interview by - Wouter Roemers
Australian death/black metal warlords Abominator - who have a lineage in influential genre acts Bestial Warlust and Deströyer 666 - seen the worldwide release of their stunning new record "The Eternal Conflagration" through Dutch quality label Displeased Records. When the chance arose to talk to Chris Volcano, drummer/vocalist and driving force behind Abominator, little time was wasted to set up an interview. Although some of the answer might not have been as in-depth as I had hoped, his answers provided enough insight into the workings of Abominator. Prepare yourself for the eternal conflagration...
Hello there! How's everything in the Abominator camp as of late?
We're satisfied to have our latest album out there, but we lack a full line-up at the moment which rules out live shows for the time being. Soon we shall hopefully start playing live again to promote our latest assault on the masses.
Your new album "The Eternal Conflagration" is released for a while now. Are the reviews living up to expectations?
Some reviews have been positive, but some wimps are reviewing it who don't even understand our style and it isn't what they want to hear! There are still some true souls who know what they're talking about, so it's 50/50 right now.
Let's start with the deal you've just signed with Displeased Records; with the new album out, how has the relationship worked out for Abominator so far?
They have so far fulfilled all their obligations, but I would like to see shirts out soon. A deal for an LP version is currently being negotiated, so we may see that by the end of the year as well.
Given that it had been two years since you had done your previous album, was there a sense that Abominator had to come back with a bang with this record, while you were writing and recording it?
We just went about our business, but if the album does have such a significant reaction that's great! Fucking brutal!!! If we were able to play live now, it would increase our destructive power ten fold!!!
Staying with the new album, what was your intention when you began writing "The Eternal Conflagration" - did you have a preconceived idea of what you wanted the record to sound like and what you wanted it to achieve, or did that come about naturally?
Yeah, the album was very much premeditated by all of us - so our vision was clear from the first moment we wrote the first track. It always has to come about naturally, instead of trying to sound like you are someone else.
Could you tell us a bit about the composing and producing process of this album?
Composition happens when Andrew [Undertaker, rhythm/lead guitars] and myself have enough ideas to string a brutal song together. An arrangement is proposed and then refined. We jam it out until it is hammered into shape. Production is just carefully working out all the kinks. Studio production can be a long and exhausting process at times. A lot of hours is put into it, hard question to answer!
Your lyrics seem to deal mostly with concepts of war and purification through strife - spiritual warfare; a way of thinking that's seldom followed-through in modernity.
This world is constantly teetering on the brink of social collapse, and many of its inhabitants are sliding further and further into the depths of mediocrity. Satanic contempt could best describe the emotion I channel into the lyrics. Of course, I look forward to the day when what's left of the world reaches a new enlightened dawn without as much of the bullshit they follow today. In order for this to occur, there must be some sort of cataclysmic upheaval, and it's gotten to the point where thing will not change unless this happens.
The fact that the new album is so much more organic and straightforward, is that indicative of the fact that you feel more comfortable playing this style now?
I think you've hit the nail on the head with this question. Although with this album we have taken this direction as far as we can. We are racking our brains to work out what we're going to do next.
What kind of reaction would you like to imagine someone has while listening to "The Eternal Conflagration"?
The effects could be mind distorting and consciousness altering. To someone who doesn't exactly live for black/death, it could be just another album in the collection (high quality, regardless).
What would you regard as the primary challenges faced by an extreme metal band in Australia as far as getting international recognition?
One big challenge is to create an original style that is powerful enough to compete with overseas counterparts. We are so far away, and some people grew up listening to the wrong stuff, like melodic death metal, so their music is generic and boring. Now that Australia has a good reputation, bands will have less trouble getting themselves known, thanks to the pioneers like SLAUGHTER LORD, SADISTIK EXEKUTION and BESTIAL WARLUST.
If there's one thing, Australian outfits have a distinctively own sound, virtually incomparable to their European or American counterparts. Is it something in the water there? Where would you position yourself in the domestic scene?
Some say there is no water, that we're all plagued with drought. We are far away, and have had a rich history of music down here, so the good music from here sounds very original.
On an interesting note, you - drummer/vocalist Chris Volcano - were involved with Deströyer 666 in their formative demo days. In what way did Deströyer 666 kept you back from doing the things you wanted to do, musically - both bands seem to work within a very close perimeter of essentially the same subgenre?
I was in D666 helping out Keith as he had asked me at the time. But I had my own ideas that were not suited for it so Keith helped me get a couple of rehearsal tracks down. I continued playing for D666, but I met Andrew (guitar) at around the same time, and the rest after that is history. I was very young back then and it was a big learning experience trying to play in one band and get another one going. That really takes me back.....
In the very beginning Bestial Warlust vocalist Damon Bloodstorm (aka Damon Burr) also was involved in Abominator. At one point he was merely involved as a live session bassist, if I understand correctly. What impact did Bestial Warlust (musically/conceptually) have on Abominator?
He was a session vocalist up until the "Subversives For Lucifer" album. He stopped playing bass in 2000 so we had to get Steve Undinism to play live for a couple of shows. Bestial Warlust had a huge impact on me at the time, naturally. We had other influences which affected us more profoundly so we progressed into something different other than a BW copy band. People only assumed that because of the close proximity
With the increasing number of good death/black metal bands in the genre right now, do you ever feel like you're in competition with anyone?
No, we feel that our style of black/death could only come from us and nobody could emulate that to the point of competing with us. Every band sounds different so we should not have to worry about it. People have an inherent need to check out everything they can find, so hopefully they'll find some of our music somewhere.
What can we expect to see from Abominator in the next twelve to eighteen months?
I can't be sure of that right now, I'll have a better idea in half a year or so. I'm sure we'll cause uprisings and Chaos wherever we end up, summoning the Hordes to join the final army of death and destruction. Join the frontline and burn down the world!!!!
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