I think I explain quite well in the foreword of this interview why Black Majesty is involved in this avantgarde issue of Kaleidoscope, so no need to go further with that. Sadly this Nidrosian act has been silent for a long time and it seems that the full-length album is never to be materialized – but on the other hand His Black Majesty has been participated to the great releases from Mare, Dark Sonority and Vemod, so we should be too disappointed. In February the audience of Nidrosian Black Mass IV is treated with a live show of Mare/Black Majesty, and I’m sure that night will be immemorial too.
Breaking boundaries and entering to territories unknown are things that usually happen in the music itself – in the rhythm, notes, arrangements and so on. But you can also dive deep atmospherically, lyrically, to another level of dedication. Few bands dare to concentrate on their creations so seriously that the music finally loses its form, breaks its chains and transforms to a door which leads somewhere else. All that is left is pure belief and force.
That’s why Black Majesty has the right to be included in this issue of Kaleidoscope. This mystic Nidrosian entity has worked carefully like a wizard who is reading scripts and finding the right words, and so every release has been like a compressed dose of magical energy. The latest spell, a seven inch called Seventh King of Edom, is another strong declaration, which musically utilizes the legacy of occult Scandinavian black metal but also contains hints of a greater wisdom.
Two demos and one 7” in five years isn’t much, and this fact strengthens the image of the demanding nature of Black Majesty’s music. The creator himself, His Black Majesty, says that also the simple lack of time has been his enemy.
- I am, in addition to a full-time job, occupied with several music(k)al (as what we speak of here, distinguished from mere ‘music’) and literary projects, personal studies and practices as well as label activities. Of course also a certain mood and inspiration is required, and the circumstances of the actual composing/writing and recording-process have to be right. I also do not rush for the sake of not rushing per se, because I personally feel that in most cases there is something insincere about producing numerous of releases in a short period of time.
Like some of us know, His Black Majesty is an important character in the Nidrosian black metal scene and you can find his handprint in bands like Kaosritual and Mare. So it would be suitable to imagine him as a man whose life is full of the essence of black metal, and this visualization turns out to be partly true:
- Music(k)ally, black metal is but one of several genres I listen to and express myself through, and in this way it only fills a smaller part of my life. However, black metal is also, to a certain degree, an ever present ideological attitude.
We will talk about this ideological attitude more later, but let’s ponder more on the themes and thoughts of this issue. Many bands in these pages throw away their musical barriers in order to achieve their inner vision, but what is the situation with Black Majesty? Is everything expendable, or are there things that are sacred for His Black Majesty? The answer is quite close to the thoughts of other bands, with an occult emphasis of course:
- Most important is perhaps to succeed in creating that unique atmosphere, which evokes certain sensations of a, to me at least, specific mystical ‘phenomenon’.
“DESTROY TO CREATE!”
And this is what Seventh King of Edom is also about. Besides two well-constructed and thoughtful songs of eerie black metal, there are also two hypnotic interludes which aren’t just filling the minutes but playing well together with the actual songs to create an intense atmosphere. His Black Majesty admits that the release as a whole means a lot to him.
- I throw away quite a lot of the material I compose, mostly not because of lack of quality, but rather due to the fact that it does not fit into the conceptual idea of either of my projects. I normally just play around with some combinations of tones and rhythms that sound right and when I eventually touch something that match the atmosphere I am looking for, I continue in that direction, seeking the right path to follow to complete the riffs, song-structures etc. So the totality of releases plays a very important role, and even though songs can have a different expression, it should sum up and give a “complete” impression in the end.
Usually while bringing up these topics it’s also suitable to talk about two different ways of creation: to work through your feelings without any concrete plans and consideration, or to be very careful and prudent with your words and notes. How does His Black Majesty see this juxtaposition in his music, or is it a juxtaposition at all?
- Actually, it is more of a combination. It starts with a quite clear vision – yet no matter how clear it is, there is something blocking a direct sight to it, so I have to work my way through the mist to find its parts, and when I some way or another have recollected them, it is indeed something to be sewn together with great care!
- I mentioned that I seek a special atmosphere, and it is only accomplished with carefully designing the musick and lyricks to it. I can spend hours and hours rearranging a couple of words or placing them within the song and vice versa. Actually, the same goes for the layout, where I can move around things for weeks to find their proper size and position.
But it can be a very fine line that separates genuine artistic vision from emotionless and calculated entertainment. Too much of polishing and exposing your art to the outer world and the invisible pressure of the scene can kill that pure flame which has been the primary source. Our interviewee has recognized this danger as well.
- I guess it (the success) depends how great a part of the inspiration comes from within, and how much comes from external sources. Of course, most artists, including myself, are to some degree inspired by other art or artists, with an expression similar or reminiscent to what they want to express themselves. In this manner, for true art, it is important that there is an overweight of personality and originality expressed directly from the Self.
- And, if one is to bring ANY kind of restriction upon ones art or expression, having in mind to ‘satisfy’, ‘influence’ or ‘entertain’ others, it is certainly not genuine, and that is certainly NOT MY purpose.
So Black Majesty keeps itself reasonably far from the material side of black metal, but this doesn’t automatically mean that there aren’t rules and patterns which would steer the band’s music. For example, the last song of Black Majesty’s second demo is called The Seven Kingdoms of EDOM, drawing a strong connection to the band’s latest EP release and underlining an affinity to the qlippothic shells of creation and the uncontrolled power invested in them. It seems safe to presume this is a running theme in His Black Majesty’s work so can we expect him to continue on the same path in the future?
- Actually, the full title of the song is Astral Death-Travel, I: through; the Catacombs of SUT-an, II: into; the Seven Kingdoms of EDOM. Nevertheless, your observations concerning its connection with the unbalanced powers of the Night-Side are correct. It is, however, a double-edged sword, as the seven kings of Edom are also associated with the seven root-races of man according to the Theosophical doctrine, explains His Black Majesty.
To continue with the topic at hand, it is easy to notice that many contemporary black metal bands – as well as some acts in the past – draw thematic influence from the Thelemitic / messianic tradition as opposed to approaching the subject from a strictly de-constructive and chaotic standpoint. Can HBM see a conflict of interest here?
- Indeed! Too many fail to see this! For me, the chaotic and unbalanced energies are the very source of creation, the Urkraft, whose keys lie in magick. And I do not seek self-annihilation, when I speak of the destruction of man, but the destruction of the ‘human, all too human’ morals and values forced upon us through the world in which we live. Destroy to create! Seeking ‘godhood’ and spiritual progression through the decline of mere ‘manhood’. That is the path of the left hand!
“Destroy to create” goes well along with the line on the back cover of Black Majesty’s first demo tape: “To Create the Beast in Us, We Must Destroy the Man”. Although some light has been shed on the topic already, we’ll let His Black Majesty tell what kind of beasts and men he is talking about.
- The Beast is equal to Satan, the Adversary, as the godhood of the Nigredo – the Antinomian path of ‘becoming’ through putrefaction of the mentioned ‘human morals and values’ which taint the modern ‘man’, thus clearing the way for enlightenment. The Death and Resurrection!
And the next step on this path of chaos? Black Majesty made a deal with Full Moon Productions in 2007 for a full-length, which – suitably for the band’s manners – is still a work-in-progress. The theme, however, is clear already, and it fulfills His Black Majesty’s vision in a natural way: the full-length will be dedicated to the great mysteries of death and its portals.
OF MUSICK AND MAGICK
As noted above, Black Majesty is hardly mere music. It also incorporates vivid magic(k)al and spiritual topics into its body. Still, there must be a connection between music and magick in general: the content comes before the form, but the form is always bound to the content, like a shadow which resembles its source in one way or another. His Black Majesty doesn’t see how these two could be separated without losing some-thing at the same time.
- Musick is a magickal instrument. It works directly through and with the subconscious and in relation with the True Will.
Music + Magick = Musick,
Musick – Magick = Music.
This formula comes more visible, if we think certain chaos magic oriented bands like Arckanum and Behexen, which have spoken about rituals in the studio or before/during their gigs. Black Majesty is yet another entity which blurs the line between the realm of magick and the world of electric guitars and recording studios.
- Black Majesty serves partly as a kind of audial magickal diary, and is therefore connected to experiences made from my magickal practices. With some songs I seek to reconstruct ethereal images created in these sessions.
And what about the case of the second Black Majesty demo Ateh Gibor Le’Olam Shaitan that was limited only to 31 copies?
- It is entirely composed of tracks of ritual musick, some songs were recorded during such sessions and the result came out far more personal than I expected in the first place, thus the limited nature of this release.
Black Majesty – which can be interpreted as Adversary micro-cosmically and as Saturnus macro-cosmically by the artist’s own words – has also had leanings to world literature. Baphe Metis demo is closed by a poem by Charles Baudelaire, the grand-father of nihilism and decadence. This poem, Le Possede (The Possessed) is about demons and even Luciferian themes, so it was a suitable choice for the band, but what was that final spark which got His Black Majesty interested in this particular poem?
- Charles Baudelaire is really one of my favourite poets, whose work has made a major impact on me, and this particular poem is one of my personal favourites. It expresses a, for me, very familiar sensation of Satanic ecstasy.
And if we go back to the image of a wizard who is reading through books and spells and combine this image to a black metal musician, how unified an expression do we find?
- Like E.T.A. Hoffman has said, “Wo die Sprache aufhört, fängt die Musik an.” (“Music begins where speech ends.”)