You are on your fifth album. Does it feel like you grow with each new album both as a band but also as individuals?
-We grew a lot as individuals… we’ve been playing for 16 years so far and many things has happened…
Listening to the new album I couldn’t help thinking that you might have come up with something completely new; progressive black metal? What is it that inspires you to write the music that you play?
-When we finished working on this CD I also had the same feeling: nobody fucking sounds like us! We have made a truly original and personal work, it all happened in a spontaneous way and we did not force things to happen… to tell where the inspiration comes from when I play is probably very difficult because I am not aware of what I’m composing and I don’t post ideas in advance. Probably the greatest influence lies in the concept about witchcraft, which is the recurring theme of the whole album. The winter and foggy climate of northern Italy essential I think. Kvasir and Saevum have forged this opus in front of wine and fire …
There is a great Italian hardrock/rock heritage from the 70s as well as a great 80s black metal heritage. How much do you look to the national metal treasure in being influenced when it is time to write new songs?
-The substance of our music has always been esoteric and there are probably few musical genres which can fit the convey of the occult world into music. The Black Metal helps us for the strength it has, and the uniqueness of its essence, meanwhile prog rock draws and outlines the style and the adornments.
As listeners we have no limits in musical genres. We can say that we listen to 80% of black metal and 20% of whatever else we find pleasure in… our ears are the only judgers.
To me black metal is very much about isolationism, you against the world. In being a band you can’t help interacting with other people. Howe much does the outside world influence Abhor?
-Fortunately we’re just above the outside world.
Being Italian you have a closer relationship with the Latin language. Does that help you in achieving a specific ritualistic atmosphere when it comes to the music?
-We use a form of ancient clergy Latin, in practice the more archaic form of Latin used by priests to say mass. We’ve always used it, either for album titles and our lyrics. How to assert yourself is a lexical form that belongs to us and is very effective in ritual way as well as into the music.
For somebody who doesn’t speak Latin the album title just sounds cool. What does it mean and how does it fit the music?
-The title means “Illuminated by the moon and protected by the owl”. It’s a quotation about twilight landscapes, atmospheres and rituals in the moonlight. Owl in symbology is a woman and a witch indeed! Symbols dominate my life and have always followed the path of Abhor. The word “noctua” in Latin is also associated to a creature that sucks blood at night, a kind of owl-vampire-witch.
How important is the esoteric and occult to the presence of Abhor? Would there be an Abhor without it?
-Magic is an integral part of my life, even before Abhor. Without this aspect the band wouldn’t make sense, and neither would I.
As I haven’t been close to recording anything I wonder what it is you look for when time comes to recording.
Is a studio a necessary thing in capturing the sound of Abhor?
-It’s actually the part of our mission we enjoy more. Everyone likes to have rehearsal, and build up our chants, but then when the time is ripe to write down all the efforts is a hot moment. That’s the moment of the truth, where you play the best cards you have. After that, everything is recorded forever…
Is playing live an option for Abhor? How do you vest present the band live to bring forth all that you want to conjure?
-Abhor is art is all its different forms: visually, lyrically and musically. Thus the live shows have always been an important part of our being. It’s like to recite in a theater with a selected audience Unfortunately we put on ice our live activity at the moment because our current living situations don’t allow us to play live easily, but we will come back in the future.
What would you like the future to bring with it for Abhor?
-Hope to be back on stage soon, performing some memorable rituals