The great Absymal Dawn unleashed one of 2014’s most impressive death metal albums last month, and it’s a must have for all true metal fans. I’ve always said that Absymal Dawn is one of the most underrated bands in our scene, and “Obsolescence” is their finest album yet. Every song has its own power, and the way the record flows is just masterful. When it comes to modern death metal, they are doing it right, and have been for many years.
Earlier this week I got to speak with front man, Charles Elliott, about the new record, its response so far, the band’s history and more! Read the entire chat below and pick up “Obsolescence” today!
Metal Mark: Charles, thank you for taking out the time tonight. It’s been three years since the release of “Leveling the Plane of Existence,” so how excited are you to finally have “Obsolescence” out to everyone?
Charles Elliott: Very fucking happy man. As far as demoing out the record and the recording process, it’s been almost two years in the making, so it’s a big weight off my shoulders. The worst part is the wait after it’s done to be released, but now it’s out there, so I’m happy as hell.
MM: Awesome man! So far the record has received a ton of positive praise from the press world. Does that in a way vindicate your hard work? How much does that really matter to you at this point?
CE: Honestly man, I try not to read reviews as much as other people do. I mean, in the end, we write this music for ourselves. Being a death metal band, it’s not always looked upon as a press darling. We aren’t the latest and greatest new trend, we are just who we are. Playing this style of music makes us happy. Press for us is interesting, because they sometimes feel that if we aren’t “reinventing the wheel,” why should we listen to them? After hearing that for a while, we tend to not pay attention to it as much. From what I have seen, there has been a ton of positive response out there. The most important thing is that the fans like it of course. We’ve seen that positive feedback, so that’s awesome for us.
MM: Well you guys have been putting out quality death metal for around a decade now. Even to this day, is your main motivation still to play the music for yourselves?
CE: Totally man. Performing live is a huge catharsis for me. Just being on stage and getting out that aggression is why I enjoy playing this music so much. When we approach a record, we want to make sure the material will crush live, and if so, that’s a keeper.
MM: “Obsolescence” definitely has a ton of keepers then for sure. Even the press release said the album was “what 21st Century death metal should sound like.” How did you feel when you read that big statement?
CE: Well if our publicist wrote it, then it must be fucking true right! (laughs) You read it online, so it’s got to be true right?! I don’t know man. We are playing death metal, but we are also playing with enough of a new spin on it to be relevant in our modern times, yet it’s still true to the forefathers of death metal’s sound. We aren’t adding core elements. We still draw from the old school genres of death metal, thrash and black metal, but also trying to have our own updated take on it. Maybe that’s what it means? I’m not sure, but it sounds cool! (laughs)
MM: It took a long time for the “In Service Of Time” video to come out for the last album, but the “Inanimate” clip is out and it’s phenomenal. What was the reasoning behind choosing that song for the official clip and getting it out so quickly?
CE: I feel like with the video for “In Service Of Time,” it was a favor almost, with the budget we had. The director really wanted to do something huge for his resume, and it didn’t matter to him how long it took, so that’s why it came out almost a year after the album’s release. It was kind of an after thought in a way, but it turned out amazing. We were super happy with it.
With the “Inanimate” video, we actually had a budget, and a direction with what we wanted, so it was easier to get out at the right time. We wanted more of a performance based video this time around. The “In Service Of Time” video was a ton of green screen, and that took a ton of time. This one was a lot more direct, and in the end, I kind of like it better. It’s a little darker, and more to the point ya know.
CE: Why did we choose that song? I think it’s a really strong track for sure, but the label really wanted to push it out there, because for some people it’s the most catchiest track on the record. It doesn’t encompass what the whole album is about in my mind, but it’s one of my favorites, so I was definitely down to shoot the video for it, and it came out great.
MM: If you had to choose a song that encompassed the record as a whole, can you pick one?
CE: That’s tough, but I would say “The Inevitable Return to Darkness” would probably be that track, just because it has a little bit of everything ya know. It’s a really long song, but it sums up what we can do as a whole really well. It’s got the technical parts and the groovy parts, and everything else. We actually thought about doing a video for that song, but there was no way. (laughs). It was just too long and too complicated, but it’s definitely one of the gems of the album in my opinion.
MM: Well you guys just wrapped up a U.S. tour with Deicide, but are there any future tour dates that you can comment on right now since the album is now out there?
CE: The Deicide tour was killer for us, I must say. The record wasn’t out for the majority of it, but we still got a great response from everyone, so that’s a good sign for the future. Obviously bands don’t really tour that much in the Winter months, so we probably won’t jump on something until the Spring. We are trying our asses off to get to Europe soon, so hopefully we’ll hear something about that soon. We definitely will have something in the works for people to know as quickly as we can.
MM: Very cool. Well I say this all the time on this site, but I’m not alone in saying that you guys are one of the most underrated bands in the scene. Of course you’ve heard it, but does that ever get to you, or hinder any process? It doesn’t seem to with the albums you release.
CE: Well thank you for saying that, but everyone has an opinion about everything. Yours is great though. (laughs) It’s like I said before. We aren’t the next trendy thing, and we never will be. We’ve been doing this for almost ten years now, and this is what makes us happy. We’ve gradually gotten more popular over time, and I think that’s rewarding for us. Our fan base is definitely growing, and we still get to play the music we love. I’m sure I could write a record and mash up two genres that don’t belong together, and be huge for a minute, but after one album no one would give a fuck ya know. It never frustrates me, because I’ve seen us get better tours, and our records just get better and better. We are doing our thing, and just trying get better at it. If people dig it like yourself, than that’s awesome.
MM: Well said sir! For the last question, you previously called “Leveling the Plane of Existence” your defining moment as a band. So what is “Obsolescence” in your mind?
CE: Well “Leveling the Plane of Existence” was our defining moment at that time, so I guess “Obsolescence” would be our defining moment now right? (laughs) I guess the fans will decide on that in the end. “Leveling the Plane of Existence” definitely got us the recognition. We were a little under that radar, and that record put us on the map. This album, I feel is our best record so far. So I’m going to say it again. It’s our defining moment now (laughs). We just try and top ourselves every time, and I think we did that. You have to look at it with an open mind though as well. Once we put out “Leveling the Plane of Existence,” it’s a fan favorite. So whatever we do is going to be compared to that record from now on I think. I feel like this record is has a lot more influences present, and the last record was more of a straight up death metal album too. The new record is definitely darker, and the songs are a bit more epic as well. It’s a lot to take in, and we are super proud of it. Hopefully the fans will keep digging it and spreading the word.
MM: Thanks again for taking out time tonight. Do you have anything else to say to the fans out there?
CE: Thanks for the support throughout the years. We really hope you enjoy the new record. If you do, please buy it and don’t steal it, because we put a ton of work into it, and the support is necessary now more than ever. Support music! I know a lot of you still do, and it’s awesome!