By Andrew Catania
With his white, pale skin highlighted with sharp, defined features that border on an exotic delicacy resembling a look as ‘gothic’ as it can get – one would be anything but surprised to hear Trey Azagthoth casually mention that he happens to be the lead guitarist for a death metal band.
The significance of his statement comes to life when he mentions the band he plays for, Morbid Angel. Not just any death metal band but the musical equivalent of Jehovah – the band that has been described to be “the most influential and emulated bands in death metal” and been cited as an artistic influence by numerous other musicians and bands.
After Morbid Angel’s launch in 1984 – the band happened to be the first death metal band in musical history to achieve the level of commercial success it did after Giant Records signed up the band in 1992. We’re talking MTV, soundtracks being played on Beavis and Butthead and the release of four consecutive albums that are today referred to as evergreen ‘classics.’
Trey Azagthoth’s role in Morbid Angel is not just limited to that of lead guitarist. He also happens to be an original founding member of the band. Trey Azagthoth and Mike Browning started Morbid Angel in 1984 in Tampa, Florida. It has been a little over three decades since the band first came together and today – after having a total of 20 legendary musicians on board at some point or the other – Trey Azagthoth is the only original member to carry on playing with Morbid Angel. It would be safe to assume that the band maintains its legacy through the years because it has held onto one common element through the years – Trey Azagthoth.
Azagthoth started playing the guitar at the age of sixteen and his art is influenced by as unlikely a source as one would expect – Mozart. As a child, he showed an affinity towards the performing arts and was a classical dancer till he decided to pick up the guitar. He is nothing but a prodigy because despite starting out late in age on the guitar – he has been rated as the number one ‘death metal guitarist ever’ by Decibel Magazine.
Not only is he one of the most influential and revered guitarists in heavy metal, but he is also responsible for being a pioneer in the fast, distorted tone of guitar that today defines death metal. Without him, death metal as it exists today would have been fragments of possibilities and never materialized the way it has. While Azagthoth remains on board with Morbid Angel – we can rest assure that the band will continue to trail blaze it’s way to history.
Follow Morbid Angel @