I was in my moldy, walled-in hole, surrounded by stacks of dusty and worm-gnawed tomes, coughing into my fist, and staining my sleeve with the sweat from my brow, staring blankly at Ptolemy’s macrocosm as illumined by Heaven’s waning light as it passed through the filthy glass of my study’s windows, when, of a sudden, a bright green fire ignited in my periphery and, starting up from my chair, I stood witness as those brilliant flames wove and whorled and spawned a man of impossible bearing and physiognomy.
I asked – nay, I demanded – the otherworldly intruder to give me his name, his credentials, his place of origin, and as the greenish brume slowly diffused from my study, that strangely beautiful man – with his long, curly hair of a black so deep it shimmered blue, and with eyes twice as black as that, wearing a smart black suit and pointed black shoes – in answer to all my demands, the impossible man deigned only to reply:
“I am part of that force which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.”
Indeed, Laster’s Faust-inspired three song debut, Wijsgeer & Narreman, has, by now, been blogged about as many times as the Faust legend itself has been re-adapted and rewritten. And anyone even half-familiar with the legend can understand why it is so popular, among artists of sundry crafts: So long as humans remain capable of understanding their cosmic ignorance, but incapable of reaching beyond it; so long as man vainly keeps on his unilateral quest towards ultimate understanding then the fantasy of signing a pact with the Devil in order to know all, to comprehend all, to feel, simply, a moment of pure happiness remains perennially potent and maddeningly tantalizing. Though, the very appearance of a Mephistophelean peddler of execrable knowledge is revealing enough itself, insofar as answering at least one age-old question: What lay beyond this mortal realm? Well, for one thing, that crazy lookin’ fella came from somewhere, right? So there ya go. Probably not worth it after all. I mean, now that you’ve discovered that you do, in fact, have an immortal soul, since the Devil’s so eager to take it off your hands, perhaps you’d be best off just waiting a little bit longer on the whole absolute enlightenment thing.
Read the rest of the review after the jump!
I studied William Blake’s poetry in grade 12, and while I found his writings haunting and beautiful, if someone had told me he was also a prolific artist, I would have been so much more interested in him. In fact, I had no idea he was an artist until I was given a book of his illustrations a few years later. Characterized as a Romantic or Pre-Romantic artist, to me, Blake is more of an OG metal artist, in that his work invokes the monsters of humanity and the fear of the evil supernatural so often referred to in metal imagery. He depicts Satan and dark angels in human form, demonstrating how darkness exists in humanity instead of as an animal, outside force. His work is extremely unique and in a genre of its own. Biblical imagery makes up the majority of his inspiration, but as opposed to the usual blind reverence shown for Christianity, Blake communicates the sinister atmosphere of judgment that organized religion imposes on its followers. Blake’s last artistic commission was a series of watercolors for Dante’s Divine Comedy in 1826, cut short by his death in 1827. These watercolors embody the macabre spirit of Dante’s work, and Blake captures the suffering souls and sinners to perfection. For a devout man, he certainly had a talent for creating dark and disturbing depictions of punishment and hell. After the jump, check out a selection of Blake’s paintings…
Story via The Atlantic written by Kim Kelly
“Burn the Quran! Burn the fucking Quran!” a woman screams hoarsely, over and over again. Tinny guitars course beneath her howls, sawing away at any semblance of melody. Sampled snippets of fundamentalist Islamic rhetoric filter through, and muffled voices exhort their unseen audience to praise Allah and to destroy the infidel.
To fans of heavy music, the hallmarks are immediately recognizable. This is raw, mid-tempo black metal, a lo-fi example of heavy metal’s most evil subgenre. Black metal feeds upon hatred, nihilism, and anti-human behavior. Extremity is everything. It drinks the blood of Christ, turns upon its own, and takes almost carnal pleasure in the theory and imagery of war. The music from the early days of this scene conjured images of the ashes of burned churches and the dried blood of murder, and yet the genre, in its middle age, often doesn’t shock the way it once did. The hellish noise of this particular song, though, does. There’s something different about it. This is real.
The overall effect is chilling, which is, of course, exactly its creator’s intent. Her name is Anahita, and she is the 28-years-old voice and vitriol behind Janaza, Iraq’s very first female-fronted, black-metal band. Allow that notion—Iraq’s very first female-fronted, black-metal band—to sink in for a moment. Her first recording, Burn the Pages of Quran, boasts five distorted, primitive tracks that altogether run just shy of an unlucky 13 minutes. She, along with a handful of other acts hailing from the Middle East, are repurposing black metal’s historically anti-Christian ferocity to rail against Islam. In doing so, these bands are serving up another example of how art and dissent can intersect in a region where dissent can sometimes have deadly consequences.
by Oliver Sheppard
Visual artist Aeron Alfrey has furnished illustrations for books about horror authors like HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Thomas Ligotti. Alfrey’s meticulously detailed nightmare worlds are crammed with denizens of all varieties, densely peopled with black and white monsters like an unholy mash-up between the medieval apocalypses of Heironymus Bosch and the spooky imagery of Stephen Gammell (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark). Although Alfrey has primarily provided artwork for horror fiction, he’s had dozens of exhibitions over the globe in the past few years, and has recently started doing artwork for bands. I recently asked Alfrey about the inspiration behind his morbid fantasies, the process he uses to create them, and what his plans are for the future. Included are samples of his artwork as well as links to check out more of his nightmarish creations.
Check out the CVLT Nation exclusive interview with Aeron Alfrey and more of his art after the jump below!
This is beyond killer – Brian Stefans has done the world of underground music a great favor. On his L.A. Post Punk blog he has compiled a sonic portrait of the weird music that was taking place during the post punk era. CVLT Nation salutes you Brian! Check out what he has to say below and peep the track listings and download links after the jump!
“All the bands, with the exception of The Minutemen, haven’t appeared in any of the previous volumes, so these notes are going to be sketchy because I don’t have the time to ruminate in any serious way on the tracks. They are also in (roughly) alphabetical order. For what that’s worth.
I don’t know much about 3D Picnic, who produced two LPs. Their first, Dirt, contains a mix of styles from Paisley Underground folk rolk to more post-punk fare, though none of it too dangerous. This track is from a compilation called Ultraviolet and doesn’t appear on either disk.
A Produce was the person behind the band Afterimage which appears in early volumes of this series. His own music tends toward the ambient, though this track and a few others have something like a kinky energy. He was the creator of the label Trans Port which specialized in what came to be known as “trance music” though in fact most of what I’ve heard of his work doesn’t sound like later trance music (which is more beat heavy). A Clearing is available in its entirety at CDBaby, though most of his other material appears to be out of print. He passed away in 2011.
Battery Farley is still pretty much a mystery to me, though it appears an “underground” producer named Jeff Farley is behind it all. There is a YouTube video the band performing an unreleased track, “Bagman on Sunset,” which if anything has an unforgettable snarkey resonance. The LP Dress for Obscurity is pretty interesting, and they seem to be symptomatic of one aspect of “New Wave” here in LA, which is that for all the synthesizers and dance beats, much of it is completely uncommercial. There’s a cheap copy of Dress for Obscurity sitting in the stacks at Amoeba Records that I want to snag when I have some cash.
Download link & track listing after the jump!
Story source Hypebeast
Written by Elijah Watson
“There has always been this rebellious connection between hip-hop and punk music,” once said iconic hip-hop pioneer Fab Five Freddy, in an interview with radio host Davey-D, back in 2010. It’s true–nestled in the downtrodden streets of a 1980s Manhattan, a new relationship between two of music’s most unlikeliest candidates, began to develop.
Fast-forward to the alternative hip-hop movement of today, and you’ll see that the scene does exhibit many of punk’s characteristics. I would argue that there are two specific ones they have fully committed themselves to: Do-it-yourself (DIY) and attitude. These two components have seeped their way into present-day alternative hip-hop, providing a new generation with something that is fresh and relatable.
Read the rest of this feature after the jump!
In an age of mass production and the destruction of human creativity, CVLT Nation tries to be a beacon for people who want to be creative and support each others’ creativity, whether in music, art, film, literature or any other format. Aeon Sophia Press is an Amsterdam-based publishing house that has recently released their first publication entitled Blood From Heaven, a work of occult/magick fiction by Priestess of the Temple of Babalon E.J. Alvey, a beautifully bound hardcover in gold-stamped scarlet cloth, and they will be releasing their second publication, Whisperings from the Void by Patrick John Larabee, for pre-order May 14th, 2012. Aeon Sophia Press is dedicated to spreading knowledge and ideas about the occult and chaos/black magick, and aims to publish these esoteric writings as limited edition, hand-made and illustrated hardcovers. They aim to publish works that focus on Sigil magick, Sex magick, Thelema, Chaos magick, Luciferian philosophy, Lillith, Hekate, Black magick, Satanism and other occult practices and philosophies. It’s awesome to see a publishing house emerge to specialize in such obscure subject matter, but also to support the reemergence of quality hard copy literature. These are not books that you can read on your Kindle or iPad, these are collectable tomes that were painstakingly created by passionate writers and Aeon Sophia Press’ driving force, Johann Boomsma. Boomsma has been very active in the Holland punk/hardcore underground music scene since the 90s, and has translated the DIY approach to life he learned as a teenager into his dream of publishing occult literature. I love featuring people like Boomsma and their projects on CVLT Nation, because our readers are so awesome and time and again have showed their support for creative people. After the jump check out some info about each release as well as images of Blood From Heaven…
Michael W. Ford is known in black metal circles for his contributions within a sect called Black Funeral, one of the pioneering bands from the United States. He also happens to have currents of dark energy spurring from his every fibre, and he spends his time writing books on Left Hand Path Gnosticism, Magick, Witchcraft, Ritual Workings, Olden Mythology, Astral Vamprism, and Lycanthropy. He has obviously found his niche in the dark underworld of literature. All of his writings have been released through an occult collective site luciferianapotheca
His tome entitled The Book Of The Witch Moon caught my minds eye when I was seeking for texts and practices of mental vampirism and lycanthropy. Half of the book is devoted to these concepts along with folkloric stories of werewolves, belief, and the mind on the astral plane which Ford captures with impeccable brevity yet perfect understanding and practicality. The other half is traditional left hand path esoterica, which I don’t prescribe to but will focus on the former here… Mental vampirism is an external practice/output towards others, manipulated in such a way as to aid the individual obtain something in the waking life from others. By meeting with the vampire spirit in the astral plane where reality can be shaped according to desire and will, one procures special traits possessed of the vampire; cunning, power, empathy, seerlike visions, stealth. All of these became vectors for the mortal personality. Through ritual work, sigils, yoga and meditation, the altered states of thought can be achieved, and it is directly here that the mundane realities become abstract.
Find out what goes on in his mind here
My favorite issues of Juxtapoz have always been the ones that feature dark, weird and disturbing artwork – but there are always a lot of pages I skip through to get to my favorite parts. It turns out, someone has created my perfect magazine, and it’s called Fire Mass. Fire Mass is dedicated to the dark arts and folklores, and features many of the artists we’ve covered on CVLT Nation and many, many more that I have to cover. The issues are in glorious full color, all except the Shadowplay issue, which is in equally glorious black and white, and they are serious eye candy for the appreciator of twisted imagery. They also feature stories, poems, interviews and all kinds of magickal things that you want in your world just to make it a little bit creepier. The next issue of Fire Mass will be released very soon, and for now you can go to their store HERE and purchase hard copies, and you can also get free digital downloads of all their issues, which I am subsisting on right now until I can get the hard copies. The zines are 8.5″ x 11″ and anywhere from 64 to 80 pages, and from the pictures they look like they are beautiful to hold. Check out a few preview pages after the jump, and this is a call for support for Fire Mass – these are the kind of publications that we need to keep around!
This tome of black metal. I think it deserves to be known. For those unfamiliar with the murky depths of the black metal underground, one comes upon certain prolific individuals and circles of information wherein a wellspring of black energy comes out from. Infamroth ov Throne of Katarsis is one of these individuals. He is also a prominent member of Myrkraverk, and operates a small label entitled Daudings Gjenklang. This is the zine crafted for the latter’s bands, as well as some other sinistral sects dispersed across Europe. Contained within the photocopied and handwritten pages are the black speech ov; Tomhet, Prest, Frostskogr, Hinsides, Vemod & Aetergap Prod. dispersed with grainy photographs that don’t resemble the bands in person at all. (a sign of quality), and a compilation of reviews ov Mare, Dodsengel, Cultes Des Ghoules, Prest, Vemod, Panphage and other initiates. This is completely done by him, and was a heavy inspiration for my own zine, Die Hard, in concept and aesthetics. If you are an avid reader, or lust for knowledge of these elusive acts, this would be worth your money, your time, and probably some other things. The essence of Daudings Skript is bare bones, the questions are straight forward and insightful, something lacking for zine quality. I have enclosed photos of some of the pages, if you can’t read them and are still inclined with interest, there is a reason, maybe this is for you.
Look at them through here