July 28, 2019

Abyssal Interview with The Lair of Filth + Full album stream.

Since reviewing the vinyl edition of the unbeatable 'Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius' by Abyssal in January 2014 I have published many features on one the best Death Metal entities in existence - all previous Abyssal articles are accessible here
Formed in the UK in 2011, Abyssal plays an extremely suffocating and oppressive style of Death Metal with a unique sound that is, in my opinion, unmatched in today's prolific underground. The follow up album to 'Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius' was the excellent 'Antikatastaseis' which landed the joint number 1 placing on my Top 25 Album listing for 2015. With Abyssal's fourth album, 'A Beacon in the Husk' recently released by Profound Lore Records I was fortunate to interview G.D.C. for a third time, so read on for the interview which also features the full album stream 'A Beacon in the Husk.' 

I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and appreciation to Abyssal for continually supporting The Lair of Filth.

Interview by Trevor Proctor with G.D.C from Abyssal.

Hi, many thanks for agreeing to another interview with The Lair of Filth – your cooperation and time taken to answer the questions are very much appreciated. 
We last spoke in March 2018 and since then a lot has happened with Abyssal including the release of your split with Carcinoma which was released by Goatprayer Records, further live appearances including a slot at the very prominent Maryland Death Fest and the release of your latest album, ‘A Beacon in the Husk.’ 
Did you ever imagine things could get so productive for Abyssal and what has been your personal highlight?

I am constantly humbled by how positive the reception to Abyssal’s music has been. Playing this music for the first time in the United States and Canada has been an overwhelming experience, and the response has been remarkable. In terms of live highlights, the debut appearance at Oration will always hold an important place, but Maryland Deathfest was certainly a much larger and more impressive show.
We continue to grow musically and in the maturity of our live performances.

A Beacon in the Husk’ has just been released by Profound Lore Records, in your last interview with The Lair of Filth you stated with regards to the album “it has undoubtedly been the most challenging and beleaguered writing process that I have yet endured, involving at least three complete re-writes of the album from scratch.” 
Are you happy with the final recording, could you tell us a little more about the process and how big of a relief was it to finally get it finished?

I am never happy. I constantly feel that each release is an incomplete representation of the ideas that I had in my mind. Beacon was perhaps the most extreme example of this, and in the end I was able to produce something that was close to my intention, but I never get that feeling of creative satisfaction that other artists seem to get. There is always an itch. I think that this is just something that is built into my character in that I am always looking to the next project. The occasion when I write an album that I am happy with is the point at which I stop writing.

What was the inspiration/meaning behind the album title ‘A Beacon in the Husk’ and what lyrical themes are explored during it?

The title is a representation of this concept that I became enamoured with when studying the works of Carl Jung. The idea of a new, shining axiom emerging from the withered husk of the previous set of presuppositions was one that I saw working on many levels in terms of what I wanted to express musically.
In terms of the lyrical concepts covered on this album, they are the most layered and metaphysically complex that I have ever written. I have written extensively about the lyrical content on this record, but it is a topic that I struggle to discuss succinctly.
For a very good overview, I would recommend reading my joint interview with Elijah Tamu on this topic. (Accessible by following this link)

As with all previous Abyssal releases were the tracks self-recorded and are you happy with the presentation of both formats as released by Profound Lore?

I recorded and produced all tracks. In terms of presentation, I feel like the vinyl treatment for this release is the best presented Abyssal release to date.

Did you perform all vocals and instrumentation on the album apart from the drums?


In terms of sound I feel ‘A Beacon in the Husk’ is both an evolution and continuation from your fantastic third album ‘Antikatastaseis’ do you agree with this and have you any ideas for the next album, or even how you will further evolve the music of Abyssal?

I think that it was always going to be a challenge to create a follow up release to Antikatastaseis because that album was so well received. The writing process for that album was also the most ‘painless’ that I have yet experienced, which made it a very natural album to put together. I feel that Beacon is a somewhat darker record in many ways, but I think that you are correct in identifying that a lot of the compositional approaches are similar.

This is now the fourth time Profound Lore Records has released Abyssal’s music – obviously you’re happy with the label but will they release future Abyssal music and are there any plans for a cassette version of ‘A Beacon in the Husk?’

At this moment in time, there are no future planned Abyssal releases on Profound Lore, however I imagine that Abyssal will stay on the label for the foreseeable future. There are no current plans for a cassette release, but it would be something that I am interested in doing.

Elijah Tamu created the cover artwork for ‘A Beacon in the Husk’ – how did you come to select this particular artist and what guidance did you give before the art was created? Also did Elijah create the inner artwork and how happy are you with the final results?

I had originally approached Elijah to discuss him writing the lyrics out in his stylised calligraphy. I sent him the lyrics across to begin the process of transcribing them, but was surprised when he responded with a deep discussion of the concepts I was probing. Elijah was a unique case in that he immediately grasped the concept of the album and understood the importance of the ideas. 
From that moment, I decided to also commission Elijah to paint the cover art, which he did with almost no guidance and delivered what I consider to be a stunning product. 
Additional art in the booklet was also provided by Karmazid, Jose Gabriel Alegria and Raoul Mazzero.

As previously mentioned the recording for ‘A Beacon in the Husk’ was quite laborious for you with a side effect being a four year wait between full length albums, can you see it taking as long again for a new Abyssal album?

I have tried to predict these kinds of things in the past and have consistently been wildly inaccurate. It may take the same time again, maybe more, maybe less.

After many years in existence without a Facebook account you finally created one in January of this year, what led to this and have you experienced many benefits from having an account? 

The unfortunate reality of the modern music scene is that it is difficult to function without a social media presence of some form. I resisted for many years, but in the end the sheer number of people questioning about Abyssal on social media forced me to reconsider this. Not only this, but also the fact there was a very poorly put together imitation page floating around meant that I had to protect the image of the band to some degree.

Abyssal’s second live appearance, and also the band’s UK debut, took place at North of the Wall Festival (Scotland) in April 2018. It was a show I thoroughly enjoyed from the front row and I feel you delivered a very tight set – do you agree it was a good performance and did you experience any sound problems etc. on the day?

It was an enjoyable set which I believe was solidly performed given that it was the second ever show.

The second time I saw Abyssal live was at your third show in London on the 9th of February this year, your first headline show which also featured Deus Vermin, Vacivus and Malthusian. I felt this was another very tight performance that was even better than that at North of the Wall – do you agree and did you get to watch the sets from the other bands?

It was a much more comfortable show in terms of it pacing and atmosphere. It was also very good to perform alongside some of the UK and Ireland’s best death metal bands.

On the 7th of March it was announced via your Facebook page that Abyssal would play the very high profile Maryland Death Fest – how did it feel being offered the chance to play a world famous festival such as MDF? 

It was a great privilege, and it was also somewhat surprising given that Abyssal is typically not the kind of band that is often invited to play MDF. 

When we met at the London show you mentioned you’d hoped to play new material from ‘A Beacon in the Husk’ but were unable to do so on the night – did you play any new material at MDF? Obviously this was Abyssal’s largest performance to date – were you happy with the performance and how well was it received by the audience?

The simple reality of the Abyssal live line up is that we are distributed across vast distances. At the time of the London show we had not retooled the set sufficiently to do the new songs, simply due to lack of opportunities to practise. The MDF show was indeed the largest that Abyssal have ever performed, and from the responses that we received from festival goers were very positive. 

To tie in with your appearance at MDF you performed a further three U.S. dates with Tchornobog. How was the mini tour in general, did you know the members from Tchornobog before the shows and were all shows well attended?

I had discussed music and various other topics in the past with Markov Soroka, who, for all intents and purposes, is the sole songwriter and member of Tchornobog. We had never met in person before this. The shows with Tchornobog were well received and generally enjoyable.

When we first met several years ago one of the first things I asked you was if you’d ever bring Abyssal’s music to the stage. At that time you were extremely reluctant to do so yet since then the shows mentioned above have all taken place – are you happy with how Abyssal has been received in the live environment and which show to date has been your personal favourite and why?

My reluctance around playing live was really around two issues; one was my belief that the material would not translate well live, and the other was the lack of a reliable line up that could perform the music. It really took at least two years to confront these issues fully, including creating versions of the songs that could be played live with two guitars. 

I’m aware Abyssal is scheduled to play the Netherlands Death ‘Fest next year – aside from this show can you possibly reveal any further planned live dates for Abyssal and what further plans do you have for 2019?

There certainly are plans for UK dates, but I cannot speak of those until they become more solidified.

Underground extreme music has experienced a massive growth in popularity over recent years, an unfortunate side effect of this rise in popularity is the amount of hipsters, “scene queens” and superficial listeners, what do you make of this situation and do you feel underground music will through time become less popular and return to its proper, genuine fan base again?

I think that as long as there is any form of subculture, there will always be people who cling onto it in order to achieve some social notoriety. I don’t think there are any more or less individuals that you might characterise as ‘posers’ today in comparison to earlier times. Either way, the best approach is to just ignore these kinds of people. They don’t last anyway.

Due to this rise in popularity we have also witnessed an unfortunate amount of occasions where people have got tours cancelled, bands dropped from labels and even some labels having their credit card payment facilities removed due to the protestations of others. What are your views on this and do you agree there’s a lot more attempted censorship than ever before? 

I think that these kinds of circumstance are not necessarily due to metal music becoming more popular per se. I think they are a function of social ideologies becoming more totalising, and driving people to try and expunge society of anything that runs counter to their ideology. I think that these kinds of people who threaten violence towards underground bands are genuine imbeciles who are ignorant of just about every facet of history.

This year has been very productive in terms of underground releases, what have been your personal highlights so far and what scheduled releases for the rest of 2019 are you looking forward to the most?

I am always a year behind on releases. The one exception I will offer is the self titled album by Barshasketh, which is gradually worming its way into my top 10 black metal releases of the decade.

Thanks again for your ongoing support for both myself and The Lair of Filth, it means a lot and is greatly appreciated – any closing comments are all yours……

Thank you for your continuing support.


Abyssal Facebook Page.

Abyssal Bandcamp.

Abyssal's prior release was the split with Carcinoma which can be purchased here.

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