Abramelin (band)

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Abramelin
Also known as Acheron
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Death metal
Years active 1988 (1988)–2002 (2002)
Labels Corpsegrinder, Thrust/Shock, Repulse
Associated acts Akercocke, Blood Duster, Damaged, Earth, Fracture, Steel Affliction, The Berzerker
Past members
  • David Abbott
  • Derek Ackary
  • Jason Black
  • Michael Colton
  • Simon Dower
  • Tim Aldridge
  • Jason Kells
  • Jason Dutton
  • Justin Warnes
  • Craig Bailey
  • Mark Shuliga
  • Euan Heriot
  • Rob Mollica
  • Matt Rizzo
  • Matt "Skitz" Sanders
  • Grant Karajic
  • Matt Wilcock
  • Lance Lembrin

Abramelin were an Australian death metal band, which formed as Acheron in 1988 and were one of the first such groups in the country. They were a main influence on the development of Australian heavy metal music in the early 1990s.[1] The name change occurred in 1994 to avoid confusion with a similarly named international group; the new name was adopted from The Book of Abramelin, which concerns a mage of the same name. Members of Abramelin have also been in Blood Duster, The Berzerker, and Akercocke. Abramelin supported tours by Napalm Death (1995), Paradise Lost and Cathedral (March 1996). They released two studio albums, Abramelin (1995) and Deadspeak (2000), before disbanding in 2002.

Acheron[edit]

Abramelin were formed in Melbourne in 1988 under the name Acheron as a death metal group by David Abbott on guitars, Derek Ackary on bass guitar, Jason Black on guitars, Michael Colton on drums and Simon Dower on lead vocals. Tim Aldridge replaced Black and the band recorded a demo track, "Eternal Suffering", before Jason Dutton and Justin Wornes took the places of Colton and Ackary. French label Corpsegrinder Records released a three-track EP, "Deprived of Afterlife", in 1991, with the line-up of Abbott on lead guitar, Aldridge on lead guitars, Dower on lead vocals, Dutton on drums and Wornes on bass guitar.[2]

Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, noticed their "dark, heavy sound owed much to European and American death metal groups such as Bathory, Entombed, Obituary, Therion, Immolation and General Surgery."[2] They were a part of the early "death/grindcore/thrash metal scene" in the late 1980s to early 1990s.[2] In September 2008 Dower told Chris Archer of Vomitose that Acheron's sound had progressed by "learning how to play our instruments and sing helped a lot. At that time we were all listening to early demos of Carnage, Entombed, Grave, Morbid Angel, etc., all of which had a definite influence on our song writing and overall sound, that and just the natural progression of the band’s direction."[3] A track from their EP later appeared on the Dutch compilation album, Appointment with Fear.

Following the release of the EP, Dutton was replaced by Craig Bailey. In 1992 Abbott left, he was temporarily replaced by Jason Kells (of Australian doom band, diSEMBOWELMENT) who, in turn, was replaced by Mark Schuliga, bass player for the similarly aligned Necrotomy, In November 1993 Acheron supported United Kingdom extreme metallers, Carcass, on the Australian leg of that group's Heartwork Tour: Supreme Blitz to Downunder.[4] They also supported tours by Morbid Angel and Pungent Stench. Bailey left in 1993 and was replaced by Euan Heriot.The group had found that an American black metal band also had the name, Acheron.[2] Hence, inspired by The Book of Abramelin, which concerns a 14th-century alchemist-mage, the group took up their new name.

Renamed[edit]

Abramelin's first release under that name was in 1994: a four-track EP, Transgression from Acheron, after which Schuliga departed. Thrust Records, a subsidiary of Australian label, Shock Records, issued their debut studio album of the same name in 1995.[2] McFarlane felt their "sound had taken on a sludge-like heaviness only matched by the likes of Brisbane band Misery."[2] Abramelin supported tours by Napalm Death (1995), Paradise Lost and Cathedral (March 1996).[2] The CD was withdrawn from sale in Western Australia due to explicit lyrics dealing with sexual violence against children and necrophilia. Rob Mollica, the drummer with a Melbourne death metal band, Earth, joined Abramelin as a guitarist but Heriot soon departed to uphold commitments with two other bands he was also playing drums for, Blood Duster and Fracture. Ex-Blood Duster drummer Matt Rizzo took Heriot's place on drums, in Abramelin, for a brief stint but after the break-up of Damaged he too was replaced, by Matt "Skitz" Sanders (Sadistik Exekution).[2]

Late in 1997, Abramelin featured at Metal for the Brain, an Australian heavy metal festival. Spanish label, Repulse Records, picked up the debut for wider release but gave it almost no promotional support. Abramelin was re-released in Australia with Transgression from Acheron included, and this time without a lyric sheet in the packaging to avoid it being banned for a second time.

After this Abramelin were dormant as a live band for a few years. Their second album Deadspeak was gradually recorded, originally with drums by Sanders although his tracks were later re-recorded using a drum machine. It was released in 2000 on Shock, which featured only Dower on vocals and Aldridge performing all the music. With the live line-up of Aldridge, Dower, Rizzo, Grant Karajic on bass guitar and Matt Wilcock on guitar; Abramelin supported Cradle of Filth and again played at Metal for the Brain. Following this, however, the group effectively disbanded. Further recording was rumoured but no new material emerged. Wilcock moved to Steel Affliction and The Berzerker, and then was with UK black, death metal band, Akercocke; Rizzo was again a member of Blood Duster.

On 21 October 2013 Abramelin issued a 3× CD, compilation album, Transgressing the Afterlife – The Complete Recordings 1988–2002.[5] Kev Rowland of Metal Music Archives described its "total length is nearly four hours long! It is clearly a labour of love, and one thing that really impressed me is the quality of the sound throughout. Normally when faced with complete sets like this, much of it is of interest just for the historical context as opposed to playing this for pleasure (step forward Autopsy for example). But, even the rehearsal tracks sound as if they were recorded with a view for possible release as the sound is good and clear."[6]

Band members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

  • Deprived of Afterlife (1991)
  • Transgression from Acheron (1994)

Compilations[edit]

  • Transgressing the Afterlife – The Complete Recordings 1988–2002 (21 October 2013)

Demos[edit]

  • Eternal Suffering (1990)
  • Promo 1992 (1992)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ausmetalguide.com
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Abramelin'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Archer (aka Vomitfiend), Chris (September 2008). "Abramelin Interview". Vomitose (3). Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Carcass – 1993 Australian Heartwork Tour Poster". T-Shirt Slayer. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Transgressing the Afterlife – The Complete Recordings 1988–2002". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Rowland, Kev. "Transgressing the Afterlife – Abramelin". Metal Music Archives. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 

External links[edit]