In a recent interview with France's Loud TV, ABBATH frontman and namesake Abbath (real name: Olve Eikemo) and lyricist Simon Dancaster discussed the creative process behind the band's upcoming second studio album, "Outstrider".
"It's like taking a safari to the dark side of hell and back again," said Dancaster. "It's not how you get there, it's what you bring back. We live every lyric like it's our last. The lyrics are a metaphor for the psychological things that me and Olve in our own way are going through, and other people we know. It's speaks to the rebel in us all. It's depicting the shadow demons that we have to confront and understand to be better people. I've stopped doing evil for good. Now I'm only good for evil."
"Outstrider" marks ABBATH's second release since the frontman's exit from IMMORTAL. The highly publicized legal battle in 2014 over the rights to the IMMORTAL name pitted Abbath against co-founder Demonaz (real name: Harald Nævdal) and drummer Horgh (real name: Reidar Horghagen), with Abbath claiming the pair abandoned IMMORTAL after they moved their gear out of the band's rehearsal space. The Norwegian court systems determined otherwise, and awarded the IMMORTAL name to Demonaz. Even in spite of the strong showing that is IMMORTAL's "Northern Chaos Gods" comeback album and the fact that fans are now getting two bands as a result of the split, animus remains on the side of Abbath and Dancaster.
"In my personal opinion, which is very balanced, IMMORTAL is just a cover band of old Olve," said Dancaster, who previously worked on IMMORTAL's 1997 album "Blizzard Beasts". "They forgot the apostrophe between the 'I' and the 'M.'"
Abbath added: "As I said to Demonaz and Horgh, that's my reputation right there. You're getting them back on the fucking road. 'You should go to rehab.' Rehab is on the road."
"Outstrider" will be released on July 5 via Season Of Mist. The disc was recorded at Dub Studios in Kristiansand, Norway with producer Endre Kirkesola, who has previously worked with BLOOD RED THRONE, GREEN CARNATION, SIRENIA and IN VAIN, among others.
In a 2018 interview with Distorted Sound, Demonaz said that he wasn't worried about any negative backlash about IMMORTAL continuing without Abbath. "I was really confident with it, as we know how this band functions and we know how the music was made and how IMMORTAL functions," he said. "A lot of people probably thought IMMORTAL was Abbath's band as he is always quite visible live; he was the face of the band in that way. When people [hear] the ['Northern Chaos Gods'] album, it's a different story. It sounds IMMORTAL. It is IMMORTAL. I couldn't change that even if I wanted to. It's how I make the music."