Having recently released their debut self titled EP, Abazagorath have been quite a hot topic of press in the underground metal world. James Merrett caught up with Chris Warhead to talk about the new EP
1. Hey Warhead, how’s it going?
Hails James. Things are going good the new EP is finally out thanks to Bill Connolly and NoVisible Scars and Abazagorath continues to write new material for our next full length. We are also preparing for our live assault of the east coast for the month of April to promote the new EP.
2. So for those who don’t know, explain to us Abazagorath’s sound?
I think that is hard to pin down into a simple catch phrase. When we started out, we did so under the direct influence and inspiration of the early 90s Norwegian / Swedish Black Metal scenes as well as the original early to mid 80s Black / Thrash movement. While we still refer back to these points of inspiration, we are not content to churn out a mere re-hash of these styles, but are trying to build up on the influences to create something that is not so simple to classify as just stereotypical Black Metal.
3. Why the name Abazogorath? What does it mean to the band?
Short and simple Abazagorath is “The Spirit Of Hate For Mankind” Solitude and Misanthropy Loneliness, depressions and death. These are views I still hold true to this day.
4. Can you give those of us not familiar with yourselves a brief history off the band?
This cancer called ABAZAGORATH was first diagnosed in the spring of 1995. I don’t want to bore everyone reading with 17 years of inane bullshit, so here are the highlights…. Our first release was the “Channelling the Ethereal Moons” 3 song MCD which we released ourselves in January 1996. We recorded 2 demos that year as well, leading up to our signing with Elegy Records. The resulting effort, the 13 track “Tenebrarum Cadent Exsurgemus” CD came out in March 1997. In 2001 we recorded 7 tunes that would later appear on “The Spirit of Hate for Mankind” 7″ record (Blood Fire Death Records – July 2002) and the “Enshrined Blasphemer” MCD (Agonia Records – October 2003 ) We finally got around to recording the second full length, “Sacraments of the Final Atrocity” in February 2004, and it saw the light in late March through Morbid Wrath. In 2005 we recorded a 3 song split with Bloodstorm “Ancient Entities Arise” which was not released until 2008 on Elegy records.
5. You’ve just released a self-titled EP, how have you found the reception?
Well since this week is the official release date the few reviews I have read have been excellent. I believe you said “I don’t have a single negative thing to say about this album, which is rare. I absolutely loved it.” I am sure there are haters out there as usual and will eventually come out. But Fuck Em we will continue to write and play what we like.
6. How does the writing process go for you guys?
Back in the beginning of ABAZAGORATH we would get together at my house drink beers, smoke weed drink more beer and come up with guitar riffs and once everyone agreed on the riffs I would then add drums to the music and eventually these riffs turned into songs. Nyarlathotep would then write the lyrics and we would figure out the vocal patterns from there.
However the writing process for this new EP was completely different from what I was used to. For this release Maelstrom and I began writing this EP in January 2011 through emails. He was in VT at the time and I am in NJ. He had all the songs written with and without drums. I would upload the tracks without drums to an Ipod and play along to the riffs adding my own drum style to the music. Maelstrom would come home every couple of months and he and I would jam at my house rehearsing and getting the material tight. Eventually in May he returned home and we began teaching Nyarlathotep and Ciemnosc the music and began jamming as a band again preparing for our recording in July. Nihilist was sent a demo recording Maelstrom and I recorded with the lyrics since he is on the other side of the country.
7. You’ve been at this a long time now, how do you keep things fresh in the writing?
Well actually since we have gone through numerous guitar players over the years (to many to count) I believe each ex individual has brought something different to Abazagorath. This is what I believe makes each of our releases have a different sound and feel to them. But we have always stuck to our original goal in creating our own style of BLACK FUCKING METAL.
Brining in Maelstrom also keeps things fresh with the band because he is constantly writing material. He already has then next album written and we already have 3 songs completed. He is dedicated to the music and to Abazagorath which I respect. We both have the same work ethic which makes the writing process a lot easier.
8. Abazagorath is the first release on No Visible Scars, what made you go with them?
Actually Diabolist Services was originally supposed to put this out as a CD first and then on vinyl. But Kevin fell to some hard times because of the economy and was unable to meet our deadline. I gave him as much time as possible but could not wait any longer. We can’t thank Kevin enough for helping Abazagorath getting this EP recorded. Don’t be surprised if you see this re-released on vinyl in the future. So long time metal brother, friend and Abazagorath fan Bill Connolly wanted the opportunity to put this out on his label. This guy has some rare Abazagorath demos from 95 that I don’t even own. Bill was real easy to work with. I sent him the artwork created by (Worthless Endeavours), pictures and lyrics and told him what I wanted for the layout and within 2 weeks he had everything completed. This is why the release date was bumped up and not pushed back like most labels do. All HAIL NoVisible Scars.
9. What is your opinion on the current American black Metal Scene
I believe nowadays that we are oversaturated with so called black metal bands. I hear a lot of bullshit being released from people’s home computers that just sucks. Don’t get me wrong there are some newer bands I do enjoy FAMINE (NJ), IPSISSIMUS, PTAHIL, WOE). But I am an old school guy who supports bands that were there since our inception in 1995 such as Profanatica, Black Funeral, ABSU, Demoncy, Thornspawn, Bloodstorm , and December Wolves.
10. And the current worldwide Black Metal scene?
There are some great black metal bands from different parts of the world and too many to even mention. I personally have been a huge fan of French Black metal in particular with bands like ANTAEUS, HELL MILITIA which we had the pleasure to share the stage with in 2004.
11. Will you be coming over to destroy England anytime soon?
I have no plans on crossing the pond as of yet nor have I had any offers to help me out with getting there. We did play England in 2004 with Demoncy and Krieg and had a killer time. The responses from all the Europeans on that tour could have not been better. I would like to be able to tour Europe again or if not at least play some fests in the near future.
12. Is there anything you want to add?
We appreciate the support and the interview.
Abazagorath will continue writing our next full length album entitled “The Satanic Verses” I believe this material will be our best work yet. I already have several labels interested in putting this out but Abazagorath will continue to shop it around. Any labels interested please contact me through our facebook page. We will be doing a mini tour of the East coast in April so check out our Reverbnation page for dates. New t-shirts and CDS are available as well. Beware the second coming of ABAZAGORATH... The future looks dark...Arrogance & Wrath. www.facebook.com/Abazagorath666 www.reverbnation.com/abazagorath