NAFRAT: Empowering Music


Singaporean technical death metal quartet Nafrat released their second stuido album ‘Abnegation‘ in January this year, some ten years after the release of their full-length debut ‘Through Imminent Visions.’ They spoke for Prog Sphere about the album’s message, their approach to recording ‘Abnegation,’ and more.

Define the mission of Nafrat.

Nafrat: The band was formed to be an outlet of expression of its band members through an art form which in this context is death metal music. We hope that our music could be used to empower individuals through the harsh realities of life in general.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent album Abnegation and the themes it captures.

Nafrat: The creative process was pretty straight forward after laying down the initial structures of the song, we left plenty of room to develop some of the parts. We then proceed to refine the parts in the rehearsal studio to get a “live” feel of the songs in order to achieve the desired mood. The themes within “Abnegation” revolves around the depths of making life choices and the impact it creates across varying social situations. In simple definition, having the gumption to overcome the harshest circumstances that life could offer.

What is the message you are trying to give with Abnegation

Nafrat: The day to day events that shaped our lives, pushes us to write about topics such as depression, socio-political climates and the human psyche. Musically, it was written as an outlet of alternative expression and therapeutic empowerment which could connect with like-minded individuals out there. At the same time, it is still dependent on every individual(s) take on the ideas being portrayed.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Nafrat: No order of documentation was done during the formulation but once we finalized the song, we proceed to the pre-production phase where we tracked individual parts and the tempo. The lyrics were written during this pre-production phase.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Nafrat: We wrote the songs in accordance to the mood flow that we wanted to achieve. When it feels that it was just right, and things are in place, we will lock the parts down.

Nafrat - Abnegation

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Nafrat: We spend quite a bit of time with the tempo mapping for each of the tracks knowing that it was a crucial process before we lay down the individual tracks. There were still some minor additions to the structures like harmonies and atmospheric soundscapes at the tail end of the recording process.

How long Abnegation was in the making?

Nafrat: Since the band got into a hiatus somewhere from 2012 to 2016, we got back together in 2017 to pick up where we left from and the name Abnegation was agreed upon. All in all it took us a total of 6-7 months of writing, pre-production, tracking and post-production.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Nafrat: The major influences were Immolation, Morbid Angel and Suffocation. All 3 bands had a lot of impact in our formative years hence we were inspired by the different characteristics of their craft.

What is your view on technology in music?

Nafrat: We have seen great changes and advancement on how bands practice, write and produce their own songs. We embrace technology to assist us during the entire pre-production process, helping us to see the songs take shape and that includes the type of tones that we could dial in.  Once finalized, we were much more comfortable tracking the parts having a better understanding of the structures. Technology is definitely something that we could take advantage of.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Nafrat: As mentioned earlier, we do feel that our music could be a form of an alternative expression or a therapeutic empowerment. The high energy and aggression put into the music aligns with the escape from reality to which every individual need and should indulge into. Depression is a common issue in this day and age and with suicide cases on the rise, music will be a good form of anti-depressant.

What are your plans for the future?

Nafrat: We are in the midst of promoting Abnegation through the upcoming live shows and at the same time writing new material for the next release. Hopefully that will come very soon. As long as it permits, we will visit any country to play live and continue engaging new audience as much as possible.

Nafrat’s ‘Abnegation’ is available for ordering from Bandcamp. You can follow the band on Facebook and Instagram.

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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