Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Abhoth Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?

Abhoth is currently strengthened by three session members from various Montenegrin bands. So we’re rehearsing and getting ready for our first live show, which is to be on Bedem Fest in Niksic in September. We’re also working on some new material, correcting the arrangements of some old songs, re-shaping them into something new and colossal.

2.In December you had released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

We have defined our music as atmospheric death metal.We’re trying to mix death metal riffs with atmospheric keyboards as a background to the raw guitars. Mid tempo death metal music is the main core of our songs, varying from fast ripping thrash-death riffs to obscure doom-parts, with slow and dim guitar solos. Harsh metal sound is submerged into overwhelming impression of soft keyboards, as chaotic yet shaped and defined clash of genres  imagined to bring forth obscure Lovecraftian atmosphere.

3.The band has been around 2006 but you waited till 2014 to release any music, can you tell us a little bit more about the wait?

First version of “Beyond the Gates of the Silver Key” was recorded in 2008 and it was known only among the limited group Montenegrin metalheads. The rest was planned to be recorded when band would have the proper equipment and conditions. Members have also had obligations to other bands, with Zaimus who have recorded an EP in 2009, and later with KK Street Bangers who have done it in 2010, and started to perform live afterwards (Both Milos and Branko  are members of these bands). So we have decided to start the recording of our own EP in 2010. Even with the greatest effort and determination to release the product of our work. In the meantime, we’ve released re-mastered version of  “Beyond the Gates of the Silver Key” in 2012 via YouTube, and song was well-received by public, which gave us new will. In order to fulfill the vision of our own ideal sound that we had in the very beginning, previously recorded versions of songs were deleted, due to dissatisfaction with the sound of recorded guitars, and EP was once again recorded in 2013, with much better equipment and much greater knowledge of mixing.

4.Your lyrics cover Cthulu Mythos, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this subject?

I’m a great fan of horror literature, and I think H. P. Lovecraft and his circle of friend-writers have inspired many aspects of its nowadays concept, as much as Tolkien had done it for epic fantasy. The main theme in their opus are the universal horrors manifested as the "Great Old Ones", a dreadful pantheon of ancient, monstrous deities from outer space and beyond-cosmic voids. I think Lovecraft has been the dominating figure in depicting the frights of interstellar space same as Carl Sagan is in understanding of its secrets. As a fan of sci-fi, I have found his elements of parallel universes with physics explained astonishing, and his sense of abstract grotesque in describing alien races magnificent. I’ve always been fascinated with concept of some of the their appearance as a contrast to global human egocentrism and humanoid aliens shown in most of Hollywood movies. By following his work, I’ve came across the whole world of entwined Mythos and I’ve opened myself to devouring world of Ancient Ones.

5.I know that the band name came out of the writings of Clark Ashton Smith, do you feel he is an underrated writer compared to H.P Lovecraft?

Not at all.Smith was one of "the big three” of the famous “Weird Tales” magazine,famous sci-fi and horror franchise,together with Lovecraft  and Robert E. Howard, creator of “Conan the barbarian”. He was known to readers for the most morbid style of these three writers, so it means they were both recognized. In fact, their 15 years long friendship and correspondence begun when Lovecraft sent him fan letter, admiring his story that he’s published.

6. In one interview you had talk a little bit about your interest in the occult, what are some of the forms of occultism do you find very interesting these days?
As an eternal agnostic, I don’t practice any of the occult arts, but I have always loved them being used as a motive in other ones, like on paintings showing evangelic visions of hell and apocalypse. I don’t like the connecting occultism to Satanism in traditional concept of the word. Personally, I limit the usage of Satan to his metaphorical meaning, like Milton and Blake did, not a figure to bow down to. Although I think satanists like La Vey are idiots and their commercial usage of occultism has nothing to do with real esoteric arcane knowledge, their beliefs and rituals are great themes for horror, same as witches’ sabbats and grimoires of medieval demonology. A lot of artists like Lovecraft have used those motives to build some parts of their opus upon them, same as we as a band did with his work. But, I have to admit, a lot of occult philosophical aspects are amazing, and some of them can even be implemented in one’s concept and belief of the ways cosmos works. Mostly, I admire doctrine, philosophy and poetry of Crowley’s Thelema, his cult of the Beast and doctrine of Aeon. I’m also into ancient Egypt’s Draconian cults, Qabalah Apocryphs, Madam Blavatzki’s theosophy and Spare’s cult of Zos, and especially doctrine of Bertiaux’s Cult of Black Serpent (Le Couleuvre Noire).

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
As I’ve previously mentioned, we’re about to play our first on Bedem Fest in September, and we hope that it will be opening for the series of live shows. All the organizers and bands interested to make a tour or a gig with us are most welcome to send their invitations to our e-mail to arrange as much live shows as we can.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal?

The feedback is great and we’re quite satisfied. A mere fact that we were contacted by Russian record label with an offer to release our EP with distributors from Germany and USA was really quite astonishing for a band from a country that many people from abroad can’t even find on a map, thinking it’s a Spanish village because of its name.

9.What is going on with some of the other musical projects or bands these days that some of the band members are a part of?

Currently I’m in the process of recording a side project with Milos on guitars, thrash-death metal band called Hostis, and I hope it will be finished soon. KK Street Bangers is doing some gigs in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Marc/April, and I think they shall soon start recording their album. I think Branko and Milos are to record full length of Zaimus afterwards.

10.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

As I have mentioned, we’re currently re-shaping some of the old songs, and we’ve got a lot material. Our full length will be based mostly upon terrific scenes of ancient Egyptian mythology, as well as the songs inspired with Sumerian, Assirian, Babylonian beliefs. So, we can say our next release will be a mixture of rituals, incantations, mantras, and vivid horror scenes from that world. Musically, we shall stay the same genre, harsh guitars and atmospheric keyboards, with little more extreme approach (occasional blast beats, back growls and screams etc.) Also, many songs on our full-length will be composed by Milos. We’re planning to record it somewhere in Serbia or abroad, so it will take some time to collect the financial resources for its recording. I don’t think it will be possible in this year, but we’re hoping to collect some part of it with our live shows and selling of our share of CDs.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

There are many old-school bands that I’ve drawn inspiration for my music from, primary from bands like Nocturnus or Pestilence, which have tried to mix death-metal with keyboards, resulting in great masterpieces . Nowadays there are also bands, like Sulphur Aeon, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Ex Deo, Septic Flesh which are also great in mixing the keyboard sound with the death metal matrix. These days I’ve been mostly listening to  “Consumed by the elder sign” of Australian Innsmouth and the last album of Cannibal Corpse.

12.How would you describe the metal scene in your home country of Montenegro?

As still non-existent. In Montenegro, as a country struggling with its own economics, where unemployment of young people is number one problem, most problems for a metal band are created in a background of financial situation. Bands can’t afford to play on descent and proper equipment and gear and soon they start to lack ambition and professionalism as well, and finally, they seize to exist. The bands who play metal in Montenegro are used to playing almost for free, sometimes with them losing money instead of earning it, with greedy organizers, inexperienced sound engineers, forced to play on a bad equipment in a country where it’s hard to find the place for rehearsals, not to mention the non-existence of professional studios to record their ideas, and all of these things are will-killers. But we’re hoping for things to change. I’m glad that interest for extreme metal is spreading, and there are also some new bands, who are yet to taste the test of time and record material of their own.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Smoking weed and playing Middle Earth-Shadow of Mordor. (laughs). I don’t know about Branko and Milos.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thank you for your interest in band, and hails to all of those who support us.

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