Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Profane And The Profound


Dusk gives way to black night. The fog drifts pensively over the tombstones. A chill settles. Gomez and Morticia prepare to waltz.

What will it be? The profane, or the profound?

Maria Callas - Ave Maria

Two of my absolute favorites. I share them with you on this sorrow-filled night of bare trees, strange shadows, and dubious weather patterns.

Happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Antichrist

So last night I tackled Lars Von Trier's brilliant new film Antichrist. I can see why there's so much eye-rolling on Rotten Tomatoes, but I can also see why it won accolades at Cannes. It cuts both ways.

At first I was darkly delighted by the few scenes of graphic violence (some involving close-ups of male and female genital mutilation), mutely amused by the more numerous scenes of what looked like slow-motion dream sequences, and utterly perplexed by the story itself.


For one thing, why is the film called Antichrist? What does the grief of losing an infant child have to do with the systematic extermination of women in the 16th century? I left it alone and went to bed.

Then I got up this morning.

Once I had a chance to not think about it on a conscious level -- and even dream about it -- the thrust of the film was suddenly not lost to me. There are still questions, even after I drilled the Wikipedia page for clues, but I feel like I'm finally able to gain some purchase on a concept that's proven for years to be as elusive as it is attractive: the essence of evil.

Evil is not a bastard spawn of faraway realms of demons and fire; it is not a supernatural force that drives unforgivable acts to their completion. It is us. It is you and I and everyone else who lives now or ever has lived. We are the beginning and the end of evil. The unspeakable acts we commit to one another are unprecedented in the age of the universe and are repeated nowhere else in all of existence.

That's the takeaway. There is something rotten in humanity. Men and women are basically evil, and nature -- the swirling chaos in which we find ourselves, and to the mercy to which we are forever bound -- isn't evil, but is a putrid and unforgiving beast that churns and spits with complete indifference to our plight. In other words, as the talking fox put it, "Chaos reigns."

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Unholy Winds

Etmenns Derokwis knows a thing or two about conjuring up the swirling winds of Satanic madness. Tonight we explore an epic hair-raising masterpiece that pushes the concept of black ambient to its absolute breaking point.

I was lucky enough to first hear this track on my iPod while shopping for groceries in a busy, well-lit store. I'm not sure I would have fared as well had I attempted a first listen at home after bedtime.


It starts out innocuously enough but then slowly escalades into a nightmarish episode of gale-force winds and howling acoustics. Just when you think it can't possibly get any worse, he adds yet another layer until you're completely surrounded by a thousand flocks of squawking, angry birds.

Allow me to risk a bit of hyperbole: This is quite possibly the scariest song I think I've ever heard. Try listening to it alone at night in utter darkness, and let me know if you make it all the way through.

I haven't been able to.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

European Gods

I don't want to get too lost in idol worship, but I will go on record now: if I ever meet the two dudes responsible for these European musical forces, I will immediately fall to my knees and proceed to lick their sweaty balls.

La Legion is a now-defunct Italian death metal band fronted by Gianluca Fontana, who has since formed the equally fantastic Enough To Kill. (MySpace audio streaming here and here.) Death metal meets thoughtful songwriting and oodles of technical prowess.

Dapnom is one of many creative arms of the enigmatic Meldhkwis, who breaks new ground while offering a slight nod to Aphex Twin's ambient days. (MySpace audio streaming here, interview here.) The best black ambient this side of the Styx.

These two relatively obscure European artists are completely blowing my mind this week, and I mean that part about the sweaty ball licking. I mean, just look at dude from Enough To Kill. Hello.

Monday, October 5, 2009

You've Been Sick


This post has been moved to my new dark music / lit blog, Percival Ravenwood, Esq.

The new link for this post is here.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Black Light District

The darkness continues to descend. My favorite month sees another dreary upload in the form of yet another deliciously chilly Coil-related rarity.


Don't forget to say your prayers... backwards.