Singapore’s raw blackened Death Metal horde ABHORER only used to put out three official releases throughout their existence: the "Rumpus Of The Undead" demo (1989), the "Upheaval Of Blasphemy" 7"EP (1991) and their one and only full length album "Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt" (1996), but all of them gained them so much attention that the band is still being remembered by underground people more than twelve years ago after their split-up. The EP and full length originally came out on Shivadarshana Records who are making a return to the scene these days as Shivarage Music (for more info check out www.shivarage.com). The label will be re-releasing the entire ABHORER back catalogue on two seperate CDs that are supposed to come out in the next couple of months. Reasons enough for us to contact ABHORER’s drummer Dagoth for a fresh interview about the band’s glorious past… Unfortunately some of the prepared questions remained unanswered (due to the fact that Dagoth couldn’t remember certain facts anymore or simply wasn’t a member of the band at the time) and the language barrier ofter didn’t really help too much either… But as ABHORER interviews are pretty rare to find, I hope you’ll enjoy this nevertheless…
Greetings Dagoth… hope you’re doing fine and you’re in the right mood to answer some questions about ABHORER?!
"Nocturnal greetings to you, too… it’s been almost 20 years since I’ve done interviews with interested ( underground ) magazines and it’s a great feeling. It brings back memories of the old days. I’m good thanks and have never been better and now I have to squeeze my brain to answer your questions (a pleasure bro)… And for your information bro, good questions, no shit stuff I mean… Ok let’s begin the chanting for now. Hope you’re satisfied with the answers and before that let me tell you that I’ll try my very best to answer all of your questions ok bro… cheers."
The last time we’ve heard anything from ABHORER was way back in 1996 when you released your debut full length album "Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt"… What have you all been up to ever since and why did the band split up at the time?
"Wow… 1996… I have forgotten that time flies so fast and that it has been 22 years since the release of "Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt". After releasing the much awaited debut album of ours it was time for the rest of the guys to take a break, cause we worked so hard and put a lot of effort in "Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt" that we deserved a break, don’t you think… (yeah, sure… but 12 years is quite a long break, isn’t it? – Frank). We got together once in a while, got drunk… went to gigs… and if we’re in the mood we get together discussing the future of ABHORER. If we are going to release any future albums, play some shows or disband ABHORER. Serious discussion regarding that… we went separate ways for about a month, everyone took care of his fucking business, no contact at all… From there we could sense that to continue on with ABHORER was impossible. We achieved what we wanted so far and several promoters or organizers approached us and wanted to see us playing live, but we had to dissapoint them. Too bad bro. Right from the start we had discussed live shows in ASIA… total shit venues. At that time to play live shows in our shit country was impossible, because the government would not approve it just by looking at the logo or the band’s name. They call us devil worshippers, that’s what we are, hahaha. Good for them because we will be putting up the most fucking brutal shows that any band in ASIA has ever experienced. That’s what ABHORER is all about… no lame shit! There are many reasons why we decided to split up… but the main reason is that the Metal era of the 80s and 90s is all gone. More and more shit bands emerge and destroy everything that we had fought for… bootleggers… bastards… and most of all wimps and posers are growing fast. It’s a pity bro, to see this happen to the Metal scene… It just sucks. It’s better for us to split and call it a day, we’re damn fucking tired that all our efforts all these years are going down the drain because of that stupid mother fucker. It’s like competition nowadays… the passion and feeling of the 80s and 90s Metal scene is dead and so are we."
Are you still in touch with the other members these days? Have you ever considered getting back together again and write some new material maybe?
"No bro… until now we have not been in touch. Each and evryone of us has gone separate ways and lives his own live, maybe started a family or is dead by now… and about getting back together or a re-union… better not bro. The scene has become worse and worse, it’s a shame. Too many bands commercialize it. So it’s better this way."
As far as I know, ABHORER originally started out as TOMBCRUSHER back in 1987… You haven’t been a member yet at the time, but do you maybe know if TOMBCRUSHER was already a band that had to be taken serious? Who was in the line-up at the time, are there any recordings as TOMBCRUSHER and when and why was the name changed into ABHORER?
"Yeah, you have done your homework bro. That’s great that you still remember that…Yes, you are right bro. Before ABHORER was born to desecrate this world TOMBCRUSHER was their moniker… the line-up had changed from a 3 piece band to a four piece band (not dedicated enough, not brutal enough), several players had been auditioned but none of them suited what TOMBCRUSHER was looking for. TOMBCRUSHER originally was a 3 piece band (Exorcist, Tombcrusher and a singer – sorry bro, I forgot his name) and a session bass player. But after a couple of months 4 Metal fanatics found each other and all was going great for them. Same attitude, same taste, same goal and the same passion towards Metal. So they changed their moniker into ABHORER. The line-up was Exorcist,Tombscrusher, Crucifer and Imprecator. ABHORER was born…"
Which other bands did you all listen to at the time? Which bands are to blame for your decision to start up ABHORER?
"There are too many great and legendary bands in the 80s and early 90s but one particular band really inspired us and that was the old and legendary SARCOFAGO! Totally awesome! It’s shame that after the "INRI" album they wimped out. Brutal total madness music – that’s what we call METAL!"
Did all of you already use your nicknames (Dagoth, Crucifer, Exorcist, Corpse Grinder and Tomb Crusher) at that time? What actually made you choose those kinda names? What inspired your individual choices in that department?
"Names are being given, not choosen. We have studied it carefully and it has to match the music that we play…This is what we are good at. It’s our choice of not following people or trendy shit. We chose this path and we have to fight for it. Only the strong will survive."
Iblyss and yourself also used to be members of IMPIETY at some point of time, weren’t you? Please tell us when and how long you guys used to play with them and when you exactly joined ABHORER? When did Iblyss actually play for ABHORER and what has he been doing previously and afterwards?
"Yes you are right bro, Iblyss and myself once played for IMPIETY. Iblyss started with IMPIETY on the demo "Ceremonial ", at that time he was playing with ABHORER too… IMPIETY and ABHORER is one circle, we are brothers and comrades. We rehearse at the same place and are boozing together. Iblyss was just a session drummer for IMPIETY at that time, so his schedule was really tight to rehearse with IMPIETY and ABHORER. He didn’t really have enough time for both bands and he was being told to decide for which band he wanted too play with… He chose IMPIETY. No hard feelings from the ABHORER comrades. After Iblyss (formerly known as Tombcrusher) left to concentrate on IMPIETY I completed the line-up for "Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt". At that time I was also playing with PROFANCER and XASTHUR."
When and why did Corpse Grinder leave the band and how did you hook up with Imprecator as his replacement? What has he been doing until he joined ABHORER?
"Corpse Grinder left the band due to lack of commitment. He wasn’t serious and brutal enough to be part of ABHORER…so Crucifier brought in Imprecator as they were classmates in school and both are real Metal fanatics. Before that we auditioned him, and well… he was what we were looking for."
ABHORER’s 1989 debut demo "Rumpus Of The Undead" quickly became a classic underground release and even got re-issued as a split 12" vinyl release with Japan’s NECROPHILE on Decapitated Records and Unisound Records… Tell us a bit more about those re-releases and why you agreed to do them!
"First of all we didn’t expect that the demo "Rumpus Of The Undead" would be well accepted by the Metal maniacs around the world… But we got a lot of positive reviews in underground magazines… In that era of the 80s there were killer bands and killer magazines from Japan… LOUDNESS is from there bro and so is SABBAT… We were in contact with NECROPHILE before the offer of the split, we’re great friends that’s is the main reason why we decided to agree with the split.They are a good band with killer songs. The main reason is that we are not into big bands, we prefer bands from the underground. So, it’s better to work with another underground band that knows what we wanted and what we were fighting for…"
The Unisound Records version differs a bit from the one on Decapitated Records, doesn’t it? So, what was the reason for going for another re-release here?
"Yes bro, we are very satisfied with Decapitated Records. They have done a very good job with the 12′ vinyls and the promotion went well. Due to the positive response from the underground scene we have had many offers to re-release the 12′ from all over, but we decided to go with Unisound… No special reasons for that at that time. ABHORER have great connection with the guys from Unisound."
Would you agree that the "Upheaval Of Blasphemy" 7"EP from 1991 more or less opened the doors for the band to a much bigger international audience, that people all of a sudden noticed ABHORER that weren’t aware of you before?
"The 80s and 90s was the era of underground music and vinyl collector items for Metal maniacs all around the world, including myself. Till now the vinyl is very rare and the purpose of the 7"EP was for the Metal underground scene. International recognition was not a must for us. It was more like a bonus for ABHORER but we were born to fight for the 80s era of Metal."
What kind of reactions did you get on the 7"EP and do you know how many copies of it got sold / spread around for promotional matters?
"The reaction from the underground scene was fucking great, but we still stayed underground, no matter what. That is what we die for. And the EP is sold out as far as I’m concerned. For the quantity… more than we expected. Promotion throughout the underground scene is now at the second stage. ABHORER emerges even stronger and darker… beware!"
Why did it take you so long until you finally returned to the scene with your debut full length album "Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt", which came out two years later, on February 19, 1996… What have you been doing in between those two releases?
"After releasing the demo "Rumpus Of The Undead " and the 7"EP "Upheavel Of Blasphemy", ABHORER was not hiding anywhere. We were promoting ABHORER and spreading our wings and raising the flag throughout the world. The same with the band’s personal changes. That doesn’t stop ABHORER from writing new songs. Auditioning a capable candidate for ABHORER, the right person for the right job."
Now Shivadarshana Records is back in business as Shivarage Music and all ABHORER material will be re-released once again… How does it feel to still be remembered after so many years of inactivity? Tell us a bit more about those re-releases, what can people expect from them?
"Great to hear that…and a good idea from Shiva. This way for maniacs who have waited a long time to complete their collection a dream will come true. Our old friends can add it to their collection and new fans will be aware that ABHORER once was a strong force in the underground scene. It brings back the old fucking great memory. Metal to the bones!"
In 2004 there also used to be this ABHORER compilation CD "Unholy Blasphemer" on Xtreem Music from Spain… what can you tell us about that?
"I’ve heard rumors about that, but I still didn’t get ahold of any of the stuff… that moron bastard who released the stuff is earning profit out of it. The release was not through ABHORER. Some moron bastard from Malaysia did that (someone from Malaysia approached Xtreem Music pretending he was from Abhorer. Xtreem Music paid this guy (US$1500) and subsequently released the compilation CD. Fact is that it is an illegal CD pressed, distributed & sold without the permission of Abhorer & Shiva – Michel, Shivarage Music). I hope he is dead right now… Fuck them all"
The following interview is actually a combination of two old chats with ABHORER’s vocalist Exorcist. One was featured in the great Tales Of The Macabre zine # 2 (R.I.P.), while the other appeared in our own print issue # 8. To make this ABHORER feature even more in-depth we figured it might be a good idea to add this here as well…
Ok, Dagoth, I think we covered almost everything by now. If you’d like to add something to this interview feel free to do so… All the best and take care.
"Thanks bro, for great questions and a great memory. Keep the flame burning, only the strong will survive. Be yourselves and believe in what you’re doing, do not rip off… stay dark and violent… the era of Metal in the 80s and 90s is dead but not forgotten as long as there’s still maniacs like us who believe and fight what we have believed in. Salute to the fans, bands, magazines, radio stations for that… UNDERGROUND METAL RULLLLEESSSSSSSSSSS."
Please introduce ABHORER to the readers!
"ABHORER is a band from the east and we are your worst nightmare!"
I know that you’ve been around for a quite a long time by now, but don’t really know anything about the happenings in your career so far, so could you maybe give us all necessary infos about the origin, releases so far and so on?!
"We started off in the middle 80s and released a 4-track demo "Rumpus Of The Undead" in ’89. I think in the 90s we got an offer from a French label, Decapitated Records (they are from Greek actually – ED) who released a split LP with a Japanese band NECROPHILE, from our demo tracks. On Shiva Records we released a 2-track 7"EP called "Upheaval Of Blasphemy". Strange that you mention the word "career", cause we’re not doing this shit for money or trying to get big or famous, but for personal glory. At this moment we are working on our full-length with maybe seven or eight new tracks. We got an offer from Shiva and lately from Merciless Records, but I guess the main thing is to get the tracks ready first and then decide what to do next."
Looking at the picture on your 7" it seems to me that you are still worshipping the old days of Death and Thrash Metal with spikes, chains and bullet belts. Tell us a little bit about the feelings that are connected to this extreme outfit and if you are mainly into old bands when it comes to your influences?
"When we started, those were the days of VENOM, BATHORY, HELLHAMMER, CELTIC FROST, POSSESSED, BLASPHEMY, SARCÓFAGO ("INRI") and yes, we still worship these old medieval days. As for the outfit, by now I think it comes naturally for we ain’t young anymore. On the other hand, when it comes to music, we wouldn’t say we are totally into old stuff."
You also use pseudonyms instead of your real names – is that because of the old times as well or what made you do so? Do you really identify with your "stage names" or is it just another cool thing added to the ancient feeling?
"Our pseudonyms have been with us and our music as long as ABHORER exists and it would be awkward for us to use our real names instead. Frankly, we don’t care about these things anymore cause we know what we are and who we are. Perhaps during the old days, when we started out these pseudonyms made us feel complete for what we represented."
There’s only two songs on the 7", so maybe you can tell us a little bit about ABHORER’s material… Does it differ a lot from those mentioned tracks? When and where did you record the stuff?
"ABHORER plays desecrating music. I guess our new tracks won’t differ much from our EP, but we would like to create a sort of chaotic yet evil atmosphere in our music, using effects and keyboards perhaps. Recording down here is hell of a burden financially. We recorded our EP in a 16-track recording studio called Norse Box."
Please tell us what happened since that cool piece of vinyl… What about a full-length album?
"We’ve got a deal with Shivadarshana to release a full-length LP, but we are still thinking about it. We have new songs ready to complete the album but it’s yet to be recorded…"
What inspires you when it comes to the lyrical side of your material? Do you try to write in the occult way cause it fits the music or is there a real interest of yours in that kind of stuff? Do you read a lot of books about it?
"When it comes to the lyrical side, we see ourselves as demons promoting evil, blaspheming, desecrating. Fornicating and putting those acts into lyrics. Or perhaps we are already what we see ourselves as, nocturnal. We don’t follow mainly the occult ways, like rituals, sacrifices or diabolical summoning of the ancient one. We are the lords in our kingdom, comes sweet hell or heaven. Well, we read books as the Necronomicon, stuff by Anton Lavey, Aleister Crowley, but books are books. They are meant to widen one’s knowledge or to strengthen one’s faith."
How did you get together with Shivadarshana Records from the Netherlands?
"Actually we have known Napesch of Shiva before he started the label. At that time I think we were sending our promo stuff to any label we could get hold of. Then Napesch offered us this deal and that’s it. He’s one hell of a great guy in promoting our stuff."
What’s your opinion about the Death, Thrash and Black Metal of the 90s? Do you still enjoy it? Any new(er) band(s) you like?
"Music in the 90s… mainly the new Black Metal era, "true" stuff like DARK FUNERAL, EMPEROR, SATYRICON, ENSLAVED, MARDUK, IMMORTAL (Sons Of The Northern Darkness). A new dawn to the underground, the rise of the Black Metal circle, MAYHEM, DARKTHRONE, BURZUM… the killings, the church burnings, the imprisonment… Hell, all we can say is they are playing fucking tight and creative and of course we enjoy their stuff. Personally I think what these guys are doing is to separate the "true" and the pretenders, since now the "I am more evil than thou" attitude has infected the scene. It’s what they used to say: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law"."
What do you think of the new wave of Black Metal in the way the Scandinavian people do? Do you agree with their attitudes?
"Let them be what they want to be, maybe it is the way they express their feelings. They must have their reasons."
Tell us about your live situation in Singapore? Have you good possibilities to play over there? How often has ABHORER played so far? Any gigs in foreign countries already?
"Living in Singapore is like your whole life is already fixed, to work and to drop dead. The government laws are fucking tight. Imagine, they can send you to prison for selling chewing gum. NO JOKE! On the other hand it’s very peaceful with no riots or whatsoever. All of us are working but just for money to at least sustain our interest. There is no fucking scene here, there’s no underground scene here… only fucking glamour Death Metal bands playing side by side with Pop and ‘pretty buy Rock bands’!!! Well the fans here are not true, they worship both Metal and Pop… and yes, there are many concerts here, all bands united hand in hand, ha ha!!! Fuck!!! We have not played any gigs so far, but as soon as our LP is out we will play in Malaysia."
Some interesting bands that I should watch out for from Singapore?
"Well, XASTHUR, AS SAHAR, IMPIETY are good crucifucking great bands, their stuff kills!!!!!"
You’re around for quite a long time now, but it seems that you still have enough aggression to make uncompromising music! I often noticed that bands from South America and Asia are the most desecrating ones… How would you explain this?
"Well… it’s unexplainable…! OK, I don’t know how true it is, but I think it’s because of the hot climate."
Talking about your split-album with NECROPHILE which is pretty old now: are you still happy with this release or do you wish that it had never appeared? To some this is pure cult…
"Wish it would never exist."
Anything else you’d like to mention?
"We’ve been around for quite a long time now, since 1987, we managed to stay together until today. The future still remains a mystery…That’s about all. We hail those who are "true" to themselves. Be the creators, not the followers! Infernal greetings and blessed be thee!"
Frank Stöver / Costa Stoios