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Aborted Frontman Sven de Caluwé On "TerrorVision," New Music And Horror Movies

As I mentioned recently, death metal is truly a global phenomenon. It's generally agreed upon that the style was born in America, but bands from all over the world have been able to put their own spin on it over the past four decades and take it in all kinds of weird and wonderful directions. Perhaps the masters of brutal and grizzly death metal come from somewhere you wouldn't expect, the Belgian city of Waregem to be exact; Aborted.

With their latest album, "TerrorVision" out for a year now and a new EP on the way, Aborted are currently on a hectic tour with fellow death metal legends Entombed A.D. and up and comers Baest, bringing a hurricane of heaviness across Europe. At the first date of the tour in London, I caught up with frontman Sven de Caluwé to talk about "TerrorVision," the new EP, the use of horror imagery and much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Let's talk about "TerrorVision," which has been out for a year now. Now that the dust has settled, how you feel the reaction has been so far?

Sven de Caluwé: I think it's been pretty good so far. It's been a great record for us. We've done some of our best tours, especially headlining so we can't complain. We're very happy with it still. We already have some new stuff which will be out sometime next year. Not an album, more of an EP, so we're very busy.

Oz: What's interesting about "TerrorVision" is that this is the first Aborted album to have pre-production. Why the decision this time to go that route?

Sven: Because we wanted to be really prepared when we went into the studio. This is also the first time we've recorded in split up teams, so Ken and I recorded in Germany and the other guys were in Holland recording guitars and bass. So we weren't physically present, so I think it was important for us to have a very clear idea of what we wanted. Plus Kohle, who we like to work with, likes to be involved and sometimes switches structures around and we figured if we do everything ahead of time and he has time to check it out, then we can do these excercises before we're there so it's less of a surprise and get the best performance possible in the studio.

Oz: Cool. Do you think you'll use that technique more in the future?

Sven: Yeah. We just did a new EP with three new songs and we pre-produced everything as well and then recorded.

Oz: I was going to ask you about the new EP. Like you say, there's some new songs on there and you had some surplus songs from "TerrorVision..."

Sven: Yeah we had some surplus material, some songs that we didn't finish, some of it was stuff that Mendel (bij de Leij, ex guitarist) wrote. We're still on really good terms with Mendel but we want to turn the page and everything that's going to be on the EP is brand new.

Oz: There was talk of re-recording some old stuff as well...

Sven: Yeah, it's just that we had to do everything this Summer and we had twenty four festivals or something. So we did everything in between the festivals and some of the writings were very brutal, so it was a very very stressful, heavy Summer for us, adding the recordings to it. We just didn't have time, we just chose to do three songs that we're super happy with, that are killer and then the "Arise" (Sepultura) cover that we did a bunch of years ago and never made it to a CD. So we're going to add it on there, so there's actually four tracks.

Oz: One of the things that sticks out with "TerrorVision," is the artwork. Who did this one?

Sven: That was Pär Olofsson. He did "Necrotic Manifesto" for us as well and I think this time he really nailed it. It's one of my favourite Aborted artworks and we'll see for the next one. For the EP, we took someone from Australia (?) and he did some really sick shit. It's a very different style but it's very cool.

Oz: I think the "TerrorVision" artwork represents the title very well. It has that B movie poster vibe to it. I know you're a big horror fan and that shows not just on the album covers but in music videos as well, for example "Cenobites," which is great but it's grizzly. How much of that is a conscious decision to use horror movie imagery?

Sven: I think it's definitely part of the band but it's not necessarily that it has to be brutal imagery. It's just that the whole kitschy, fantastical element from eighties horror that I think we really took to ourselves. You'll always have eviscerated people on the cover or whatever, you can have it super disgusting brutal and that's cool but we're trying to go for a little bit more of an artistic approach. It's still disgusting but I want it to do more than just shock people and have a certain vibe about it.

Oz: I know what you mean, I think that works better nowadays. For example last year I did a double bill of Climax and Mandy and I thought Climax was the scarier film but it was more grounded yet artistically done. I don't know if you've seen Mandy...

Sven: Yeah, I hate it. I think it's the director smelling his own farts. It could have been cool, it had all that build up and everything but had such an anti climatic ending. A lot of the violence is off screen and none of the story build up makes any sense. One moment you see him sniping on a mountain and the next he's caught up to the van he saw miles away in the distance. On foot... How?

Oz: Going back to your catalogue, I've seen in an interview you say that there are no plans to perform material from "Slaughter & Apparatus" or "Strychnine." Why is that?

Sven: Because I think they're shitty records. Also it was a very shitty time in the band back then, so it's not only that I don't like the music but also it's just a bad memory altogether. We've got ten albums so I'm fine skipping two.

Oz: Obviously the new EP will be out next year. Do you have any other plans for 2020?

Sven: We're gonna write mainly. We already have a good idea of something interesting that we'll do with the record. It'll be a whole concept that we're also going to take to the stage, so this is the last you'll see of this stage production because we're going to do something quite different. It's going to incorporate the horror cinema world into it. Maybe not as far as Gwar but definitely in that direction. It'll be something a death metal band has never done before and other than that, maybe a U.S. tour and since we did Hell Over Europe II and III, maybe we won't play in Europe next year.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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