup. The band released their demo 'Vita est Militia Super Terram' in August, which received an excellent response and earned the band a cult following in the underground, both local and overseas. The band was soon headlining local gigs around New Zealand and by the end of 2001 Dawn of Azazel became the NZ metal act to cross the Tasman and conquer the shores of Australia.
The first half of 2002 was spent in intense rehearsals for the recording of their first release on an international label. The 'Bloodforged Abdication' 7" vinyl EP was released in October 2002 by cult Italian vinyl-only label Hellflame Records. The release brought to light the success of years of writing letters and emails to fans and underground magazines around the world, selling out of the limited 500 pressing on pre-sales alone. The release attracted a myriad of offers from underground labels worldwide, and secured them the support slot for New Zealand tours with Pungent Stench, Atomizer, Misery and Incantation.
In November 2003 Dawn of Azazel released their debut album, 'The Law of the Strong' through Agonia Records in Poland, featuring 8 metal classics mixing blistering speed, raw brutality and total darkness, that had been refined to perfection over the 6 years of their existence.
The band worked long and hard to promote this locally and with the help of the contacts they had made over the past years their efforts were rewarded. Despite being a raw, uncompromising extreme metal release the album went on to receive high praise in local mainstream music press, being given 5/5 in New Zealand's premier music magazine, Rip It Up. A video produced for "Immortal Dominance" received airplay and garnered interviews for the band on all New Zealand music channels and on national news show Nightline. This was accompanied by acclaim from the worldwide metal underground as well as features and interviews in leading worldwide metal publications such as Terrorizer and Metal Maniacs.
Dawn of Azazel then hit the road to promote the new album. An 8-date New Zealand tour was followed by their first major international tour through Europe. This tour enabled them to play their first shows in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium. The band then continued their inexorable advance by again touring Australia. Upon returning from this tour a mutual decision was reached that Tony and Phill should leave the band as they were unable to commit sufficient time to the band's schedule. The decision was made to continue as a 3 piece and drummer Martin Cavanagh was quickly recruited to replace Phill in the first days of 2005.
This lineup immediately began intense rehearsals, and then embarked on a 13-date New Zealand tour. Immediately upon returning the band entered Kog Studios to record their second album, 'Sedition'. This album bore the fruits of a year's hard work and marked a massive step up in the musicanship and professionalism of Dawn of Azazel. After spending the next few weeks completing the album, the band was invited to play one of the headlining slots at Australia's premiere extreme metal festival, Bloodlust. The band signed with John McEntee's Ibex Moon Records shortly thereafter for the release of 'Sedition'.
The album was released in March 2006 and was followed that same month by a 13-date tour through New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and Indonesia with Disgorge. The band's next step was playing to 6000 people, opening for Korn in their only New Zealand show in May. Later that month the band undertook their first US tour with Vital Remains and Incantation, encompassing 24 shows across the USA. After a short break to compose new material the band again hit the road in December as headline support for Deicide for their sold out tour of New Zealand and Australia.
In 2007 the band continued their inexorable touring campaign with an appearance at Australia's Overcranked festival, followed by the longest tour ever undertaken by a New Zealand based band: 32 shows through Germany, France, The Netherlands, England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Portugal. Denmark, Switzerland and the Czech Republic in support of Immolation, Krisiun and Grave.
2008 saw the band part ways with Martin, and Jeremy Suckling step up to fill the drummers stool. March saw their live debut supporting Kataklysm in Australia, and Children Of Bodom in New Zealand. Later in the year the band entered Mana studios in Tampa, Florida to record their third album, Relentless.
The eleven tracks laid down at these sessions represented a new level of refinement and professionalism in Dawn Of Azazels sound and was by far the tightest and hardest hitting tracks the band had composed to date.
2009 saw its release on Unique leader Records, along side Australian touring with Krisiun and local supports for Megadeth, Suffocation, Necrophagist, Dying Fetus, Morbid Angel, and Slayer.