by Niklas Göransson
Adversarial malice from Finland – Devouring Star compose black metal soundtracks to cosmic discourse. The project’s nameless architect muses over black holes, theoretical singularity, and whether fungi are an intergalactic import.
– DEVOURING STAR began as a one-man-band. I can’t play the drums and back in those days I had neither someone who could nor any bigger plans for the project, so all percussion on the demo was programmed by me. Still to this day I compose the songs by myself; write the music, concepts, lyrics, etcetera, but then rehearse the material with my drummer before recording. These days he’s grown into an essential part of DEVOURING STAR, which is especially evident on our upcoming record.
DEVOURING STAR’s second album, “The Arteries of Heresy”, will be released by Dark Descent Records and Terratur Possessions in the fall of 2018.
– I’d describe it as a blend between “Through Lung and Heart” (2015 debut) and “Antihedron”, the EP from last year; far more intense but incorporating musical elements from both. The twelve-inch was a slower approach to DEVOURING STAR, very doom-like – “The Arteries of Heresy” retains these soundscapes but in a style somewhat reminiscent of the first album. The concept was conceived as I was writing “Angel of Null”, the last song on the EP. I envisioned mankind itself as a living symbol of sin, the whore of Babylon. The artwork was provided by David Herrerias, an artist I appreciate a lot, and depicts the whore as becoming one with Earth.
DEVOURING STAR have a rather unorthodox approach to their creative and compositional workflow, in that the album’s musical direction is shaped entirely by its concept.
– Listen to our debut and then compare it to the EP: they sound nothing alike, which is due to the differences in thematic content. I begin by formulating a basic framework and then think about what kind of music would fit the theme. Most musicians write songs about various topics and then, once they have enough material, gather them into an album – I’d rather funnel everything through a concept and mould all the material accordingly.
Since the music is heavily dependent on theoretical notions essentially conjured up from his imagination, I’m curious where this conceptual artistry draws from.
– The entire creative process, while stemming from the subconscious it has unquestionable transcendental influences. I have a number of personal practices that help me connect with this source – meditation, for example. I remember previous Bardo Methodology interviews where you talk a lot about dreams and out-of-body experiences; it’s in such instances your subconscious opens up to reveal what dwells inside, ready for you to harvest. I’ve also noticed how certain exercise routines and substances can be helpful. When first encountering psychoactive compounds, I felt as if the experiences, at their best, serve as a visualisation or catalyst for the subconscious in the same way dreams appear to work. I see a clear connection between both phenomena; dreams sometimes seem to be a collection of unprocessed information mixed with memories, resulting in weirdness.
He adds that his own spiritual and philosophical work relies heavily on this alchemy.
– Ultimately, the creative flow-state definitely comes from within one’s self but we must also consider that it’s highly influenced by external forces – in this case, matters of metaphysics. I view the subconscious as an entity that thirsts to absorb incoming stimuli but lacks the capacity for processing it all. Allowing this unprocessed energy to flow freely into something tangible such as music or art is an almost spiritual experience.
I’m assuming your moniker refers to black holes – if given the chance, would you venture into one?
– The black hole concept as in a star that consumes the universe, yes, but it also has other meanings such as a personal journey or path that engulfs the seeker. Shit, if I was given the chance to go into a black hole and survive it all – Interstellar-style? I haven’t thought about it. Sounds like a wild mushroom trip, finding yourself causing a time-dimensional paradox. Very intriguing though, maybe I should first start with DMT.
Fungus analogies in an intergalactic context are actually pretty appropriate. Panspermia is a theory supported by a range of astro-scientists, as the notion that life has spread throughout the universe by way of microbes and living organisms hitching rides on asteroids and similar space debris capable of reaching the surface of planets such as ours. Fungi procreate by spores, which happen to be veritably tailor-made for space travel, and there are theories that they first made their way here on a meteorite or something similar. Spores are incredibly hardy, living specimen have been detected at every level of the earth’s atmosphere; they are electron-dense and can survive in the space vacuum, and their outer layers are a metallic purple hue that allows them to naturally deflect ultraviolet light. As if this wasn’t enough, the shell is the hardest organic compound found in nature. Fungi are also highly unlike other edible organisms – many think of them as plants, which is not the case. They belong to a family of their own and, genetically speaking, have more in common with mammals than root crops. Fungal infections are far harder to treat than bacterial equivalents; while our bodies can easily identify and neutralise bacteria, they have an unnerving tendency to mistake fungi for parts of ourselves. This is also why one needs to take extra care with anti-fungal medication as it sometimes struggles to differentiate between intruder and human cells, given their minimal structural differences. If there’s any validity to the theory of mushrooms being from outer space, it makes it all the more interesting that the communicative qualities of the psychoactive variety are often reported to have a distinctly extra-terrestrial feel.
– I’ve also read about this subject and it’s quite intriguing. The way certain species of fungi work is truly otherworldly, like the cordyceps mushroom which even has the capability seizing control over the host’s body. Now, this certainly reminds me of sci-fi. It might not be such a wild idea, that somewhere in the universe an alien spore has been able to corrupt or take over a planet’s entire ecology. Somewhat related, I recently entertained myself by musing over how certain processes in the universe seem to repeat on all scales. For example, compare the biological structure of a person to the biosphere of a planet and you’ll start picking up many striking similarities. So, using mankind as an example and looking upon Earth as a body, it feels more and more as if we’re some sort of disease – multiplying and spreading and causing various symptoms, only to eventually be wiped out by the natural defences of its immune system. While we’d probably leave behind some surface-level trauma, the planet would keep existing.
I was told beforehand that “The Arteries of Heresy” revolves around the concepts of singularity, heresy, and sin. Heresy is pretty straightforward – a spiritual conviction with morals contrary to the dominant doctrine. Sin is equally self-explanatory, especially given its Abrahamitic context. Singularity, however, is such as broad term that we require further specification.
– Singularity to me stands as the unity of the whole universe, or multiverse, where everything exists in one and the same. And this is what leads us to heresy and sin; in a singularity-based worldview there’s no point in striving towards Heaven or fearing condemnation to Hell, since both of them exist in the same place simultaneously. Therefore, the whole Christian doctrine is completely pointless. Applying sin to a universe where the God concept can only be intepreted as something all-encompassing, the meaning changes and becomes a paradox. In the Biblical view, sin takes you further from God and closer to condemnation. But in a state of singularity every sinful feat serves as testimony to God himself – therefore being both a heretic deed and an act of divinity. And this is exactly what “The Arteries of Heresy” is all about – applying Christian faith to singularity where none of its paradigms apply. Essentially, this is mockery of their doctrines.
He says that for someone who regards the Holy Trinity, man, and Satan from this perspective – such concepts take abstract form.
– There is no Armageddon except in how the cosmic energies will come to unfold. Everything exists in the same simultaneously and potentials are different. The apocalypse will most definitely happen but only because that’s the way of the universe. One topic that’s also highly important for me is aiming towards true objectivism when considering philosophy, science and faith. Far too often we are deceived by our subjective forms as human beings. After all, the biggest example of this delusion of grandeur is how we regard ourselves so highly as being images of God himself. That’s why I consider myself an adversarialist, theologically speaking.
Adversarial against who specifically – in general, or the currently ruling paradigm?
– I base the term and its significance on Luciferian ideology and opposition to the throne of God. What I’m adverse to here is our heritage of Abrahamic dogma. Religion here in Finland has been shaped by the Christian sword, which has fundamentally changed the country’s entire spiritual essence; we lost something in that process. They are a materialist movement focused on politics and mundane benefits and this theological foundation has resulted in Westerners becoming detached from spirituality. Compare it to Buddhism or Hinduism, for example, which have far more sober views on such matters; teachings seeking self-progression rather than fear and servitude. So, when we talk about adversarialism from my perspective – it is not about desecrating graves or kicking the asses of Christians and Muslims… the resistance goes deeper than that, it’s ideological.
He mentions that while detesting the actual doctrine, not necessarily everyone who practices Christian and Jewish mysticism need be vilified.
– I do not oppose someone like Mors Al Ra of NECROS CHRISTOS, who is a theurgist Kabbalist, for he has denounced the congregations and holds an esoteric view on God. I actually witnessed NECROS CHRISTOS live in all their might at Steelfest last week and it was phenomenal. The night was chilly and I hadn’t brought anything warm to wear so I bought their hoodie – definitely the first of my garments to be adorned by a non-inverted cross. But the thing is that also traditional occultists believe in God and some of the earliest Western mystics were in fact Theosophists.
Theosophy is a philosophical system geared towards seeking a connection to divinity through metaphysical analyses of human history. In my conversation with BLOOD RED FOG a few weeks ago, we discussed the influential Finnish mystic Pekka Ervast, a theosophist who referred to the esoteric teachings of Jesus Christ as crucial in setting him out on his true occult path.
– I know a few occultists in Finland and research into all esoteric sides of religion and God is a big part of their work. However, most seem to have a more Luciferian approach – praising Lucifer as the breaker of chains. I’m no expert on these matters because I haven’t at any point practiced magick for the sake of practicing magick and have been very sceptical about the subject. Personally, I consider this universe to contain vast amounts of energy which naturally takes different forms and shape, not all of which are detectable to us using only our traditional senses.
Subjective spiritual moments and enlightenments can be had, he says, but it’s more of a process that manifests from within.
– Rather that than having to beseech Abrahamic deities or something similar in order to activate it. Also, I don’t consider humans to have much potential for affecting anything external with spiritual work or this ‘magick’. Basically, I believe the wheels of time were set in motion a long time ago and we are far more irrelevant to this process than we’d like to believe – yet remain intrinsically linked to it, like everything else. Major religious work appears to be based on finding purpose in the afterlife, whereas I think the short timespan we dwell in human form should revolve around purposes of development and learning in the here and now.