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Abythic's Marco Di Bartolo: "After each release, Abythic redefines itself. I don't want the band to repeat itself with releases. Abythic changes musically, visually and lyrically."

Interview with Marco Di Bartolo from Abythic
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 03 November 2019, 11:44 PM

There are artists that believe that making changes every now and then helps them go forward, or at least to enjoy their created art even more than being constant. It is never easy to just let go of a path and switch to another, it is possible that hesitation takes its place in the process of decision making. For Abythic, it seems natural to just pack up and move on, therefore, maintain a policy of changes. Steinmetal talked to the band's founder and main man, Marco Di Bartolo about the band's new album, "Conjuring The Obscure" and its role in the band's development, encircling the band's musical form and more…  

Hello Marco, it is great to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, what have you been up to lately mate?

Ave! Thank you, the pleasure is mine. Well, in the meantime, I had time to complete some projects. As you know, I'm still playing in some other Bands and making music is an elemental part of my life.

Not slowing down, not letting time slip away like sand in an hourglass, your band Abythic released its sophomore album, “Conjuring The Obscure”, a little more than a year since your debut was out. What were the reasons for you guys to work faster and issue another record? Do you believe that the support that you provided for “Beneath Ancient Portals” was enough?

Well, I had already written some songs at the time of "Beneath Ancient Portals". The other songs were then composed a little later. Since I did not write all the songs in one cycle, the material was a bit different. So I got the idea to divide the material into different chapters. There was no specific reason for Abythic to release a new album after such a short time. The material was ready and could be published. But in general, I'm pretty quick in songwriting. Of course, with "Beneath Ancient Portals", Abythic has made good progress. The album was well promoted and was well received by the fans. I am very satisfied with it, for an underground band.

I presume before the sessions “Conjuring The Obscure”, the majority of the lineup decided to depart from the band. What happened that caused such a turnout?

The line-up changes within the band simply belong to the concept of Abythic. After each release, Abythic redefines itself. I don't want the band to repeat itself with releases. Abythic changes musically, visually and lyrically. As you may have noticed, the band logo on each album changes, along with the members. It has always been that way and will continue to do so.

 “Conjuring The Obscure” got you signed to the Spanish label, Xtreem Music, after being a part of the Blood Harvest Records roster. What made you shift labels? How do you find working with Xtreem Music regarding promotional support and such?

There was no specific reason for the change of the record company. Blood Harvest Records has done a great job in publishing and promoting "Beneath Ancient Portals". Xtreem Music had already shown interest in Abythic in the past. Concerning the cooperation with Dave Rotten and Xtreem Music, I can`t say anything negative. I'm very happy and grateful for everything he has done for Abythic so far.

Lyrically, is “Conjuring The Obscure” continuing where “Beneath Ancient Portals”? What is the overall story told on this release?

No, I would not say that. "Conjuring the Obscure" consists of 4 different chapters. Each chapter stands alone and has a different lyrical and musical guide. The art was to combine everything into an album and make it sound uniform. To explain it briefly:

Each chapter was sung by another singer, who of course also lyrically differs from the others. Lyrically, all topics are covered that define a title like "Conjuring The Obscure".

“Conjuring The Obscure” captures the fine essence of the old school Death Metal purity, recollecting the demonic features of the subgenre that made it so rich and attractive. However, there are several moments where it appears you escape the Death Metal chains and cross towards other boundaries as on “Ruins in a Wasteland of Visions”, which is classic Doom Metal type. Does it signify that Abythic will diversify its musical output? Is this the new face of Abythic in general?

Of course, the classic old school Death metal elements dominate the music. However, there is still room to include other elements. Abythic has always had a "doomy touch". These can be found in all previous releases. It is important to me that the releases are clearly different and provide the necessary variety. But I can definitely confirm that in the near future, especially at the next release, significantly more "Doom" parts will be found in the music. The band is somehow always referred to as a "Death / Doom Metal" Band.

How can you describe the songwriting process of “Conjuring The Obscure”? I am positive that it was rather different in comparison to the debut, with a new lineup and all. Did you take charge of the songwriting proceedings or gave the option for the guys to contribute as well?

I have always written all the music for Abythic . All demos were recorded by me alone. I could have done everything by myself but I didn´t liked the idea of a "one man" band. For the releases, I brought in other musicians who completed the lineup. The material was then recorded on the basic ideas of my demos. The other members, of course, had the opportunity, to a certain extent, to bring themselves into the music, which is very important too, because that's exactly how the songs and the releases have become what they've become. The influences of the other members have contributed a clear part to this, lyrically as well as musically. At this point, I would also like to thank all the previous members for their devotion.

As I was listening to the songs, I noticed that you used several vocalists. I presume that you tried to achieve a sort of theatrical acts, yet it would be great to know what was the intention of using multiple vocalists?

"Conjuring the Obscure" is divided into 4 chapters. In the respective chapters, the music is completely different from each other. So it´s not only the vocalists that change, different sounds were used for each chapter. Parts of the drum kit like Snares or Cymbals were exchanged, Other guitar sounds were used. The whole thing was then uniformly provided with various intros, as before on all other releases. It's almost like a soundtrack. The album is basically a 4 way split with ourselves.

Which of the album’s songs draws you the most? Please elaborate on your pick

There is no favorite song. For me, the entire work always counts. Everything has to be perfect for each other. I always listen to my albums completely. The songs are connected by intros and it makes no sense for me to hear the songs separately from each other.

Shifting from drums to being the main guitarist is quite an outstanding change. How do you feel being the sole guitarist of the band? For how many years have you been playing guitar?

Actually, I've always been the guitarist in the band so it's not that hard for me ;-) I have been writing my own songs for a few years now and have been playing for a while now. Still, I would not call myself a good guitarist. Technically, the former guitarists were clearly better than me, of course. I only know how to write good songs because I have a clear vision. My main job is the drumming. Meanwhile, I do everything in a variety of bands. Vocals, bass, guitar and drums

Do you consider Abythic as your main band? Since I know that you have been around various underground bands.

Yes, definitely!  Abythic is my main band, of course. But, I also like to play for other bands on their albums. When I'm excited about the music, nothing really stops me. In the meantime, I have recorded a lot of releases for other bands like: Adversvm, Haimad, Rex Verminorum, Ornament of Thorns, Sacrilegious Rite, Malist………just to list a few.

If there is something that I can never get enough is that putrid old school sound. The way underground bands nowadays attempt to recapture the sensation of old it truly amazing. Who was behind the mixing and mastering of the album? What draws you to this old school sound in comparison to the lean clean modern direction?

The entire album was recorded and mixed by T.S. at the Flashback Recording Studio in Germany. It was mastered by Patrick W. Engel in the Tempel of Disharmony. Abythic had worked with both previously for the "Beneath Ancient Portals" album. Well, I hate this modern, clinical sound. That's why it's even more important to get in touch with the right people, who are also old-school, and know how to give a band the right sound.

What are the next challenges in the live front for Abythic in 2019? Any plans already sealed for 2020?

Concerning live activities, there is really nothing to report. Our performances in the past can actually be counted on one hand. And to be honest, I don`t think that's going to change. I do not necessarily have to play live either. For me it is much more important to compose new material and to release it.

To which bands have you been listening to lately that you believe are to be the next thing?

This is difficult hahahaha ……. There are so many. But I really liked bands like: Carcinoid, Infernal Invocation, Demonomancy, Innumerable Forms, Perverted Ceremony…..stuff like that.

Marco, thank you for your time for this interview, this is highly appreciated. I wish you guys all the best with supporting the new album. You are on the right path. All the best mate.

It was a pleasure and I also thank you for your interest in Abythic

Horns Up!



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Edited 28 May 2023

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