Abazagorath: Band Of The Day

By on 3 October 2014

abazagorath

When it comes to Black Metal in the good old US of A, few bands have as much underground credibility as Abazagorath. With 19 years of blood, sweat, and bile under their belt, they’re about as real and as “true” to the give no fucks, hate everything, spirit of the genre as anyone you might care to mention.

After a lengthy hiatus the New Jersey nightmares have returned with their third full-length album, ‘The Satanic Verses’, an absolute onslaught of uncompromising Black Metal that gallops and grinds and grimaces through ten tracks of obliterating riffs and ominous ambience, scornful, blasphemous vocals, and pounding, neck-snapping drums.

The album (which you can stream in full below) epitomizes the band’s distinctive knack for melding raw savagery with refined moments of bleak melody and shadowy atmospherics. More nuanced than Necro, it’s a welcome demonstration that the legacy of old-school blackened spite still runs strong in their veins, even as they continue to grow and develop their visceral, unrepentant style of pure sonic evisceration.

WORDS: Andy Walmsley

WHO ARE THEY: Abazagorath
WHERE ARE THEY FROM: New Jersey, USA
FOR FANS OF: Sargeist, Krieg, Dissection
LATEST RELEASE: ‘The Satanic Verses’ (Eternal Death, 2014)
WEBSITE: Facebook, Bandcamp

Let’s start things off, predictably, by giving you a chance to introduce yourselves and describe yourselves as a band to unfamiliar readers/listeners?
Warhead: “The black cult of Abazagorath consists of myself Warhead (Thermonuclear Drums of Doom, Verbal Hate Amplifier), Ciemnosc (6 String Razorwire Decapitation) and Aversario (Subsonic Volcanic Emanations). For those unfamiliar with our 19 year reign ABAZAGORATH is a blast of PURE HATRED and WAR! Our primary goal is to create original black metal with a dark and dreamlike atmosphere. A world of melancholy and blood!”

You’ve been going, off and on, for almost 20 years now. That’s a long time in anyone’s estimation. What is it that drives you, and keeps the anger, and the extremity, alive?
Warhead: “The everyday stupidity of the human race is what keeps me angry, but it’s my addiction to the drums that keeps the black flame burning and alive.”

It’s been 10 years since your last album, ‘Sacraments Of The Final Atrocity’. What have you been up to in the intervening years?
Warhead: “ABAZAGORATH lapsed into suspended animation from about 2007 – 2011 due to some shake ups & turmoil within the line up as well as most of the membership’s involvement in a number of other musical entities. However in 2008 we did manage to release a split ‘Ancient Entities Arise’ with long time war brothers Bloodstorm on Elegy records.”

What was it that gave you the impetus to write and record ‘The Satanic Verses’ after so long without producing a full-length album?
Warhead: “Actually the music for the ‘Satanic Verses’ was already written around the same time we recorded the 2012 EP. It just took us about a year of live rehearsals to get the material honed to lethal precision.”

How painful/torturous/agonizing was the writing and recording process?
Warhead: “Like I stated in my previous answer the music was already written. But as far as recording it was pretty straight forward and painless. We are all professionals so each member knew exactly what he was doing. Plus we had the luxury of recording at Ciemnoscs studio Wrong Planet. Ciemnosc may beg to differ with my answer since he spent numerous hours mixing the material.

How do you think the record progresses or develops from its predecessor?
Warhead: “‘The Satanic Verses’ may deliver our most controversial and blasphemous release yet. This new album has a darker redefined sound, more technical, and mature then previous releases. We touch on all aspects of extreme metal on this release. Abazagorath continues to fuel the darkness and innovation of the American black metal legacy.”

What drove the decision to start the album with two of the longest and most intricate tracks, ‘Mahound’ and ‘Satanic Verses’?
Warhead: “They are both powerful songs so why the fuck not?”

Can you speak more about the concept behind the album, specifically the “Gharaniq incident” and how this is expressed and examined in the lyrics and the music?
Warhead: “The “Satanic Verses” event is not something made up by non-Muslims. The event is recorded by the earliest Islamic sources available on Muhammad’s life. These stories are not made up by people who are anti-Islam. It is an episode directly found in the early Islamic records. Yet Islam to this day continues to deny the words spoken by their false prophet.”

The artwork is also particularly striking and instantly memorable. Can you tell us more about who produced it (Worthless Endeavours) and how the collaboration came about?
Warhead: “Correct, the artwork was once again done by long time metal brother Worthless. If you don’t know who this guy is consider yourself a poser. Not much to say about the collaboration, I give him my ideas and he designs masterpieces. He continues to amaze me with all of his artwork. As always the final product speaks for itself.”

Where do you feel that Abazagorath stands in relation to the black metal scene, both worldwide and in the USA specifically?
Warhead: “Abazagorath has been part of the US Black Metal scene prior to there even being a scene. When this band started in 1995 only a handful of bands were playing this style of metal. But I don’t actually give a fuck where we stand. Our main goal is to create music we enjoy playing. Now if you like the music cool, hopefully it leaves you with feelings of loneliness and depression.”

With a new album about to be released, on a new label (Eternal Death Records) what does the future hold for Abazagorath?
Warhead: “Abazagorath will continue writing material for our next opus, either a 7″ or a possible split. In the meantime we have 2 live rituals scheduled in December. Signature Riff presents Abazagorath record release December 5 @ The Acheron Brooklyn, NY and December 20 Baltimore, MD. Tour dates for 2015 are still being worked out so stay tuned. The future looks dark Arrogance and Wrath.”

And now, a suitably open question – do you have any final words for our readers?
Warhead: “Once again the Horns of ABAZAGORATH will Impale the Heavens!!!”

You can find Abazagorath on Facebook.

About Kez Whelan

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