Immortal Throne of Blashyrkh: Russian Tribute to Norwegian Black Metal band Immortal


Interview with Abbath from (2002)

Hey Abbath, how's it going?

Not bad, thanks.

So, for those unfamiliar with with you and your material, could you introduce yourself and describe Immortal's sound?

Well, I'm Abbath, and I play guitar in a band called Immortal. Immortal was founded on September of 1990, and our sound is, well... I dunno...

Didn't you once describe it as "Holocaust Metal"?

Yes, but that was "Pure Holocaust"...

And now your on "Sons Of Northern Darkness"?

Yeah, well, I guess we can say that we sound like ourselves!

Cool... So, for newer fans, like me, could you tell us what to expect from your live show?

Aggression. On stage is where we let our demons out, so it's just like a big demonic war party.

Sounds like fun!


Is there any chance of Demonaz's hand healing up enough to even just play a one-off show with you?

No. He hasn't touched a guitar in a long time. He could never do it again, but he's quite happy writing lyrics for us and being our manager.

Do you or any of the other members of Immortal have any side projects?

Well, Horgh has been drumming for Peter Tätgren's band, Pain, and Iscariah is involved in Wurdulak with Killjoy from Necrophagia. I don't have any side-projects, though.

You're too focused on Immortal?

Yeah, exactly.

You guys have been a part of the Norwegian scene for around 12 years now, so how would you compare it now to 10 years ago?

10 years ago, we had this different kind of energy... It was all new and exciting, and we were taking this step into a big new world...

And now you've got bands that list you guys as influences...

Yeah, it's kind of cool...

On the Internet, I've seen a fair bit of black metal fans associate the crimes of a few, like burning churches and murdering people and what not, with the entire scene, and feel that those crimes are more important than the music. What's your take on that?

Well, for me at least, it's always been about the music. I'm too busy with Immortal to spend any time in jail! And if you burn down a church, it's going to cost you because your tax dollars are just going to have to pay to rebuild it anyway. That's how it is with the Christians here...

Emperor has always been somewhat of the "Holy Grail" of black metal, and now that they've broken up, who do you think will be the band that rises to take their place?

I don't know... Y'know what? I haven't listened to Emperor since "In The Nightside Eclipse". Their new stuff doesn't do anything for me... I don't miss them.

Do you feel that the make-up you wear on stage gives you a little more confidence?

Definitely! It's like putting on a brand new face, when we paint up. It helps us to release our inner demons on stage... It's like demon war-paint. We never do the corpse-paint thing, we do war-paint. Corpse-painting is for Mayhem...

Have you or any of the other members of Immortal ever fucked groupies while wearing the make-up?

I, personally, have never done it, but I don't know if any of the others ever did it... I'll have to try it now, thanks!

Glad I could help! Now, do you feel that the September 11th incident has had any influence on your writing?

No, not at all. However, that day, we were at Abyss (Studios) working on "Sons Of Northern Darkness", and we got a message from Peter (Tätgren) saying that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center building. So, we went to Peter's house and got there just in time to see the second plane crash. It just felt so unreal, like it was movie...

So then, what's your take on religious fanaticism, both Muslim and with everything else?

It's all just crazy, man. We have all these different beliefs, and none of us really know... Life's too short for all that shit! Like, with those suicide pilots, they didn't believe, they knew that if they did this, they'd go to heaven and be surrounded by virgins and stuff like that... It's fucked up. We will all find out what happens in the end, when we die, whether or not God exists. Me, though, I am my own God. I work in my own mysterious ways!

What's your take on all the rap-rock bands, like Limp Bizkit, and all the rap that's on the radio everywhere?

I don't like Limp Bizkit, it's annoying. Hip-hop, I hear it on the radio, and it just annoys me. It gets even worse when they combine the metal and hip-hop, like Limp Bizkit. It's blasphemy! It annoys me to no end...

Are there any new bands that you think we should look out for?

I don't know... I'm still stuck in the 1980s and early 1990s!

Yeah, those eras had some good music. Most of the music I've been getting into lately has been from there.

Could you name me a band?


How's their new album?

I don't think they've put out a new one since the late 1990s... Just some best-of CDs.

I remember Testament... Back in 2000, we did a show in Athens, and the next night Testament did a show in Athens, Greece, and we went and watched them. It was cool... It's a shame the vocalist, Chuck Billy, has cancer...

Yeah, but at least he's getting better, which is good.

Yes... It's unfortunate that Chuck Schuldiner wasn't so lucky...

Definitely... It was a sad day for metal when Chuck died...Have you picked up any new CDs lately that you'd recommend?

CDs... Hmmm... I haven't really gotten any CDs in long time... I did get the Iron Maiden DVD about the making of the 1982 album, "The Number Of The Beast", not too long ago.

Is it any good?

I don't know, I haven't had a chance to watch it yet... I've been too busy doing interviews. We've done around 200 interviews for our new album, "Sons Of Northern Darkness".

Seriously? Shit... That's a lot!

Yeah, I've done about 150, Iscariah's done around 50, Horgh has done 1, and Demonaz has done one... He did one for a French group that was mainly about his lyrics...

All right, so if you could take any band out with you, who would it be?

Actually, I'd love it if we could go out and support Slayer in America. That would be really cool...

Oh man... There'd be people dying after those shows, the mosh pits would be so brutal! all right, well, thanks for your time Abbath, and I hope to see you next time Immortal tours Canada!

My pleasure...

Author: Justin Pierrot (© 2002

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