Hateful Abandon began as the work of Vintyr (Mart Brindley) under the monikor Abandon whose sound consisted of intensely violent, harsh noise-BM in the 2004 album Never Ending Black Torrent of Death. The addition of Swine in 2006 marked a change in direction into a murky netherworld of Dead Can Dance, Joy Division and Cure invested down-beat noir-metal with the album Famine (or Into the Bellies of Worms). Now on to H.A. Mk II, the urban imagery of their new look is more in keeping with their new sound which has left Black Metal, or any kind of Metal at all, far behind, yet resonant with their past is the fire of conviction that is one of the central tenets of Black Metal, a trait that does most definitely exist in Hateful Abandon; very creepy, very desolate sounding. It seems that a certain strain of the UK’s black metal population is forging an exaltant passion for a more recent English history, a parallel counterculture setting itself out entirely seperately from anything that has gone before, by virtue of a disconnection from any scene or focal genre. refreshing, and enjoyably confounding for any kind of traditionalist. They may be one of the slower moving bands around, but when they can produce such an unorthodox sound as their Famine… album, and in the new tracks being posted from their forthcoming album, then it’s well worth waiting for. The new album is due imminently, with a rough demo up on their MySpace page, along with news that it is taking longer than anticipated. They’ve been playing live this year, most recently in Norwich a video of which appears below the interview, so the possibility of things coming together and finally making a big dent in people’s consciousnesses some time next year looks strong.
In discussing his band’s inclusion in this week I insisted that their origination in black metal and development through post-black metal 80’s x-wave/post-punk bands out to their current sound made their inclusion essential as an example of the kinds of developments the genre is capable of producing, specifically within the UK. Here comes Martin’s response:
I have spent the better part of an hour looking at your questions and deciding how to answer them, the reason for my difficulty lies in how we are represented (now globally, because of the internet). A lot of people that have heard of us have done so because of either the debut album “Famine…” or because they know of our past, and in Tom’s case other present, band/s (Basilisk, Swine and Salute respectively). The obvious ties to Black Metal are present for all to see.
However, H.A. (Hateful Abandon) is a different beast entirely, the reason I feel that I need to make the difference plain is both out of respect for Black Metal and also H.A. as an entity.
You see, we have been ‘lumped’ into a sub-sub-category of music that neither of us are happy with. That is to say ‘Post-Black Metal’. It’s easy to see why this is a simple, almost lazy way to describe our music. Our debut album has a very real influence that most would agree has stemmed from our Black Metal past projects. You see, the first record is a cathartic brain-fart of all the ideas, both lyrically and musically, I’ve been unable to do recording on my own from the last 15 years. Some of the lyrics, for example, are very personal. Being inspired by at last having someone I could work with that totally knew how I wanted to express myself was, and continues to be, overwhelming. The result is a mishmash of half improvised, half jammed music that simply came from within.
We didn’t think about ‘genre’ once during the recording process and let the album just naturally bleed itself out. So, on the debut we have a lot of songs with half snatched riffs, a backbone of spiky bass guitar and lilts of tone similar to what some would call ‘post-punk’. In reality, far from this being planned it was just the most basic way to work fast and keep the emotion intact.
So, the record came out 2 years ago to this very day and we have grown as a unit since, with both members now fully committed to writing. We have now ditched the ‘guitar’ completely, and have forged a new sound that is neither ‘this’ nor ‘that’. It is bound to confuse and confuddle the lazy journalistic types and frustrate the weekend warriors into a state of brow-knitted frenzy. We hope it entertains and delights as many as it disgusts. Nothing has been released yet, but you’ll see us on the road next year. It’s a new start, as they say in the Independent Sunday supplements.
Appalled to see we are mentioned alongside the new ‘shoe-gaze Black Metal’ movement. I’ll make this simple, we are absolutely appalled. I don’t understand why nowadays music HAS to be ‘Something Black Metal’ or ‘Something Punk’etc. Why can’t it simply be an influence? I would HATE to think of H.A. being associated with a watered down crossover version of Black Metal and another form of music. That’s how I see this up and coming trend, as two types of music watered down. If you’re recording Black Metal, do it pure. Do something new by all means, but play Black Metal.
That kind of segues nicely into another question you asked me, about UK Black Metal. I have to be honest; I’m out of the loop. I know what I like and I know what I don’t like, but that’s not much use to you. I will say this, it’s far better than it was when Basilisk started back in 2002. There was literally nothing around then at all. If I have to namedrop, I’ll say whatever state UK Black Metal is in, it’s made infinitely better by the existence of Caina and Instinct. But I fear I do them a disservice by attaching the stigma of ‘UK’ to describe them, they deserve much more than that. Also, with both of these projects I hear a lot more going on in the sound to describe it as simply ‘Black Metal’. I think Black Metal, and actually Metal in general, has lost not only its soul, but its shock value and ability to provoke as well, unless you’re in an environment that is very naive and religious nobody seems to bat an eyelid. I am certainly now totally desensitized to its provocation; maybe I’m the naive one…?
Your question about environment is interesting, with H.A we are constantly inspired by the old disused warehouses, dilapidated wastelands and cracked pavements of the United Kingdom, it clashes beautifully with the green, leafy, twee idea of England that most people seem to have. Ok, that England does still exist (for now) but look hard enough and you can see the decay. Civil unrest, the credit crash, and the approaching end of the World are other constant muses for H.A 2010. Don’t try and save the World, it’s already dead! Sit back and watch it decompose with H.A as your soundtrack!
So, what is the point of this whole piece? H.A is not a Black Metal band. What are we? Come see.
Interview by Not for Resale blog.