Since ancient times man has looked into both himself and nature around him as a portal into dimensions our species’ abilities are not adequately or readily prepared to perceive let alone understand. This is why and the sciences developed their theory and instruments which became increasingly specialized and compartmentalized, to the point that the ulterior workings of, for instance, chemistry and physics are not even truly understood by any single person but that have been recorded and detailed so that theories can be devised to model them. This is both a weapon for more precise understanding and a blindfold that prevents us from seeing the big picture. The ancient occult sciences attempted something contrary to this, which was to grasp at the phenomenon as a whole, not by measuring bits here and there, isolating them and attempting to harness them for mundane tasks, but rather seeing how everything interacted and describing it through metaphor and accepting that knowledge concerning reality cannot be taught or communicated: the path can only be hinted at but it is for each person to take.
|“We do not know it because we are fooling away our time with outward and perishing things, and are asleep in regard to that which is real within ourselves.”|
Music can be used as a way to contemplation, as a window of what is in front and within us. This is a way towards the self, towards one’s nature, the species’ nature, and our place in the planet as life springing from it. When done correctly, it is not an escape from “reality” as materialists would have it, but rather a search for the experience and understanding of actual reality through human eyes. This includes an accepting of the limitations we can never truly overcome and yet trying to capture visions and feelings of what the universe beyond us is like. Music can convey this by acting as a conduct, taking the mind to a certain state. This is much more than the “setting of a mood” of pleasure-oriented music, and requires an active engagement by the listener, a locking in the senses, a voluntary stepping-through to the unreachable umbra of that-which-is. This is not about salvation or reaching out for a different world, it is a discovery of the cosmos as it is in reality.
|“Could one that’s damned stand in high Heaven, even there He’d feel within himself all Hell and Hell’s despair.”|
Underground metal and its related genres (dark ambient, for instance) as a mystical experience may lead us through a variety of paths, up to mirrors, dead-ends and upside-down positions which may seem incomprehensible at first but whose value is appreciated in retrospect as a lesson. At the end of the day, no vision reflects reality, we can only dip into experiences that transmit flashes of this or that aspect, but nothing that encompasses everything which is far beyond our capabilities. It is like trying to capture the infinite in one’s mind, or simply trying to imagine not being human.
|“To reach something good it is very useful to have gone astray, and thus acquire experience.”|
The following are a few album recommendations that the author feels are strong and sure passageways from whence grand sights a piercing eye may descry. Though each of these may follow a slightly different path, they all shine light into particular corridors and avenues by virtue of different methodologies and philosophies. Each kind of experience is in the eye of the beholder and is ever partial and incomplete, but the truth behind all of them is one and whole.
|Emperor- In the Nightside Eclipse
An album about the astral origin of our self, a constant reference
to the nightsky, the dark forest and the darkest confines of
the individual’s mind and a connection to the source.
|Burzum – Sôl austan, Mâni vestan
The day, the movement of the major celestial bodies seen
through the eyes of a druid. This album is the trickling of life,
the flow of energies from one state into the next.
|Endvra – Black Eden
This is introspection and the exploration of the self’s demons in
a sincere way. A complete closing off from the outside, it is
best experienced alone and in complete darkness. This is
a facing of everything within oneself through oneself.
|Mütiilation – Remains of A Ruined, Dead, Cursed Soul
Music for ruins, cemeteries and places in which dark memories
are still alive, this is the universe through deep pain. As with the
first item in this list, it hints at Black Magic, into illicit and
probably self-destructive channeling of negative energies.
Tags: 2015, Black Eden, Black Metal, burzum, Cursed Soul, dark ambient, Dead, emperor, Endvra, in the nightside eclipse, Mâni vestan, mütiilation, occult, Remains of A Ruined, Sôl austan
17 thoughts on “A Descent into the Occult”
Hey David, this year Symphony X, Annihilator and Malevolent Creation released new material, you should probably review it!
“When done correctly, it [music] is not an escape from “reality” as materialists would have it, but rather a search for the experience and understanding of actual reality through human eyes.”
Let him who hath understanding reckon the wisdom of this sentence. For it is a human wisdom. This wisdom is transcendence.
The “fantasy” present in the best metal is a way of expressing that which cannot be expressed adequately through direct communication — the Transcendent.
Mainstream rock/indie/metal is seen as more “real” because their song inspirations are rooted in individual emotion but it really just amounts to a petty “it’s all about my me” display of histrionics and narcissism (ie the opposite of Transcendence).
I like this idea, but it is also important to mention that only fantasy has enough abstraction to apply across the ages, and thus to invoke the historical/mythological type of thinking that keeps civilizations together (as opposed to disintegrating like our present one).
I think Endvra’s “Great God Pan” is their best work. All of their albums are great but that album is much more beautiful.
Cool article. It reminds me of the old writings at hessian.org, albeit more accessible.
Burzum was an attempt to create (or “recreate” if You like) an imaginary past, a world of fantasy – that in turn was based on our Pagan past. Burzum in itself was a spell. The songs were spells and the albums were arranged in a special way, to make the spells work. Burzum was not intended for live-shows, but instead it was supposed to be listened to in the evening, when the sunbeams couldn’t vaporize the power of the magic, and when the listener was alone – preferably in his or her bed, going to sleep. The two first albums are made for the LP format, meaning each side as a spell, so they don’t work on CD unless you program the CD-player to only play the tracks of one side of the LP at the time. The later albums were created for CD, so they don’t work as well on LP. The first track was supposed to calm down or rather “prepare” the listener, and make him or her more “susceptible” to the magic, the next song or songs were supposed to exhaust the listener and put him or her in a trancelike state of mind, and last track should “calm down” the listener and carry him or her into the “world of fantasy” – when he or she fell asleep. That was the spell, the magic that would make the imaginary past, the world of fantasy, real (in the mind of the listener). If You take a look at the Burzum albums and how they are built up You will see what I mean. The last track of the “spell” (LP side or CD) is always a calm (often synthesizer) track. Whether this works or not is of course another question, but that was the idea anyhow.
Maybe add both Neptune Towers albums to those recommendations.
Hey Brett do you think Donald Trump can beat Hillary Clinton?
If any of us did what they say she did with that email server, we’d be in jail. If the US fails to jail her, we have to admit that there are two rules: one for the elites, and one for us little people.
this has to be the most hipster website to have ever graced the internet
you must be one of those no0b faggots that have no clue.
Hey precious snowflake, tell me, what exactly left you butt-hurt?
this has to be the most HIV+ comment to have ever graced the internet
Brett, what do you you think about rac / nationalistic oi?
Like leftist music including later Napalm Death, and Christian music, it’s almost uniformly terrible. Some will mention the Skrewdriver “White Rider” years, Aggravated Assault and Vaginal Jesus, and they may have a point. I remain skeptical. The best the Right produced was black metal and the RAC/Oi-hybrids Absurd and Ildjarn. There is other good nationalist music out there, like Bob Marley and the Bad Brains.
Yeah, most of it seems like a mouthpiece for political views with the actual music being an afterthought, which makes for bad music even when those political views are somewhat sensible. Either way the skinhead subculture is an interesting one and I admire their steadfastness in the face of antifa whiners and their ilk.
That seems to be what far-right, far-left and Christian music have in common. Maybe the Scientologists will create a metal band and break the mold, but I doubt it, for the reason you mention. It’s politics with music grafted on top.
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