Well, today we’re going to meet a great American metal vocalist, and it’s no exaggeration. For those of you who had the pleasure of hearing Abazagorath’s 2002 demo „My Throne Above the Stars“ are those in the know.

Yes, we are going to have a great time talking to Mike who’s using the pseudonym „Nihilist“ during his time with above mentioned USBMetallers, but he’s also been active (under the Nekro von Gore moniker) in the legendary Portrand’s goregrind horde Lord Gore.

What was it like to take part in those bands? What is he doing today? Well, I’m glad you asked, as we’re gonna discover it together.

Hello, Mike, how are you doing today? Thanks for your time doing this little interview! Have you been surprised somebody from across the pond is interested in your past as the singer of Abazagorath?

Greetings from the U.S. of A. I am currently struggling with living situations between Illinois and Seattle, Washington, so that’s kind of a bummer. It’s always a surprise to me when I get any sort of recognition,response or respect from a fan. So thanks for that!

Nihilist (ex-Abazagorath)
Nihilist (ex-Abazagorath)

Can you tell us something about how did you get into the extreme music? What bands and/or albums have been your gateway into the world of underground?

I got into extreme music pretty much through Metal Mania magazine, and then scouring the underground tape trading scene back in 1988-current times. Originally it was bands like Metallica,Celtic Frost, Voivod, Carnivore, Slayer…etc. That led to the real underground scene of the 1990s.

We usually wanted to be either guitarists or drummers, what has motivated you to pursue the path of the vocalist?

I was personally never any good at playing guitar, or bass, or drums to be honest. I always watched the vocalist when I went to see bands or watched videos of bands as well. So I stepped up to the plate, and gave it a shot. Surprisingly, it has led to MANY great opportunities in the musical realm.

There might be some gaps, of course, but from what I could find, you started to be quite active beginning back in 1999, being the vocalist for Thy Infernal, Wraithen and Lord Gore. The first two mentioned were the black metal bands, Lord Gore, on the other hand, is more of the death-grind variety. Black metal musicians usually don’t move into the death metal territory, how did you find your way there? And, while we are at that, which vocal style do you personally prefer?

Thy Infernal started in the fall of 1996 if I am correct. I was in the band til spring of 1998, then joined Wraithen which led to us forming Lord Gore. We were all fans of the most extreme bands from each genre, so we decided to do a side project with a few close fiends. The vocal style just depends upon what kind of musical backdrop I have to work over.

Abazagorath 2002 demo with Nihilist on vocals
Cover of Abazagorath’s 2002 demo, “My Throne Above the Stars”

In Abazagorath, you replaced Crom on vocals. Can you recall the circumstances of this change? How did you end up taking the vocal duties in that band? Seeing you play with Crom in Vetus Obscurum (if my info is correct), it was not a hostile take-over, right?

Crom was replaced by Baron Von Faust, as Crom had moved to the Northwest if I am correct. I was tape trading with a fellow named Leon Marcelo and he turned Abaz onto me as I had just departed from Lord Gore and Wraithen. Yes, I contributed vocals to Vetus Obscurum, as Crom claimed that my vocal style felt right within the context of that particular project.

One of your latest vocal duties perfomed was the last year’s (2023) album „Summoning Apocalyptic Devastation“ by Plague Bearer. Tell us, please, something about it from your perspective as vocalist…

It’s a complete honor that the ghouls in Plague Bearer asked me to join the band, and continue to be a part of the project. I’ve known 2 of the guys since 1998, when Thy Infernal and Drawn & Quartered would play shows together in Portland or Seattle. The live shows  with P.B. have been a blast, sometimes complete violent mayhem. Sharing vocals with Herb has always been a devilishly delightful dank and filthy experience.

Obviously, Plague Bearer again brings you do the realm of death metal (although with a blackened vibe to it)… does it mean you’re gonna focus more on this genre and that style of vocals?

I never know what the future will bring, but Plague Bearer have about 10 new songs that will be fully realized and recorded in the next few months if all goes well.

It goes without saying, but for the OCD completist in me (haha), can you mention bands/projects you are currently involved with and tell our readers briefly about them, please?

Currently, I’m only with Plague Bearer. I have contributed/recorded vocal tracks with the following bands though: Bethlehem, Labyrinth and the Desert, Sedna, Golgothan Sunrise, Skeletor, Benighted in Sodom.

Seattle is known more for the grunge music, but the metal scene is not insignificant too! Any great bands you can recommend, especially newcomers to help spreading the word around?

Lots of great bands from the Pacific Northwest in general. Too many to mention right now.

Two months of the year are almost gone… what are your plans as musician for the rest of the year, and possibly beyond?

To keep my head above the dangerous waters out there right now.

Coming to the end of this short interview…any final message to readers of the Rubber Axe webzine?

To quote Fastway and Sammi Curr “Don’t Stop the Fight!”.