A new, amazing album is on its way to your head. I promise you, this is something very original and special, and will definitely raise some stir in the extreme Metal scene. TT answered questions with dedication, and the result is one of the absolutely best interviews I’ve ever done!
There’s been some time since ABIGOR’s former full-length release was spawned upon us. And in my opinion this time has done the band good, since it was bordering on the path of repetition if one shall judge a couple of releases. At the same time, in preparation for this ‘view, I must admit that a couple of releases were better than I remembered. Instead of going on and on about each release, could you rather travel a bit back in time and tell us what led you to your break (if we can use such a word)?
“First of all, I don´t think we have walked anywhere near the border of repetition with the music – and our last album, “Channelling The Quintessence Of Satan" (I quit after this, PK did “Satanized”), is in my eyes one of our best works, music and concept-wise. Still the sound and vocals didn´t live up to the compositions, the latter not in the case that they weren´t good, but ABIGOR always needed to be fronted by a highly individual and expressive voice, such as Silenius in the 90s and now even more with AR. This album (“Channelling The Quintessence Of Satan") will surface in a different form one day or another… But you are totally right bringing in the word repetition when it comes to other things, and this, in a retrospective view, has surely been the most important reason for my retreat – and if I dare to guess also PK´s reason to care for other projects in 2003… everything became routine. Same way of doing music / rehearsing, same label, same studio – a path to stagnation, because with our label (Napalm), studio (Hörnix) and workflow (how we composed / rehearsed) progress wasn’t possible in the long run for various reasons. And also the “scene”, a once mighty movement, shallowed at the turn of the millennium and had nothing to offer so one could be an enthusiastic contributor. Actually this was just the calm before the storm, a new movement that represented a new seriousness was in the making, with the spearhead being End All Life / Norma Evangelium Diaboli but also Northern Heritage, Ajna and some individuals with a vision.”
ABIGOR got in touch with End All Life. And C. signed the band for the upcoming “Fractal Possession”. However, and before we dive into the album, there are a couple of other elements that need to be questioned. Like, since you’ve been a part of the Black Metal scene from the first half of the 90s, what do you think of the development of the scene? And you can safely highlight NoEvDia as a label here, because it has turned into my personal favourite
“What do you mean with “first half of the 90s”? (I meant the band ABIGOR – Roy) I had the “At War With Satan” cover (the gatefold with the burning inverted cross inside) taped to my children’s room wall, so to say I have been there since the very beginning is an understatement! Development of the scene? 50% of my motivation to participate in public Black Metal (and what else is it? We’re not recording rehearsal demos. Releasing records and giving interviews has nothing to do with living a certain way and / or creating art, it is the decision to interact, hence being a part of the scene) is the urge to do so with ABIGOR, and 50% is exactly this development of the scene in the last couple of years, or better, exactly since I left (in 1999 / 2000). I kept my head down and studied audio engineering, built a studio, listened to other music like obscure guitar based stuff, electronic, Neue Musik / avantgarde etc, and as I realized what happened in the meantime it was a refreshing shock! You ask me about End All Life / Norma Evangelium Diaboli? I am the biggest devotee you can think of, the history and label profile is unchallanged, and just think of the latest releases as the most relevant creations this music has to offer: Deathspell Omega, Katharsis, Antaeus, Blacklodge, Diapsiquir, Mütiilation, Funeral Mist, should I go on with the catalogue? I discovered their records and as I had two or max. three I felt something special, magic, more than a logo on the back of the cover. I immediately ordered everything I could get without listening as I was convinced something released on these labels (EAL / NED) must have a certain quality. The labels and the force behind it shaped not only “Fractal Possession” to a certain extent, but I am convinced about also the scene as a whole when I look at various records these days, how they are presented etc. I am really enthusiastic how things are recently, there are new labels that seem to have something else in mind than making business: Flamme Noire, Kyrck, Black Hate, Todeskult and many more. I think the development has been essential, we all grew up, and you shouldn’t forget Black Metal as we know it was shaped by teenagers. With 30+ and as individuals who create Satanic art, there is no more room for trolls and dragons, sheetmetal swords, airbrush covers and what not. Satanic art must disturb and irritate people and not please them with nice riffs and empty phrases. And I am glad that there is an army of new people that have the same vision. I have the deepest respect to those individuals!”
Do you in any way think that by using Black Metal as a means to release souls from their daily trivialities, you will be able to reach such an aim? Is Black Metal an aim in itself or is it an aim for something outside you? After all, most of those who listen to Black Metal normally stay on the left hand path
“You can’t use Black Metal as a vehicle “to release souls from daily trivialities”, that’s the old romantic idea of coming home, taking the headphones on, close your eyes and escape to the fantasy world. A record should for sure ask for all your attention, the music, the lyrics, the layout, but I can’t see a strict line between every day life and Black Metal – Black Metal should primarily be art and as such the manifestation of something spiritual. It can be a religious act, expression, self realization, an attack on something etc. It must not be a fairytale, or Heavy Metal with screaming voices and a roleplay with some nice symbols on top. I even would say that simple nihilism is also an offence to such inspired lyrical works like “Salvation” or “Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice”… Pure blasphemy is not enough for an artform with a more than 15 years old history… In this regard, yes, Black Metal could be a push to people but I am convinced that individuals that choose the left hand path do so because they are born this way, not because of Black Metal – what about all people before 1991, and even before Heavy Metal or Rock?”
Let us not leave the Black Metal theology yet, as I wonder why you really make ABIGOR breathe still. Peter said in 1996 “With our art we want to realize ourselves, and to spread words of Satan”. Why do you believe so much in the art of ABIGOR, that you continue to use it as your megaphone? If you really want to change anything, to make people think and to affect the society, why not enter the political world?
“As soon as you can think for yourself you have the desire to “change anything”, but that neither means you’re an artist nor a politician. You can easily play a few chords or put some colour on a canvas but again, that doesn’t mean you’re an artist. You can sit in the parliament and be on the country’s pay-roll but that doesn’t mean you want to change anything. And you can put an upside-down cross on your cover and spread anti-Christian phrases but that doesn’t mean you are anything worth in His eyes. There’s a thin line between all of this… What else legitimates you to play Black Metal than spreading the words of Satan, a path if walked with awareness leads to self realization anyway…”
I have got just one little excerpt of the lyrical patterns, and it is too little to judge by, or even to raise questions concerning ABIGOR’s biomechanical antichrist. Can you brief us on what we can expect this time? There are strange titles such as ‘3D Blasphemy’, ‘Cold Void Choir’ and ‘Liberty Rises A Diagonal Flame’
“As we joined forces again PK had written lyrics and music over the past years, while I started to write the music as we had the album in mind. That meant composing and recording from morning to evening, so this time not a single lyric comes from my side. And because of PK has written them over a longer period, and AR also contributed some, the topics differ from track to track. The summary that you now want from me will be printed on the sleeves / in the booklet, excerpts that represent the essence of each lyric. I mean, I could maybe brief you that ‘The Fire Syndrome’ and ‘Heaven Unveiled’ deal with ritualistic suicide and more, ‘Injection Satan’ summons the forces of hell, ‘Liberty Rises A Diagonal Flame’ crushes your moral concepts of good and evil and leaves you out in the cold etc. These are my thoughts if I have a random guess, but as I said I haven’t written them and by writing down a “table of contents” I wouldn’t do the lyrics justice. And again, we agree to be satanic Black Metal, to be the devil’s messengers, and sometimes we discuss a lyrical concept for an album, but still I could be wrong interpreting a lyric written by PK or AR. What I can reveal for the future is: we will explore the battle of demons and angels for the human soul, how this affects our earthly existence, on the next album. Very interesting, as those entities influence our life to a great extent.”
The way of playing has, judging from what I am able to differentiate, altered from a floating approach to today’s more direct and riffy structures. The tones are clearer and easier to distinguish, and somehow I think the music is parted into sections that are sewn (very well) together. Correct or not, how have you developed as musicians the last five to ten years?
“As musicians you develop, but real development is not of a technical nature. It happens when you expand your mind somehow and break boundaries, channel various influences of any kind. It won’t happen when you try to play like Malmsteen and listen to “Transylvanian Hunger” day in day out. I think the best thing that happened was that I turned my back on the Black Metal scene and went my way for a time. Both electronic music and Neue Musik had a big influence on me. Electronic because it teaches you to pay attention to every single sound, and to surpass usual recording and production techniques – this is not a cold, theoretic approach that means a straight path to realize your musical visions, without being trapped in the cage of the usual guitar / drums recording process. Neue Musik shows you how small your tonal and dynamic field is. And it reminded me that true Satanic art has to shock and disturb people, not only please them with nice melodies.”
I feel that you’re more focused and every turn and every beat has a purpose. I am not sure, since I haven’t been able to read the lyrics yet. And this concerns the writing process. Do you envision the music before you actually write and structure it? How do you incorporate your visions and inspirations with the result that you create songs you think I as a listener would like to relate to?
“It is an absolutely un-conceptual way of creating music. I can imagine for the next album, which will have a strict lyrical concept down to each song, that maybe asks for a continuous slow track, or one with a special instrumentation. Then you have to consider this when making the arrangements, but the actual riff-writing will still be a complete uncoupled process. This way you’re not forcing anything in a direction but can be totally inspired by the act of creating tones and just let it flow, a spiritual process which benefits from the fact that each of us makes music on his own, not in eye contact at some rehearsal. Still, which lyrics are combined with what track is an obvious thing later, and there’s no choice… just like, a lyric like ‘The Fire Syndrome’ asks for exactly the song it’s combined with, and also the other lyrics and songs on “Fractal Possession”, you can’t take one lyric and apply it to a different track. In the end, everything comes together naturally, with AR of course editing and re-writing parts of the lyrics to fit into the musical pattern.”
The production on “Fractal Possession” is very clear and it gives each instrument time to talk to the listener (me). In Black Metal I often think that the bass tend to drown in the wall of sound, and sometimes patience is not as rewarding as one might like to think. However, in the case of your new album there are some moments that make me freeze on my back. After 1.57 minutes into the ‘Lair Of Infinite Desperation’ there’s such a bassy section I really look forward to every single time. Perhaps a bit narrow, but is such a following part written for the musical purpose solely, or is there a whole to it?
“That the bass has a more important role in the sound of ABIGOR is one of those things I learned while engineering all kinds of music (although you could say we started to realize it had no sense to try to fill the bass spectrum with the guitars in the late 90s as well, I think PK introduced a bass on “Satanized” again, maybe we even had one on “Channelling The Quintessence Of Satan" – I listen to the studio outtakes of that album only which are guitars and drums in its original form). The bass has a frequency that simply can’t be done by the guitars and is essential to the sound as a whole. In the mid-90s (we included a bass in the early 90s) we thought that our guitars are way enough to fill the soundfield, but we were wrong. Now that we use this instrument again the difficult thing is that it shouldn’t bring in too many new melodylines but still be original. We write the tracks without the bass in mind, and therefore the guitars alone fill the whole spectrum of (dis-)harmonies. In ABIGOR we always have at least 2 equally strong guitarlines (with a few guitars coming in and out where they are needed, a total freedom that our concept of denying to play live implies, even more now with our new way of writing music than ever before), and therefore the bass must not support one guitar, otherwise the balance between the 2 is lost. So, it has to be a new melody but still one that subordinates to the guitars. Back to your question about certain melodies, “for musical purpose solely” is an understatement, what higher sense can something have in a track than for the musical purpose? Our music itself has a purpose and it’s not to write any nice track, it is extreme Satanic art, a storm of emotions and thoughts (that unconsciously manifested in the melodies and harmonies). Writing music (with everything that is included, arranging, etc) is a spiritual act and you don’t have to think about any purpose or concept all the time. Development, thoughts, concepts, everything conscious is the preliminary work of doing an album. The actual process of composing music should be one that is like a mad fever dream.”
When you write your music, is every new riff meant to be better than the former? Like, every new creation is a new nirvana, if you see what I mean… Let me challenge you on the same subject: how do you know when a riff is as good as it gets?
“First of all, of course you change the inner structure of a riff as long as it seems great to you. But of course if it’s THE riff that furiously jumps out of the boxes and throws you into the pits of hell, you only hear that when the track is done with full instrumentation. Like, sometimes there’re 2 chords, a simple thing but they have something to them you can’t describe. Later in the process there is a sick melody added and the drums and maybe anything else, 3 voice guitar harmony… so, there’s often a part that is not THE one riff, but how it progresses, this could lead anywhere. What is a good riff? For example, PK came to our old rehearsal room with the intro riff of ‘Kingdom Of Darkness’, a simple E chord with 2 chords following. After all these years (it’s the third song we’ve ever written as ABIGOR) I still get goosebumps when I hear the beginning of ‘Kingdom Of Darkness’. A good riff is one that transports feelings. The most complex or simple one, fast or slow, there’s no limit. But of course you think each and every riff is good, otherwise you wouldn’t even record a demo of it.”
Progressive Black Metal may not taste too well in the ears of a fan of this genre. But to me the music on “Fractal Possession” consists of numerous interesting fractions. Allow me to be funny and say that these various portions possess me in the sense that once I notice something, I really look forward to it the next spin. Are you afraid that you alienate the listener since your songs do not have the comfortable formula we know from (too) many bands? How would you like, if you could choose, the listener to ‘attack’ “Fractal Possession”?
“It’s a great description and absolutely correct that you noticed the music possesses you. And an essential question for sure: Progressive Black Metal… what is this? People that always ask for “Transylvanian Hunger” (I use this a second time here, an obvious example and a classic of course) style only these days are the same that listened to the blackened Rock’n’Roll of Venom in the early 90s and denied Burzum or Mayhem for being too whatever weird or so, and as for the harmonic structure some riffs on “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” or “Det Som Engang Var” are absolutely “progressive”. And people that think a copycat riff of “Transylvanian Hunger” with 4 track production is “ugly” or evil or rough, but actually the melodies are as nice and ear friendly as it can get, are musical cowards. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no preferences, I listen to Moonblood as well as the most advanced well produced Black Metal, I enjoy both the same. But Black Metal MUST challenge the listener. It may take you into a calm state, let your imaginations flow on a melodic or ambient part, but it has to pierce your soul as well. I would go that far and say Katharsis’ masterpiece “World Without End” is progressive in the way that it presents a way of riffing that’s absolutely original (and in the same way the first Black Metal album that really reminded me on old German masters like early Destruction, not because of copied riffing but due to a certain, not definable feeling), or Mütiilation, the riffing sometimes reminds me of old Voivod and is it absolutely not common simple nice BM riffing, but yes, sometimes “progressive”. What I want to say is, give me classic Black Metal riffing (like “Transylvanian Hunger”) everytime, great, but if anyone thinks this is ultimately “evil” or ugly, then the person has no clue what he is talking about. There are riffs on “Fractal Possession” that will make people paranoid for sure. On the other hand, yes, there’re parts that are very melodic and “ear friendly” / harmonic, but we just have to include both. As I told you writing music is an intuitive and natural process, we don’t control how an inspiration is channelled and manifested in our riffs. This is one of the reasons why our music is spiritual and a step on the path to the Lord.”
Most normally I try to listen to music without trying to understand everything. Or perhaps I try to consciously come up with my own interpretation. However, in the case of ‘Injecting Satan’ I must ask you to please explain why the song fades after 2.51 minutes only to return with full force 7 seconds later? Because, if there’s no real meaning behind it except that you just want to fuck up my head, then this could’ve been better off
“It doesn’t fade, it’s a low pass filtersweep that cuts out the high frequencies. I think it’s perfect that it sinks down to the centre of the earth and returns with a crash and a devilish scream. So far the people that heard it experienced it the same way, but for sure if you try to fiend a meaning it won’t please you.”
Despite the progressive approach in this album, the music still floats very well. I’m impressed with the way loads of surprising turns in the songs feel most natural. In my personal favourite ‘Cold Void Choir’, the music is rapid around 2 minutes. Then after 2.27 it slows a bit down onto to turn completely after 2.32. However, nothing feels out of place. How many times did you have to rehearse this to make it feel natural? The main question though deals with totality. How to you write in order to make the music float? What’s your main focus when you try to make the music float?
“It is easy. When a riff feels out of place you just keep it for another part. You feel it immediately when something absolutely doesn’t fit together. On the other hand, after the first stage of composition is done (the writing of the basic riffs), you can still build a bridge with additional guitars. But again: it is an analysis and a guess, because when you sit there with headphones on and playing / recording guitar, you are not doing math, it is a different state of mind – no matter how earthbound the technical side of the process is, setting a loop on the computer, recording, editing… but as soon as the tones are flowing, you thoughts are decoupled in a way – otherwise you’re not writing music but do handcrafts. It’s hard to imagine, but really the most technical aspect can become magic…”
The vocals are many, though still perhaps only one vocalist. In the aforementioned ‘Cold Void Choir’ the (Mayhem’s) Atilla-feel is present after 3.33 minutes, hanging in there for the rest of the track. Now tell me, how did you end up with such a diverse vocal expression, having the former career in mind where the vocals are way more one-dimensional, at least in comparison
“I am totally convinced that the vocals are just perfect for ABIGOR, or better, the new incarnation of the demon. Attila is of course one of the most original Black Metal vocalists, but still I think the vocals of AR are more diverse, varied, evil (because he lives and breathes every single word he sings right in the moment of the recording until he spits blood, he has been quite obnoxious in the hours before and after the recording, hehehe), and also hits the notes perfectly in the tonal parts. And the articulation is unchallenged, he celebrates every syllable. And: his basic voice has no effect, no reverb / room, nothing, it’s absolutely effect free (of course with EQ, compression etc. but nothing that alters the voice). I have put some reverb on a few melodic parts, or added a delay on this word or another, but his actual voice throughout the tracks is pure. He did various performances on each song, we had about 3-5 vocal tracks per song. This gave us enough “material” to do all the worked out double vocals on some parts or stereo effects which are actually just vocals from another track (“track” – not another song, another version / take of the same song). But with all detail, edits, attention and clinical execution of the actual production, the album is basically very direct and “true”. No effect on the basic voice, no triggered drums, no reverb on the guitars, everything is very direct. This is the advantage of engineering experience, high quality studio gear and the unlimited studio time, you can work out the tiniest detail but still don’t have to prettify something. If the performance and recording is great, you can go from there. Silenius perfectly fitted to our old albums, he had a highly individual voice, the powerful screaming of “Verwüstung” is great, the variation and otherworldly performance of “Apokalypse”, he was a master on his territory. But now we reached a new era, and here the vocals of AR make an all important part of the “new” ABIGOR.”
You will in short time begin to receive reviews and diverse expressed response. What do you expect from the reviews this time, thinking that this new expression is far from the ABIGOR most of us have learnt to like?
“Of course, as every artist, I want the reviews to be enthusiastic or totally negative. I have no problem with a 1 out of 6 critic. The worst thing would be if one can’t find the access to the music and doesn’t know how to handle it, but because of the advanced technical aspect feels compelled to write a good critic. If someone doesn’t appreciate Satanic art without limits, then he should at least respect us for our artistic achievement, but for hell’s sake be honest enough and write that the music just leaves him speechless and untouched, not any “they can play their instruments and the songs are all demanding, but somehow blah blah blah”, he should write it’s musical scum to his ears."
How many times do you think the listener needs to really digest “Fractal Possession”? The reason this is being asked is due to the all the details in the music. The music (almost) never rests and it demands a lot from the inexperienced as well as the experienced listener.
"One thing: we DON’T judge ourselves to be progressive, technical or whatever, we play how we feel and how we can. We never, not a single time, did a single note to do something technical / progressive”, this is utterly disgusting! Our music flows out of our souls just as naturally as the simplest riff on “Panzerfaust” (not to overuse the “Transylvanian Hunger” example, hehehe). Of course it is demanding to play it, and often I sit here and struggle to get a too complicated riff clean on tape, but it is how we hear the music in our minds, we just transform what is inside us. Most of the time I hear a riff in my head before I play it, and when this is one that’s tricky to play, what the fuck should I do, water it down to please anybody, listener, critic, anyone? We have the techniques now to realize our musical visions, and we use it, everything else would be fake, would be pleasing a market, and betraying ourselves. And as a logical consequence to my words, our music is highly accessible anyway, every note is there for a reason, to transport an emotion, nothing is artificially constructed – and such music can only be accessible and hit one’s soul if similar feelings are there to be evoked.”
I’m afraid that the music demands a lot from the sound on stage, but in my opinion the music on “Fractal Possession” definitely deserves an audience due to the many great and cool parts in your music. I am certain few will be bored while watching and hearing you in a venue nearby. Inform us about what we can expect when we eventually get to listen to ABIGOR live on stage
“No ABIGOR live. First of all, we need to have 100% (not 99%) freedom when we compose our music. If we want 6 guitars and a backward drum, we just do it without a thought. So many times did I hear “but we can’t do this live then” from other bands recording in the studio, when I suggested some additional instrument. This is self – restriction. So, live would be possible if you come with minimum 10 musicians and a truck of technique… And the character of our music isn’t determined by the harmonies / melodies and lyrics / concept only, also the sound and execution is more important than ever before. The second reason is that only a very specific style of Black Metal works live. I have seen Antaeus live and they were like a storm, as they played the last track (one of their new album) I just stood there in the middle of a sonic hurricane. Or a different style, Kawir, it reminded me on a feeling between “Live In Leipzig” and “Scorn Defeat”. Very raw Black Metal. For everything else, and definitely the form of Black Metal that we present, I would like to see expensive stage design, sophisticated lighting, projections and what not. With people sitting and shut up (this is what another musician once proposed as well). Here we entered the third reason, the atmosphere that hardly lives up to the serious matter of the lyrics and the concept of Satanic art. Nothing against having fun and drinking a beer, but Black Metal is sacred, a Black Metal concert should be an act of worshipping the devil, from all participants – have you ever seen one that was such a pure act?”
When I saw Watain in Oslo with ca. 100 spectators, that was probably the closest! In the end, what is being described as “evil” is based on a Christian concept of morality, but we surpassed this concept for sure. Not all melodies on the new album is what I’d consider dark, which goes well hand in hand with the thought that without light there would be no darkness. Do you in some wicked way consider dark music such as Black Metal as a symptom of the ignorance in our Western societies and the way most people relate to easy-listening music like popular music from the MTV-top 20 and such? Do you perhaps think that in a balanced civilization there would be no need for Satan and his rebel songs?
“We have to divide Satanism and Black Metal here on this specific question. As for the music, I don’t know how the effects would be if we would lead an absolutely balanced life, one that completely represents the ideal of our individual imagination, self realization in pure form. A paradox surely (total freedom of the individual is not possible for many reasons – not only practical, but you assume that humans are striving for peace and harmony – do they really?). Also if you would be the dictator of whatever country, have an unlimited bank account, you are still influenced by the world surrounding you, except you live in isolation which influences you in a different way. Definitely, your social contacts, the society, every day life, your surrounding, simply the world you’re living in influences your art to a great extent. And this is not a bad thing for sure. Art must react on the current state of whatever field it is bound to play in (Black Metal must also react on Black Metal, not in an obvious way, but still). Still, it must not be reactionary art in the sense of the word of course. And to strip spiritual art down as a reaction to its surrounding is of course nonsense. So, an artist is shaped by “the world” a lot for sure, but to what extent and an assumption how utopia would influence this is a far too hypothetical thought to follow.”
But there’s one really important thing I as a non-believer in any Satan, God, Allah, Lucifer, Jesus, etc etc, wonder about, why do so many people choose to believe in something outside oneself? You use Satan yourself, probably as a metaphor, but who is your God eventually?
“Without any limits and metaphors, I believe in Satan being an entity as well as being the seminal substance (in a non-physical sense) present in every cell, everything in and surrounding us. This is where our affinity with themes describing aspects of the universe in older lyrics comes from – just imagine the infinite universe, a manifestation and a proof of the omnipresence of Satan (AR said, as he listened to the new mastered version of “Fractal Possession”, that even if the lyrics don’t include themes around the horns that lurk beyond the stars, still this aspect is present in the music alone. The music spins you right into the middle of nothingness, the centre of the universe, the blackest antipole – to the paradoxes of micro- and macrocosm… passing the stars and all possible worlds, you float somewhere in the void witnessing His presence. This is right in our music, at least in some parts, without the lyrics underlining it). I have no strict belief following any (single) written and published form of Satanism (at least not what you describe as average book about Satanism, to be found in the local esoteric shop), I belief that many conditions, historical situations, incarnations, manifestations, all different forms point to the one single revelation. So much for my own belief. AR has written some lyrics that break up the absolute duality of good and evil, although being unquestionably of a Satanic nature. At first I wasn’t sure if this integrates perfectly into the concept of ABIGOR, but it does. In the end, what is being described as “evil” is based on a Christian concept of morality, but we surpassed this concept for sure. Yet it is legitimate to use this conception of good and evil to position ourselves in the world of these traditional values and terms. But if one thinks and acts “evil” and by himself judges his deeds and thoughts as “evil”, it seems utterly wrong to me. What is called “evil” must seem good and right to you, to your own perception, otherwise you are just a product of Christian morality.”
Why should we listen to “Fractal Possession” in headphones?
“Because you will discover things that would be hidden to you otherwise. And it is a good way to focus on the album. Of course with good monitors you hear everything just as good, but with headphones you cut your connection to the outside world even more. When I listen to Black Metal, I take the cover, insertsheet, whatever, and even if the lyrics aren’t printed I look at the artwork right through the last note of the album. This is a mostly forgotten way of listening to music, but it is a highly rewarding one. Great art deserves our full attention, the experience is a really different one if you focus all your senses on it. This is of course just as valid for our multi-layered music as well as primitive, raw, simple art, no matter how it is presented.”
Much of “Fractal Possession” is fast forward in the speed of light. Do you think that this yin to the slower yang is a necessity to make extreme music interesting? The reason I ask is that I sense your thoughtfulness behind the creativity of this excellent album is ever-present, and that few or no changes are done without purpose. Let me give an example. In ‘Vaporized Tears’ the first three minutes are pretty fast, but the great turn after 3.12 minutes feels more brutal in all its melodic approach compared to the fast parts that are basically fast rather than anything else. The melody, which sticks to my mind, is way more rememberable compared to if the track had been midpaced all the time… Let me also add that the development of the track is really great!
“With my words about the spiritual, intuitive process of creating those tones in mind, of course not a single note or beat is done without purpose in the end. Today’s technology gives us possibilities i.e. in the field of post-production, you can always go back and change a few things, re-arrange, whatever. For instance there has been a first version mastering and we did another one, a month after the mixdown was completed, still we changed some minor things, just in ‘Vapourized Tears’ that you speak of now (you will maybe notice the added reverse sound at the beginning, the additional guitars in one part and the missing repetition of a whole part in the new version). Concerning our “thoughtfullness”: the riffs alone determine the drumming (and it’s the drum rhythm that makes something fast or slow, even if it’s the same beats per minute). We write guitar only demos first, and the drums are added later. And while we do work on the arrangement, the editing and minor effects, treat it in every possible way you could think of, still it’s the riff that determines everything. This is the way we do our albums, step by step, and the first step is the riff, the riffs one after another. It’s the basic cell that determines everything that comes in later, every reverse effect, every drum beat, everything is actually in the riff as I see it. In example PK gives me a riff, and I add 5 guitars and effects and a lightningfast beat and edits to it, and still, the order of how the single notes are put together and how they are played, read: the (his) riff, is the DNA of the most advanced symphony I could construct. So, you could spin this thought and say no matter how many layers of sound, how many tracks of additional guitars and drums and whatnot is added, it’s all in the few notes that form the basic riff. And one more thing: I have absolutely no respect for people that add one shitty melody over another, some “symphonic” Black Metal that consists of 50 tracks of cheesy layers found in Gothic keyboard music. Every layer ultimately must have a purpose and not fill in what’s missing. And to your very first question (in this paragraph of question, hehehe): no, I don’t think songs or parts of an album have to contrast with each other. A fast album without a pause, or a throughout slow one can be as interesting as one that includes various tempi and moods. Maybe it is harder, it surely is, to do something interesting just in one style (because of human physics: the ear and section of the brain that’s responsible for hearing perceives things relative to something. When a sound is loud all the way, there’s a natural mechanism that lowers your perception. That’s why you perceive a dynamic record in the long run as louder than one that is on the limit all the time. Same with something fast, you won’t get a rush of aggression of a fast beat after 5 fast songs if you don’t hear a slower beat, only then you can experience a furious outrage again). We don’t do our tempi on a conscious level, it just happens. And again, my personal taste is that a fast, a slow or a varied album all can be great.”
Finally, and I think it’s time for the regular closer. Do you think that ABIGOR in cooperation with End All Life will release one of the top-5 albums in 2007? Why should people invest money and time in “Fractal Possession”? And if you have some ending words, please write them in another interview
“Last question, so these are my ending words anyway, otherwise I couldn’t answer this question at all, hehehe… but good that you block the usual rockstar “thanx to our fans, thanx for buying our album, see you on tour” bullshit… Ok, why should people invest money in “Fractal Possession” – if we wouldn’t believe it to be something precious also for someone else than ourselves, we would have kept in on our computer, not spreading it as good as possible. So I am totally convinced this is one of the albums that shape 2007, and it is here to stay, a manifest of mature, unrestricted and absolute, hence Satanic, art.”