Kult ov Azazel
Oculus Infernum

The leading force in the American Black Metal movement unleashes their second demonic assault. Prepare to be stared upon by the eye of hell, and its vision will incinerate your soul. The new Kult Ov Azazel album is an absolute masterpiece of unholy black metal perfection. What you hear is ungodly speed, blasphemous precision, and technicality that lesser beings have had to sell their souls to attain. All an out velocity attack begins the album, and sets up a very evil emotional state of being. However, do not expect an unoriginal Norse core monotony festival here. The tempo is definitely mixed up very tastefully and makes for a diverse and well rounded black metal album. This is particularly true on "Invoking the Infernal Majesty". The riffery is quite the hate filled fare, with a definite hint of early Sarcofago. Also to be found throughout is the slightest bit of melody which permeates below the surface making for an even more dark and unholy sound. While there is not a single weak track in sight, the absolute highlight of the album in my opinion is "Mark of the Devil". This track begins with an amazingly diabolical riff, with hyper speed drumming that will make you question whether John "The Hammer" Goss is man or hell powered machine. Then you hear the line from the Omen movie, "Receiving power directly from Satan", and ARGH! The best mid tempo, pure fukking black metal holocaust track you'll ever hear kicks in. This track will go down in history as a pure black metal masterpiece. Sick, evil, perverse, and perfect. Hail, praise. And if you needed even more reason to buy this album, the hidden track (number 66, which kicks in at six seconds even) is a magnificent cover of "Black Arts" by Beherit. This album has definitely kicked Kult Ov Azazel into the same league as Marduk, Dark Funeral, and Immortal. Do not dare pass on this album, for the eye of hell is watching!!! - Morbid Mario

Absolutmetal Webzine (USA)

Kult ov Azazel has always been a very solid Black Metal band but with the release of Oculus Infernum they prove they belong at the top of the Black Metal ranks. This album is very extreme and as blasphemous as any album could be but still has melody and most importantly GUITAR RIFFS. The feeling of total hatred for anything christian permeates every song on this album and the music just constantly crushes you with wave after wave of brutal riffage. If you have heard Kult ov Azazel before and didn't care for them I still suggest you check out this album because it is a vast improvement over their earlier work. May have something to do with this being the first album with an actual lineup instead of session musicians. All in all a killer album to listen to on a cold winter evening when the wind is freezing and the moon is full. 5/5 - Brian

Acts of Brutality Webzine (USA)

Offering further proof that American Black Metal is a superior force to be reckoned with, the mighty Kult ov Azazel follow up their masterful "Triumph of Fire" release with this new 8 song offering to the Devil. Doubling the aggressiveness and fury of previous material, the songs on "Oculus Infernum" blaze through your bones with no remorse, and offer no apologies. Riffs that slash and drums the blast are the order of the day here, so needless to say, aficionados of "soft", keyboard-heavy Black Metal need not apply. Kult ov Azazel is only for those fans who demand to be kicked in the head over and over again by blasphemous brutality the way only American acts like KOA and Thornspawn can deliver. Be afraid, be very afraid. - Metal George

Aesthetic Extremity Webzine (Malaysia)

Who says that Americans can't play Black Metal? Kult ov Azazel blazes a true path of Black Metal that will shut up all of the elitists who believe that only Scandinavians can create Black Metal art. And after hearing this you will believe too. Hearing Kult ov Azazel is really a tremendous torture… in a good sense. "Oculus Infernum" is really a wicked Black Metal album not for everyone, especially for the Gothic Black Metal fans who are into those who mix keyboards and symphonic stuffs. The second full-length from this Florida-based band has definitely left me with my mouth open with astonishment!! Kult ov Azazel has created a ripping masterpiece that is fitting the standards of the genre perfectly yet offering this little extra to their style that makes them a notch over the others. Aggressive, fast, nasty... "Oculus Infernum" possesses everything a contemporaneous Black Metal fan should like and even more. This album exhibits 8 diabolic hymns, hateful blasphemic Black Metal - brutality and vitality can define their music more precisely. Incredibly rapid-fire drum-blasting and skull-shredding guitar riffs are executed with murderous professionalism and skill ...pure terror, fucking holocaust, thunderous assault. Extremely insane creation of high quality... an extra point is added for the scorching, spiteful and devilish howls. What really strikes me is the way Kult ov Azazel can play so damn fast without sounding nosy or cluttered. And not a note is lost due to the excellent but raw as hell production. "Oculus Infernum" is a masterpiece of pure darkness and any fan of Black Metal would find what to like on this slab of pure evil. 10/10 - Sufian Mohamed Salleh

American Black Metal Webzine (USA)

From the opening salvo of Rex Infernus in Excelsis till the abrupt termination of Perpepetual Demis of the Bastard Son, Kult Ov Azazel unleashes a fury of unrelenting sonic brutality unmatched by most in unadulterated, visceral aggression. From start to end OCULUS INFERNUM is a lesson in tireless abomination, pausing only briefly in the opening moments of Mark of the Devil to reveal the Kult's true inspiration with one of the most appropriate and well placed samples ever included in a musical recording. The production on OCULUS INFERNUM is outstanding. Its clarity allows every instrument, note, and nuance to be heard without betraying the voraciousness of the performances. It is reminiscent of Immortal's Sons of Northern Darkness in demonstrating production needn't sterilize, but can actually draw out and emphasize the brutality. Xaphan and Nocturath display unholy mastery of their guitars in laying seamlessly interweaving, furious riffing from start to finish. There's no time for guitar solos here, nor do they need them to gain respect for their abilities, for they are undeniable. Hammer lays into his kick drums as if he is intent on driving them straight through the Earth's crust while layering jagged textures across the top. One wonders if The Omen sample is referring to Hammer himself as he demonstrates inhuman endurance behind the kit. Xul attacks the bass with a vengeance, blazing alongside Hammer matching note for note in unbridled rhythm blasphemy. The scathing, caustic vocals of Xul and Xaphan push the chaos to epic proportions giving the listener the feeling of plummeting down to the fiery core of hell itself. This is pure demonic black metal the way it should be played: Tireless. Brutal. Aggressive. Uncompromising. Pure Fucking Sonic Terrorism. After eight relentless tracks, the album concludes with a bonus hidden track (numbered 66 and starting at 6 seconds), and happens to be an outstanding cover of Beherit's Black Arts. A perfect ending to a perfect record. OCULUS INFERNUM is a true benchmark of pure American Black Metal brutality and Kult Ov Azazel are undeniably a premier Black Metal band of any ilk. - Trueno

Aversionline Webzine (USA)

Ahhh, raging black metal from Florida. I was pretty into their last full-length, and I think I like this one a bit more. It's definitely along the same lines as far as focusing on intense speeds and blistering, hateful vocal screams (often layered), but the songwriting is more intense. They're including more of a melodic slant (but not in a cheesy way, in the classic black metal sense) and a few slower passages that are more in line with traditional black metal (which this record definitely seems to be more in touch with), and I like that a hell of a lot. "Invoking the Infernal Majesty" is one of the only slower tracks, and its plodding tempo immediately hits with incredible force and stands out from the pack as one of the darkest and most epic compositions herein. Running a close second is the dissonant break with some brief samples mixed in amongst the title track, which is fucking incredible! At the end of the disc, after numerous tracks of silence, track #66 (Why do so many bands find that 66 becomes equal to 666 on CD's?) is an awesome unlisted cover of Beherit's "Black Arts". Very cool. Though "Oculus Infernum" suffers from some of the same recording problems as their last record, this time I feel that they're slightly more minor. The overall feel is great; it's not really as crisp or clean sounding. It seems like the band was definitely going for more of a raw and primal sort of sound, but if they'd only stop using those tight, rigid drum tones this would be the perfect sound for a black metal record. The kick drums are so inhuman that I would almost swear that it's a drum machine on occasion; I don't think it's possible for a human to do double bass that fast. It literally sounds like they just set a machine on fast double bass and let it roll while a live drummer plays with his hands to do everything else, because the fills and such sound less clinical. Thankfully the percussion is mixed back in fairly well, and they did make the bass far more prevalent here, and that pays off big time. I'd like to hear louder guitars with a bit less vocal dominance, but again, overall it's a stronger mix than was heard on "Triumph of Fire". The layout is again excellent. This band absolutely has a feel for visual aesthetics. Their last record looked great as well, but I like this one better. It takes the dark, grim black and white traditions of black metal and ups the ante a bit with modern design tactics (metallic silver ink, creative fonts, interesting text arrangement, etc.) and a slick sort of appearance. There's a lot of image of torture devices, old woodcuts of devils and demons torturing people, and other suchillustrations blended with sketchy fonts that pack the letters in tight and look very cool. Hell, I even like the lyrics. As far as black metal goes this is some involved and angry material, often containing far longer and less repetitive lines than is common. "I bring world demise, To take what's mine, Angels will die, Behold your savior sacrificed, Destroyed by hordes of demonic warriors, Apocalypse for hell's first born, I curse you all to eternal damnation, Align with evil, Possessed by hell, Summoned from chthonic lands, In league with Satan, Assassin of light, To rule a kingdom without end, Destroyer to man, Lord of this world, King of hell in the highest form." Not bad at all. Definitely worth checking out for fans of the genre. My only complaint is that I want a more natural drum sound. These guys are only a few steps away from being one of the few American bands to truly achieve the heralded atmosphere of black metal. [Notable tracks: Rex Infernus in Excelsis, Invoking the Infernal Majesty, Oculus Infernum, Black Arts] 7/10 - Andrew

Axa Valaha Zine (Romania)

For those who didn't know about this killer barbaric legion of Satan, well, Kult Ov Azazel is a now fucking kult American band in a scene where only legends like Demoncy are still worth to mention. "Oculus Infernum" is their last hellish massacre, but it's not a debut, as there were also "Order of the Fly" or "Triumph of Fire", not to forget that fucking great split with their country mates Krieg, back in 2000. Returning to this new "mark of the evil" in eight parts, I must mention this one is an absolutely proof of how real black metal should sound! It's fast black metal, as fast as Sathanas can fuck his own goat! Some people can say this album is nothing to be considered, as there are new fast releases in the black metal scene everyday, but be careful! This new CD of Kult Ov Azazael has all the ingredients to not forget about it: demonic voices, sharp guitars, bass of absolute thunder and hyper blast drums. But the most important thing is that this band is fucking sincere and, when they say "our black altar is your world / your blood our sacrifice / your lord our enemy / our sanctity is your death", they really mean it! The CD comes with an excellent silver / black booklet with photos and all the lyrics, but the big surprise is when you put the CD in the player! You realize there are 66 trax on it, you listen the first eight massacres, then it's silence til the 66th track which it's a very well played cover version of Beherit from "Drawing Down the Moon" era! To finish this review, I advice every interested individual to buy this piece of blasphemy, it's undoubtedly an underground jewel! 5.5/6 - Nosferatu

Ballbuster Hard Music Webzine (USA)

Oculus Infernum sounds like Burzum's little brother at times. It's not the most original, but I do enjoy it. It captures the raw attitude of early black metal and instills in it better recording techniques than Varg has ever had in his prison cell. The song writing is really worthwhile, and probably the top reason why I like Kult ov Azazel. "Rex Infernus in Excelsis" is the opening track. I'll find myself humming this for hours after hearing it. No, Kult doesn't break any new ground, nor is it a copy, but it is worthy of a listen. - Jonathan Mariante

Bast Music Magazine (USA)

Calling upon the dark forces of old, KoA is another good example of American black metal. They're from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, which is about as far away from the snow covered mountains of Norway one can get, but they envelope the evil of "true" black metal ferociously and do a good job at it. This is textured and intense with no keyboards anywhere in sight. The vocals took a little getting used to for me, however. They are pretty much monotone, screamed at one level only, but the music is rich enough to make up for them. In fact the music is really good. I recommend this for the songwriting quality and hopefully the vocals will grow on you as they have for me. - MH

Battle Webzine (Brazil)

The sainthoods are weeping... Kult ov Azazel return to destroy the christian world!! Starting by a 'devilish' artwork, designed by Nocturath, this second assault is a fire ball in angels face! "Oculus Infernum" features 8 tracks of pure hatefull and speed Metal, with ferocious guitar riffs well structured, vocals in total 'desperate anger' and a hyper-blast drums (inhuman double bass!). It still includes as ghost song (track 66) a Beherith cover. Now with new drummer and a second guitarist, they finally got an established line up, (Xul -bass/vocals, Xaphan -guitar/vocals, Nocturath -guitar/vocals and Goss 'The Hammer' -drums). About the lyrical context, well... if "Triumph of Fire" was profane, "Oculus Infernum" is unholy terror to filthy faith, containg nihilistic and, of course, furious satanic messages... and this time, Xaphan give more contribution to the lyrics. "Your god is dead, your religion destroyed. Faith has been shattered by the legions of hell." Contamination level: 9/10 - Clay

Behind the Veil Webzine (Greece)

Kult Ov Azazel belongs to the musical genre of barbaric, blasphemic and deeply anti-christian black metal. Most of the times such bands lack of technical skills on their instruments and do not have so original ideas, in our times at least. Well, for Kult Ov Azazel is exactly the opposite!!! Their technical skills are on high levels and their musical ideas (always within the genre's limits) extremely interesting! MARDUK's atrocity and violence, pushed on higher levels, meets with the coldness of AZAGHAL, through and exceptional and amazing American style production. The drummer builds an incomparable and solid rhythmic concrete wall with the bassist's cooperation and manages to kill us and pulpify our brains with his unconceived double bass drumming! The guitars, absolutely "faithful" to their cause, "murder" with their melodic lines christian consciences! You can't find keyboards anywhere and I think its better this way, cause they would ruin and alter Kult Ov Azazel's style. All in all, we are dealing here with a blasphemous, extremely devoted and hard working band moving on professional standards, chasing the recognition within the true blackester's consciences! Ave, Kult Ov Azazel! 10/10 - George "Death Dealer - Echoes From Erebus" Kefalas

Beyond Webzine (Belgium)

OK, so we're being watched from the darkest depths of Hell... Way better than constantly being spied on by the old bearded guy from "upstairs" anyway... So, what do we get here? Wow, this is Black Metal in its purest form... Quite primitive yet very well executed. It's fast, raw, merciless and damn precise... KOA is definitely the kind of band that likes to torment your soul until you fucking die! The drummer (rightly nicknamed "The Hammer"...) is a genuine war machine all by himself. Have a listen to his amazing double bass drum technique; you're gonna like it for sure! Now, musically, don't expect anything else "special", because this is authentic Black Metal in the vein of Marduk, Dark Funeral etc. That means no silly ornaments, no gay solos; nothing that could actually ease your burden... No need to waste your breath about the singing and the lyrical content either; it's nothing but barbaric and blasphemous screaming. Who said you need to live in the Norwegian woods to play quality true Black Metal? Florida's getting very somber these days... 78/100 - RNO

Black Plague Webzine (Portugal)

This is the latest release from the US black metal act Kult ov Azazel. As usual, they deliver us fast and brutal discharges of hatred with their slight touch of grindcore, specially in the speed and the short length of the songs (at least when compared to the regular length of the "typical" black metal band). The production of "Oculus Infernum" is also good, not the best there is, but it fits the music and all the brutality that Kult ov Azazel put into their songs. The vocals are, as usual, harsh and furious and the drums very fast and well performed. Though, they are maybe a bit high in the final mix, leaving the guitars behind. Perhaps with a good and strong guitar sound, Kult ov Azazel would have an even more brutal and strong sound! From Kult ov Azazel expect nothing but pure hatred and blasphemy! I advise it to all those who like they black metal served strong and brutal. 8/10 - Corvus Tenebrae

Blood of the Ancient Zine (Germany)

If you remember we already featured this unholy horde in our #2 yet, so there's nothing new for the faithful readers of "BOTA" here. And, I assume, there's nothing new here for everybody into the Black Metal scene as well due to the fact that KOA dedicated themselves to the Scandinavian type of this music. So don't await any innovations nor gay keys or female voices (women in Black Metal should open their mouths exclusively for the purpose of a blow-job, hehe...but of course there are exceptions - just remember DEMONIC CHRIST or ASTARTE for example!)... KOA deliver us traditional Black Metal that isn't too much in the simple, primitive way of DARKTHRONE like most of their country mates` sound, the group hailing from the sunshine-state Florida manages to come up with excellently and professionally produced eight songs (in fact there are nine - no.9 is the 66th track and some kind of bonus so to speak - but very appealing as well!) in the vein of troops like DARK FUNERAL, MARDUK and IMMORTAL (before `Blizzard Beasts`). Those very few inspirations the four-piece took from Death Metal on their debut album `Triumph Of Fire` totally disappeared on `Oculus Infernum`. The instrumental skills of drummer Goss "The Hammer" make you breathless - it's indeed not too daringly to compare him with the MARDUK-skinsman, but to be able to compare him with Matte Modin it would take a bit more practice I think (as this guy is TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE (even unreachable?!?) I think...!). The lyrics of `Oculus Infernum` give evidence of the fact that those people know their stuff... I mean, of course these words are very much in the traditional vein, but there's a certain approach, there's not just a stupid repetition of well-known and worn-out clichés... The whole design of the CD is very professional here, with several wood-cuts from the middle-ages, occult symbols and signs as well as different views of torture tools... Everything's fine here, I won't complain! But I've got to beg for more originality on future releases, I'm pretty sure`Oculus Infernum` will push this US-band into better-sales-regions, but I'd wish to hear more of an own style on the third album then. But this must be the only negative point here, if you like 90s-Black-Metal you can't do anything wrong by buying this album!

BludGawds Extreme Metal Resource (USA)

One thing that I have liked about these guys in the past is the fact they don't really stick to the "black metal" formula. Yes, they are a black metal band, but like previously mentioned, not the shit style where you can't hear shit cause it sounds like it was recorded in some bat cave in Norway. Another thing I like about KOA is the fact they don't use keyboards but can play near flawless harmonies with the guitars alone. I have to be honest and tell you all I rarely review this style of metal, not that it doesn't come in to get reviewed, but not many of the bands are decent in my opinion, but opinions are like assholes and we all have one. KOA are a band to me that sticks out above the rest, especially in a genre crowded but mediocre noise mongers. Fans of bands like Immortal, Marduk, Dark Funeral, etc will really enjoy this band. The only thing that really gets on my nerve is the flown in kicks, but everyone else does it so what the fuck. Fans of blasphemous, god-hating black metal beware! The "Mark Of The Devil" is upon us and let him bring forth great wrath upon your weakened flesh. Rather than drop that $10 spot on some new corpse paint or a new bullet belt pick this disc up instead. Recommended to all black/war metal fans.

Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles Magazine (Canada)

Infamous U.S. black metal horde Kult ov Azazel finally release their new long-awaited blasphemous outburst. Once again the Florida four piece offer a barbarically bestial black metal assault, the eight tracks within presenting the listener with a basic to-the-point sound picture that infernally sears without mercy. Even though one can grasp their hellish point within the first ten seconds, Kult ov Azazel once again prove that they are one of America's most prominent black metal beasts. 7/10 - Chris Bruni

Brutalism Webzine (Holland)

Satanic Black Metal from Florida (USA). And I mean real Satanic Black Metal! No pussy gay shit like keyboards, female vocals or strange instruments. Ravenous and raging songs with hyper active drumming animal (double bass!!). Desecrating vocals shrieks, and merciless guitar riffing. All together put in songs that have lack of difficult tempo breaks and technical patterns. Just straight, raw and pure diabolic emotion. Only for the strong supporters of Black Metal. Satanic Black Metal from Florida (USA). And I mean real Satanic Black Metal! No pussy gay shit like keyboards, female vocals or strange instruments. Ravenous and raging songs with hyper active drumming animal (double bass!!). Desecrating vocals shrieks, and merciless guitar riffing. All together put in songs that have lack of difficult tempo breaks and technical patterns. Just straight, raw and pure diabolic emotion. Only for the strong supporters of Black Metal. - Twan

Brutal Sound Zine (Peru)

Kult ov Azazel "Oculus Infernum": This is other killer and profane machine from USA, Kult ov Azazel, what began like a project of Xaphan (guitar-voc) and Xul (bass-voc) is now a real devastating and antichristian machinery, with influences of bands like Immortal (old), Emperor, Marduk, in some moments a lot of Satyricon. The lyric are oriented to the satanism and other dark tendencies, is amazing to hear that for a so little moments the double bass drum, the riffs are fast and raw, but have some melodic moments too. This band had received very good critics since their beginning in some known and respectable publications like SOD and Kerrang. I can say after I heard bands like Kult ov Azazel, Engorge and Warkult that the USA Black Metal tendency is appearing with strength and with desires to generate the Total Apocalypse. The sound of this production is really good, and about the presentation I don't have northing to say, although the cover of the booklet isn't appreciated so good to simple sight because is based on very dark colors (black and grays in different tonalities). Good for Kult ov Azazel and I hope to will have more news about this killer band.

Canadian Assault Zine (USA)

A nod towards old things Scandinavian. Brings to mind prime earlier stuff of Immortal, Darkthrone, Dark Funeral… As much precise hate as drips from a street whore's twat on a busy night. - Dale

Chronicles of Chaos Webzine (USA)

In a word: fierce. The calculated chaos that is Kult Ov Azazel has ushered forth its second full length (their other album "Triumph of Fire", and initial offering "Order of the Fly" have both sold out in CD format) and it's a monster. Poised at the forefront of raw American black metal, this four-piece subscribes to a no-frills ideology. No keyboard, no melodic breakdowns, no clean vocals, and strategically roughened production. Luckily, Kult Ov Azazel are a good enough band to not pigeon hole themselves. They write some damn catchy riffs (though only conventional to ears conditioned to harshness), and coupled with the excellent drumming of Goss "The Hammer", "Oculus Infernum" becomes a lesson in brutality. However, the ongoing unrelenting hatred may become tiresome after a few tracks to some listeners, and the vocals could use a little more variety. Despite a few drawbacks, I found this album to be enjoyable in small to medium doses, despite the fact that I generally prefer this style of metal sprinkled with gothic moments and guitar harmonies. So kudos to KOA for representing America to the rest of the black metal world. - Adrian Magers

Darkness Webzine (Brazil)

Some days ago I was reading an interview that was done with American band Demonic Christ in a Brazilian zine. The leader of this band said that Kult ov Azazel is one of the best Black Metal bands in USA and she does not mistake. These American guys give us in their "Oculus Infernum" a greatly played, fast, blasphemous and raw Nordic Black Metal, with some influences of bands like Emperor and old Marduk, with some momentous scapes of bands like Satyricon... a very few times we hear slow parts (I think that the unique track is "Invoking the Infernal Majesty"), commonly is very rare to hear the double bass slow down in moments. I don't know what the hell "The Hammer" does to play the kick drums in this way, but damn... he really is commendable to the work that those Kult ov Azazel guys do. The sound and the performance that they give us on "Oculus Infernum" is so great, although the cover is too dark (based in different tonalities of gray) to see clearly at first sight the design of the cover other than that the rest is perfect. Hails to Kult ov Azazel!!!!

Darkscene Webzine (Austria)

A couple of years ago, the US discovered Black Metal, and there has been a steady flow of good releases. With the release of "Oculus Infernum", Kult ov Azazel prove this point. The band delivers well-played old school Black Metal - the songs sound cold and heavy like a winter storm. This is also the dominating atmosphere throughout the eight tracks, since the tempo is only randomly reduced. If you are looking for keyboards, great melodies, and female vocals, this would not be your first choice. However, there are drum blasts, great riffing, and hyper-aggressive vocals by vocalists Xul and Xaphan. Especially the first 4 tracks are killer - any real Black Metal fanatic shouldn't be able to sit still. "Revelations Reflected from a Dead Jehovah's Eyes" and "Invoking the Infernal Majesty" are more in the midtempo range before they turn into hellish blasts. KOA manage to combine brutality and musicianship in a very refreshing manner. They avoid the chaotic patterns often found in contemporary Black Metal and add enough variety to their songs. This band definitely does not have to hide behind its Scandinavian counterparts. 8/10

Depth Charge Zine (Australia)

Kult ov Azazel didn’t fully destroy the heavens on their last two studio releases so they have decided to wage a third war in “Oculus Infernum”. This is nihilistic black metal at its toughest. Musically its fast as hell, as for the production it’s extremely sharp and lyrically it is as threatening to Christians as the very thought that the book they worship is proved fictitious. Having previously made an error in judgment trying to find comparisons to Kult ov Azazel I have decided to recommend you listen for yourself and make up your own mind. What I can tell you is the drumming on this album is fucking amazing, the riffs cut like a buzzsaw and the dual vokill attack of Xul and Xaphan declares them both evil in their own right. Killer Nihilistic Black Fucking Metal!!! - PC

DHeadbangers Webzine (Italy)

After very little time from the live album "Assaulting the Masses" here it comes another assault signed KoA. The new tracks are of very high quality, surely better than the previous "Order of the fly". The sound/production is even more devastating, with classical thrash inserts that bring me to the wildest headbanging. Eight tracks played with unique precision, which are going to leave you without breath, where most of the times we can hear the influence that Beherit had on the American band and I must admit that the American scene is leaving me more and more shocked in a positive way . Very good is the band in alternating between furious parts (conducted in a magisterial way by the drummer Goss), with sometimes funereal and meditative interludes which cut through the apocalyptical and evil black metal that constitutes the backbone of the whole work. This band would deserve to be taken on a whole another level even though I sincerely prefer them where they are, because they can avoid the big wave of the music business/mainstream. 7/10

Diabolous Webzine (Poland)

If you ever thought Florida was all about Death Metal, Don Johnson of Miami Vice and hot chicks posing for Baywatch cameramen, you were wrong as fuck. Kult ov Azazel is here to make you think Black. And I mean Real Black. Ripping its way through since '99 with "The Order of the Fly" MCD, with their full length debut "Triumph of Fire" to follow in 2001 and some split releases, they finally came to this day, where "Oculus Infernum" is taking over. Screaming out my throat dry along the opening track "Rex Infernus in Excelsis" to the words "Ascending my throne, Trampling upon the inferior cross of Christ, His flesh denied, The filthy prophet of life..." left my mind free of any common shit letting the blasphemy flow on its own. And so I sat there mesmerized, feeling the black flame of my soul burning high once more... feeling my blood turn black. These guys learnt their lesson well and there ain't any doubt, they learnt from the best. Suddenly I felt my balls shiver madly to the sound of moaning women in the background, half way through the title track. I could not expect that and just had to admit once more how sick I am, turning the volume yet higher every time that part would come along, over and over again... but that's not the point... Giving "Oculus Infernum" a spin forget about spare riffs found on other releases - you will not find any false crap here. In fact, the CD might spin its way through to the very end, before you get your breath back to normal again. Excellent guitar work, vocals spitting venom "directly from Satan". Monster drumming and an overall strong production leaves no room for any weaker points here really. To my surprise the CD didn't stop spinning as "Perpetual Demise of the Bastard Son" silenced... and I got another piece of The Devil's melodies enjoying it to the core... We renounce thee Wretched Nazarene... - Lord Darnok

Dirt Culture Zine (USA)

Straight outta hell and poised to engulf the planet in the purifying flames of destruction, the second full-length from the Kult delivers more of the bone-jarring bestial screams coupled now with much more depth and layers to go with the music and chases your soul right into the pits of hell to be tormented for eternity! Now solidified with four members forming their permanent line-up, the Kult is singing the praises of the horned one with an American black metal cachet that truly makes them a force to be reckoned with! Each track bears its own brand of uniqueness that never grows tiring, which just might explain why they have appeared on a plethora of split albums and compilations. I just love when an album like this comes out in spite of all those who have always looked down on our homegrown black metal; it makes rubbing our glory in their face that much easier! If you've been clamoring for fast and unrelenting obsidian blackness amidst all the crap that assails the scene incessantly, I guarantee you will sport a mile-wide sardonic grin with this! And for you Beherit worshippers - skip to track 66 after the album closes for a pleasant surprise! SHEMHAMFORASH! HAIL SATAN! - FA

Encyclopaedia Metallum

These guys could be Marduk in disguise. They play just as fast and brutally as Marduk do, and they also throw in complex riffs and melodic guitar lines and mid paced drumming. Triumph of Fire was good, but this beats it in all aspects. This band has really matured since that album. They have certainly grown a lot as musicians and have very good song writing skills. Of course they appear just as the Black metallers of old with corpsepaint and spikes. This really brings back memories of the golden age of BM before BM became more mainstream and symphonic. And believe it or not, these guys are from fuckin America!! If you thought the American BM scene was almost non-existent, then you will be in for a rude awakening when you hear this. Along with Thornspawn these guys are revitalizing the USBM scene in terms of speed and aggression. There are really no standout tracks here, everyone is good in its own right, but like some other BM bands, it does get a little monotonous after a while, but that's alright, this is just too damn good to pass up. Bands like this make me proud to be an American. 90/100 - Mourningrise

Eternal Frost Webzine (USA)

Jesus fucking Christ!!! Can you imagine that? It's what he did when he allowed himself to be crucified. Okay, that wasn't very funny and neither is the second long-player from Florida's most brutal black metal band ever, KULT OV fucking AZAZEL! Now I liked "Triumph of Fire" quite a bit, but "Oculus Infernum" simply tears that to shreds! And "shreds" itself as well! These guys are the REBAELLIUN of black metal - a vicious, unrelenting assault on all the senses, heaving blasphemies upon the Lard Jebus Christ, for roughly 40 minutes this time. All the prerequisites for a classic are present. Vocals: throat-ripping. Guitars: razor-sharp. Bass guitar: pounding. Snare: well-tuned. Double-bass: thundering. Mixed and mastered by Jeremy Staska (responsible for the godly sound on HATEPLOW's second album) expect a simultaneously ear-raping and Christ-raping experience enhanced by visually satisfying packaging and enough bile to fill 666 goat horns! - Goden

Final War Webzine (Germany)

Already long good Black Metal need not only come from Europe, and that the USA have some delicacies too, Kult Ov Azazel from Fort Lauderdale show impressingly. With their new album they again crown their carreer and deliver a great album. The opener "Rex..." shows that the quartett makes no prisoners, and so the other tracks also kick ass. Roughly described you can name their brutal Black Metal a mixture between old and new Marduk, but you mustnt forget the high level of own dynamic and the passion and conviction with whom they perform. Besides highspeed-crackers, where especially the incredible skills of the drummer can be heard, you will find more harmonic midtempoparts, which are involved very well. For example at the refrain of song nr. 4 with almost hymn-character. Furthermore interesting is, that sometimes you have the impression that the vocalist does not know the little word "break", thats why on his skills lies much responsibility. The whole can be heard in perfect sound and the production is good. Result: "Oculus Infernum" makes a lot of impression and who likes well produced Black Metal I can only encourage to buy this one!

Fleshrites Webzine (Spain)

I think a long time has past since I have had the chance to review such as good albums. First Satanic Warmaster - "Opferblut", and then Setherial - "Endtime Divine" and now Kult Ov Azazel, the Americans new album. The truth is, this 4 member band, composed by Xul (Bass, Voices), Xaphan (Guitar, Voices), Nocturath (Guitar) and Goss (drums), have made a totally infernal album. Clean sound, very quick double bass drum, totally bright. Definitively a very balanced sound. This new cd, the second one of the band, without counting demos, splits and a live album, is an evolution of their "Triumph of Fire" since they haven't lost a tenth of brutality, nor aggressiveness. Black Metal to the purest Dark Funeral vein, but it is to place a bit to people who read this review, because they're very original in what they play. And that you could listen in every of 8 songs that compose this new work. Blast beats like Rex Infernus in Excelsis, which makes you presage what you will have in the whole cd ... and you would not think badly!!. Even Perpetual Demise of the Bastard Son, with riffs more in the Darkthrone vein, sounds incredibly. As a special add, if you let the cd run when it's finished, you will listen to a "song" not included in the cd track list...no doubt the kingdom of Satan also has its own hymns... Great work, I recommend to those who like to hear Black Metal as it may be played and as Kult Ov Azazel would say: "No Beauty, No Tranquility, No Atmosphere"!! 8/10 - LZ

Foedus Aeternus Zine (France)

Remember the second FOEDUS AETERNUS ZINE issue whose cover was devoted to this great band called KULT OV AZAZEL. At that time, Xaphan's crew was telling us about Triumph Of Fire, one the best 2001/2002 releases. Today, their new abomination is unleashed. And what a masterpiece! Black-metal sounding the way it ought to be (no keyboards, no extravagance)!! Besides, many improvements have to be noticed - a better production, a personal and recognizable-among-thousand style, a more efficient drumming than on Triumph Of Fire. But what makes the strength and authenticity of KULT OV AZAZEL actually deals with these unique, loathsome and shrill vocals which emphasize the blasphemous and fierce side of this excellent American band. Musically not that far from DARK FUNERAL (but more brutal & more varied), KULT OV AZAZEL deserves a particular attention from metal-freaks. However, let's notice that this new album seems to be less bestial than Triumph Of Fire. Yes, Oculus Infernum sounds more "melodic" now and then. Some slow parts ideally temper other more brutal parts for a really convincing result. KULT OV AZAZEL has definitely evolved insofar as their black-metal is now more mastered, a little bit less frenzied, but still so devastating. All in all, KULT OV AZAZEL are maliciously preparing to conquer the US black-metal throne. And we can only hope they will succeed because this fucking band is worth it! 7/10 - Eymeric

Full Metal Mayhem Webzine (Australia)

American blackmetal is a widely overlooked phenomenon, but with many classic bands like Kult Ov Azazel ( formerly Azazel ) emerging this looks set to change. Oculus Infernum is the bands second full length release for Arctic Music group after a string of underground splits with similar bands. Kult Ov Azazel takes the essence of old school blackmetal with shredding riffs similar at times to early releases from bands like Satyricon, Immortal, Dark Funeral and Old Man's Child. Where Kult Of Azazel differs from many similar bands is their percussion and their production. The production on Oculus Infernum is cold yet perfectly balanced and clear preserving the harsh atmosphere without shrouding the material in a wall of fuzz. The bands drummer Goss sounds like a man on a mission to bring double kicks back into the realms of blackmetal. His constant double kicks rally underneath stop start blastbeats ( reminiscent of Nicholas Barker on his early Cradle Of Filth releases ), with some interesting cymbal work reminiscent of early Old Man's Child. Lyrically the band focuses on fairly generic Satanic and anti Christian themes, which vocalist Xul slurs out in a less than intelligible howling flemmy rasp. Although Oculus Infernum is hardly an original release, it combines the best elements of the early blackmetal scene with a modern professional sound. Overall a worthy release for fans willing to try something outside of Scandinavia. Favourite Tracks - Invoking The Infernal Majesty , Rex Infernus In Excelsis , Oculus Infernum - 8/10 - Lord Pale

Heidenlärm Webzine (USA)

Most pre-1996 black metal listeners rightly mock USBM for being a hybrid of styles gravitating toward the lower motivations they all have in common. Unfortunately for those born in the USA, the national culture tends toward an egalitarianism and hybridization that favors this kind of approach, so it takes some time to grow out of that mentality and accept music for what makes it distinct not what makes it fit into the crowd. Kult ov Azazel have grown impressively since their earlier works, and while they remain in the USBM tradition, they're growing out of it. Most notably, here the riffcraft and ability to assemble melodic fragments in meaningful order are far ahead of most of their contemporaries, giving a presence to songs that has never been previously found in this band. A combination between seriousness and ability to represent perceptions of reality in musical form, the newfound skill constructs a rigid supporting base for many of the techniques and stylistic changes in recent black metal, providing competent forms of each, in consequence creating an album that sounds like a more violent and absolutist version of later Gorgoroth. While this album is not "black metal" in the same sense that the old guard of modern black metal from Norway were, it is a powerful vision of what USBM could be if it focused on music more than the image problems of individual members. Constructive critics might note that the vocals are too "over the top" to complement the music much here, and that often speed thrills overcome songs at times when some of the morbidly dissonant dirges found elsewhere on the album could be adapted to fit with greater audience impact. What is mainly worth listening to here are the guitars, which surge alongside drums at high intensity yet inflect a range of supporting motifs in the patina of overlapping harmonics bursting from their distorted stream of sound. This album is a large step for Kult ov Azazel and leaves us expecting even more from their next offering. - S.R. Prozak

Hellride Music Webzine (USA)

The purveyors of true Black Metal scoff at anything that isn't from Norway and anything that wasn't recorded before 1994. I can understand that to a degree, as the cold, hinterlands of Norway formed the birthplace of Black Metal. The trouble is, you might miss out on some truly good stuff if you tenaciously hang on to that opinion. America isn't especially known for it's contributions to Black Metal. I can think of only one truly amazing US-bred Black Metal band and that was Weakling out of the bay area. And that lasted all of one, extremely hard-to-find record. So I guess it was with that elusive Yankee BM quality in mind that Kult ov Azazel (once known as just "Azazel") set up it's altar, inverted a couple of crosses and plugged in. Oculus Infernum is quality all the way, right down to the somber black and grey packaging and silver on black lyrics. Speaking of which, the lyrics are prolific but maybe some of the most blasphemous I've come across. Either they really do despise Christianity or they do a helluva job faking it. The songs remind me of the simple, hypnotic and hyperfast structures of yore; the duel vocalists of Xul and Xaphan (probably "Steve" and "Dan" back in South Florida") whipping up a throat-searing frenzy. There are no symphonics or keyboards to be found, it's a totally stripped-down old school affair. The drawback on Oculus Infernum is the percussion... not bad per se, but the triggered double-bass sounds completely doctored and is about as technically appealing as a jackhammer. But, if the band's motto of "No Beauty, No Atmosphere, No Tranquility" ring true (trust me, brother, you won't find any of that here) then maybe the annoyance is all part of the Kult's program. In any case, it made me reach for the Excedrin. Another nice feature is the hidden track. Track number 66 which has a countdown of 6 seconds. I'm a sucker for this kinda crap. All together a solid release, and despite the percussive issues, a real feather in the cap of American Black Metal.

Infernal Fields Webzine (Italy)

The new working of Kult ov Azazel is a pop album... yes, and your mother is still virgin! What can you expect when you insert a recording of this band into your player? Brutality, harsh riffing, a drum played with a metronome precision, hateful blasphemies against the feeble god of christians and other nice things. If you liked the previous work, you will love this one. The fury is the same, maybe more than before, but the music in itself it's more various than on "Triumph of Fire": the cadenced parts are more cadenced, the furious, more furious, and so on. A special mentioning I think must be done fore the drums, really inhuman and fucking constantly piercing your ears with a double pedal that seems to be played by two different persons at the same time. To be honest I don't suggest this recording to all of you, maybe the less used to this kind of sonorities couldn't hear it till the end, but those who are searching the typical brutal style of Kult ov Azazel will be very pleasured by this listening. Revelabitur Atrocitas Infernum...

Into-Obscurity Webzine (USA)

Since the release of "Triumph of Fire", which had critics and metalheads alike raving, Kult ov Azazel have added a second guitarist to the fray, as well as finally landing a permanent drummer. "Oculus Infernum" marks the first full length record with the new additions and their assistance can be heard. The new drummer, Goss "The Hammer", is one of the faster double bass mongers I've heard in some time. He has some fast moving feet that almost sound inhuman. The songs on "Oculus Infernum" are a step forward to Kult ov Azazel. There are more dynamics at play here. Instead of just being all out blast beat, hell fest (never fear, there is still plenty of that), listeners are treated to songs like "Invoking the Infernal Majesty", where speed and ferocity take a back seat to more thought out songwriting. This type of maturation, while retaining what was essential from previous recordings, is the mark of a great band. If you thought "Triumph of Fire" was a stellar release (I know I did), prepare to be blown away by "Oculus Infernum". - Death Metal Dan

Jackal Blaster (USA)

With two split albums, one with the sick fiends Krieg, and two other releases of raw and ugly, hate-fueled black metal behind them, Florida's Kult ov Azazel are one of the premier blasphemic bands in the United States, and they mean permanent business. Their debut ep, Order of the Fly (how's that for an awesome black metal title!), and their full-length, Triumph of Fire, set them down the road to conquering the world. Now, Oculus Infernum has them burning the bastard to total cinders. Opening with a barrage of battery and the onslaught of a thousand demons, Oculus Infernum centers around total speed and absolute screaming for the majority of the recording. Here, Kult ov Azazel display a raw, primal fury and primitive, brutal approach in style that is an absolute whirlwind of demonic chaos steeped in musical talent and total integrity. Yeah, and it even gallops on to a triumphant march to glory on "Invoking the Infernal Majesty," before raining down total napalmic hellfire in a scorched earth policy of absolute destruction. Primitive, and brutal, and with a merciless atmosphere of total war and chaos, Kult ov Azazel represent everything that black metal is suppose to be- deliberately raw, evil, destructive, and pure, constant ugly mayhem from start to finish. Besides the awesome speed and evil music, is the band's adherence to the ideology and aesthetics of black metal- the excellent black and white packaging, the corpse paint, and the evil photos, that make this such a fantastic representation of the great US black metal scene. Along with Fog, Averse Sefira, Forest of Impaled, and Krieg, Kult ov Azazel are leading the US black metal war machine to barbaric glory. Probably the gem of the album is the added Beherit cover, "Black Arts," a really sick, evil song done in perfect tribute to the masters of noisy, atmospheric black metal. Beherit are one of the real cult kings in my book, and they really deserve more tribute songs done as great as Kult ov Azazel do here. Perfect actually, and a glorious ending for a totally awesome masterpiece that is essential for pure black metal fans.

Live4Metal Webzine(USA/England)

Upon my first spin of Oculus Infernum by Florida's Kult ov Azazel, my initial impression was that something was missing from the unrelenting storm of black metal. After additional spins, it became apparent that my initial impression was based on the fact that the album is so blinding in its ferocity that I was taken aback, shocked by the violent hurricane of scathing guitars and blast beats. There is nothing pretty about this one. It's unadulterated black metal that has nothing to do with melodic prettiness, subtle nuance, or keyboards. In other words, this is raw and rage-driven. It also takes a second listen to get past a twin axe attack that is set too far back in the mix, putting a slight damper on an otherwise ferocious sound. The scathing guitars, speed-killing delivery, and pain-inducing shrieking are intended solely to cause third degree burns. Seriously, no flesh is safe when this album is played. The guys play it like they mean it and there is no bullshitting around here. You probably won't understand the lyrics, but you do get to read them in the booklet. This is not simple stuff either. The quintet's lyrical approach is a spike through the heart of Christianity and it's obvious from reading the lyrics that the boys know what they're talking about it. The tag-team vocals of Xul (vocals/bass) and Xaphan (vocals/guitar) are filled with vitriol as they attack a false god and blacken the eyes of those who blindly follow. The drumming of Goss "The Hammer" is outstanding from a technical standpoint and will give you no chance to catch a breath. None of the tracks disappoint, but the title track and "Mark of the Devil" are the stand out cuts. Aside from the eight formal songs, if you wait long enough you'll hear a cover of Beherit's "Black Arts," on track 66 of course. Full of hatred and blasphemous to the bone, Oculus Infernum is not for the meek. No, they're not from Scandinavia, but Kult ov Azazel are doing the U.S. black metal scene proud. Followers of Christ are given two choices: clear a path or be eviscerated. - Scott

Metalcore Zine (USA)

8 blistering tracks of 100% pure black metal. The band mix a good selection of older black metal with the newer sounds. Pure, real black metal vocals too. Blistering fast too. A killer release of black metal.

Metal Fanatix (USA)

Safe to say and pleasingly so, I am quite familiar with this American black metal quartet, Kult Ov Azazel. Based out of the same place that brought us Deicide, Malevolent Creation, and hosts of others, Kult Ov Azazel has made berth. "Oculus Infernum" pretty much leaves off where "Triumph of Fire" hastened... with sonic kick drums, blazing guitar picking, and anguishing screams! Alas, the black metal lover will not be disappointed!! If anything is to be unkindled about this album, it would be the lack of diversity (but not totally). If you want proof, check out how most of the songs begin and end (can you say an older-Immortal version of "straight speed metal"?). Excluding the track, Invoking the Infernal Majesty (and other small parts in a few other tracks), this album piledrives your head through diamonds with fantastic hyper-blackness. In this case, diversity means not. Kult Ov Azazel are just flat-out, "brutal"! You want technicality? Get out. You want atmosphere? Get out. You want a pretty song? No thanks. These guys bring it!! That's all I have to say. 87/100 - Thomas Mitchell

Metal Message Webzine (Germany)

Here comes Satanic Black Metal right out of the vaporous diorama of hell -meaning raging morbid and mostly icecold attacks full of frozen melody, nicely rattling and blitzing percussional raping, together with Hate drenched Bestial Screams. Brought to you in a shockingly possessed way, and thus truly killer. All is presented blazingly fast and at the same time clearly played, by Americans who truly are full of madness and evil. Keyboards? Ha, Wrong! Kult Ov Azazel are individualistic and skillful warriors only satisfied with good and powerful guitar work. Their furious debut "Triumph of Fire" from 2001 already testified of the true genre intentions of the aggressive quartet from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Now they return and how! "Oculus Infernum" is brought with such conviction and authenticism that has been long absent in these realms. Because these possessed Impalers of Satan are involved with full dedication to the dark powers. Besides the uncompromising composing and high level of instrument handling I like the professional and full in-your-face production. This is done extremely raw. And brings you a perfect control of instruments by the band members through utter musical harshness. But also with the layout and design Kult Ov Azazel brings us killer work: Stylish black/silver Layout, enriched with medieval woodcuttings and demonic pictures, the front cover adorns a darkened image of a torture device out of the Dark Ages. And that image is suiting, because the contents of the disc will torture your ears like no 1000 sharp torture objects could ever manage to. Righteous and proudly created USBM from one of the most respectable hordes out of the States, who, when it comes to influences, casts a Demoneye on the Norwegian scene... 9/10 - Markus Eck

Metal Vox Webzine (Brazil)

I would like to start this commentary by praising the CD cover that is one of the most underground and most professional that I’ve had the pleasures to see! Beautiful and simple, looks like the art of the old covers of LP’s of the 80’s, looks like hand glued stuff and a shiny couxe paper and the letter/fonts in silver, very good!!! It’s worth standing out that the art was made by the guitarist and vocal "Nocturath"!!! But, let’s go to the music that resumes in a straightforward Black Metal in the old style like Dark Throne, Immortal, Mayhem (old), Samael (old)... The main art of the cover mentions something around a torture chamber and this is what we hear during the execution of "Rex Infernus in Excelsis", "Revelations Reflected From A Dead Jehovah’s Eye", "The Oracle of Annihilation: Eradicating Sanctimonious Existence", "Anguish Brought to Heaven", "Invoking the Infernal Majesty", "Oculus Infernum", "Mark of the Devil" and "Perpetual Demise of the Bastard Son". What can be told is that this band swears the most pure and brutal Black Metal in the mold of the of the extreme art of the old masters and creators of the style… and that differs from the other bands by the fact that the formation counts on 3 types of vocals, being: Xul (V/B), Xaphan (V/G), Nocturath (V/G) and Goss "the Hammer" (D). I point out the music "Invoking the Infernal Majesty" for having cadenced parts in excess, "Oculus Infernum" and "Perpetual Demise of the Bastard Son". Goss "the Hammer" is an excellent drummer and owner of a very fast technique, it reminds a lot the technique of Max Kolesne of Krisiun and the fact of having 3 vocals gives more emphasis to the songs, the quick guitars announce the holocaust!!! Crude Black Metal, simple and straightforward!!!! This band will still present us another fabulous CD even more brutal!!!! 10/10

Morbid Metal Webzine

This unholy creation was founded in April, 1999. Originally under the name Azazel, in order to prevent confusion, they later came to be known as Kult Ov Azazel. Surprisingly this band hails from South Florida. Kult Ov Azazel's leaders are only known as Xul and Xaphan. Their original album was an MCD titled "Order Of The Fly", along with many other split CD's. This managed to establish them as them as unstoppable force in US black metal scene. Later on they signed with the Arctic Music Group and created their first full length album "Triumph Of Fire". A year later Oculus Infernum was released, their second full length album. This album is by far the best newer, and US black metal I have ever heard. Kult Ov Azazel has revived the dying genre, and brought hope to all black metal fans across the world. Blasphemous, unholy, and filled with hatred. Kult Ov Azazel creates something spectacular with Oculus Infernum. While maintaining a true black metal sound, they don't over do it with the redundant use of: flutes, harps, and other instruments of that sort. While the guitars are insanely fast, the drums are what really stand out in their music. Kult Ov Azazel is the type of band that would turn the moshpit into a smoldering pile of unholy ash. Be warned, this album will skullfuck you, leave you depressed, and filled with hatred. But what else is good black metal supposed to do? If you ever have the cash I highly recommend that you purchase this album. 9/10 - Jon

Mourning the Ancient Webzine (USA)

Bright sun... sunny beaches... and grim black metal. Coming from Florida, is Kult ov Azazel, quite a fierce black metal act. This eight song CD is relentlessly fast and driving, all the while not losing its grim melody and pounding sound. An impressive CD many

Music Extreme Webzine (Argentina)

In 2001 we reviewed the previous recording of this black metal band full of hatred and blasphemy. And now we have this new offering and I am surprised that they have evolved a lot. Don't get me wrong: they are extreme black metal but they have achieved a much more powerful sound, specially in the guitars that now sound much more heavier and fat than in the previous recording and in the drums that are bestial delivering blast beats and sounding really mechanical giving a great feeling to Kult ov Azazel´s music. Here we have eight tracks that have no mercy for the ears and that are really designed to be listened while headbanging. Plus they have developed really good ideas that make each of the songs here extremely memorable. As I was surprised by the brutality of their previous album, now I am surprised with this new album because they have multiplied the bestiality. Great black metal!!!! Favorite tracks: All the album.

Music Scan (Germany)

Here you get nothing else but straight forward black metal from Florida. Kult ov Azazel have released their second full length and are close behind those big Scandinavian black metal heroes. The US-outfit is located right in the middle between Marduk, Darkthrone and Mayhem I would say. Those three bands seem to be very inspirable on the American outfit, which plays a self-contained European sounding style after all. This is what makes "Oculus Infernum" very interesting. Kult ov Azazel has a good understanding for a diverse songwriting within their limited genre. All-dominant are the noisy, brutal blast parts, but in between there are always short and interesting interludes. Everyone who is into Marduk should check out Kult ov Azazel. There are quite a few parallels that are very clear for some parts; however the US-outfit is more than just a very copy. The whole package of this release fits very well and the production is powerful as well. Kult ov Azazel is more proof that you always should keep an eye on American black metal bands. 7/10 - Arne

Myrrthronth Webzine (Germany)

Kult ov Azazel's second strike - I can already tell you that friends of "Triumph of Fire" will be happy. This means that KOA are still blasting hard. Wild drum blasts, hysterical screams, and guitars with no melody - KOA play pure, raw, and aggressive Black Metal, with a good production and a bass that you can actually hear. In theory, this sounds pretty good; however, the practical side of "Oculus Infernum" does not make me 100% happy. The main problem is effectiveness. I have to admit that the drummer is an animal, reminding me of godlike Pete Sandoval. However, the constant blasts (like in tracks 2 & 3) lose their effectiveness because the guitars can't match the intensity. Ironically, KOA sound best when they slow down. The slower guitar riffs are much more interesting, there is more variety in the drums, and the songs sound more powerful. Especially the second half of "Oculus Infernum" is worth listening to. I really like the title track and "Mark of the Devil,' which is also the best track on the album. Let's hope for the future that KOA will concentrate on their strengths, so maybe it's going to be more than 7 points. 7/10

Necrofile Webzine (Canada)

KoA is certainly getting a name for themselves lately as well as a loyal fan base. With this newest offering, the USBM scene indeed has another release that only makes the whole movement even stronger. Blending dual vokills and venomous guitar riffs while not being scared to add a bit of melody to their sermons of blasphemy, this horde will gain strength with each new release. Totally satanic lyrics as well as memorable songs make KoA stand out a little more than some of their peers within the underground. I have their 'Order Of the Fly' release on vinyl and I enjoy that one quite a bit as well, and as much as I enjoy this one, I can see myself hunting down a few more of their releases in the future. I can recommend this to fans of Black metal that can appreciate a touch of melody and memorable songs. This isn't the harshest thing out there by any means, but it is damn enjoyable and it is 10 times better than most of stuff coming out of Europe these days. And not a keyboard in sight!!!!! Support these guys…….they deserve it!!!! 4.5/6 - Craig

Negura Magazine (Romania)

Kult ov Azazel is another American (coming from South Florida) band that proves good quality Black Metal can came out of that infamous place. They perform rather Black/Death music, and they impress you with a fresh feeling of strength, power and aggression. The drums parts are the engine that makes everything sound so powerful, and was a really pleasure to hear some truly aggressive well performed and composed drums. Alone that sets the album apart of what you usually hear these days. It's nice to see some simple but well done things and some inspiration can create such a good album! The production shares the same aggressive and powerful feeling with the music itself. And the inspired cover concludes the circle of this album, with a refreshing intelligent Satanic imagery as well as some religious influenced but deeply satanic lyrics. 8/10

Nocturnal Horde Webzine (Denmark)

After the bands splendid debut "Triumph of Fire", which was released a couple of years ago I have been waiting excitingly for the follow up album. This has now seen the light of day and once again are we presented with evil black metal, with lots of brutality, speed and atmosphere. The first thing which hits the ears are the over brutal drumming of Goss "The Hammer". He is delivering a superb performance. There is will and power behind his play. It is fast as lightening, precise, pretty alternate and overly brutal. The guitars are delivering evil riffs in blood red streams. The riffs are still very thrashy and possess some evilness and coldness. The bass is great too and there's a lot of place for the bass in the sound picture. You can always hear what the 4 strings are doing which in this case is very good. The 3way vocal assault from the band does once again pass the test and are factors of domestic disturbance, in the homes the album is played in. One vocal more evil and more extreme than the other and they are working very well together. A greater wholesome are created from the 3 vocals and the circle of evil is assembled. When you are listening to "Oculus Infernum" the first time, it does remind one of the debut album. But when it has spun a few times, is it standing forth as a more alternate album and offers more slow, atmospheric almost epic passages together with the high speed material. The doubts of whether this band belongs in the top, or not, of the US black metal scene, hell the international black metal scene should be over. 9/10 - Anders

Pit Magazine (USA)

Kult is one of the flagship bands of the American black metal scene and deservingly so. They definitely understand their niche and play it to the fullest extent of darkness. This album is a great addition to the Kult repertoire and it is great to hear true black metal, in the vein of Marduk, originating in the States. The use of three vocalists adds to the overall effect of the album, infusing diverse personalities to the lyrical presentation. The drums are usually blast beating their way to hell but Kult is able to settle into some really dark grooves. Standout tracks include the title track and "Invoking the Infernal Majesty," the only "slow" paced song on the album. The insert is well designed with gothic style lettering and wicked illustrations. If you at all interested in Satanic black metal or just really hard ass, evil metal, this is a great buy. I would caution you against this if you attended church last Sunday! - Kurt Krueger

Powerplay Magazine (United Kingdom)

There must be something in the water in Florida: we've had Death, Deicide and Morbid Angel to name but a few of the area's best known exponents of extremity. Now welcome Kult ov Azazel. Formerly known as Azazel, they have been around in many guises for some time now, and their experience shows in the malevolent grooves that form "Oculus Infernum", their second full length CD. Kult ov Azazel pride themselves on peddling the most profane form of black metal, and profane this is! It's all here, ladies and gentleman: blast beats from hell, buzzsaw guitars and truly painful vocals courtesy of Xul and Xaphan. OH yes, by the time "Rex Infernus in Excelsis" has blasted its way through your cranium you are in no doubt that you are being subject to true black metal of the most baneful kind. But what is slightly surprising about this release is the clarity of the execution, the production somehow more ample than many of Kult ov Azazel's contemporaries, which does rather set them apart if only in terms of the quality of the finished article. If pure black metal is your thing you will like this, so light up the black candles and grind on! - John Cook

Psicoterror Zine (Peru)

So here it is! The brand new album of KOA! Certainly this band has built up quickly a huge reputation among the North American Black Metal scene and this album confirms why: Huge production, crystal clear sound and definitely better effort than their previous "Triumph of Fire". That is because this work is more "multidimensional", more varied than their previous one, showing fast paced melodies and some mid tempo songs as well; also, here three of the members share vocal duties making the BM cacophony even more intense, but, the highlight of this album is the work of their new drummer, that bastard's double bass sounds like a machine! As for the lyrics, they're focused as always upon medieval devil-worship, not too much to criticize here but, nothing to praise either…simply blasphemic…and that's it…oh! Strange artwork by the way, and don't forget the hidden Beherit Cover! Well anyway, this is from a personal point of view a solid release and a sample that America still has good BM bands to offer nowadays. - Renzo

Quintessence Webzine (The Netherlands)

Black metal in the States never managed to crawl out of the underground, where in Europe this genre was quite big and already over it's peak. Still, there are some fairly interesting bands within black metal from the USA. Kult ov Azazel is such a band. With their second full-length "Oculus Infernum" they prove to be quite an interesting band with a European sound. Overall pretty fast, especially the drums, but with quite some melody within the guitar-riffs. They use 2 vocalists that don't differ much from each other. A decent album that should appeal to most black metal fans but nothing extraordinary. - Pim

Rock Tribune Magazine (Belgium)

With the release of "Triumph of Fire", KoA had to deal with lots of comparisons to several "big" black metal bands. In their second opus, they let go all resemblances and grow into a personal style. Speaking song titles such as "Revelations Through a Dead Jehovah's Eyes", "The Oracle of Annihilation: Eradicating Sanctimonious Existence", and "Mark of the Devil" evoke the right feeling of what to expect: blasphemous, antichristian and destructive black metal. KoA keeps you in its grip through its impressive/dragging guitar parts. The alternating vocals also provide a special touch: in turns, Xul, Xaphan and Nocturath desecrate everything that stinks of christians. This album is a jewel for fans of plain but strong black metal. The true devotee awaits an unpleasant surprise in track 66, after 6 seconds. In brief: "Oculus Infernum" is a new ritual which will certainly please the God of Goats. 87/100 - Sandra Rudman

Rock Underground Magazine (Brazil)

Who was the one that said that there wasn't serious Black Metal in USA? Here is a living prove of it! (that there is serious BM), this is their fourth CD plus two splits showing that this is a band of the underground! It has satanic melodies and sharp instruments. 9/10 - JCB

Sacred Angel Webzine (Lithuania)

Four strong demons rise up and released this - aggressive, black, full of anger album titled: "Oculus Infernum". Florida - this is the city where Kult ov Azazel lives. This is the first USA band playing such black metal which I heard. Old Mayhem and Marduk influences make these American demons awesome. No keyboards or synth, only raw vocal, fast guitars and rhythmic drums. I believe that Oculus Infernum summoned many of black metal demons among all aggressive music fans from all over the world. I think that these American demons can pretend to be in the top of European black metal chart near bands such as Immortal, Mayhem, Marduk and etc. Keep going guys!

Satanahia Webzine (Poland)

Florida always reminded me of Death Metal, and when it came to American Black Metal then Texas came to my mind, because from that particular state came a few bands who play "black metal" and they stuck in my mind. Kult ov Azazel shows that not only the "cowboys" can hail the horned one with their music. On "Oculus Infernum" you will find nothing that already wasn't done, but this album has something that's hard to "pin-point", which means that you can listen to the album while being able to breathe easily but with excitement, without being bored. And how is this black metal by Kult ov Azazel? Gorgoroth, Immortal, Satyricon, Emperor and Marduk all in one, especially from the albums which were released in the '90s. Music is full of anger, madness, spewing forth venom, against all that's holy. "Oculus Infernum" is a fist in the face of God, pure blasphemy, without compromise that you will either love or hate. On this album you will not find beautiful melodies, symphonic orchestra or a choir, but there is evil, darkness and madness. This album is like a wild thunder-storm, which is coming towards a small town and then levels it with the ground, that's how much mad passion and fury you'll find in this music, every song is like a hurricane. "Oculus Infernum" is a piece of very well played black metal without compromise, it is not music which you can appreciate while being relaxed, when you listen to these eight hymns your blood will circulate faster, you will feel anger, it will make you go to the local church and knock out the priest with a head-butt (head-bang). I personally like this type of music the most so please don't tell me that Kult ov Azazel is nothing new, because a good album doesn't need any new experimental bullshit in this genre. - Tymothy

Scissors Webzine (Serbia)

"Oculus Infernum" is a venomous album title; it is associated with the abyss, Hell's awaken eye that is watching us eternally. Those hellish eyes are revived through a new album of USBM band Kult ov Azazel. After a very good prime release "Triumph of Fire", which won over the great critics (British "Kerrang", Canadian "Rip'N'Tear", German "Walls of Fire", American "Metal Maniacs" etc), "Oculus Infernum" came about. Wrath of the antichrists and dolorous hysteria conceived within the "Triumph of Fire" are reaching a climax on "Oculus Infernum". Unveil the extreme blasphemy, the distinction of bands such as Deicide or Dark Funeral! This relatively new band is courageously cutting its way through, giving a significant contribution to the USBM scene. They do not turn aside from the path of darkness and hatred! If you expect to hear female vocals, keyboards or anything close to what BM is (unfortunately!) turning into nowadays- do not buy this album. If you expect melancholic variations, or slow atmospheric parts - this is not the right album for you. "Oculus Infernum" equals to aggression and posthumous liturgy of the religion. Kult ov Azazel are the storm indeed; their new release is a symbol of destruction and pure evil. Vocals are bestial, and I hail extraordinary drumming! Changes that happened within the band have reflected positively. The opening song "Rex Infernus in Excelsis" is not the intro; this is a fist hitting the religion straight into its face. Holocaust is gained from the first to the last song; my favorites are "Invoking the Infernal Majesty" and "Perpetual Demise of the Bastard Son", which apparently ends the album… But! Wait for the 66(6)th song. If you want vehemence, you will find it here; "the eye of hell" has released pure animosity. Those who think Black Metal is dead or that the next logical step is melodic Black, are fucking wrong. On the South Florida there is a band marching through the pits of gloom and infernal hysteria. Give Kult ov Azazel a chance…'cause they wage unholy war! - Nika

Season Decay Zine (Australia)

Kult ov Azazel would have to be one of the few relentless forces within the US black metal scene that have actually impressed us. This is absolutely excellent, fast, aggressive, forceful, brutal, grim, dark and hateful, and even slightly melodic in some areas, the lead vocals and lead guitars are excellent. These guys have that flare for terrorizing that is certainly missing in this particular style, especially with songs like "The Oracle of Annihliation: Eradicating Sanctimonious Existence", "Invoking the Infernal Majesty", "Oculus Infernum", "Perpetual Demise of the Bastard Son", and they stand a fair chance of continuing to do so as long as they don't weaken. Very suitable and mentionable is the layout for the CD booklet itself, which is nothing short of being a Occult work of art and make sure you leave the CD running because "Oculus Infernum" runs long after the last and eighth song all the way up to song 66, each song before is six seconds of silence and once on 66, it gets to the six second mark and rips into an excellent cover of the absolutely mighty "Black Arts " by Beherit! The only low point is the drum which could be louder and more forceful. On par with the likes of early Emperor, Kult ov Azazel have definitely made a mark on us. - Katrinia & Jodi Jerrett

Secrets of the Moon Webzine (Brazil)

Here's more proof of what the United States can present us in terms of extreme Metal!!! The Kult ov Azazel is simply the typical band that does not lack in the collection of worshippers of the more aggressive, raw black metal, without place for melodies. In this bomb called "Oculus Infernum" the band brings strips in its big one extreme part and in moments with something slower. Highlights? There are... due to first and direct "Rex Infernus in Excelsis", proving the band vein to take the top among the most aggressive bands of this style. "The Oracle of Annihilation", the slow "Invoking the Infernal Majesty", the great "Oculus Infernum", the brilliant "Mark of the Devil" and concluding the bomb with the blasphemous "Perpetual Demise of the Bastard Son". Highly recommended for worshippers of Gorgoroth, Dark Funeral, Averse Sefira, Setherial and so many other bands that still cater to Black Metal's most aggressive side! 9/10 - Roberto

Shock! Magazine (Hungary)

Our magazine is attacked again by the overseas bands. Again, a package has arrived from the US, from a black metal band. Xaphan, the guitarist/vocalist sent their newest record, where they play sheer European black metal, with the good old "panda bear face-paint". But... I'm just listening to the second song, and I'm banging my head to the music, although the sound is featureless... Okay, I can get used to it if I'm well prepared, but it's a bit annoying that the guitars sound too low when the drummer plays double bass beats. And I can't hear anything from the lyrics, only graajjjgraaajjj, jajajajaaj, wrajjajjj, ejjajaj (okay, they have silly satanic lyrics anyway). The music is typical, and to top it all, there is no atmospheric synth magic. It's more from the pagan, dark and evil type, but somehow it's good. Early Immortal, or Darkthrone could be similar. The feet of the drummer don't rest even for a second. It's suspicious that maybe there were some studio tricks, because there is no man who could keep up with this tempo - maybe his mother worked with a sewing machine? He also pays attention to the breaks and twirls, he had a complete plan in his mind before he started to play the songs with the needed intensity. The guitars are crushing, sometimes they play more melodic things too, it can bring some feelings and monumentality to the songs, for example the fifth one. Also, the tunes are catchy sometimes. Then the listener can bang his head well. In a lot of places, I mean. The whole album is dynamic, they avoided the mistake to put the same kind of songs to the record: Oculus Infernum is brutal and intensive from beginning to the end. There are female screams sometimes, I wonder if they ripped out hearts of virgins in the studio, and then they plastered their own heavenly bodies with it. It was a surprise that I could identify some English words in the sixth song, I don't know, what happened. There are three people who growl on the album. There is a surprise on the 66th track (if it can't be the 666th). A slower track, it can even be a cover song, because it's so much different from the other ones, but I couldn't find any info on it, so I don't know, what this is and why. The booklet is a quality one, with silver-black colors. Don't think about a very extraordinary thing, but it suits with the music perfectly. Finally, a black metal album with real feeling! Okay, let me add, that it has the typical ideas, so don't wait for any big surprises. They are worth seven points. 7/10 - Szilvia Valentin

Spell of Night Webzine (Romania)

Well one night I got this CD in my mailbox (directly from Xaphan) and said to myself: "A new Kult ov Azazel CD well this would be good for my ears and good damn I was right!" Just pushing the play button on my stereo and I've felt like descending into hell. Who said that in the U.S. they are not playing true black metal was fuckin` wrong! Find this and you'll be convinced that they are followers of the Norse scene. They play the in the vein of Darkthrone and Marduk style of black metal without female voices, keys, or serene atmosphere. All here is raw, grim and played at the highest speed possible. The production must be noticed because is very hard and clear. If you are not a hard raw black metal listener you will not get a kick out of this , but if you are into brutal black this is a must have release! 95/100 - Carlaont Catalin

Stranger Aeons Webzine (USA)

Burning in the abyss, twisted and charred black as the raven's blood, inspiration shapes the empty heart. Kult ov Azazel was born from such an abysmal glory. Their 2003 opus of horrific darkness, "Oculus Infernum" [Arctic Music Group], is Black Deathrash Metal with a refined, highly skilled edge. ("Oculus Infernum," translates from Latin as "Eye Of Hell.") Kult Ov Azazel has a tight, hyper-energized style. The guitars and rhythms are very, very fast with just enough hook to keep the chaos exploding. The growled vocals have a shrill tinge, but avoid the stereotypical Black Metal ear-bleeding shrieks. It is a rock solid sound, and Kult Ov Azazel does it exceptionally well. The best of these blistering, bone-shattering cuts includes "Mark Of The Devil," the fierce onslaught of "The Oracle Of Annihilation: Eradicating Sanctimonious Existence," "Rex Infernus In Excelsis," and the vicious "Oculus Infernum." Kult Ov Azazel is as relentless as Hell itself. In summary, Kult Ov Azazel has an excellent release in "Oculus Infernum." It has a glorious rage. - Bill Vogel III

Succubus Webzine (Brazil)

Extremely killer!!! I was anxious for this work from Kult ov Azazel because in their previous work titled "Triumph of Fire" the violence contained in the compositions caught my attention and good to say that "Oculus Infernum" had me wanting more and still overcame my expectations. I should start by first commenting that the production is overwhelming, the sound achieved is great; everything is present with a lot of heaviness and perfect definition. The graphic art is destructive, all in black colors and silver, with pictures of the members, lyrics and satanic illustrations. The sound presented by Kult ov Azazel is a true one and in the end Satanic Black Metal; raw, violent, direct and very brutal. The compositions are played in an atmosphere of pure brutality, mixing the fast parts very well with the most cadenced. The guitar riffs are killer and the battery commanded by The Hammer is really murderous. This can be seen in the songs "Rex Infernus in Excelsis", "Revelations Reflected from Dead Jehovah's Eyes", "Anguish Brought to Heaven", "Oculus Infernum" and "Perpetual Demise of the Bastard Son". In this release Kult ov Azazel cultivate their style of American Black Metal very well and mix it with true and old school Scandinavian Black Metal. With this new album "Oculus Infernus", Kult ov Azazel is consecrated as one of the best bands of the American Black Metal scene. 10/10 - De Sades

Tartarean Desire Webzine (Sweden)

Since the release of their debut album "Triumph Of Fire" in 2001 these Americans have established a stable four demons strong line-up, including original members Xul and Xaphan. The follow-up is entitled "Oculus Infernum" and from the very first second it stands clear that this Florida based band will not hold anything back this time either. In a country where everyone plays either death metal or nu-metal Kult Ov Azazel stand out with their European brand of black metal and they do it very well and are able to compete with much of the competition overseas. Their new album is pretty much in the same vein as their debut but even though they are still clinging on to their furious Marduk styled black metal the song writing is a little bit more diverse this time with a few small surprises at hand. Once again the furious guitars and light-speed drums are accompanied by the bestial screams from Xul who will certainly be able to summon a few devils among the world's extreme metal fans (and with extreme I don't mean Slipknot or Soulfly). I wouldn't say that this is the black metal album of the year but if you enjoy mid-period Marduk and older Mayhem and would want to get to know the finest black metal band on the American continent, then you should give Kult Ov Azazel a chance. A merciless assault on all that is holy. There is more to come from these purveyors of chaos and destruction, that's for sure. The album was professionally produced by the band and mixed / mastered by Jeremy Staska at Studio 13. 7/10 - Vincent Eldefors

The Dungeon (USA)

Because Kult ov Azazel are from Florida, you might be expecting death metal. Many death metal bands that went on to become influential forces in extreme music such as Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel started there. This band, however, not only plays black metal, but some of the rudest, most misanthropic and morally offensive black metal to spew from the bowels of America since Abazagorath and Blood Storm reared their corpsepainted heads on this side of the Atlantic. Christened after the biblical bearer of mankind's sin, they recite blasphemous passages against light and holiness on their second full-length "Oculus Infernum" that would make Joseph Lieberman piss himself and, more importantly, appease the bloodlust of thrashers across the country. The band's slogan is "no beauty, no atmosphere, no tranquility" which reminded me of "no mosh, no fun, no trends" coined by Euronymous of Mayhem at the dawn of 90's black metal. You can rest assured that the attitude is very much the same here. Reviewers who heard their last full-length "Triumph of Fire" have made frequent comparisons to black metal bands that are today, the stuff of legend, like Emperor, Immortal and Marduk. I'm inclined to agree, as far as the comparisons to the last two bands mentioned, due to the relentlessness assault that Kult ov Azazel bring to the table. They charge ahead with an endless barrage of double kick drums, blast beats played with mechanical precision, which seem almost impossible to reach, guitars that sound like red-hot razors being dragged across your flesh with deliberate slowness and vocals spitting forth hatred and sacrilege that will alarm and outrage anyone within earshot. 4/5 - Dave Wolf

Throne of Torment Zine (Italy)

In the face of everyone senselessly proclaiming U.S. bands cannot create great black metal, Kult ov Azazel pronounce them dead with their brand new CD which is their best one so far. Relentless, furious and terribly obscure "Oculus Infernum" is built by eight tracks (plus one hidden one, not so important, I have heard it just once) creating hell on earth and spewing the sperm of Satan each damn second it runs. This album has got at least three winning points that allow it to overstep the majority of nowadays releases: 1)a drummer that even impressed a friend of mine & he’s only into jazz music and considers the stuff I usually listen to as total crap, but when I made him listen to this album he’s been amazed by the technical ability of “The Hammer”; 2)a vocalist able to characterize the songs: I like a lot his screaming and I say a good slice of the merit of this listening pleasure is his; 3)riffing that takes inspiration by the old style Immortal and Darkthrone and gets violently beyond. Most of the songs are unleashed at hyperspeed because the drummer is able to play this way and it would be a pity avoiding to use his great technique to write simple and over worn patterns, but the Kult is even able to relax a bit and write some agonizing slow riffs leading you in a more atmospheric world stinking of sulphur & you have died just five minutes ago, you are on the downward path and you are feeling repentance for your evil life, you’re not blessed (raped) by the light of christ and this makes you grieve & you need a soundtrack, Kult of Azazel has composed the one perfectly fitting: “Invoking the Infernal Majesty” & yeah, thy repentance is short, you want to meet the devil himself to advise him some ways to be more bastard, you are a teacher in this fine work and you must share your experience. The title track has heavy death metal influences when the fastness fades thus showing a variety in the songwriting unusual to many and many bands, but in general we can speak of this album as a relentless fast satanic black metal attack that has its peak in the "Mark of the Devil" track so if you want to have a brighter idea of the goodness of this album and band you can try listening to it somewhere in the web, and then go in your fave record shop to purchase.. .You'll need it when you want to blow your mind away. - Griffar

Throat Culture Magazine (USA)

Kult ov Azazel could quite possibly be the best band in the new wave of American black metal and Oculus Infernum further solidifies their position of dominance amongst the true black metal elite in North America. This album certainly represents an evolution from KOA's previous releases with warmer more death metal production as well as compositions that are tighter, meaner, and more deadly than before. A lot of black metal bands have a tendency to become boring and monotonous in their attempt to create hypnotic atmosphere, but KOA has the rare ability to change up riffs and tempos enough to keep their compositions interesting without losing their dark mood. Oculus Infernum grabbed my attention right away with three fast, memorable and ultra punishing tracks. Nothing is more likely to win me over than an album which begins by shoving the most aggressive and momentum-filled tracks right in my face. Track four, entitled "Anguish Brought to Heaven", continues with the same drum speed of the previous tracks but displays a much more paced traditional black metal style replete with Atilla Csihar (ex-Mayhem) style vocal drones. The following track slows down considerably, but still maintains the same anger and momentum found in the previous tracks. Kult ov Azazel has definitely mastered the ability to include tempo and compositional dynamics while maintaining a consistent feel and spirit throughout an album. The rest of the tracks on Oculus Infernum pick up the pace again and show a great deal of death metal influence that I hadn't noticed in previous KOA releases. Angel Corpse definitely comes to mind when I hear some of the meaner riffs on this album. This slight evolution is style along with the ultra fierce aggressive drum performance remind me a lot of Summon's more recent material. I can sense that North American black metal bands are starting to develop their own unique voice by gleaning influence from some of the darker death metal bands like Angel Corpse and Immolation. I certainly hear that influence throughout Kult ov Azazel and Summon's more recent material as well as a select few other American bands like Averse Sefira and Anwyl. North American black metal bands are certainly beginning to set themselves apart from the almost dead Norwegian scene with their innovative stylistic revisions of the original black metal approach. Rest assured this is no reason for the black metal purists to fret because I promise you that Oculus Infernum is every bit as grim, harsh, and cold as anything that has ever come out of Scandinavia. Take that Norway, with your universal health care and support for arts and education - your grimness is bogus as hell. Here in the U.S. we really have stuff to be grim about. - Dan Schneidkraut

Tombstone Webzine (Greece)

These guys hail from Florida and they are playing black metal. This is their sophomore effort and if there was one thing that needed improvement were the vocals. Well we can say that they have actually improved the vocals and they sound much better in their new album. Their black metal is very raw and very primal, with no keyboards or atmospheric stuff, but straight in your face, brutal and influenced by the Norwegian scene and old school bands. The musicianship is great, as was in their debut album as well, the songs are mostly good and I liked the fact that there are no fillers. They prefer to have a CD with 8-9 good songs only than add a couple of indifferent tracks in it and make it lengthier. I liked that fact because they don't waste my time with indifferent songs. They aim straight to the point and their aim is true enough to make more than just a few heads turn their way. The production is very good, a true brutal black metal production, but clear also and not just heavy. Excellent job from every aspect and an album you'll dig if you are into old school black metal. 8/10

Tormented Zine (USA)

Kult Ov Azazel shine though once again as one of the most talented and most brutal bands in USBM, I guess "Triumph Of Fire" was not enough to satisfy the hunger of these maniacs from Florida (of all places, where the US death metal movement started).. well, anyway, this album contains the improved and fortified version of KoA (which is Xaphan and Xul along with new guitarist Nocturath and new drummer Goss "The Hammer") and is a more varied album instead of just constantly blasting like "Triumph Of Fire" did. "Invoking The Infernal Majesty" reminds me a lot of the older Norwegian style of For All Tid-era Dimmu Borgir mixed with the brutality of Darkthrone and "Oculus Infernum" is just straight forward blasting blackness... some of the fastest drumming that I have ever heard is on this CD and definitely puts Hellhammer from Mayhem and Frost from Satyricon to shame, so I wouldn't be surprised if Goss "The Hammer" ends up being in some drumming magazine or endorsement somewhere... but in all seriousness, this album is already becoming one of my top ranked CDs that I listen to on an ongoing basis, so if you want to scream forth blasphemy unto the cursed heavens, this is the soundtrack for your ongoing hatred of sheep everywhere!!! - George

Tormented Hate Webzine (Brazil)

Fuck! I was expecting this new album in the same vein as "Triumph of Fire". But it is not what happened here! Kult ov Azazel is much more mature now, and it can be noticed when listening to this new album. They are sounding less brutal, but much more rawer and faster. I'm amazed with the speed of this drummer, "The Hammer" is his name...so...Xaphan vocals are really sick, and the riffs are great also. I can't mention the best songs, because all of them rule. I can see a lot of originality in here...just take a look at the song titles, I really enjoyed, also the lyrics...the fact of this cd in having no logo in the front cover is very different...and this cover is really obscure, as I said, great artwork in this album, the booklet is nice, with silvered details and pages. What else can I say? This is Kult ov Azazel! Just try to listen to this, so I don't need to say "buy it"...because it's obvious. It should be considered one of the best albums of the year. - - Ulysses

Transcending the Mundane Webzine (USA)

Florida's Kult Ov Azazel, along with Summon and Averse Sefira have established themselves as the leaders of the American black metal scene. Kult Ov Azazel debuts in 1999 with their Order of the Fly e.p. which established them in the underground. Their debut full length, 2001's Triumph of Fire showed they were a band on the verge of joining the black metal elite. Now along comes Oculus Infernum, a brutal, misanthropic assault of black metal which even surpasses the genre's leaders like Marduk and Darkthrone. I'll be the first to admit that relentless black metal, with its one dimensional pace and vocals is not usually among my favorites, but Kult Ov Azazel do it so convincingly well you can't help but enjoy this band. Like both Summon and Averse Sefira, Kult Ov Azazel get a brutal, raw yet full sound. The vocals have that rawness but they are more listenable than your usual troll like variety. Triumph of Fire had heaviness, but with Oculus Infernum, Kult Ov Azazel turn up the intensity a notch, so they sound truly imposing. All those raving about Marduk need to check out Kult Ov Azazel- this is how it should be done. Album Score: 8.5/10 - Brett VanPut

Transilvanian Hunger Webzine

I am pretty sure this is the 2nd full-length recording released on CD by the band. Kult ov Azazel are from Florida and play their own version of black metal. Most of it is just really fast stylized death metal but I think I'd rather listening to something competently written such as Oculus Infernum than any of the super shitty "Tr00 BeeyeM" guys out there who just learned to play yesterday, record everything in their parents' house on the computer, etc. The only drawback on this recording are those fucking triggered kick drums. That shit really annoys me. Gay boys from Europe will probably make fun of this band because they think their shit don't stink (and in response to that I need only mention faggoty Opeth), but IMO Kult ov Azazel is a great band that knows its stuff.

Unchain the Underground Webzine (USA)

Kult ov Azazel floored me with their debut album, Triumph of Fire. Seldom before had I heard music of such violent intensity and technical proficiency. It was, and remains, one of USBM's finest moments. Oculus Infernum very much lives up to the standard set by Triumph of Fire, which is impressive, but the album doesn't impact me the way the first album did. This is due to no fault with Oculus Infernum. It is a spectacular album in every way great arrangements, tight playing, frenzied vocals... I have not a single complaint, but the debut was such a fucking monster that, in its wake, Oculus Infernum does not have the same potency. I think the difference may be the overall mood. While Triumph of Fire seemed an exercise in violence (calling to thrash metal in some ways, ala Massacra and the like), Oculus Infernum seems to be more rooted in hatred and evil. Essentially, a more "BLACK METAL" album (though Triumph of Fire was undeniably such), that despite its purity, should appeal to fans of death metal as well because it is such a relentless, manic body of music. There are two vocalists on Oculus Infernum as opposed to one on Triumph of Fire. While very similar in sound, one (either Xul or Xaphan, they didn't specify who sings what) has a more decrepit, sick sound. The other comes off as a maniacal lunatic, seething with fury. The delivery on "Invoking the Infernal Majesty," the slowest number on the album, is especially impassioned. "The Oracle of Annihilation Eradicating Sanctimonious Existence" features some of the fastest and most incessant double bass I have ever heard. Unbelievable! The mix is excellent. The guitars have a very full, well-balanced sound and the bass is audible throughout the entire album. The packaging is as impressive as the music. The type and graphics inside make the booklet resemble a tome of occult passages that very much fits the overall mood of the album. Kult ov Azazel have further solidified their position as one of the finest bands active in the US Black Metal scene. Their dedication to quality and detail is evident in the music, which sounds as chaotic as the most raw and nasty of black metal, and is actually all the more frightening because it not out of control, but seems as if any second it might spiral into utter chaos. They have found a great balance between technical playing and the rawness that is a trademark of the black metal genre, and tread the path between the two perfectly, resulting in a distinct sound that sets them apart from their contemporaries, which has become an increasingly difficult task with the over-saturation of black metal releases and bands of late. Rating: 9/10 - Al Kikuras

Unholy Page Zine (Peru)

Kult Ov Azazel were first heard in April of 1999, knowed like Azazel. From South Florida, masterminds Xul (bass/vocals) and Xaphan (guitar/vocals) decided to join forces. After they decided change the name to Kult Ov Azazel. The year 2002 sees the band incorporate a second guitarrist, Nocturath, and a permanent drummer Goss "The Hammer". they signed with Arctic Music Group after a MCD and various split CD's, then in April of 2001 "Triumph of Fire" was released containing 11 tracks. They are the musical embodiment of pure hatred and blasphemy which is evident with the release of "Oculus Infernum". It was recorded in November 2002 at Rythym Track Studios, engineered by J.P. Soars & Greg Threlkel, mixed and mastered by Jeremy Staska. These demons now bring us 8 infernal hymns in 44:33 min. Mmm, this is real Black Metal, in the vein of Dark Funeral, maybe Marduk, Immortal and bands with similar tendencies, yeah, you'll find here aggressivity, obscurity, blasphemy and hatred, musicalized of a good way, a double bass on drums very intense taht fits all the tracks, with many rhythm changes, maybe like Emperor, because isn't monotone, and have full evil energy, the voice fits perfectly full of evilness and hate, infernal screams; the guitar riffs are some melodic in parts but this doesn't means that they are sweet, nooooo, they are with some of heaviness due to the versatility of the music. This CD catch will you and take you to the depth of hell, with aggression and merciless. It doesn't bore and maintains the same line of perversion. "Rex infernus in excelsis"begins very extreme and continus so all the time, including the parts to mid tempo, "Revelations reflected from a dead jehova's eyes", "The oracle of annihilation: eradicating sanctimonious existence", here is a good work of the drums, like in all the CD, "Anguish brought to heaven", "Invoking the Infernal Majesty", yeah, aaarrrrrrggggghhhhh, this is a good track, you must hear it, maybe is which refresh, have like an epic melodic passage, contrasting a extreme part, very speedy on double bass drums, "Oculus Infernum", "Mark of the devil" & "Perpetual demise of the bastard son". Aahhhhhh, mmmmm I found a hidden track, hahahaha, is the 66th track, mmmm, this is to mid tempo but still conserves the evil atmosphere, this is good! Well, if you consider a hellwarrior, mmmmm this CD is for you, get it! You won't be dissapointed. Rating: 80/100 - Cadaver

Unrestrained! Magazine (Canada)

In this day and age the black metal music has gone through a rigorous amount of changes, with many veteran bands either evolving or leaving the scene. That leaves room for lots of younger acts to kind of enter the scene on their own accord, either rehashing the current scene or trying to ignite the classic black metal sound of yesteryear. Florida's Kult Of Azazel are from any kind of bandwagon black metal act as they launch forth into a truly horrific, misanthropic realm of hatred, darkness and anger with their new release Oculus Infernum. With a textured black metal sound reminiscent of the early 90s black metal scene, KoA keep things on edge, a menacing wall of chaotic atmosphere coating the material here as the band careens through such epic numbers as "Anguish Brought To Heaven" and "Revelations Reflected From A Dead Jehovah's Eyes." It is no surprise that KoA are seen as one of the premier black metal bands in the North America and with releases like this spewing from their mouths on a regular basis, that status wont change for sometime. 7.5/10 - Adrian Bromley

Vampire Magazine (The Netherlands)

It hails from the Sunshine State of Florida and it's not death metal, nor my favorites of Nasty Savage and it does not consist of a bunch of old hags; yepz, you guessed right; it's the US black metal outfit Kult ov Azazel! If you look at the biography, Kult ov Azazel is one of the busiest bands within the scene, yet on this album they deliver sheer quality. Like many other USBM bands Kult ov Azazel does not use female vocals, keyboards or other melodic stuff: expect a rawer version of Dark Funeral! And, like said in the review of 'Gather Against Humanity', in the style of another wellknown USBM act Krieg. Expect no mercy: furious fast, merciless blasphemic black metal. What separates Kult ov Azazel from the legion of many other black metal outfits is that thse guys really master their instruments very well. You could argue about the true-ness of the triggered bass drums, yet I think it fits the concept well. 'Rex Infernus in Excelsis' sets the tone and Kult ov Azazel doesn't take its foot of the pedal until 'Perpetual Demise of the Bastard Son'. Yet they have built in enough breaks and bridges into their songs, so that it doesn't become a boring whole of just speed. And all this is packed in a nice piece of true black artwork and recorded in a good sound that exceeds the average of (US) black metal releases. Like I said in the review, Kult ov Azazel was one of the most promising US black metal bands; a promise they have completely fulfilled! This album can be advised to all fans of Krieg, Marduk! and especially Dark Funeral. Like I often said before; a third album is always very important to a band's career, and I seriously believe that with this "Oculus Infernum" Kult ov Azazel have secured their future under the wings of hell. Oh, and skip all the hidden tracks (9 till 65, all six seconds of silence, the surprise is the sixtysixth track which lasts 2:52 and is a slow track for Kult ov Azazel, yet they should do such tracks more). Well, if you eliminate those 342 seconds (almost 6 minutes!) you still have almost 38 minutes of great USBM! - John

Voices From The Darkside Webzine (Germany)

After the astounding full-length debut "Triumph of Fire" in 2001 Florida's brutal Black Metal maniacs KULT OV AZAZEL deliver their second infernal strike and it is definitely no disappointment! In contrast to its predecessor "Oculus Infernum" offers more varied tempo and vocals, grimmer and darker riffs and atmosphere and an absolutely fantastic booklet layout. Of course there are still blasting parts and Death Metal-influenced sections, but they were a bit reduced to avoid being monotonous, which was one of "Triumph's" major points of criticism. Some might say that KULT OV AZAZEL sound slightly more Scandinavian now, but I do not have a problem with this. "Oculus Infernum" is as honest, possessed and hateful as the debut CD, but emphasises sinister feeling instead of brutality. You have to find out for yourself if you like it that way or not, I certainly love it!!! The album fascinates me a lot longer than "Triumph..." because it is a bit more diversified and more than just a second "Triumph of Fire". In terms of production expect nothing but the best, because once again Jeremy Staska (worked with DIVINE EMPIRE, MALEVOLENT CREATION) is responsible for forging the perfect sound. Support this talented act, buy their CD!!! Also look out for the vinyl reissues of the first MCD "Order of the Fly", the debut CD and the live album "Assaulting the Masses", which were just recently released by Autopsy Stench Records. There is also a 7" Split EP with SATANS BLOOD coming soon, so if you are really interested in KULT OV AZAZEL this might be useful information. Check out www.kultovazazel.com and listen to a MP3 of 'Perpetual Demise of the Bastard Son'! Ok, enough advertising... - Stefan Franke

Walls of Fire Webzine (Germany)

Xul (vocals and bass), Xaphan (vocals and guitar), Nocturath (guitar and vocals) and Goss "The Hammer" (drums) is the current line-up of one of the most cult black metal bands out there! Formed in April 1999, and acting under the name Azazel untill 2000, the Kult hail from Fort Lauderdale, South Florida - and as for their cult status, it's enough to mention that nearly all of their back catalogue is out of print and can't be found anymore, including the full-length "Triumph of Fire" (2001) and the various other releases ("Forever Heaven Gone" /promo tape, 1999/; "Order of the Fly" /EP, 1999/; "Of Evil and Hatred" /promo tape, 2000/; "Gather Against Humanity" /split-CD with Obitus, Humanicide and Thylord, 2001/; a split-CD with Krieg /2001/; "Assaulting the Masses" /a vinyl-only live, 2003/; and a vinyl-only split 7" with Satan's Blood /2003/). With "Oculus Infernum" Kult ov Azazel unleash their second full-length album - and one more violent attack of old- school black metal, raging like a thunderstorm and cold like a blizzard. No keys, no female vocals, no bullshit! Similar in tempo and expression to mid-period Marduk, the music is mostly fast, with smashing double-bass attacks (the new drummer is a beast - note a new entry in the world top 3 of black metal drummers!) and powerful guitar work. Most of the time one can't really make out anything of the lyrics, but the screaming vocals are nevertheless as strong and extreme as it gets! There is enough variety in the song structures as well, so there is no chance for boredom; there are even some slower parts, like the beginning of "Invoking the Infernal Majesty" or the last part of the title track. Just for the record, the line "Receiving power directly from Satan" in "Mark of the Devil" is taken from the movie "The Omen"; and under No. 66 you will find the hidden track (everything between 8 and 65 is silence) - a cover version of Beherit's "Black Arts". All in all - this is true black metal, brilliantly performed and really, really evil. Nothing for the weak-hearted - a MUST for extreme black metal fans! 5/5 - Deni

White Trash Devil Webzine (USA)

When most people think of black metal, assuming they know anything of the genre, picture a bunch of pale-faced Scandinavians screaming in shrill death wails over piercing guitars. Black metal is almost synonymous with the forests of Norway, and / or the icy landscape of Northern Europe. So, when I found out that the Kult Ov Azazel was based out of Florida, I was a more than a little apprehensive. I mean, I'm no subscriber to the infantile concept of "true black metal", but almost all American black metal I've heard has been of, at best, a decidedly poor quality. Crap like Goatwhore, and Aurora Borealis pales in comparison to the mighty European giants of black metal; Emperor, Darkthrone, Dimmu Borgir, and Satyricon. Despite all of the above, I have got to hand it to the Kult Ov Azazel, as Oculus Infernum is a blistering piece of savior slaying, messiah mangling, Christ-crushing black metal. From the opening notes, Xaphan and co. make their intentions known; you gut you, bleed you, and paint the forest with your eviscerated corpse. This is some seriously heavy shit, folks. Black metal purists should note that there are no slow passages, no keyboards, no female vocals, and nary a sordid synth to be seen; there is no soothing melody, merely masterful malefic metal mayhem. While I can't understand a single lyric screamed on Oculus Infernum, I could care less. The music is intense, the kind of stuff that would reduce a mosh pit to a smoldering hole in the ground, littered with the corpses of the Kult's bloodthirsty audience. The vocals are sick and inhuman; combining the piercing death wails of three band members to create an overwhelming, if not completely indecipherable vocal presence. The Kult Ov Azazel don't win too many points for originality; holding very tightly to the tenets of so-called "true black metal". Luckily, the band compromised and strayed from the requisite answering-machine quality production that many other "true" bands opt for. Oculus Infernum was recorded very well, allowing for each instrument to sound as crisp and deadly as possible. Like on all black metal records, the bass guitar always gets buried in the mix, beneath three vocalists, two guitars, and furious blast beats. Then again, it's not like the lack of bass is all that noticeable - the music never slows down long enough for you to think about it, really. All-in-all, Oculus Infernum is one of my favourite metal releases for 2003, thus far. I so rarely enjoy black metal records that when I do, I really like them. The Kult Ov Azazel have proven that you don't need to have Scandinavian heritage to create truly vicious black metal. Hell, you can even reside in Florida. It's all about intensity, which The Kult have in abundance. And personally, I think the absurdly long song-titles alone are worth the price of the disc. - Derek Hamilton

Worm Gear Magazine (USA)

Seems like an eternity has passed since the last KOA effort, but these light cursing Floridians have returned with a full band and enough spite to set the planet ablaze. Speed remains lord in KOA's world, but on "Oculus Infernum," more developed mids have entered their sound making them far more dangerous and well rounded. The excellence of this band lies in their ability to stick such blatantly intense riff weapons in your head, giving you the ammunition and intent to go out and execute the will of the fallen one. Tremolo riffage breeds poignant and sinister harmonies for the incessant screams of Xul & Xaphan to add that aura of mental instability to KOA's attack. With precision and an unstoppable will for musical destruction, KOA have returned triumphant with 8 new tracks of brutality and sonic misery. American black metal and proud of it. - Marty