Monthly Archives: December 2011

SOMETHING ALONG THE ROAD (MY PERSONAL TOP FIVE OF 2011)

The year 2011 was the year when most of my old favourites kept their level well (Ulver: Wars of the Roses, Primordial: Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand, Tenhi: Saivo and Autopsy: Macabre Eternal) – progression was happening but the original flame was also present. There were also new (or not so new) bands that kept crystallizing their vision like The Devil’s Blood (The Thousandfold Epicentre), Necros Christos (Doom of the Occult), Virus (The Agent that Shapes the Desert), Charnel Winds (Der Teufelsbund) and Peste Noire (L’Ordure á L’état Pur).

But my actual list is something different: five bands and albums that aren’t the most familiar ones and don’t shine in every year-end list in music magazines. Here you go:

SINK: The Holy Testament

This is nonmusic: screeching noise that doesn’t open itself or please you in a blink of an eye. Still you come back for more, and little by little these cacophonous and buzzing soundscapes start to reveal their treasures. After the already glorious The Process (2008) The Holy Testament is more organic and even close to black metal, but you can’t say that this album has actual songs. Instead of structural music, you find yourself in a maze of cracked and oppressive waves – which is good.


40 WATT SUN: The Inside Room

I guess every doom fanatic knows and praises Warning. I also guess that despite this glorification not that many of these fanatics actually own The Inside Room. That’s a shame – although 40 Watt Sun is approaching lighter and more wistful feelings, the depths of melancholy and Patrick Walker’s deep and heart-breaking voice are still there. The Inside Room is full of ethereal moments, tenderness, strong pathos and certain alternative attitude. This is an album that forces you to stop and woe.


HEXVESSEL: Dawnbearer
First I thought that this ex-Dodheimsgard-singer Mat ’Kvohst’ McNerney’s Hexvessel is just a trendy project which is trying to make a quick buck in the euphoria of retro occult. Fortunately I was wrong. Nowadays when The Devil’s Blood is giving birth to thousands and thousands of faceless followers, it’s great to have an album that leaves electric guitars behind and travels to the source of occult folk. This flow of music sways the listener so easily to the left hand path that you can’t even notice it. Rich and soft sounds, clever nuances and McNerney’s angelic voice are the last jewels to this crown, and so Dawnbearer is this year’s best debut album in my books.

HATEFUL ABANDON: Move

Another British band, hmm. When an artist leaves black metal behind and transforms to a postpunk-spirited group, the whole story sounds rather cheesy and pretentious. Luckily Hateful Abandon is miles away from being pretentious. There are shades of black metal present in the form of occasional guitar buzz and the general hollow atmosphere, but otherwise Move is like a ghost from the 80ies, preaching like Killing Joke and stomping like Bauhaus. Hypnotic drums, effective bass lines and humming synth waves make this album an original piece of austerity, which can grunt critically to this society or throw a pop song for the Apocalypse.


ACHERONTAS: Vamachara

And then some real black metal. Acherontas has wandered this earth for 15 years, and now the silence is broken with Vamachara. At the same time all of you should quiet down and take notes. Although this album is very traditional, its musical flow – full of magick, liturgies and De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas – is so natural and real, that it’s easy to just surrender to it. Acherontas is like Watain but more honest and – dare I say it? – more true.

And if we dive into the deep end of underground black metal, some albums reveal their majestic figures: Ride For Revenge: Under the Eye, Vemod: Vinterilden demo (and a split EP with Klage), Venus Star: The Dark Victor, Atra: In Reverence and Decay, Lik: The Second Wind, Nightside Temple: Prophecies of Malevolence and tons of more… A good year.

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FAERIES, FORESTS, FANTASIES: NUIT NOIRE

People seem to know Nuit Noire only because of their Lady Gaga cover (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBsGycxYd_E ) nowadays, but if we look farther to the past, we find Lunar Deflagration (2004), an interesting album full of inimitable “blasting faerical punk”. And if you can dig through those hysterical vocals and loose drumming, you find a good bundle of catchy and ingenious black metal riffs, which are far from ‘childish’.

However, the king fairy himself, Tenebras, hasn’t been able to achieve same heights with his recent albums. There is still hope, though: a new album, The Gigantic Hideout, is now out through Tenebras’ Creations of the Night label (tenebras795@msn.com), so maybe we will be surrounded by this somehow innocent and honest atmosphere again.

But before this, here is a short Nuit Noire interview from Kaleidoscope #1 (2005).

You don’t usually find the words like “faeries” or “happiness” from the Black Metal interviews, but French Nuit Noire is an unusual band, so it’s obvious that the themes and motives behind band’s hysterical, diverse and dark Black Metal differ a lot from the typical scene. Mastermind Tenebras shared his wisdom from the kingdom of the faeries in the end of September…

So, let’s start with the latest news: Nuit Noire will release a 7” called Furibond Elegance, which according to Todestrieb will continue in the vein of Lunar Deflagration. So, have you finally found the best possible way to express yourself?

– Yes, those vocals go out naturally from me and they really fit the lyrics. It is so enjoyable to scream with one’s own voice, a voice that no one else could provide…

Many people have described your music energetic. Where all this energy comes from, ‘cause it’s easy to imagine your music just depressing, hopeless – but then it wouldn’t be Nuit Noire, right?

Lunar Deflagration contains the lyrics and all the following releases will too. I hope by now that people won’t ever say again that Nuit Noire is depressing. I want my music to be a flow of moonlight entering the mind and the flesh of the listeners. It is only in moments of real happiness, when I feel the faeries flowing in me, that I can create the songs of Nuit Noire. And this happiness is naturally injected in the sound, making it euphorizing and also energetic.

The category of your music, “faerie metal” is quite interesting, some could even consider that too soft and childish. But I guess that Nuit Noire represents all kinds of emotions and feelings, not just anger and hate?

– There is not the least drop of hate in Nuit Noire, but the energy is so strong that it creates a sort of rage, and only the faeries can provide such energy, and also mystery: where are they hidden in this so dark and infinite world of night? They are so mischievous…

Let’s continue with this faerie theme. What do faeries mean to you, some sort of belief to magical, unknown “other side” perhaps?

– Only the pure-hearted ones can feel the faeries, they are a fluid that makes a great sensation, like a sort of orgasm, in the body. They are hidden in the dark and one must be filled with innocence to meet them and to have their love. Faerie is a way of life that consists to forget the bodies and the outlooks. Darkness is essential to this result, that’s why night and faeries are indissociatable.

Besides Furibond Elegance, you are planning to release a split with a band called Call Me Loretta, which is far away metal music. I guess you are very open-minded what comes to music? What do you think about these BM-puritans who repeat phrases like “no synths, no melodies” etc.? In my opinion the feeling of the music is more important than the way how you perform it.

– These days, WASP and Clan of Xymox are blowing the high-speakers of my stereo… My music exasperates the BM-puritans and I’m very happy with this.

What kind of music do you listen generally?

– It is not really “kind of music” that I listen, it is “some bands” above all, those who make something striking or original or powerful… or all at the same time. Examples: Sonic Youth, Deicide, Sisters Of Mercy, Abigor, The Strokes, Ancient, Punish Yourself, Mötley Crüe, The Exploited, Metallica, Ultravox, Infernal Necromancy, Manowar, Kim Wilde, Sigh, Vediog Svaor, Ghaalskaag

As your taste for music, Lunar Deflagration is a very individualistic album, especially your hysterical vocal performances are beyond everything what I’ve heard. What kind of feelings did you live through when you recorded those vocal lines? Sometimes I sense almost the mantra-like atmosphere like in Don’t Fear to Go through the Window, where you just repeat that same phrase.

– I was simply in trance when recording the vocals, I fully live the lyrics, sometimes I was about to pass out, especially on Don’t Fear to Go through the Window by the way; some sentences are self-sufficient and they don’t need to be developed.

You are the only member of Nuit Noire, and you also released Lunar Deflagration through your own label, Creations Of The Night. Do you want to keep the music and the vision of Nuit Noire close to you? I guess Nuit Noire is very personal thing?

Lunar Deflagration was so far away from all the existing musical styles that I didn’t even dared to try any labels to release it. So I decided to create this label. By doing all by myself, I have no constraint and no one can interfere in the art direction. Nuit Noire is something that goes out alone from me and, as I am someone crazy, Nuit Noire is also crazy.

About Creations Of The Night: are you going to release some other bands’ recordings or do you keep the label just for Nuit Noire?

– I don’t have lots of money to put on this label, so I cannot tell now if I’ll release other stuff than Nuit Noire’s.

It seems that the night and the night time are very important in Nuit Noire’s concept. What does the night mean to you? Some think that at night they can travel to somewhere else within their sleep when some keep awake and see the world differently when the sun is gone; how do you spend your nights? Maybe writing Nuite Noire material?

– Night has incredibly beautiful and fascinating aesthetics. When the moon is bright and high in the sky, landscapes on earth – especially the forests – make me love this world too much. When going into nature by night, I forget at once that I am a human in the human world, I don’t remember to have been cold, hungry, thirsty, tired or so in the night. Only good feelings of happiness. Usually, by the night time, I’m at work during the first part and then I sleep. When I don’t work, I can do all sort of things and, also, playing guitar and writing lyrics. The songs of Nuit Noire are mostly created by night.

So, the interview is reaching its end. Please close this conversation with some nice words.

– We will run towards the skirt of the forest, we will dance between the trees, we will throw ourselves on the ground and roll in the leaves, we will hang on to the branches and climb very high, we will fuck everybody!

THE FIRST WALK ON THE WILD SIDE: TODESSTOß

Let’s start from the beginning… It was year 2005, and I was away from home because of my work. Too many lazy nights in a little town created an idea of a music magazine in my mind, and although I haven’t had introduced myself to the glorious realm of underground journalism back then, the urge to create something was strong. I collected some bands here and there – some of them are still my favourites (Agalloch), some of them have vanished to the shadows (Mephisto). The result was quite amateurish: the questions were shallow, my English was bad (and still is…) and the layout didn’t shine either. Like A. Aatsinki from Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions said, “this isn’t a magazine, this is a fanzine.”

The interview below is one of the better ones, thanks to Martin Lang’s fiery visions. Although I have receded myself from Todesstoß nowadays, distinctive artists like Lang were the first spark to ignite Kaleidoscope. Kudos to him for this.

There are still people who consider music as a form of art, not just as a lame excuse to drink beer or try to introduce themselves to the big boys of the scene. The only person in Todesstoß, Martin Lang, is one of those better people, and maybe because of his strong dedication to his visions and thoughts, Todesstoß’ haunting and schizophrenic Black Metal gets into you so fiercely. Lang gave us something to think about in the end of August.

So, let’s start with a little introduction: who and what is Todesstoß?

– Todesstoß is the wine I use to make out of my inner fruit. The inner fruit grown out of my character’s seed.

– This wine can bring oblivion, but also a kind of  new sight to me and you.

– My audible art wants you to reflect your sober reality! Drink out of the chalice that I filled you in case you wanna get numb!

Your newest work Beutetrieb Schwarzer Witwen really reaches the distant borders of insanity occasionally. How sane do you consider yourself?

– Even the World’s Health Organisation with its definition of sanity/health indirectly has to give in that sane individuals absolutely don’t exist! Everyone facing this existence is ill more or less. Illness be it physically or mentally – mostly it is a combined illness – greets you already at birth, gateway to the world’s polarity and imperfection.

– I am born artist, and surely not sane at all.

– I once asked myself if insane people are beware of their freaked out state, and now I can only smile about it.

Does this kind of music need some kind of different state of mind to create/understand it?

– Well, I don’t see myself as a musician playing my instruments as a hobby. My art is not independent. If the will to create something is nothing but obedience I celebrate devotion to myself waiting for some keys to gain entrance to my inner doors, leading to rooms of flagellation, to my secret hall of invocation, where my own little demons ring the bells of insanity?

– Nobody will understand my art, I guess. That would be terrible for me. He would know me much better than I do.

As said on cover sheet, works of Todesstoß are fully made by you. What kind of circumstances and atmospheres do you work in? Do you have strict limits what you leave from your hands, ‘cause nowadays it seems that bands are releasing every demo tape what they make?

– I record music where “I live”. Sometimes it’s a tiny cube, a prison, sometimes a whole world of my own without borders or limitations. It just depends on my mood and state of mind. Sometimes my head opens a bit, for the immaterial keys’ “landing on the brain” is right at hand.

– My hands are quite thin and small, so I am not able to hold much in them. I like to throw.

There are lots of symbolism in your cover art, for example this male/female sign (or Mars/Venus?). What that represents, some kind of duality?

– Fine that you recognized it. Symbols speak their own language.

– Each of the two symbols separated stands for the male and female characteristics generally, or if you consider it as archetypical, astrological symbol, for Ares/Mars and Aphrodite/Venus, ancient primeval principles.

– The special symbol I used, a kind of hybrid, bastard combination out of the mentioned above symbols of course gains new meaning.

– One interpretation (yes, even for me – perhaps some splinters got stuck in my brain while crushing the door violently!) of the whole concept of Beutetrieb Schwarzer Witwen is that the symbol stands for the “femme fatale” (in the surrealistic movement’s vein a bit) “spinning her net of dark eroticism and seduction” (body/flesh) to prepare her softly claws for  the final deathstrike (leaving/ dissatisfaction), a lethal bite (disappointment/unity not achieved), looking numb of her impulse (emotionless lust) upon men only as a kind of prey (adventure). A little game of death took place (repentance/emptiness).

–  “Venus ate Mars” to fast, so to speak. The analogy to the animals’ and especially the spiders’ existence seemed a well chosen one for me for the much bigger female spider (0,9 – 1,5 cm)  of the Black Widow’s species     (Animalia> Arthropoda> Arachnida> Araneae> Theridiidae> Latrodectus; Latrodectus means “secret jaws” or “biting secretly”  for victims don’t feel the bite immediately) often starts to eat the smaller male one (about 0,4 cm) before, during or after  the sexual act – the smallest kind of death maybe – due to her substantial impulse for prey and great appetite.

– By the way today’s twist of roles concerning natural properties and peculiarities of men and women in general seems to be advanced yet.

– The equilibrium between the men’s and womens’ world seriously is out of control. The polarity or balance between them has altered and got mixed up in a negative way.

– The ideal would be that the unity of man and woman should lead to a kind of perfect existence (>Harmonia wearing the black and white pearls around her neck), completing each other spiritually and physically.

– The MCD is a statement against all modern women with today’s FIRES of SODOM burning in their veins. We need more wise mothers than stupid modern whores to keep what makes life worth living it, I think. Not to speak about racial mix – my blood pressure!

– (Modern) women have become murderers of our culture yet… they are pregnant with death – “suicidal assassins” in a way.

– And men of course are not victims only! On the contrary: they prepared the way for the new kind of women, neglecting once powerful fires of Mars, which are burning down to dusty ashes these days to often!

– Keep the fires of Mars, and let Venus’ waves foam! And remember their children.

– Have you never heard of the queen of problems called “Sex”?

Also those pictures on your album covers differ quite much from a typical black metal cover art. Is this a conscious decision? Are you interested in arts in general?

– I try to create a unity of audible, visual and lyrical aspects of each opus and I use to reach this aim by thinking, trying and – luck.

– Creating music is irrational. Combination of the irrational and partly rational (lyrics/layout) leads to the aesthetic product in the end at best.

– Arts, lecture and nature are my daily bread. I feed upon it with great appetite. Of course this meal can lead to huge thirst as well. New wine has to be made.

– Concerning paintings I recommend works of Paul Delvaux mostly, furthermore Felix Labisse, Rene Magritte, Leonora Carrington, Wolfgang Lettl and Edgar Ende (all surrealists more or less). But also Arnold Böcklin, Franz v. Stuck, Gustave Moreau, Hugo Höppener (better known as Fidus) surely belong to my favourites. And many more of course. If I get the chance to visit a new gallery that seems worth it, I will. I also paint. Some of my works will be used on future releases as well. Creating music, lyrics, logo and cover paintings, my upcoming wines will have a even purer and more personal taste.

– Of course only <gourmets> will recognize that.

– Hail the bacchantic feast of flowing notes …

This poet on Beutetrieb Schwarzer Witwen, Philipp S. Fricke, is an unknown name to me. Could you open a little bit his visions and poems, and why did you chose that certain poem to your song? I guess you have to feel a strong unity to take someone else’s lyrics to your own music.

– Mr. Philipp S. Fricke also is unknown to me, I guess. We are only friends communicating over a spiritual bridge we built out of building bricks of strange spirits’ sympathy.

– His works are mostly banal, but words often don’t need to be a genius’ creation to give satisfaction and inspiration to you. Very simple words and things can stimulate stronger sometimes than the complex and cryptic ones, I think.

– I chose to use the fragments of Die Schwarzen Witwen because the words were and are magic to me. In that special case I didn’t have to wait for the keys, but a great destructive hammer was delivered by Mr. Fricke. By swinging the hammer of impulse I crushed the doors to myself to a thousand tiny pieces. I celebrated victory over time by using inner force.

From all these elements mentioned before I get an idea that Todesstoß is a world of its own, taking distance from all things ordinary. Am I on the right tracks? What kind of place the kingdom of Todesstoß is?

– Whose world should it be unless my own? I have some ideas, huahua. Things ordinary, pah, are sometimes even more attractive than the weird and spectacular aspects in life. I seek for distance to weakening and unpure energies to gain control over personal chaos and corrosion of my inner self, maybe.

– Two kingdoms are possible to gain. The first one can be created while living, the other one lies beyond death, the aether. You have to fight for both at the same time and place.

Ah God! I am exhaust

In the red moon’s holocaust

God! God! The chasms secret and profound

Suck down the porphyry flood

Of your maniacal , ensorcelled blood

That maddens and bewitches

My life is suffocated – now I swoon –

I die! I am in hell, red hell, red hell,

And all the immortal in me itches

To grip the immortal

(“Perdurabo”)

How about this fact that you have released lately just EPs, is it easier to create a short, two songs long entity than a long, coherent whole? In my opinion EPs are usually quite impulsive pieces of art, serving just one certain thought or feeling.

– The concept of the opus has absolute priority, not its length. Tell nature how to behave and it will laugh at you. Tell the storm how long to last, it will blow you away nevertheless.

Talking about art, I found sometimes some sort of contradiction between extremity / marginality of art and artists’ expectations of fame and people’s praising reactions. For example some suicidal BM bands are trying to make the bleakest music ever but also the same bands whine about poor selling. So, what drives Todesstoß to share its music and visions to faceless persons including myself? Does music need any listeners, or is it enough that the artist expresses him/herself?

– Perhaps they are looking for confirmation for their praiseworthy works, but I am not surprised anyway, for it is a quite human expectation and typical for our social standards of mind. If you want applause, you could find better places to be: maybe a circus.

– I don’t think by the way that suicidal music can exist. The reward of spirit’s victory over the matter can only be experienced in the successful final act of giving up the body-soul-identity.

– Presentiments and approach to the ultimate experience don’t justify the term of suicidal music/Black Metal. Words are like leaves. Somehow they fall out of the mind and mouth.

– So why do I release? It’s necessary, an egocentric ritual of cleaning my head. Decapitation or music …

– A bacchantic feast’s face of sorrow and pleasure swirling notes of tears and blood in space and time.

– Tones wandering the sphere and aether down to your thirsty throat. Don’t choke, hahaha!

– Music without listeners is incomplete, isn’t it?  What would the most delicious wine be worth without being tasted by a gourmet’s tongue?

What the future brings to Todesstosß? Are you going continue the collaboration with Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions? You still have released all your works through different labels.

   – No, no, Todesstoß brings something to the future. It has to be that way, hehe. Perhaps I can forge my own keys and will improve in that transcendential trade.

– I will try to keep the wine flowing. Who will fill it up in bottles? Time will tell. I will tell.

Well, this is the end. Last words: what phrase will be carved onto Martin Lang’s tombstone?

– A nice game; maybe:

I always was an outsider

(Außenseiter war ich stets)

or

I didn’t only try, I fought

(Ich versuchte nicht nur, ich kämpfte!)