Trey Azagthoth

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Trey Azagthoth
Trey Azagthoth.jpg
Background information
Birth name George Michel Emmanuel III
Also known as Trey Azagthoth
Born (1965-03-26) March 26, 1965 (age 51)
Origin Bellingham, Washington, United States
Genres Death metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, synthesizer, vocals
Years active 1983–present
Associated acts Morbid Angel
Website Trey Azagthoth on Myspace, Trey Azagthoth on Facebook,
Notable instruments
BC Rich "InstaGIB" Ironbird
Dean V X-Core
Dean Astro-X
Ibanez UV7BK

Trey Azagthoth (born George Michel Emmanuel III March 26, 1965 in Bellingham, Washington, United States) is an American musician best known as founder and guitarist of the Florida death metal band Morbid Angel.[1]


Emmanuel grew up in Tampa, Florida, in a Baptist household.[2] He began playing guitar, at the age of 16, when he received his first guitar, a B.C. Rich Ironbird.[3] He later bought some effect pedals, including a Morley Wah.


In 1982 Emmanuel formed his first band called Ice with high school friend Mike Browning and played mainly covers of bands like Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden.

Morbid Angel[edit]

Main article Morbid Angel.

After his graduation in 1983 Emmanuel founded his second band under the name Heretic and began to write his first songs.[4] The band later renamed itself Morbid Angel and Emmanuel adopted the nickname Trey Azagthoth. The name Trey refers to the name component "III" (the third) and Azagthoth to the Ancient One of the grimoire Necronomicon by Simon. Trey claims Azagthoth to be his spirit name. Musically and lyrically, Azagthoth draws much of his inspiration from occult experiences with the Ancient Ones of the Simon Necronomicon, Mystical Qabala, and video games.[5] He has stated in interviews that the purpose of the band is to praise the Ancient Ones.[6][7] Throughout the years and despite the numerous line-up changes Azagthoth has remained a constant member and the main songwriter of the band.[8]

Chewing Inc.[edit]

In the late 1990s and early 2000s Azagthoth recorded a number of demo tracks with Mike Davis of Nocturnus as an instrumental music project. The idea was however soon abandoned by Azagthoth.

Musical style[edit]

When he started to play guitar, Azagthoth first learned classic heavy metal riffs from bands such as Black Sabbath or Judas Priest and then went on to develop his own style.[9] He cites Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Eddie Van Halen, Michael Schenker and Randy Rhoads as huge influences and inspiration on his music. His playing features much utilization of the whammy bar, complex finger tapping, extensive use of a Morley Wah pedal and other effects, and wailing guitar solos that have a distinct tone fans consider to be his trade-mark sound. In an interview Azagthoth described his soloing technique as follows:

"It's been an evolution, beginning with identifying and connecting with the pure flow of the music I grew up on. I think that back then I used what would be called Creative Visualization: using my mind and my imagination to access a deeper place within myself, to open myself and allow myself to be moved by the vibes coming out of the speakers—not thinking in terms of notes and keys but rather just riding the waves."[10]

A collection of some of his famous guitar solos from Morbid Angel's sixth album Formulas Fatal to the Flesh were put on a B-side record entitled Love of Lava which later were included on the second disc of Morbid Angel's 8th album, Heretic. Decibel Magazine ranked him number 1 on their list of the 20 best death metal guitarists,[citation needed] and he was listed at number 7 in Joel McIver's 2009 book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.[citation needed]


Azagthoth plays a variety of six and seven strings guitar from different brands. They are all equipped with a floating bridge and Dimarzio pickups. The six strings tend to be explorer, V or X shaped models whereas the seven strings are principally Ibanez superstrats models. His guitars are tuned to D# and A# standard. He currently endorses Dean guitars but also plays B.C. Rich, Ibanez and Jackson guitars.[11] His guitar collection, both past and current, include the following models:

  • B.C. Rich Ironbird
  • Charvel 375XL
  • Charvel Explorer
  • Charvel Star
  • Dean V X-Core
  • Dean Astro-X
  • Hamer Flying V
  • Gibson Flying V
  • Ibanez RG7
  • Ibanez UV7BK
  • Ibanez RG550
  • Jackson Warrior
  • Washburn RR

For amplification Azagthoth mainly uses Marshall heads such as the JCM 800 and 900 and 4 x 12" cabinets. He uses a ProCo Rat distortion pedal or rack unit to boost his overdrive signal. Furthermore, Azagthoth runs a number of effect unit for his lead sound like a TC Electronic G Major Processor, a Morley Bad Horsie, an MXR Phase 90, a Locobox Flanger. In the past, Azagthoth was known for using an Eventide processor.

Personal life[edit]

Emmanuel's non-musical interests include anime, video games, firearms, martial arts, nature, the occult and spirituality.[12][13] His favorite shows are Sailor Moon and Gundam and his favorite video games include the Doom and Quake series, Castlevania, Street Fighter, Devil May Cry, Legacy of Kain and Metal Gear Solid.[14] In between writing and recording the 2003 album Heretic, Emmanuel created a zdoom level called "Chambers of Dis". The level was on his personal Myspace page and can be found on the Morbid Angel home page.[15]


Morbid Angel


  1. ^ Anthony Bartkewicz, "Top 20 Death Metal Guitarrists. #1: Trey Azagthoth" (in German), Decibel Magazine (August 2007) 
  2. ^ "Morbid Angel 2 interview with Tales From The Pit". Tales From The Pit. YouTube. 2009. 
  3. ^ Padilla, Andres (1996). "Interview with Trey Azagthoth". Chaotik Webzine. 
  4. ^ Albert Mudrian (2006) (in German), Choosing Death: Die unglaubliche Geschichte von Death Metal & Grindcore, Berlin: I.P. Jeske/Mader, pp. 65, ISBN 978-3-931624-35-4 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Artist page Trey Azagthoth". The Metal Archives. 
  9. ^ Albrecht, Frank. "Feuerfontänen im Zweistromland". Rock Hard. No. 131. 
  10. ^ "Dear Guitar Hero: Trey Azagthoth". NewBay Media. 2010. 
  11. ^ "The Dean Artists: Trey Azagthoth of Morbid Angel". Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  12. ^ Padilla, Andrés y Knwell (2002). "Entrevista a Trey Azagthoth de MORBID ANGEL". 
  13. ^ Lord of the Wasteland (2003). "MORBID ANGEL TREY AZAGTHOTH INTERVIEW". Heart of Steel: Interviews. Metal Rules. 
  14. ^ Lahtinen, Luxi (2001). "Morbid Angel Interview With Trey Azagthoth". 
  15. ^ Azagthoth, Trey. "Chamber of Dis". 

External links[edit]