by Niklas Göransson
Oscar Carlquist of RAM crafts his art with existential agitation. He speaks of seeking true inspiration beyond the smothering rabble, and how gazing into the radiant darkness that is heavy metal illuminates one’s step on the Left Hand Path.
Swedish vocalist Oscar Carlquist’s most recent musical output is a self-titled demo from a new act which peddles the dark heavy metal.
– SOURCE is the brainchild of Richard Lagergren, former guitar player of PORTRAIT and EIDOMANTUM. My involvement was initially meant to cease at recording and producing his songs, but I ended up doing the vocals as well.
What changed your mind?
– Hearing the material. I really like the music he writes – to my ears, Richard is a genius; everything is very intricate and there are lots of different parts for each song, yet it never sounds contrived or as if he’s trying too hard. It’s evident to me that he is truly inspired and this in turn triggers my own imagination.
As we are about to learn, Oscar doesn’t quite use the term ’inspired’ as most people do.
– The lyrical concepts are personal to both of us, this project is exclusively about the members and our individual paths – it’s none of our concern whether third parties understand what the songs are about. The lyrics I write for SOURCE are about my inner journey – whereas in RAM I use them as an igniter, to influence and inspire, often addressing the listener directly.
RAM’s latest album was released in 2015 and is called “Svbversvm”. The title is a merging of ’subversion’ – as in ’overturned from below’, with the Latin word ’universum’.
– It’s a reference to what awaits once the status quo has been destroyed; when this cosmic order and its rule on earth has ended, total victory of spirit over body within the macrocosm and microcosm.
The lyrics also speak of what sounds like a ’chosen one’, who is this and how was he selected?
– The way I see it, the actual choosing is done by none other than himself. Even in a more traditional mythical framework, the chosen one’s destiny is fulfilled only after an active choice has been made. He who merges with his own will and makes it his highest principle chooses himself over all else.
Prior to morphing with it, one would presumably want to establish what will actually is. For instance, there are both neuroscientists and philosophers who believe what’s commonly considered ’free will’ to be nothing but a hominid delusion – that we are instead mere puppets of our biochemistry.
– I find it difficult to believe that our sentience should be reduced to mere chemicals in the brain triggered by instincts. On the contrary, it is my firm belief that what we perceive as our will is in fact a signal. Regardless if it’s of intergalactic nature or beyond; something is clearly speaking to us.
Oscar declares it our natural state to be living inspired lives, that all else is illusion. He points to the metropolitan constructs surrounding most of us – in particular the contemporary western urban setting, as especially detrimental.
– It’s all a forgery. We’re surrounded by forces hell-bent on keeping us uninspired; fellow humans, autonomous spirits, and even deities – determined to keep us out of tune with our true will, so we’ll never become the chosen one and challenge the current order. This is impossible to dispute when considering all the traps built into society.
He says that to be model citizens, we must follow a predetermined template. The societal rotation entails first being funded by the state to study in preparation for a career, then repaying the debt by accumulating wealth and giving most of it away. In the meantime, one is expected to start a family to guarantee a supply of future consumers.
– All functions in society are geared towards upholding the current order. I’d argue that the main purpose is not that of financial control; it’s to ensure that the veil is firmly draped over us, to keep us from seeing any other way. The teachings of Hermes Trismegistus speak of ‘when the pawn becomes the player’, which is when man decides to act in accordance to his true will.
Hermes Trismegistus is the purported author of the Corpus Hermeticum, the canonical foundation of Hermeticism – Egyptian-Greek wisdom teachings penned around the time of Christ which dwell on matters such as alchemy, astronomy, astrology, divinity, and consciousness. Like virtually all other esoteric traditions, it operates under the assumption of a microcosm and a macrocosm. This is a view of existence where parts represented by the former mirror the entirety of the latter.
– This gives new meaning to the expression of ’being one with everything’. What I mean with choosing oneself and taking the black journey inwards, is in my opinion the original Left-Hand Path; turning your back on the collective whose ideals only function through constant compromise, and so are ultimately lies.
The Right-Hand Path is reserved for those who resonate sympathetically with the communal echo, who obediently submit to what’s commonly accepted as truth.
– The Left-Hand Path is linked to the occult, a study that focuses strongly on the acquisition of hidden knowledge. The Yin and Yang symbol captures this perfectly; venture into the darkness within and you will find the light.
In order for the spiritually stifling façade to be upheld, he continues, the masses need to be conditioned into willingly forfeiting their freedom – ensuring that truth can never prevail.
– As the tired old cliché goes; all meaningful change begins within oneself. But let us in this instance assume a significant enough transformation in the microcosm, one that would reverberate through the macrocosm – as above, so below. This would create the Svbversvm.
Besides celestial collusions and heavy metal, Oscar is known for his keen interest in what’s generally called ’conspiracy theories’. Seeing as I’d have to dedicate entire articles per subject if I got him started on particulars, we refrain from delving into specific cases and instead discuss the general subject matter.
– Everything is conspiracy! It’s the entire purpose of the collective, the demiurge spins its webs of illusion woven like a smothering veil over our perception. It employs every trick in the book to discourage independent thought, effectively hindering us from realising our true selves.
This is a subject we shall delve deeper into later, but in short: Oscar subscribes to the ancient Gnostic worldview of the observable universe as an illusionary creation of the demiurge; a cosmic imposter who has enslaved humanity by posing as God.
– It casts a dull sheen that makes the trivial appear great and the great seem trivial, effectively moulding creation into one big Orwellian dystopia. George Orwell could certainly see the true nature of the demiurge, its preferred way of working – what he envisioned in 1984 is nothing short of its paradise.
Perhaps it should be noted that this conversation took place just days before the WikiLeaks ’Vault 7’ dump.
– I find it particularly curious that individuals who profess to be occultists would ridicule me for favouring alternative information, when they of all people should recognise the clandestine nature of truth. Engaging this notion in concepts of the micro and macrocosm, one instantly realises that the same principle applies to politics and media.
If something is purposely left out in the open for all to see, then rest assured it serves a purpose – and these interests will rarely correspond to the individual’s quest for personal enlightenment.
– One should never forget that the mass media was created by those who aim to control us, it’s a medium for granting our sovereigns a voice without having them move their lips. As we can see now, they’ll go to extreme lengths to protect what they’ve built.
Oscar points to his native Sweden, where the state keeps its financially struggling established media on life-support with tax payer money.
– Now even these facts will be disputed by some which, if anything, only further proves my point. Through effective propaganda, the media has convinced the citizenry that they’re not being subjected to media propaganda. Most people are even fearful of having a personal opinion, let alone voicing it.
One need only take one long, hard look at oneself to understand that human nature is to be unbound. This is why the demiurge, through its media workers and politicians, divides everything into rival factions.
– If your opinions are spread too thinly across the available thought-clusters, society will consider you strange and they fear that. Instead we should just pick a team and then endlessly agree with everything our side is spouting, ridding ourselves of the need for contemplation. The most blatant example of this blocking of thought is that of right and left wing politics.
For an explanation of this strategy, he refers to the masonic symbol of a two-headed eagle.
– The eagle has two heads, one gazing towards the east and the other looking west – to its left and right wing respectively. They are attached to the same body, which clasps a sword in its talons and has the text ’ordo ab chao’ written below. ’Order from chaos’.
While it might be embarrassing to admit in front of others, and even painful before oneself, Oscar insists that folks need to realise there is no shame in changing their opinions.
– If you’re not persistently challenging your own convictions, then you’re not progressing as an individual. Adopting a new outlook is frowned upon today – instead there’s an expectancy to ’stick to one’s guns’ through thick and thin, or risk being seen as unreliable.
While being true to one’s values is of utmost importance, there is nothing admirable about intellectual stagnancy.
– I update my views all the time because I’m constantly seeking out and finding new facts that contradict what I previously believed to be true.
Something else I wanted to discuss with Oscar is his conviction of ‘true metal’ as a legitimate foundation for the proverbial Left Hand Path.
– Heavy metal has been my main passion in life for as far back as I can remember, and I have as such been given ample time to philosophise over the concept. I simply had to know why I was so profoundly drawn to it, and came to discover strong similarities between the metal phenomenon and occult traditions.
The first trial on the road to metal initiation surfaces as soon as the subject comes across it and is confronted with dark, sinister and even demonic imagery.
– The adept must be proven worthy to access the treasures beyond that point. On top of that, the music is harsh for the untrained ear. It’s not something you learn to enjoy – metal repels those who are not instantly captivated, who lack that spark.
How were you saved?
– It was way back in 1983, I was in my cousin’s room when he showed me the “Holy Diver” (DIO) vinyl. I was completely blown away! It was so over the top, not in my wildest dreams could I ever have foreseen anything taken that far. Every single detail about that album proves my point perfectly, it virtually screams: Be gone, weaklings!
This is an induction reserved only for those who dare gaze unflinchingly into the burning darkness that is heavy metal.
– It’s by far the style of popular music which has the most mystical aspects to it. Some argue that psalms and the like have sacred properties, but Abrahamitic religions are the very antithesis of spirituality. There are a few obscure exceptions, though none of them include gospel.
Oscar proclaims thusly that metal without dark metaphysical qualities is in no way to be considered genuine. But most importantly, heavy metal exists in uncompromising and inspired support for the individualist – the strongest aspect shining through is that of embracing the shunned and rejected.
– To choose yourself and act in accordance to your highest will – it means turning away from the collective. This dictates breaking the spell the demiurge uses to keep us in line; fear of not fitting in. The metal musician carves a pathway for his listeners, one that leads away from the deception of the masses. Heavy metal is a most potent tool for elevation into higher spiritual frequencies.
This is the first half of this conversation, the full article will be featured in a printed publication coming later in 2017.