A Different Shade of Sonnet
CoC chats with Abigail
by: Alex Cantwell
Abigail are carving a niche for themselves in the vast global marketplace of metal. They play a style which few attempt, relying on atmosphere and melody as much as crushing heaviness, in evidence on their debut, _Sonnets_ [CoC #33]. It is a cassette only release, but that is its only limitation, because once the play button is pushed, sonic brilliance ensues. CoC recently asked a few questions to lead guitarist / vocalist Razvan Alexandru.

CoC: How long has the band Abigail been around?

RA: Abigail was born in the Winter of 1994.

CoC: I hear an obvious Paradise Lost influence in your music. What other bands have influenced Abigail?

RA: Well, these bands are well known in the world: Anathema, My Dying Bride, Depeche Mode, Cathedral, Sentenced, Amorphis, old Metallica, etc.

CoC: I was impressed with both the sound quality and the playing on _Sonnets_. How does being from Romania affect the band financially, as far as access to good equipment and studios?

RA: This one is a serious question. If you don't have a job it might not be possible to afford a good instrument or a rehearsal space. We don't have good drums, but for rehearsals the set that we have will do. Thanks to God, from our salaries we were able to get good guitars and effects, as well as keyboards. The cost for an hour in any of the good studios is basically low, around 14 US$. But I'm working as a computer animator and I have the custody of a medium recording studio that we use now.

CoC: So does Bestial Records have a corner on the market as far as metal bands from Romania are concerned? Tell me about your contract with them -- are you pleased with them?

RA: Our contract with Bestial Records is not a restrictive one. Knowing the economic situation of Romania, they did not want to constrain us. The contract is only a moral one. We have to give them the recorded material and they have to release it. If there are any profits (which there aren't), they are split between us. Simple, huh? Rights? What rights? We produced this EP ourselves, therefore we own the rights.

CoC: What is the metal scene like in Romania?

RA: Well, the metal scene in Romania doesn't exist for underground bands like us. There are only a few old bands that are playing all the concerts. I imagine that the only concerts we go to are our own. We only see about three concerts per year.

CoC: What bands have you played shows with, and where?

RA: They were only Romanian bands from the underground, so that's not very important.

CoC: Your lyrics seem to be interwoven with spiritual themes. Can you tell me about that, and perhaps how the personal beliefs of the band members affect the lyrics?

RA: The lyrics are written mainly by me and the only thing I can tell you is that they come from my experiences. They seem sad but I like to say that I'm an optimistic person.

CoC: Do you have any other releases besides _Sonnets_? Will _Sonnets_ be available on CD?

RA: CDs? Here? No way. If you want to lose some money, make some CDs here. If you want some CDs, no problem, I will make a few for you on my computer. We have three demos, but we are preparing that material for the album, which will appear maybe in the Spring. Anyway, Romania is not a good market for us, for our kind of metal, only for black metal. So it is not hard for us to understand why we have lower sales compared to any other band on Bestial Records. At the moment, we wonder for whom we play. Can you tell me?

CoC: What was the first metal band that you ever heard?

RA: Oh, it was a Romanian one in 1986. Some glammy guys.

Raz concludes with this: "Thanks for being interested in us, this was a nice thing to happen to us. Stay interested and we promise we will keep up the good work."

(article submitted 16/1/1999)


ALBUMS
7/3/2002 Q Kalis 8 Abigail - Welcome All Hell Fuckers
9/1/1998 B Meloon 8 Abigail - Sonnets
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