ABORYM – Darkness

ABORYM – Darkness

(…this article is in English…)

Last year’s "Psychogrotesque" is an album full of surprises. It is disturbing, varied and it’s an album that demands patience. Eternal Terror’s Roy Kristensen got in touch with the band and Fabban, H:I0:K and Norwegian drummer Faust replied to our inquisition.

Another album, another contribution to an already overpopulated extreme metal scene, yet still you manage to come up with something out of the ordinary. When and how did you come up the good, yet not original having many bands’ releases in mind, idea of making one lengthy song?

Fabban: I can’t remember exactly when, but the idea came to my mind one morning, while I was stuck in the traffic of Rome, in my car. For sure other bands realized one track albums, and to be honest, I don’t really care.


Since there are very few repetitions from track to track, if any at all, I suppose it wasn’t that hard to write the album. I suspect that the challenge was in making everything float, and that the lyrics and the music had to be combined into one totality for each track.

Fabban: Writing, assembling, finalizing and mixing this album hasn’t been hard, but super hard. Whoever plays an instrument and is a bit familiar with a recording studio, can surely understand me. On the other hand, this was the only way, the symbiosis between the story and the music could only work by realizing a very long suite, with dynamics and timing of films. We’ve been working as we’ve been creating a short film or a film.

H:I0:K: What you said is not true actually, there are various repetitions from track to track but they are not the usual kind where you just repeat the same riffs over and over during the album, it’s something deeper in the woof of the whole work. Instead of just doing copy/paste of some previous riff, I took the harmonic or melodic sequence of a guitar part and then transposed it on a synth, maybe in a different key, or a different timing, or viceversa. That’s just an example, it’s called "variation" in classical music, where you have a theme and you can alter it, keeping the whole context cohesive at the same time. That’s why "Psychogrotesque" sounds so tight and flows flawlessly even with all the shifts in the musical score. 

The album is very different from what you’ve done so far with Aborym, yet still not all ingredients are unfamiliar.

Fabban : I hope the audience will like this album, this is undeniable. I hope it’ll sell many copies and I wish that people will find some interest for my lyrics, my story. Our fans are used to our mood swings, our changing. This is Aborym: we’re not able to make albums that sound all the same, and because music is not really a proper job for us, we feel free to make it in total freedom. What I’m trying to say is that if , by any bad luck, one of Aborym’s album is not accepted by the audience and it doesn’t sell much, our lives will go on anyways. We’re an active part of a very private and exclusive club made for few, very few bands that actually can and want to make music without limits, rules and music business dictates.

H:I0:K: I couldn’t care less about people understanding this work, I don’t play music for money or public appreciation, I just express myself in the best way I can. People mostly lack knowledge about music, about arrangements, about harmony, about manipulating sounds with software or just playing an instrument and composing a song. They are only able to judge and point their finger at you if they feel somehow excluded by the difficulty of an album or they praise you if they think to be smart enough to understand your work, they don’t care about all the strain behind your creation because they are not able to understand the years of studies and the great care to make everything fit together perfectly. I do this just for myself and for the people that I respect. And to be sincere I can’t even understand what I created myself. The artist can never get a definite understanding of its work because it’s so much into it that is impossible to get an objective point of view. I’m just glad this is the best I could do in this moment, nothing more, nothing less. 


I will not make a fuzz out of the friends of yours contributing to the release. Instead I’m curious about the process of writing the music and how you managed to incorporate the guests into the music, making the music sound Aborym yet giving them the opportunity to keep their own identity. Elaborate, thank you!

H:I0:K: It’s nothing unusual, I just sit down and start working on the ideas that come to your mind. Sometimes when I feel inspired I can lay down a whole song in a couple of days, sometimes I can waste a whole week trying to write a single riff without results. It’s very much about inspiration and instinct at first, then I start building up the rest, adding drums, synths, effects, samples etc. until everything sounds exactly how we wanted to. About the guests, we usually work this way: we give them a part in which we want them to play and then they come up with their ideas on that part. On the intro of "Psychogrotesque" we worked the other way, Davide Tiso sent us a base with background noise and clean guitars than we added effects and samples. It depends on what we want to achieve in the collaboration to come out with the best results.

If you’re up for a challenge yourself, how would you describe the music of "Psychogrotesque" to one who knows metal and electronics, yet have never heard Aborym?

Fabban: I wouldn’t know, really. Aborym is a band known enough, so I hope I came through it in this way…hehehe. Aborym is a luxurious Bentley, fully equipped and full of comforts…, ideal for having a long trip around the world.

H:I0:K: If I have to give it a label, and I don’t think labels suit an album like this, it could be "extreme music" or simply "avantgarde".

We will come closer to the lyrics in a short while, but I must first ask you if you think people can feel the message/concept mainly by listening to the music? I mean, the music in itself is challenging, but also the variation of atmospheres and feeling throughout the album…

Fabban: I think that the music, in some ways, is able to anticipate the themes of the album, revealing something…it can spread around lots of clues, but music and lyrics together complete the whole concept. Listening only to the music is a little bit like opening a bottle of good Chianti year 2004, for 150 Euros, smelling the fragrance of the wine and then not tasting that something so good and unique.

Now, why is Satyr Wongraven so afraid? Judging by the his look on the cover, it seems like he’s fearsome of what’s going on inside the asylum…

Fabban: Hehehehe… I didn’t think about it, but they actually look quite alike!… maybe a bit older… but years pass by for everyone…

I suspect somehow that some people will feel alienated by the fourth track, "Les Chants De Maldoror, IV…", since it’s in Italian. I haven’t read the whole, just extracts in English. And it’s really evil, I’d say. In short, what does this writing deal with, for those unknown to the text?

Fabban: That passage is very sinister, violent and funny at the same time. Lautreamont plays with his rebellion to God and to the world, giving birth to a non-man. His rebellion is represented by a bestiary not purely allegorical, but dynamic: the animal, here, is not the mere object of writing, but its active force that animates it. The Chants are one of the most violent thing I’ve ever read in my whole life and the IV Chant in particular is perfect to emphasize that moment, that part of my story.


The first few times I found this passage, the fourth track, quite boring. But now, having heard the album some 20 times, it’s definitely the darkest passage. It’s scary and the sneaking bad feeling is… only dark. How has the response been to this part and to the album as a whole, thus far?

Faust: Well, what you say here is really the essence of the album; you need it to get under your skin before you actually get a relationship to the album. It’s difficult to grasp but once you break the code, it really embraces you. That part you refer to is one of my fave parts of the album and yes, there is a sneaking bad feeling to it. Here in Norway the reactions have been positive all over. "Generator", the previous album, was more accessible and easier to get into and more "commercial", in the sense Aborym can be commercial in any way. "Psychogrotesque" is colder, darker, drier, more twisted and definitely has more elements to it that you really need to explore before understanding it. In this aspect I am very proud of this album.

H:I0:K: As usual with non-metal contaminations, people are divided. There is someone who loves "IV" and someone who hates it. Personally I believe it’s really frightening and oppressive, one of the highlights of the album. "Psychogrotesque" is getting excellent reviews everywhere and many judged it as one of the best album of the year, so we are really proud of this achievement even if it is such a difficult work.

As far as I understand, the concept deals with a man vs. society. If I’m on the right track, I have to ask you what you think is wrong with society?

Fabban: Maybe it would be more correct to say that society is against men and not the other way around. Our system has been designed to destroy the thinking minds. It’s created to channel them in units of measurement with no logic whatsoever:  business, money, success, hedonism, selfishness, craving for fame and visibility by using everything possible. "Psychogrotesque" is the story of a man (human being) who meets madness when he finds himself alone in a mental hospital (the world). He gets crazy because he’s forced to be alone with himself, in front of himself. He gets reflected into himself, he looks at the mirror and see a fly, a monstrous creature attracted by dirty things, waste and filth. People, nowadays, are not able to be alone, they don’t know themselves. People knows that today they’ll be judged not for what they really are, but for the picture they give of themselves. They dramatize every single behaviour, every single movement: they have to be accepted by the other ones. They believe it so much that at the end they just turn into something that they will never be, muting their lives into a "mis-en-scene". In this society, appeareance prevails on the idea of  the "self". The myth of the image, the myth of the youth, the myth of success: the society of false myths that lead mankind to a total loss of his real nature. I even included a part of the VI Chant of the Chants of Maldoror just to exacerbate the concept of non-humans through dizziness, kinetic power, aggression, violence and animalisation. I’ve met so many unstable people. This world is full of mr. Nobody.

Faust: Just to conclude what Fabban says here and regardless of the concept as per se, for me the album is an ode to every single man that is institutionalised, rightly or wrongly. Period, haha!

Aside from 1.000 nuclear bombs all over the world, do you think there’s any hope for human kind, will the few enlightened be able to wake up people from their dormant lives, if we can refer to it as lives? A friend of mine said the most people died when they’re 18 and stopped breathing when they’re 74…

Fabban: There would be the need of a cultural revolution. A huge cultural revolution. We should revolutionize systems of power. It would be important to change the mass-media attitude and its contents by creating new hierarchies. False myths should be destroyed as well, dethrone policy, encourage people to think and to reflect. You should use your head, ours… and then trying to understand the mind of who’s next to us. I think it’s positive to think about these great political and social matters, but at the very end, everything depends on the way we live and we behave towards other people. I think it’s important to encourage people to think about what’s going on. I fear more and more the danger that we’re reaching soon the point of no return. We’re controlled by diets, facebook and TV, with a high chance that this millennium will be sad for everyone.

Aborym_Faust.JPG Aborym_Fabban.JPG Aborym_HellIOKab.JPG

What inspired you to write, record and release "Psychogrotesque" upon human kind?

Fabban: I felt the urge to talk about something serious, something universal. I don’t think it’s particularly exciting and constructive to write lyrics full of "Heil Satan", "Up the war", "Jesus is dead" and bullshit like that… Furthermore, I had the chance to meet and know so many unstable people, sociopaths and schizoids of any kind that I felt the need of writing lyrics like in "Psychogrotesque". I don’t know how the situation is in Norway, my friend, but here in Italy is just disgraceful.  There are no jobs for young people, everything is falling apart (during these days even an old roman house, part of the ruins of Pompei, dropped down, something of an inestimable value), we have a prime minister who fucks an escort and then whores of any kind, who makes laws to protect his interests, a Premier that has 4 or 5 trials in his past and who shouldn’t be a politician, but a prisoner. Our cities are completely covered with garbage, censorship, television controlled by the government…, we’re in an environment of siege. Here is hell, my friend! Come to have a look and you’ll understand. All of this for me is a source of great inspiration to write and make music.

Well, in the end we all die and the main figure (you?) doesn’t live ever happily after either. But will we be able to witness Aborym in a live-setting again, before it all fades to black?

Faust: In my opinion it is doubtful. It would take a lot to bring this to a stage; additional musicians, a lot of rehearsing and still it would be a risky game. Some bands are better off left in the studio and I think Aborym is one of them. Once you decide your band is a "studio band" you can let all borders and limits go because you can basically do everything without fear of not being able to doing it live.

H:I0:K: I’m sorry, you and us will probably have to die first, so we can play live in the afterlife without worries.

Where can you take Aborym from here, musically and conceptually speaking, since "Psychogrotesque" is, after all, an album, a creation that lives on different levels…?

H:I0:K: I really have no clue, we’ll be pushing the boundaries of Aborym even farther, that for sure, but I don’t know in which way.