The following interview is with Al, the vocalist of the Brutal Death Metal band 'Abhorrent Castigation from Germany. The two members Thorso and Al formed the band in 2011 with Thorso on guitars and drum programming and Al on vocals. On February 29th 2012 they released the demo 'Enthralled by Abysmal Delusion' which consists of four tracks, including a cover version of Cerebral Effusion's 'Into Morbid Obesity'. It was released on several big sharing platforms for brutal music on the internet and also on their facebook page. The demo was available for purchase as a self release CD. In April 2012 the band signed to the US Brutal Death Metal label 'New Standard Elite'.
John Yoedi : Hi Al, How are you there ? First of all, thanks for agreeing to this interview and I hope you are well there. Also thanks for your kind support to Busuk Webzine. My friend Kieran James (Australia) and I, share for this blog. So how are things going in the ABHORRENT CASTIGATION camp ?
AL : Things are going great. Working on the recordings for our debut full-length ‘Throne of Existential Abandonment’. Slowly making progress.
JY : Firstly…Would you like to tell us a bit about What made you guys to get together to form ABHORRENT CASTIGATION?
AL : Thorso (guitars, song writing) and I chatted a bit on lastfm about music at the end of 2011 and decided to start a Brutal Death Metal project together. I’ve been doing vocals for a couple of years back then, but the opportunity never came to make music. I’m very glad to be able to be a part of Abhorrent Castigation now.
JY : In February 2012, the band released demo album ‘Enthralled By AbysmalDelusion with 4 track include cover version from Cerebral Effusion. How has it been received by fans/media so far ?
AL : The overall reaction was very positive. There have been a couple of reviews on blogs and internet sites and people seem to dig the material. Certainly gave us a good amount of attention in the scene for a start.
JY : And what was recording process like and who was responsible for production and mastering ? Also how many copies ?
AL : Thorso recorded the guitars and programmed the drums at his place, then sent it to me and I went to the studio of an old school friend of mine to record the vocals for it. I think Thorso took the material to a sound engineer afterwards to work on the sound a bit, too. We’ve pressed 100 copies of the demo by ourselves, because we think CD is a cool format and we wanted a bunch. All sold out some time ago.
JY : Would you like to describe your vocals style. What kind of vocals do you use ? And what bands influence for your vocal style ?
AL : My vocals are basically forced Death Metal growls, alternated by mouth form and throat tightness for example to create the basically four singing stylesI have. The basis for all of them is my forced growl. I can’t do ‘real’ guttural vocals like James Shuster (Scatorgy) for example, who is a brilliant singer. Wish I could incorporate that style that would kind of complete my spectrum. But I’m really happy with my singing as it is.I like this mixture of more classic Death Metal singing and the more low and more guttural sounding vocals of a lot of BDM bands. Too many vocalists either do badly executed inhale vocals or totally over the top guttural noises nowadays. I’d like to hear a lot more vocalists kind of brutalizing the classic Death Metal growl instead of not being intelligible at all. Vomitous has done that very well on their excellent new EP ‘Empires of Great Enslavement’ too, which I highly recommend (available at Permeated Records).
I can’t really say I have a direct influence for my vocals. I think that’s the wrong way to approach singing anyway. I think you have to build on what you got and develop your own style really and not try too much to imitate other vocalists. Of course you have to have an idea of where you want to go, but that should only be a general sound, not so much a specific vocalist. I can say which vocalists really impress and inspire me. A few examples are: AJ Magana (Deprecated, ex-Disgorge, ex-Defeated Sanity), Fabio Marin (Internal Suffering), Paolo Chiti (Putridity) and Eric Fiset (Nervous Impulse). All are incredible singers and I can only hope to reach the kind of skill they have some day.
JY : Also describe each of your instruments sound and bands influence to come up with your current playing style ?
AL : I think Thorso has a very unique song writing style. Some influences certainly are Cerebral Effusion and Disgorge. At least that’s what my unskilled vocalist ears hear on our demo especially. The new album material has a lot of Disgorge in it and we got rid of the very slow slamming completely. We incorporated a lot of cool mid-tempo slam parts, which I really dig. Much better than the ultra slow stuff which has so little drive and takes away so much energy in my opinion. And of course we have tons of high speed riffing and drums on the new material, which I love.
JY :What kinds of things inspire you musically and lyrically ? Would you say that there are any particular themes that you like to talk about in your songs, and that it’s important to have some sort of message to put forward in your music ?
AL : Thorso’s influences are Disgorge, Cerebral Effusion, Putridity, Gory Delivery and others.
I can only say what inspires me lyrically as I work out the lyrics and concept of our music. A very important source of inspiration are the talks and literature of the following: Christopher Hitchens, Friedrich Nietzsche, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Pat Condell and more. And music by: The Cinematic Orchestra, Swarms (electro/dubstep/ambient from the UK), Behemoth, Nile and of course the album material itself. Behemoth and Nile are particularly good musical inspiration to create epic and poetic lyrics, which is the aim of Abhorrent Castigation.
A lot of people might find it silly to even write decent lyrics for a BDM/DM band, especially if they’re coming from the more slammy regions of the genre, but I don’t really care. A lot of Death Metal bands write excellent and meaningful lyrics. And no, I don’t mean gore lyrics by that. I accept gore lyrics as part of the Death Metal tradition, but I am not interested in any of that. Defeated Sanity have put out excellent lyrics, Disgorge, Down from the Wound, Dying Fetus of course, Hate Eternal. Tons of bands.
For me, it’s absolutely crucial for Abhorrent Castigation to have deep, poetic, meaningful lyrics that go especially against all religions and the atrocities that arise out of ridiculous beliefs and propagate a naturalistic transcendence (a track on the album), human solidarity and a deeper understanding of the world we all inhabit.
I’m talking especially about the demo and album lyrics now. Other themes are going to be dealt with in future material, too.
I’m not interested in shocking anybody, or being ultra offensive for its own sake, not at all. But I think it is of absolute necessity to destroy religions by all means human conversation has to offer, including ridicule, argument and polemics. And I politely try to contribute to this endeavor with our lyrics.
JY : As you told me before, you still working for the new full length album ‘Throne Of Existential Abandonment’. And besidesthat, two member band came and working for Abhorrent Castigation as Bass and Drums. Would you like to tell us, what made they would be interest and joined for this band ?
AL : Yes, we hired two excellent session musicians to support us on the album. That’s Lille Gruber (Defeated Sanity) on drums and Anton Zhikharev (Fleshbomb, Back Door to Asylum) on bass. Both outstanding musicians and the perfect choices for our difficult album material.Uhm, I guess they listened to the material and liked it really. And we offered a compensation for their efforts of course. Good musicians don’t run on solar energy.
JY : In april 2012, your band signed to the US Brutal Death Label ‘New Standard Elite / NSE. As we know NSE have some sick roster such as : Ossification, Laceration, Secreted Entity, Lumpur, Gore Infamous and etc. How the deal came about ?
AL : After the demo release we’ve got some attention from labels that were interested in signing us. We’ve spread download links of our demo around like hell and by chance Didi Spindler found our stuff. He showed it to Daniel Osborn (Inherit Disease) who runs our label New Standard Elite and Dan was interested in us. After we thought every option through, we signed to NSE and it turned out to be a great choice for us. The company on the label is brilliant and the work with Dan is totally relaxed. He does a lot for us and this label is in my personal view the best BDM label out there at this moment. Thanks to Didifor hooking us up with Dan!
JY : And how far are you into the contract your signed to New Standard Elite ? Is it only for one album release or ?
AL : Yes, it’s for one album. I personally don’t think we’re going anywhere but NSE afterwards, but that’s something future Abhorrent Castigation will have to think about.
JY :Would you like to tell us a bit about metal scene in Germany nowadays ? And any new comer bands I should be checking out ?
AL : I’m really not interested in the metal scene as a whole anywhere. The only scene I’m interested in is the BDM/DM scene. The German one isn’t really the best in my opinion. It has some really good bands and a bunch of quite bad bands.
Slam is getting ridiculously popular here, but it seems that a lot of people dig the style. I like it too, really, but I lean definitely more to the blast side of BDM.
The best bands come from Italy in terms of BDM. Absolutely unmatched in comparison to any other country. I literally don’t know one bad BDM band from there. All are brilliant musicians, brilliant song-writers, brilliant vocalists and most importantly they lean as much to blast and a more classical DM approach to BDM as I do. Some brilliant German bands are: Defeated Sanity, Suffocate Bastard, Resurrected, Corporectomy, Infecting the Swarm, Tombthroat, Defloration and Pighead.
JY : I was read on facebook a few weeks ago, someone from Indonesia stole your album artwork for their band t-shirt….that’s suck !!! I hateaboutthis. Honestly …. here we have a lots of artist who can made great artwork for their stuff but pity some people still stole album artwork from another band. And we are apologies for this. What do you think about this ?
AL : It sucks, really. Of course it crossed my mind, that that might just be the ignorance of a rich central European to think that people in Indonesia have enough money to buy real merchandise, or not to sell bootleg stuff. But I don’t think the circumstances are that bad down there. I am all for digital sharing, but deliberately making money off of other people’s work is something I can’t understand. But this incident shows again how huge the demand there is to buy stuff from Death Metal bands. The right answer to that definitely is, to acknowledge the demand and fill it with own, real goods. Maybe we should search an Indonesian partner to sell our stuff there directly.
JY : Just a side question, What do you think about Busuk Webzine (www.busukwebzine666.blogspot.com) ? In Busuk Webzine, we are try to use two language : English Language and Indonesian Language… and also try to update news everyday.
AL : What you and a lot of people do in their free time, like running blogs, doing reviews and propaganda for music is absolutely crucial for the health of this BDM/DM scene.
There is no big money in this genre, so nobody but we all together invest time and money into the flourishing of this scene. We write our history and comment on developments in our music scene ourselves. All the bloggers, site hosters, reviewers, writers, commenters, bands, music sharers, labels, supporters, people who still buy merchandise and music. That’s so important and I am very glad people like you ask bands like us to do interviews for example. Thanks! (Ed...You're welcome man)
JY : Would you like to tell us about what is gears do you use to records ?
AL : I recorded my vocals with a Behringer B1 condenser mic in the studio and will stick to that gear and setup because the vocal recordings were excellent.
Thorso had the following gear on the demo: Guitar: B.C. Rich ASM Pro, AMP: Marshall MG100DFX, Pedal: BOSS MT-2 Metal Zone, Mic: Shure SM57, Software: Reaper.
JY : What is the next planning from Abhorrent Castigation ? Anyshows/tours, writingsongs for preparing new full length album or ?
AL : The song writing for our debut full-length ‘Throne of Existential Abandonment’ has long been completed. We have all drum tracks recorded too. We are currently busy with getting bass and guitars recorded and working on the lyrics and vocal patterns. We’re slow because we don’t do simple music, but we’re getting there. After the album release we’ll attend to searching a drummer and a bass player for a constant live line up. Will be difficult and not something we bother thinking about right now. The album release has full priority.
JY : On a final note, Indonesian has a reputation as a country with a strong death metal fan base. And lots of great bands have toured to Indonesia. Did you know some death metal band from Indonesia ? And what do you think about them ?
AL : Of course. I have to admit, that I don’t like a lot of Indonesian bands. My favorites are Absolute Defiance, Injury Deepen and Asphyxiate. Lumpur and Gore Infamous on NSE are pretty good, too.
JY : Well…many thanks for your time and support. Best of luck with your band. Is there anything else you’d like to add here ?
AL : Thanks! Indeed there is. In the name of Abhorrent Castigation I want to thank all people who have supported and will support underground Brutal Death Metal and of course us. Y’all should check out the best label on the planet: New Standard Elite and support it. Thanks for giving me the chance to propagate my thoughts.
(Interviewed by John Yoedi, June 02 2013)
If you want to know more about this killer band, you can visit their link here :