Austria's premier Black Metal act ABIGOR is no more! The band recently split up, so we figured this would be a good opportunity to contact mainman Peter Kubik (probably better known as "P.K." to most of you) for a retrospectral view on the entire history of the band. Here's the result...
You founded ABIGOR together with Thomas (T.T.) way back in mid 1993... What actually lead to the origin of a Black Metal act at the time and what have you done prior to that? Did you gain any other musical experiences in bands before already?
The first time we played together in 1990 with TO MEGA THERION later called IN SIN, but because of lack of time the band was laid on ice. Someday in 1993 I met Thomas again and we decided to start ABIGOR with some more motivation, and the attitudes of Black Metal because it was the most suitable way of expression for us.
What inspired the band's name and did you plan on having any kind of musical concept based around it when you started out? Was ABIGOR ever meant to be a Satanic band?
We chose ABIGOR because it’s the demon of war, a commander of the infernal legions. In our opinion the best choice because of the bands concept… Well, "concept" we had ideas and visions, but there was no real concept as we started, it all came natural, we knew which music we’d like to create and we had our personal views. Of course, ABIGOR was meant to be satanic, it was a Black-Metal band, so what?! We fully supported extreme attitudes from 1993 til’ ABIGOR’s end, and personally I still do… My personal attitudes have nothing to do with ABIGOR, or Black Metal, I am very into Occult and The Underworld themes so ABIGOR was a "valve" a way of unleashing that personal interests through music
How did you hook up with Thomas (T.T.)? Did you guys know eachother before already?
We knew each other since we’re 3 years old… Besides that he played in a Thrash Metal band, and I knew he was a fucking awesome drummer.
What made you go for "P.K." and "T.T." as your "nicknames", instead of the usual Black Metal pseudonyms that still get used up till today?
Simply because we couldn’t stand that Lord XY, Count Total Darkness Bullshit…, Master Of All Evil Farts, you know what I mean, that was never of importance for us. People should see ABIGOR as a union and not each person behind it as separate part that does only his instrument, because ABIGOR was a union and everyone added his ideas no matter what it concerned.
How long did it take you until you finally got together with Rune (Tharen) as your vocalist (what had he been up to previously) and did you never try to get a fourth member (on bass or guitar) in the line-up?
Tharen was also a friend of us we knew long before ABIGOR, so he joined the band a few weeks after ABIGOR was born. No, the line up was perfect, a profesional bass player might be great, but for ABIGOR bass was not really necessary, so we played it by ourselves.
In October of 1993 you already recorded your debut demo, "Ash Nazgh..." (which featured the tracks 'Dance Of The Dead', 'In Sin' and 'Shadowlord'). Tell us more about the origin of that tape and the songs in particular?
Pew, "Ash Nazgh…" was the most raw and unprofessional demo we did… We recorded all our demos on my 4-track and mastered the stuff on DAT, but with no effects. I even don’t have the demo anymore, but the songs have been very harsh and Tharen’s voice just straight and awful
'In Sin' later resurfaced on your debut album "Verwüstung / Invoke The Dark Age", while a re-recording of 'Shadowlord' exclusively got used for the Napalm Records compilation "With Us Or Against Us Vol.1" in the spring of 1995... What was the reason that you never used 'Dance Of The Dead' throughout your entire career anymore?
'In Sin' on "Verwüstung" and 'Shadowlord' aren’t the original versions featured on "Ash Nazgh…" both songs have been overworked and completely changed (yeah, I know... so, maybe the question wasn't asked properly enough - Frank). 'Dance Of The Dead' was some kind of intro with spoken vocals
You seemed to be really fast songwriters at the time as your next demos, "Lux Devicta Est", the "Promo-Tape 2/'94" and the "Moonrise" demo followed rather quickly (in December of 1993, February and March of 1994 to be exact)... What was the reason for writing and releasing so much material in such a short period of time? Tell us a bit more about those tapes and the songs as well.
Just because Thomas and I wrote songs, so we rehearsed about 1-2 the week and everyone had a few songs and riffs finished, so we wrote song after song and released demo after demo, it was nothing we really ever thought about, it was nothing special for us. The demos were some kind of "searching", through the demos and its compositions we fixed and defined ABIGOR’s style, so the demos were some kind of natural development that show ABIGOR’s progress very well.
A lot of those demo songs re-surfaced on your debut album later on, so does that mean, that you were already quite satisfied with what you came up with at the time or was it more a lack of new material and the demand from the ABIGOR underground fans that lead to that?
We wanted the fucked up demos in a good quality, even we were satisfied with the songs, so we decided to record a main part of the songs on "Verwüstung", even we overworked the songs, changed some riffs and shit like that, the essence has been the same and the quality was acceptable.
Around that time the Austrian Black Metal Syndicate (ABMS) became quite known in the worldwide underground... do you think this unity of like-minded really helped the Austrian scene / bands in any way? What is your opinion about the bands that were involved in that?
Hard to say, as we joined the ABMS we thought it’s a supportive basement for the involved bands but at the end it turned more and more into some funny bullshit of those bands of Vienna, while we wanted to go into a more professional and much more musical dedicated direction, so we left it. If I am right PAZUZU, SUMMONING, GROMM and some others where involved, some where ok, some sucked, mainly the members had problems with my views and attitudes, anyway, who cares?!
After the release of the "Moonrise" demo, Tharen had to leave ABIGOR and got replaced by Silenius... As this was your first line-up change, I would like to know what actually lead to the split with him and how quick you managed to hook up with Silenius. Do you think this change made ABIGOR even stronger, or did something of the original spirit already get lost on the way?
At this time we got the deal with Napalm, and the studio session was fixed. During the rehearsals Tharen more or less lost his motivation and interest, so we decided to replace him because of his unprofessionality. Silenius was very interested in joining ABIGOR so he was a good choice and after the recordings for our debut "Verwüstung" I guess ABIGOR become even more stronger without any loss of its true spirit!
With Silenius you recorded the "In Hate & Sin" promo demo (in May of 1994), which was never officially released. What was the reason for that? Were you already negotiating with record labels (or Napalm in particular) at the time and they wanted to hear some new material first?
As we recorded "In Hate & Sin" we already were signed to Napalm, it was just a prove of showing Silenius’ abilities to Napalm, some magazines and friends
When and why did you settle for Napalm Records then... I mean, they weren't really the most matured / established company at the time, so what made you sign with them? Haven't there been any other (maybe even more attractive) offers as well?
Yep, when we signed to NAPALM it wasn’t more than a bigger mailorder with some fucked up bands, but we knew Max, we trusted in his support and Napalm was an Austrian label which made it all a lot easier, so we decided to sign there. I can’t remember exactly but I guess Osmose and Full Moon Productions had been interested in ABIGOR too.
And once again everything happened really fast for you then - the debut CD "Verwüstung / Invoke The Dark Age" got recorded right away (in June of 1994) and the follow-up MCD "Orkblut - The Retaliation" in November... Why did you continue to rush things so much?
We still worked the same way and a main part of "Verwüstung" was existing material, so when we recorded "Verwüstung", 80% of "Orkblut" had already been finshed.
Did those releases fullfill your expectations? I mean, did Napalm Records prove to be a good choice at that time already? How were the reactions on those releases from fans and underground media?
The reactions on "Verwüstung" and "Orkblut" were great, the main problem was that Napalm wasn’t that big at this time, but we had our CD’s and the Black Metal genre was overwhelmed by this more or less "different" style of ABIGOR, different to all the northern sounding shit that has been released at this time.
There's two versions of "Verwüstung..." – one has a black and white cover and the other a color cover... Could you tell us more about that and the reasons for it?
The black / white version was limited to 5000 copies, limited because we thought it looks good, but the press factory fucked it up, so it all looks very faded and grey, so we decided to do a colour version too, that’s the story behind it.
"Orkblut - The Retaliation" came up with a lyrical concept, right? Would you mind telling us about it in a few words?
Thomas was main responsible for the lyrical concept of "Orkblut". We had an idea, a vision of the concept - of a warrior epos, from the rise to the death of a pagan warrior that fights with fire and sword for his ancient believes - Thomas tried to write it down while I tried to realise it musical wise, at least we all combined it and it worked out well
When it came to your song (title)s, you seemed to have a soft spot for the Latin language right from the start... What was so fascinating for you about that and at which point of time (and why) did you decide to use the German language as well?
There aren’t any special reasons for it at all, we just used Latin, German and English as we wanted it, without any "mysterious" reasons behind it
We already mentioned the Napalm compilation "With Us Or Against Us Vol.1" earlier on... What was the intention of that album and why did you re-record an old demo track for it?
Napalm decided to do that compilation with only exclusive tracks of their bands, so we overworked and re-recorded 'Shadowlord' for it. Even a main part of the songs for "Nachthymnen" were finished they wanted an exclusive song at this time
In 1995 you once again were quite busy writing and recording: in May you entered the studio for your next album "Nachthymnen (From The Twilight Kingdom)" and in November the first chapter of "Opus IV" got recorded... To me "Nachthymnen..." always was the ultimate ABIGOR release as it sounded a lot more professional in every aspect and also more symphonic than your previous stuff, yet maintaining the raw Black Metal style. Would you agree that this album was kinda like the band's "breakthrough"? Did your influences change at the time?
Hard to say, "Nachthymnen" is for sure a decent album, but not my favourite ABIGOR release at all… Guess it was our breakthrough, even today 90% refer to "Nachthymnen" what I am really pissed about! In 1995 this album showed ABIGOR’s capacity and ability of creating very symphonic and even hard Black-Metal, but why the hell should we try to compose a 2nd part?!
Why did you actually split the recordings of "Opus IV"? Was it meant to have a different overall musical approach as it comprises of two separate chapters ("Horns Lurk Beyond The Stars" and "Blut Aus Aeonen")?
As we recorded "Nachthymnen", "Horns Lurk…" was already finished, and compared to "Nachthymnen" very strange and extreme, so we started the work on new songs to check how it’ll all develop. After a while we had the 4 songs of "Horns Lurk…" and the 4 songs which we used for "Blut Aus Aeonen" which were also quite different, so we thought about 2 MCD’s but Napalm didn’t agree, so "Opus IV" was born - the unity of 2 concepts.
"Opus IV" was finally released in July 1996 and to quote your own bio, you consider that "a very aggressive, technical and strange album..." Tell us a bit more about this relrease and the original purpose it it?
As said, "Opus IV" was a result of a fast change and development of ABIGOR in a very short period of time, therefore the difference to all previous releases and the way that showed a "new" direction.
Next up was the mini CD "Apokalypse", which you rawly recorded in just two days, in January of 1997... This release seemed to me like your counter reaction to all the wimpy keyboard loaden / cheesy packaged "Black Metal" stuff that was flooding the scene at the time... Was that the main reason of it, to show the world that ABIGOR by no means wants to be associated with such a "scene"?
Not really, we simply felt the need to create something more straight, that was the only reason for "Apokalpyse" at this time.
All of your releases were recorded at Studio Hörnix – so I suppose that you were really confident with the sound you were getting there, weren't you? Or was it simply a question of laziness and / or money that you never considered changing the studio?
Guess a bit of everything… I was satisfied with the sound, even if we had some problems with "Supreme Immortal Art", "Channeling" was fucked up too, and at least "Satanized", the rough mix was really awesome, powerful and very heavy sounding, but during the final mastering they completely fucked it up, I can’t understand how such shit can happen, anyways, beside that I was really satisfied with the studio and its atmosphere. If I would have continued with ABIGOR the next album would have been recorded in a different studio, but I guess we’ll record the new HELLBOUND stuff at Hörnix
The next release was the "Supreme Immortal Art" album... Any memories / comments about that album? How important was that release for you as a band?
"Supreme Immortal Art" was our most technical and symphonic album, but during the first mix something happened, so the drums got down and the synths came up, exactly what we not wanted! The problem was that we had to mix the first 24 tracks down on 2 tracks and then we added the additional synths and samples, so it was a quite different situation to handle. Besides that Thomas got more and more addicted to drugs so I had to finish all by myself because he was arrested at this time.
At the end of September 1998 the limited 7" (500 copies) "Structures Of Immortality" got released, which featured the tracks 'The Spirit Of Venus' and 'Magic Glass Monument'. What was the reason to come up with such an exclusive release and how did fans react on it?
Listen to the 7", the drums are clear, the guitars very powerful, imagine some lower synths and samples and the vocals, "Supreme Immortal Art" could have been an amazing release instead of that faded shit, so that was the main reason for releasing that 7"… If I remember right, it was already sold out at its release date, so guess the reactions were good. You might wonder how I speak about ABIGOR’s releases nowadays… of course, at the date you hold it in your hands you’re always satisfied with your work, but during the next months, years you recognize the shit you’ve recorded and released, so I am still proud for our releases, but there’re things that could have been done better!
About a month later the demo compilation "Origo Regium 1993-1994" saw the light of day – once again in strictly limited quantities (this time 1500 copies)... The reason for a release like this is pretty obvious – bands that are around a little bit longer constantly get requests for their old demo material... But this release only featured a few selected songs from your first 4 demos, so did it really help to stop those requests? Why didn't you put all of the demo songs on there?
It helped, even still a few fans want the original demos copied. For "Origo Regium" we chose only a few songs, those we liked the most, on the other hand, it was a decision of quality because some songs were really of too band quality to be featured on that CD.
In March 1999 you recorded your next full length album "Channeling The Quintessence Of Satan", which features new vocalist Thurisaz for the first time. What was the problem with Silenius that you split-up with him after so many years?
During the recording session Silenius decided not to sing anymore because of "Channeling’s" complexity and being most untypical for ABIGOR at this time, so he simply took his stuff and left the studio and the band. We simply asked Thurisaz which was a close friend of us and we knew his work in AMESTIGON, so he joined ABIGOR quite soon after Silenius’ depature.
On May 8, 1999 you recorded the SLAYER cover 'Crionics', which was supposed to appear on a tribute album by Dwell Records. How did that come about? I mean ABIGOR is not really a band with a lot of obvious SLAYER influences...
We got a request of Dwell Records if we’d like to join that compilation, and because I am a huge fan of SLAYER I just agreed that ABIGOR will record a song for it.
You were additionally asked to contribute to a KREATOR tribute album and recorded 'Terrible Certainty' for that... But as Dwell Records ceased to exist at some point, I was wondering if those two albums ever got released?
I got some free copies of the SLAYER compilation, so it seems to be released, but I guess that of KREATOR hasn’t been released anymore
I'm just asking that, because I never really noticed them in any mailorder lists or something and you furthermore used both covers for your own "In Memory" mini CD, which came out in August 2000... Who actually came up with the idea for this mini CD and do you think its release was necessary? Or was it simply to fulfil your contractual obligations with Napalm Records?
The problem was that we got a lot of requests concerning the cover versions, some more unreleased material and shit like that. The SLAYER compilation was only released in the USA and available just through a few mailorders in Europe, so I thought "In Memory…" would be a good choice to release the cover-version, 'Shadowlord' once again - because the first Napalm compilation was not really spread, and some rare ABIGOR stuff. So from my point of view it was necessary!
In April 2000 you re-signed your deal with Napalm, so I suppose you were very satisfied with the work they had done for you over the years... But did you ever get any offers from other companies throughout the years that you maybe considered interesting as well, in any way?
Before I signed that new deal I checked out different labels and offers, but finally the deal of Napalm seemed to be the most fair so once again I signed there for 3 more albums once again. There were different labels that would have been interested, but Napalm simply gave us the most freedom concerning our releases, the budget, the layout, simply all we needed as individual band.
In late May 2000 you parted ways with longtime (former) member Thomas (T.T.)... Would you mind telling us the reasons for this and how you got Moritz Neuner to replace him? Moritz had already been playing with several bands before ABIGOR, hadn't he?
The problem was that Thomas became addicted to drugs back in 1998, he felt like a decayed leave. He lost all he once believed in, you couldn’t trust him anymore, all he told were lies, he betrayed us and never recognized what’s going on with him, so it was the one and only solution to kick him from ABIGOR. Moritz was my first choice, even if he doesn’t share my opinion and point of view concerning Black Metal, Satan, or whatever, he’s a professional musician and plays very well, so in my opinion he was the best replacement for Thomas. Yep, that was the main problem, "feat. Moritz Neuner (know from A-Z all bands from Austria!)" that sucked.
From late October to November 2000 you recorded "Satanized (A Journey Through Cosmic Infinity)", which ended up becoming ABIGOR's farewell release... Tell us a bit more about that one and how you judge that in comparison to the releases you did previously? Was the original ABIGOR feeling still present during the recordings, with yourself as the only remaining founding member?
It was, but as I said, the mastering was fucked off, then some bad reviews, because of the sound also Napalm didn’t support, nor promote "Satanized" that well, so shit here and there
What is this "Visualise – Fortress – Hell" slogan all about, which got printed on the CD itself?
Just some kind of personal message that people should simply realize that their mind, their soul is the force of might that bear power to crush or create everything, all based on an astral level. I can’t describe it in a suitable way
After that I lost pretty much track with you guys, up till the day when the statement about the band's split-up got published. So, what happened in the last period of the band that (maybe) resulted in the split?
During the last 1 ½ years Thurisaz decided to leave ABIGOR, he laid down all his musical activities… So I had to find another vocalist again, which I finally found with Stefan from GRAVEWORM. At least I tried to come up with some new members, also we discussed about a complete re-union, but it all failed, and at least Napalm didn’t want to pay the studio I planned for the recordings of "The Dead White Moonlight" songs, so simply too much shit happened within the last 6 months that just fixed my decision. There was no special or definitive reason for the split, simply so much problems throughout the last time I never expected, problems I am not willed to think about and discuss about as "artist", you know, I’d like to compose, record and release albums, and not to discuss about each cent I need for the layout and the production and the album, also which members could be accepted by our fans, and so on. So it was the best solution for me, and I’ll of course continue my musical work and use the 9 finished new tracks for a "new" band, so it’s more a new beginning then the absolute end.
As far as I know ABIGOR never played a single live show throughout your entire career... Do you regret that in any way? Why didn't you do that? I suppose you had enough offers, hadn't you?
We planned one exclusive gig in summer 2002, at the Skeleton Bash Festival in Austria, but we had to chancel it because of an accident… Personally, I don’t regret it, in no way, even we had good offers, I never really felt the need to play live, I hate the work, or better said I see it as a waste of time and energy to work with session-members, to rehearse x-times, that’s not my coup of tea at all
You are / were also involved in bands / projects outside of ABIGOR, like HELLBOUND (who put out the "Austrian Black Metal" split-CD with AMESTIGON in 2002), HEIDENREICH (releases: "A Death Gate Cycle", "Trance Of An Unholy Union"), GRABESMOND (releases: "Mordenheim" and "Xenoglossie") and furthermore contributed guitar-lines to the AMESTIGON MCD "Höllentanz" as a session musician... Did any of these outside activities give you a similar satisfaction as ABIGOR? What do you plan on doing in the near future, now that ABIGOR is history?
All bands I am or was involved in gave me some kind of satisfaction of course, even ABIGOR was the band I was most dedicated to. As I said, the material for a new album was more or less finished, so I’ll overwork that, change it a bit and use it for something new, so it’ll of course be similar to ABIGOR but the advantage is, that I am not bounded to any kind of "scene" and style anymore, so I can create a very broad spectrum of extreme Metal with a lot of different and strange influences. Besides that I’ll continue my work in HELLBOUND and maybe I’ll start some new projects, we’ll see what the future holds for me.
Anything else you'd like to add? Any closing comments?
Thanx for your support! A last hail do our die-hard fans that supported ABIGOR from 1993-2003. The ABIGOR website is still online and updated from time to time to inform you about the new activities of the members – www.infernalhorde.com/abigor. The new HELLBOUND site is online too – www.hellbound.at
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