Maltese brutal death Metal outfit Abysmal Torment are just weeks away from their release of their third full length album and vocalist Nicholas Farrugia kindly took time out of his busy schedule to chat to MetalTalk.
Nicholas, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. Your third full length, 'Cultivate The Apostate', follow up to 2009s 'Omnicide', is out in April, something I am sure you are pretty excited about. What is the inspiration behind this release?
"We are extremely excited about this release. A lot of work was put into the production of the whole album, lyrics, music. We really looked at it as a complete package. As a band we seemed to get in a lot of talks about stuff that pissed us off, such as money, power, Governments, rulers, corruption, organised religions, bureaucracy, Law Courts and other issues that the general public is manipulated by. We then came up with various lyrics by grouping a number of these topics that affect each and every one of us, no matter how much you try to run away, and basically... bashed them!"
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The tracks I have heard I think are excellent; they still has the extreme brutality of your early work but with less of a raw edge compared to your first release, the EP 'Incised Wound Suicide', and subsequent first full length 'Epoch Of Methodic Carnage'. Your sound has certainly grown and developed hugely; how do you see this progression?
"Thanks for the compliments. I'm glad it went down well. To be honest I'm happy you noticed the difference in our material as time went by and appreciated the change. We get a lot of comments that the sound is too polished, the music doesn't sound as extreme etc, but this is what we want to be writing and this is the direction we would like to take.
"It's only logical that if you want to progress you need to break the boundaries and move on and this is what Abysmal Torment is all about. We will always sound like Abysmal Torment, but we will keep breaking boundaries in the direction the band feels is natural.
"As a band we will not play what is popular or what we were playing ten years ago but we will progress in a way that feels right to us. I don't respect bands that play music they believe others want to hear; you have to play what you enjoy."
Do you have any particular approach to the creative process when writing and recording an album?
"Well, we do not have a fixed system of rules however this last release has probably been the most thought out one. A good number of tracks were structured by guitarist David Depasquale, and after selecting the ones we wanted on the album we kept polishing them as a band until they were finally recorded. Basically we got the music down, layed down the vocal tracks, and as this was complete we changed various parts after listening to the songs over and over again!"
The new cover art is stunning. How did the collaboration with Polish artist Michal Loranc come about?
"I have always been a fan of Loranc's work after seeing some art he did in the past with some of the best death Metal bands around, including Behemoth, Vader, Nile, Decapitated and Necrophagist. It was back in 2007 at one of our shows in Poland that we met and we've been in touch since.
"We worked hard to come up with this album concept for 'Cultivate The Apostate' and he grasped the idea in minutes! We will probably be working together on many other projects that will come up."
Congratulations on signing with Pennsylvania based Willowtip Records. Hopefully this will bring Abysmal Torment to a greater audience. What are your hopes and expectations and how do you see this panning out for the band?
"We are stoked to be part of this team. It's an extremely respected label with an awesome line-up of bands. We are always looking to spread our music to the masses and this was a logical next step. Hopefully it will lead to even bigger steps in the future of Abysmal Torment."
Once the album is released do you have any tour plans?
"Yep, we will be looking to spread this new release with various shows. So anyone interested feel free to book the band through firstname.lastname@example.org."
Is there a favourite band you have toured with and why?
"Tricky, question. We seemed to have been lucky enough to tour and share the stage with tons of bands and have been getting along with the majority. We are quite a crazy bunch and this seems to go down well with the bands we tour with."
What are the future plans for Abysmal Torment?
"Future plans would include playing some festivals promoting 'Cultivate The Apostate', then you should definitely see another album released. The next few years are in plan and should be KILLER!"