Glamor. Speed. Satan. These three things and more sum up black metal powerhouse and project mastermind Abbath Doom Occulta, who has been doing his own thing musically for three albums now. Dead Reaver is full of tracks that take the heaviness of previous Abbath offerings to the next level. Songs like “The Deep Unbound and “Acid Haze” both challenge listeners to rethink the artist, and also challenge the limits of the art. The nods to ancient symbolism and imagery further elevate the message.
Not sure what to expect talking to such an esteemed metal guru, I’m delighted to report Abbath is a bit like an evil Santa: jolly, loud, laughing, and not taking himself too seriously. After joking a bit (or laughing at his jokes), we got down to business.
“The pandemic took away touring, but this time, we got to play the songs together before we moved to the studio,” he explained about the process of writing on their latest record, Dread Reaver, out March 25 via Season of Mist. “Usually we’re on tour, on a 45-minute flight, traveling around before we get to play the songs, but this time, we were able to do it a little bit differently.”
That’s not to say that everything was easy for Abbath during the pandemic. In addition to the obvious lack of touring and live shows, recording looked a little different as well, but ended up being an overall a good experience, nonetheless. And while he has a few plans for European shows, he’s holding off on locking in any major plans for touring until everything looks a little clearer.
“We’re definitely going to play shows, but we’re holding off until things are a little more sure,” he explains. “And do I want to make another record in my lifetime? Of course. I’ve been doing this for 40 years, and it’s pretty much my main thing at this point. I’m going to keep doing it.”
He also mentions the last tour being different, as he was sober on the last tour, laughing as he tells the story. But does he plan to stay that way?
“Next question,” he laughs.
Watch the video for “Dream Cull” here:
Photo courtesy of James Alvarez