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Deathspell Omega

Deathspell Omega

by Niklas Göransson

Earthly manifestations of spiritual realities – “The Furnaces of Palingenesia” were lit one month ago to the day. After granting listeners ample time to engage from a blank slate, Deathspell Omega now break their decade-and-a-half long silence.

This interview is a one-time deviation from the standard Bardo Methodology approach, in that it was written up in classic Q/A format rather than a longform article.

Why speak out now, for the first time in fifteen years?

Because it’s 23:58 on the doomsday clock. It’s also a matter of overall internal coherence, as discussed with you before we entered the studio last year. All previous recordings demanded a presentation in absentia, any departure from that stance would’ve been treason towards their essence. “The Furnaces of Palingenesia”, on the other hand, is as concrete, material, palpable, and contemporary as possible. Hence, the modus operandi evolves and adapts. This interview can be regarded as an extension of the album and, on some select aspects, of our work over the last – well, you said it – fifteen years. It’s going to be dense so we’ll provide plenty of reading tips, should anyone in 2019 still want to read more than 140 characters, and cordially invite you to think – à la the ‘cowboy scene’ in Mulholland Drive.

“The Furnaces of Palingenesia” – your seventh studio album, was recorded and mixed using only analogue gear. Kindly fill us in on the relevancies?

The album was recorded at Kerwax Studio in Brittany with kind assistance from Christophe Chavanon and Marion of MÜTTERLEIN. We provided a description of the album which reads as follows: ‘Janus in the midst of the ninth circle of Hell; a prophetic abomination recorded on gear ante anno 1984 vomiting 2084 in the shadows of the horns.’

It might also be relevant to mention that we tried infusing “The Furnaces of Palingenesia” with that ominous sense of tragedy found in Furtwängler’s 1944 rendition of Brückner’s ninth symphony, as bombs were raining over Berlin and European civilisation as a whole was committing suicide under the impulse of those whom Nietzsche, with utmost disgust, called ‘the men of resentment’.

DEATHSPELL OMEGA’s earliest output was recorded on an eight-tracker in your rehearsal room – quite the contrast to this Kerwax Studios, judging by the photos on its website.

The equipment used during a recording session is, by definition, going to impact the result. The less distorted and more organic the production is, the more it will transpire. An eight-tracker was perfect for the early sectarian years, which were a rabid variation on the same theme, but when we attempted to record “Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice” with the same equipment, its limitations became apparent – the potential of the songs remained unfulfilled and the vision we had, mutilated… we archived that version and adapted our modus operandi accordingly. Art, or at least honest art, is a lot of trial and error. A very humbling endeavour, even with years of experience under one’s belt. Case in point, our first attempt at making “The Synarchy of Molten Bones” as glacial and violent as we deemed necessary failed, resulting in a discarded recording and new song-writing session.

Were you able to recreate the same ambience in that posh chateau studio as you did in your old black-painted rehearsal room, illuminated only by candles?

It’s rather easy to conjure up the most sinister spirit in any place, at any time. There are mental techniques that, within seconds, will plunge you into the very depths of the abyss of this world. Practitioners use it as a means of projecting strength or apparent wellbeing in the face of adversity – you can also invert the process and summon abjection.

Seeing as how the songs are interconnected – did you record them individually, track-by-track, or several in one go? It must require a near-psychotic amount of rehearsing to perform even individual segments of this material to satisfactory tightness.

We recorded most songs a few times over the course of about a day and a half, then kept the most intense performance – or the one with most feeling. Not that the versions varied much; after months of preparation, entering the studio and nailing your material ought to be close to a mere formality, especially when playing to a metronome. Towards the end of the session, everything seemed to fall into place naturally and a rather complex song like “Absolutist Regeneration” was actually only recorded once.

Would you ever consider performing any of your material live in concert?

We wrote this record with the firm intention of performing it live in the studio. It’s also the first we considered suitable for a concert as its very nature would allow for, or even benefit from, such a context. However, it appeared that some musicians – shall we say, of the second circle – were in no position to dedicate the time such an ambitious project would require, so we simply buried the idea. Whether such an opportunity may arise again regarding future works will depend on their lyrical nature and on who’s invited to partake.

 

During the course of my research I came across quite a few forum debates whether your post-“SMRC” drums were performed by a human or not, with “Mass Grave Aesthetics” being the foremost referenced example. Could you shed some light over the matter – to what extent has your output featured humanoid percussion?

The only DEATHSPELL OMEGA recording to ever have featured a drum-machine were the four songs on side A of “Infernal Battles”. Isn’t that obvious?

Moving to the conceptual side of things, we begin with the title. Before commencing actual adult discourse on the topic, we might as well seize this chance to clarify for the confused. ‘How did DEATHSPELL OMEGA not think people would clock that obviously fascist title?’, stated one of many outraged Twitter voices. Clearly, you were naively unaware that Hellenic terms for rebirth are inseparable from the advocacy of totalitarian corporatism. Considering the times we live in, weren’t you expecting some turbulence over this?

It is our utmost conviction that the artist ought to stand beyond good or evil and that the pursuit of his or her artistic goals should therefore remain untouched by considerations pertaining to critical reception, the sensitivity of a potential audience, or anything that would detract from the full accomplishment of those artistic goals. Taking into creative consideration the very fragile current zeitgeist would render any piece of art absolutely harmless and devoid of worth – and by that we affirm that most of what’s considered art these days is a singularly watered-down version of what it should be. Lack of singularity or vision may be forgivable, bending the knee in front of your contemporaries – most of whom long to become what Zarathustra, with disbelief and horror, called ‘the last man’ – entails compromise without return and is, consequently, unforgivable.

Let’s reason in historical terms. Just look at the incredible vitality of Soviet art in the revolution’s early innings; all of which ended in stale conformism as soon as the party tightened its grip on intellectual life. Similarly, one shouldn’t be surprised that the geniuses in the Entartete Kunst exhibition of 1937 were, not exclusively but mostly, those the National Socialist authorities intended to ridicule. Rather… let us leave the world of binary thinking for a minute, concentrate solely on the individual of exceptional fabric, and dream aloud. What about a bold move instead? Say, the frictional ground of a meeting between the artistic work of Albert Speer and the artistic work of Otto Dix?

Let us expand on that. DEATHSPELL OMEGA, as a collective, works in circles. The French core of the collective – which, incidentally, is the creative core and source of music and lyrics – is Bataillian by definition and therefore completely immune to mundane politics, having deconstructed them a long time ago. For the layman: Bataille first fought the far-left when it was considered a promising horizon for mankind and then, shortly thereafter, fought the rise of the far-right when these movements began gaining traction – not least because Bataille was one of the most penetrant readers of Nietzsche and, eventually, stood worlds above such petty illusions. When the many were begging to drink the sweet milk of imposture, he could see the puppet strings and smell the rot.

A minority of the collective’s contributors – shall we say, parts of the second circle – who’ve been invited to partake because of their incredible talents as musicians are involved with earthly politics, but stand on completely opposite ends of the political spectrum and are therefore irreconcilable political foes. Were it not for dialogue on the grounds of transgressive art, they’d be shooting each other. That tension is what interests us. It’s also an echo of more complex days – times when childhood friends Aragon the communist, Malraux the Gaullist and Drieu La Rochelle the fascist, while never reneging on their respective irreconcilable combats, for years lost neither the ability for sincere and profound dialogue nor their admiration for each other’s unique talents.

If you make art ‘safe’, no matter your concerns – moral, aesthetic or otherwise – you sterilise it and, in the long run, with utmost certainty, kill it. If, on the contrary, you allow and even invite conflict and chaos at the core of the matrix, you enhance the possibilities infinitely. Ironically, by taking this approach – which in many ways mimics life itself – we espouse a Nietzschean life-affirming stance whilst potential detractors to our method stand within the ranks of those slowly choking the human mind, paving the way for the aforementioned ‘last man’. If only things were as simple as good and evil!

As an artist, you ought to be obsessed by cruelty. Cruelty towards yourself, as you ruthlessly discard works which don’t live up to your standards – standards which must be devoid of any complacency and in a constant and strenuous process of self-betterment, killing the mediocre material over and over again. Cruelty in the implacable execution of your art. Cruelty in the themes you consider unworthy and those you choose to convey. Let us summon Beth Gibbons here, performing Henryk Górecki’s “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”, making the abominable mourning of a mother into a tangible reality for the whole audience – that’s the frontier. What lies beyond, or shall we say below, is of no interest to us because it cannot lead to the critical spasm, this distinctly otherworldly moment that makes art a communion with the gods.

Georges Bataille was obviously a massive influence on the thematic content of your trilogy and its appendixes. To what extent does his ideas tie in with the new era?

Bataille once stated that reading Marquis de Sade was not only a recommended but mandatory step for anyone whose purpose is to genuinely understand man. Reading Bataille is not only a recommended but mandatory step for anyone whose purpose is to genuinely understand the madness within God – the savage laughter bordering on absolute insanity which is concomitant with any absolutist religion. His thoughts shed a crucial light on the notion of transgression and how this may be a key element of self-discovery. One may also want to mention his theoretical experiments with a religion centred on the death of God. Of course, none of this would’ve been possible without his filiation with, and absolutely splendid interpretation of, Nietzsche. One can never really escape the shadow of Bataille, an intellectual and literary giant.

To my understanding, the overall lyrical theme is the alchemical process of transforming the modern human into a streamlined and malleable New Man. This furnace is perhaps the allegorical forging oven for said metamorphosis. Is that a half-way correct conclusion? This would also tie in with the title’s regenerative connotations. 

The word palingenesia has multiple meanings, the biblical one being ‘Last Judgement’. The title of the record is therefore also an allusion to the fact that every rebirth, every revolution, already contains its own Last Judgement from the very beginning. That judgement is, as anyone who’s watched the video to “Ad Arma! Ad Arma!” knows: ‘Thou shalt scar the earth with barren furrows.’ A revolution starts with the incredible recklessness and optimism of youth, with an overload of energy – almost kinetic in nature – that may shatter the old world but, eventually, if history is any guide, will also devour its own children. It goes without saying that the judgement on our current world has already been uttered; it takes a lot of Valium to not hear the cracks, everywhere.

Palingenetic movements from both the left and right have, throughout history, shared a vivid interest – an ontological necessity even – for the advent of a New Man. Emerging either from a mythological past of unadulterated purity or from a new, apparently scientific, and therefore objective paradigm. In any case, getting rid of that which contradicted the flawless logic of ideology was a close next step; life rarely fits a mould made of such hubris. Particularly enlightening were practices under Mao and the Red Khmers where the victims, prior to being disposed of, were forced to revisit their lives by rewriting their biographies, again and again, either to acknowledge faults they hadn’t perpetrated in the least or to fit the paranoid needs of ideological superstructures which thrive on, and constantly require, enemies. The only certainty being that there is, as always, an impending purge.

In May 2019, you released the video for “Ad Arma! Ad Arma!” A powerful visual expression, one which makes far more sense to me now that I’ve familiarised myself with the lyrics. The alleged Irminsul gallows has, unsurprisingly, inflamed some suspicious minds so kindly explain its significance. To what extent did you give Dehn Sora free reign over the content – was he operating under detailed instructions or more through a general framework?

An Irminsul, really? Have we ever worked with the Norse tradition? Those gallows represent the scales of justice, based on Greek mythology – the filiation goes to Thémis, to be precise, and everyone knows the secular symbol of justice. You may also have noticed how the shirt design depicting these scales is named precisely that: Justice.

Dehn Sora was given the complete lyrics to the album, a detailed guide as to which aesthetics we wanted to pursue, and was then allowed to let his otherworldly talent roam free. Barely a single correction occurred; rarely have we witnessed someone so capable of turning words into pictures, basically reading from our minds. He was a key component in the process of incarnation that’s been so vital to the essence of this record.

“The Furnaces of Palingenesia” signifies a thematic re-orientation of sorts – from the heavily theologically laden “The Synarchy of Molten Bones” to a decidedly more grounded focus. At a cursory glance, some of it could even be read as social commentary. An almost irreligious turn, one could say, although presumably laden with a higher purpose. Was this development part of some far-reaching plan or a course decided-upon in recent years? 

The attentive observer may have noticed a few scattered clues about the nature of what we were working on. The closing lyrics of “Synarchy…” are an evocation of a portion of Milton’s Paradise Lost, during which Death is set free to prey upon the Earth, and served to announce our intent of focusing on the earthly incarnations of certain spiritual realities. A t-shirt design was called The Forge – an artisanal version of the upcoming large-scale, industrial Furnaces, if you will. And there was more.

I couldn’t help but notice how your move from digital to analogue coincides with this conceptual reorientation, from the metaphysical to earthly matters.

One of our chief concerns is giving our work the most coherent incarnation possible. Every such decision depends on intricate internal factors. Recording the album outside of our usual facilities, in a place identifiable by the public – even this interview – all of this stems from the necessity of adapting our modus operandi to the earthly nature of that album’s essence, to best serve it. Recording with vintage analogue gear was another step we deemed necessary in order to escape from the abstract comfort of DAWs; a wonderful technology when your intent is to sculpt songs and sound but an inferior one if your focus is on capturing the raw energy of a glowing-red performance, in which less is more.

On “The Synarchy of Molten Bones”, most of the narrative voice is worded as ‘I’, as opposed to ‘we’ on the new album – the phrasing ‘believe me’ being a lone exception to this. Judging by their plans and designs, ‘the Order’ described in the lyrics sounds like what’s commonly referred to as the New World Order. The narration appears to speak of simultaneously fanning the flames of different radical collectivist currents, as if the same underlying interest is engineering rival factions to stir social unrest.

For instance, ‘Thou shalt not feel confused when our enemies begin to resemble us, mirroring us, mimicking us…’ And, “While we will pretend that there is but one leader, we will prepare a host of leaders, for every one of them is but one accident in a series. While the road is indeed straight, there is a multiplicity of them.’ Additionally, the multiple references to the works of Pierre Bayle could also be hinting towards this, since the philosophy behind what’s now known as the Bayle Enigma is presenting the best arguments from opposing sides.

As Erving Goffman or Howard Becker knew, there’s nothing more subversive than a good description. There can be no claims to absolute originality in our lyrics for this new album. The core structure, if not the language, is akin to a rather traditional agitating political pamphlet – in essence mirroring actual leaflets in circulation during the revolutionary undergrounds of the 20th century. That is, from the professional revolutionaries Lenin spoke of to relatively recent incarnations of similar aspirations from the 1970s, the Red or Black Brigades being an example thereof; the whole of which is twisted by our spiritual perspective and admiration for the rhetorical talent of pamphleteers such as Bloy or Céline, whose words burn no less than fire.

We cannot argue that our presentation is neutral – being a diagnosis, a mirror, and a piece of the game – but the main protagonist is, at the core of things, the reader. The intensity of the audience’s experience will depend on the energy and time they’re willing to invest in the exploration of a multi-faceted work. It was actually a sign of respect for the potential reader to present certain established events or processes, spiritual and theological, historical or psychological in such a way – eventually leaving him free to experiment and explore them based on his personality, knowledge, preferences and biases, or downright prejudices.

It acts like a mirror and some may, predictably, not like what they see – if they see anything at all – because it contributes to shatter a myth that’s so central to stability both on an individual and civilisational level: the impervious necessity to believe that what we do is just, that we are just, that good and evil in intent and deed are as distinct as night and day. That what we do is condoned either by God or whatever man-made order that’s taken precedence – whose exceptionalism is of course indisputable and acts like a secular religion. Those who missed the religious nature of the ideology of progress, nationalism, Marxism, basically any discourse based on a human collective from an essentialist point of view, up to Milton Friedman’s approach to capitalism and the potential of a good narrative to befuddle the masses, Pied Piper of Hamelin-style – haven’t been paying much attention to their surroundings. In short, one of the questions emerging at the end of the process reads as follows: how much have YOU already surrendered to the Devil? How many of the depicted mechanisms have YOU unconsciously made your own, thus how infected and corrupt are YOU? People often greatly overestimate their innocence – the louder the virtue signalling, the higher the odds – but it takes a frank and courageous character to admit to that.

The question of the narrator is indeed central. Winston Smith’s perspective is different from Maximilian Aue’s and the impact on the reader varies accordingly. Those perspectives we chose display the greatest revealing power – notably regarding processes of manipulation – akin to a chemical developer in the field of traditional photography, if you will.

While there’s a part of complete creation, it bears repeating that a lot of our narrative is based on the quintessence of actual historical writings: first and foremost, the voice of the utopians-turned-murderers and of their countless passive accomplices. Academic literature which coldly and scientifically dissected and deconstructed the mental patterns at work. The testimony of the victims, eventually, ghastly voices whose screams are today’s world whether you want to hear them or not. It’s striking, for example, to read Céline’s Bagatelles pour un massacre and then continue with Imre Kertész’s Kaddish for an Unborn Child – the way both writings echo over the ruins of a suicidal continent is haunting. Let us digress for a second and add that Imre Kertész was not only a brilliant writer but a crucial witness of the quintessence of 20th century Europe: born in Hungary, survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald only to face another form of oppression behind the Iron Curtain.

Parts of “Splinters from your Mother’s Spine” read almost like so-called conservative talking points – erosion of the nuclear family and traditional ideals, separation from cultural roots, and the state’s educational apparatus seizing control over children’s upbringing. Similar contemporary phenomena are found spread throughout the remaining tracks: feelings of overstated self-entitlement, outrage addiction, and victim culture. ‘The mere existence of conflicting opinions means that the Truth has yet to triumph’ stands as a salient observation of contemporary debate climate, where political opponents are habitually dehumanised. One could also say it highlights the similarities between religious zealots and political activists.

I also spotted what appears to various rabble-rousing rhetoric which appeals to the lowest common denominator, as perfected by various collectivist interests. As the story – if I may call it that – progresses we find even more familiar strategies such as fuelling safety concerns amongst the populace by orchestrating societal turmoil, to the severity where law-abiding citizens beg for the introduction of Orwellian police state measures. Did I lose my way in the labyrinthine narration here, or am I on the right track?

All of those are certainly pertinent observations. What may perhaps be of interest to the reader is the often surprising and counter-intuitive lineage of ideas, concepts or ethics over the centuries and through different cultures.

If we were to comment upon a mere fraction of your observations – it’s perfectly logical, by essence, that a revolutionary project would not meet its end by redefining what Hobbes called the Leviathan but, on the contrary, encompass every aspect of human life, even the structure of life as a whole. The intimate sphere… say, family or an individual’s mind, is often the ultimate retreat, last shelter. The state is the extension and even finality of every totalitarian movement – totalitarian being defined by the conjunction of any sort of structured ideology and its willingness to exert terror of some kind. The tentacles of the state will eventually find their way into that shelter, be it by apparent benevolence or in the name of a greater good. Karin Boye’s Kallocain is certainly as relevant today as it was in 1940, especially given the astounding capacities – notably of predictive nature – of recent surveillance technology by Palantir Technologies, or their Chinese counterparts. Let us also mention Shoshana Zuboff‘s theses on surveillance capitalism, something for interested parties to explore.

Ironically enough, people surrender their privacy voluntarily through social media as a means to exist socially or professionally. One could even make a point, alongside Roland Barthes who stated that fascism is not to hinder people from speaking but to force people to speak, that social media and related technology and how it extracts data – which is even more informative than language – from its oftentimes unwitting users is the quintessence of fascism. By engaging with that game, people have given renewed energy and a new battleground to what Hobbes called the war of all against all; the existence of the Leviathan is, by far, no longer sufficient to bring back peace. You end up with an official state of peace and an actual situation which mimics civil war underneath, waged online. Sooner or later with repercussions in the physical plane, as the digital world is devoid of institutions capable of making coexistence or de-escalation possible; the sole horizon being what Clausewitz called ‘a rise to the extremes’. Especially when militant factions use these new structural fragilities and their acute knowledge of the human psyche to enhance conflict. In a sense, we find it most revealing to scrutinise how these meta-structures diverge from recent utopias based on mésotès, such as Olivetti’s theoretical vision for the Italian city of Ivrea.

Researching “1523” sent me down quite the historical rabbit hole, reading about how what started in 1523 with Thomas Müntzer’s League of the Elect, in a mere decade, managed to touch the fate of so many people – and in such dramatic fashion – climaxing with the city of Münster being turned into New Jerusalem at the hands of Anabaptists. The ruling Council of 12 Elders picked up the pace even further by managing to transform rigid messianic puritanism into a regime of compulsory polygamic promiscuity within the space of only a few months. Does the lyric directly refer to these events or were the terms borrowed for metaphorical purposes?

Thomas Müntzer is interesting on two accounts. First, from a theological perspective, he was a central character during times of great doctrinal turmoil within Christianity, most notably with the rise of Luther. Secondly, he was also a key-part of the communist narrative – Friedrich Engels presented him as one of the ideology’s early revolutionary forerunners. Thus, Müntzer was a household name in the propaganda of the former DDR, while remaining largely unknown to BRD citizens with no particular penchant for history.

We intend to let the interested party explore the vertiginous ramifications, some of which you alluded to, but suffice to say that the seeds planted by Müntzer’s words and actions were manifold and predictive in nature.

The song “Neither Meaning nor Justice” ends with a modified quote from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s 1762 treatise Emile, or On Education: ‘Everything is degenerate as it leaves the hands of the Author of nature; everything becomes good in the hands of Man.’ Based on my understanding of the original version, your inverted perspective states that whilst God creates all things wretched, they become pure in human hands?

The idea of God had been retreating from public life for a while, and at an accelerated pace since the 1755 earthquake of Lisbon which, in many ways, marks the beginning of modernity – in the sense of a conscious separation of natural and moral evils. Rousseau, despite his doubts and optimistic assessment on the nature of man, paved the way for the Western anthropocentric worldview that’s still dominant to this day. Herein, though, lies the devilry. Homo sapiens is a particularly virulent species. Paleoanthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin’s most recent work on early hominids leads to the hypothesis that the early innings of the sixth mass-extinction of species, including Homo Luzonensis or Denisova, dates back to the very dawn of Homo sapiens’ emergence and rise to pre-eminence. Things have been accelerating at a frantic pace ever since, especially following the turning point which was industrialisation.

Lucid in some regards – Saint-Simon, Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer, Auguste Comte all knew that there had to be a derivative to man’s innate aggressive impulses and promoted industry as a means of channelling it and transforming this sinister energy into material progress for the collective. Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, author of La Marseillaise, wrote a chant to the glory of industry and productivism. Instead of conquering other people or other nations, man ought to conquer nature – to subjugate the natural world under his yoke. These murderous impulses were neither amended nor negated, simply directed at another target. However, as Spinoza wrote, Deus sive Natura (God or nature). Twice, man committed the highest of crimes: by waging an absolutist war against nature and, therefore, against life itself. And, secondly, by severing the bond to nature and forging an anthropocentric worldview that places man above everything else and, therefore, can be used to justify just about anything – no matter how short-sighted or ill-advised – so long as it appears to serve mankind’s interests. Extracting man from the natural order, by intent if not in effect, was a sign of hubris which remains literally without equivalent and whose resulting devastations will know no equivalent either. Listen carefully enough and you’ll hear demonic snigger.

Within years, an astute observer would’ve noticed what Günter Anders later called the ‘promethean gap’ between, on the one hand, ever-increasing technological prowess and, on the other hand, the astounding lack of moral progress of the species – feelings Anders so aptly named ‘promethean shame’. In parallel, as industry rapidly became an extension of mankind’s deadliest impulses directed toward his contemporaries, ideologies giving man the role of the Demiurge flourished and, predictably, ended in horrors on a scale which breaches the confines of imagination.

While it may appear counterintuitive at first glance, both Heidegger and Claude Lévi-Strauss argued that the events of the 20th century were predictable results, the logical continuation – the completion even – of humanism: Homo homini Deus est (‘The human being is a god to humanity’). Rousseau’s claim was all too soon shattered by the excesses of the French Revolution but, given how man’s grand enterprise is first and foremost a justification of himself, to proclaim and prove that he and his deeds are just, there’s no shortage of ideologues to herald that this time will be different and that – if there’s no other choice but to choose between different forms of violence – at least revolutionary violence may contain the seeds of hope.

However, despite all its complexities, man functions according to some very basic principles, one of which is arguably the mimetic desire as theorised by René Girard. Industrial capitalism which, in effect, constitutes the backbone of the contemporary world thrives on that mimetic desire. The recent omnipresence of social media has acted as an incredible force of acceleration for that never-ending cycle of frustration-consumption-frustration. As, a side-note, said platforms are also an extraordinary tool for the Great Solvent to work his magic and enhance polarisation to the point of imbecility, to silence the complexity of thought and let bare emotions reign under simplistic banners. Girard also pointed to the scapegoat mechanism – the primeval crime, if you will – which unites groups of humans for brief moments in time, until the maturation of the next cycle of violence is complete and new crimes becomes necessary for the collective exorcism, as a new bond. For so long as man’s goal is to hasten the advent of Paradise on Earth, to immanentize the Eschaton from a strictly materialistic perspective of comfort and wealth, disaster is all but certain. Voegelin argues that there’s more than Hegel’s responsibility at stake, that the whole precept of man-centred modernity is to blame. This, Niklas, in a nutshell, is the sense of the warped Rousseau quote.

 

Another recent development is that whereas some lyrical phrases are sung, most are only found in the booklet. What prompted this?

In the beginning was the Word. Our creative process always starts with the overall concept and it’s narrative, which is depicted through words – that language is then deciphered into a musical language. All are equally important, but not abiding by this order would yield the intolerable outcome of incoherence. When you lose the capability of describing the world, madness lies within reach.

The necessity of that coherence became obvious many years ago, whilst reading Paul Celan: how do you structure poetry – which, after all, is music – to truthfully reflect the world that yielded Auschwitz, the Gulags, Mao’s re-education camps and soon S-21? A world that’s currently pregnant with monstrosities poised to overshadow those of the past? And, in turn, what kind of harmonies or dynamics or plain riffs can truthfully reflect these words? We always found it highly revealing that the most criminal human regimes insisted on musical standards based on tonality, for example, a thin veil if there ever was one.

Barely a word from “Year ∞” made it to music – why is that?

“Year ∞” was supposed to be the album’s eleventh track but a mundane yet crucial point hindered its completion: as any audiophile knows, cram too much music on a vinyl record and the sound will eventually suffer no matter the quality of the cut. However, the lyrics, being an integral part of the whole, remained.

Your first two albums were initially only released on highly limited vinyl. It bears mentioning here that this was before the underground turned digital and just about anything obscure became available for streaming. In my understanding, this was a measure undertaken to keep non-devotees at bay? One would have to assume there to have been a policy shift around 2003, when both albums were issued on CD. Then, of course, followed one year later by the palingenesis of DEATHSPELL OMEGA with the ground-breaking “Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice”. Tell me about the thought process leading up to this complete attitude reversal?

Those limited print runs some twenty years ago came from the elitist yet naive assessment of there being perhaps two hundred like-minded individuals in the entire world – a bunch of whom we corresponded with – and that our works were best-suited shared only with them. It soon appeared that greed is, as we should have known, ever present. Ending speculation by printing more was mere pragmatism and a quick lesson in underground ethics or, shall we say, a reminder of human nature. At the core of it, worrying about limitations is a distraction from the actual essence of the work and, as such, absolutely irrelevant. Elitism lies solely within the soul and execution of art; this can be tainted by no one and nothing.

How much of the composition process takes place in a so-called flow-state? This is especially interesting considering the intellectual – what I presume people refer to as mathematical – approach to riffs, drum patterns, and general song structures. Can such music be compiled without conscious influence?

The truth is that there’s a lot of old-fashioned, hard work behind all we do and such moments of grace – when music or lyrics seem to be channelled almost magically – are most likely just the result of a rumination that lasted for days, sometimes months, on a subconscious level. It’s not as if we get any rest, Niklas, all of this is a calling and therefore well beyond obsession. It’s the translation of both a Weltanschauung and the meticulous choice of a set of tools.

For example – microtonal works, highly unusual music by traditional Western standards, struck us for their ability at conveying a sense of impending malaise. Neue Musik also forged the understanding that one does not necessarily have to reason in terms of traditional melodies, riffs, or scales but that music can be the expression of pure abstract emotion; that the moment you turn organic instruments into animals screaming to the death, as Penderecki did with the “Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima”, you’ve reached a certain musical language that yields unadulterated truth. Add to that the absolute passion we have for a lot of radical music that emerged since the late 1960s – among which extreme metal and specifically black metal is, from the most primitive to the most ambitious, by essence a revolutionary and limitless genre – and you end up with a wide set of tools available during the song-writing process. Once the conceptual narrative is at our disposal, there are strong images and concepts we must convey. Here, our worldview plays a role in that we feel there’s a sense of responsibility in what we do. Let us refer to Paul Celan again for illustrative purposes: convoluted rhythms or numerical patterns, certain chord patterns, or either the use or rejection of melody are just a naturally occurring language as a means of expression for individuals without formal musical training such as ourselves. The basics for our songs are always written on an unplugged Gibson guitar, so as to hide behind neither distortion nor effects. Just the naked truth of an organic instrument. One might add that our whole equipment is actually pretty close to a typical 1970s hard-rock band. What you then hear and read is the projection of a vision.

While black metal is our beloved roots, the cement, and how we define our music, we certainly acknowledge every artist with the capability and, sometimes, courage to be a beacon of light in an ocean of conformity – be it only for a few years. We sometimes like to think there’s a dialogue within what we do, raging between select works by John Coltrane, BLACK SABBATH, Diamanda Galás, KING CRIMSON, JUDAS PRIEST, early DEAD CAN DANCE, CELTIC FROST, early KREATOR, NAPALM DEATH, early CARCASS – that bloody “Peel Sessions”MAGMA, YACØPSÆ, early IMMOLATION, OXBOW, AMEBIX, Scelsi, early AUTOPSY, GENOCIDE ORGAN, BRIGHTER DEATH NOW and IN SLAUGHTER NATIVES, PORTISHEAD, Allan Holdsworth and early Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Scott Walker, Wyschnegradsky, Penderecki and Ligeti, JOY DIVISION… and there’d be so many more. Namedropping all these artists in one breath, as if this was an old fanzine interview from 1993, was a rare pleasure!

Most of those I knew who were wholeheartedly invested in satanic adulation around “SMRC” have evolved in various different directions as life goes on. The term ‘Devil worship’ was one you used in the 2004 Ajna Offensive interview; is it still applicable today? To what extent is Satan part of your life, and how has your view on and relationship with this metaphysical entity evolved since – if at all?

The black metal scene at that time and, in our circles, was… well, you were there Niklas and could testify to that – it was radical in opposition to what we perceived as the slow treason of second-wave bands becoming tamed and normal music. Violent as the ground of confrontation for radicalised alpha males, fanatic in its limitless desire for the absolute. It was boiling over with a certain youthful recklessness that is, on the one hand, admirable because it allows one to shoot for the stars, as our generation certainly did, by dragging black metal further down the abyss in both musical and conceptual terms. On the other hand, it was appalling because there was at times – and rather predictably so – far more arrogance, complete ignorance even, than substance or wisdom. It was indeed a permanent contest in misanthropy and, as any historian by profession knows, anyone trying to understand the nature of those formative years two decades ago would be well advised to keep this fanatically nihilistic context in mind. It was like taking a bath in lava; you’d either burn and run or be reborn, cleansed of all scoria, eventually knowing your true self. You could finally build on that which you decided was worthy and reject the rest with utmost confidence.

It takes time and sometimes multiple changes in personnel to right the course and let an idea blossom to attain full potential. When we started the decade-long work on what was to become the trilogy, we knew that our motto would henceforth be Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate (Abandon all hope, ye who enter here). Our role – and let us not forget that it sometimes feels like a burden indeed – would, like Virgil in Dante’s Divine Comedy, be to present the curious and intrepid mind with an exploration of the radix malorum; a journey through the nine circles of Hell and to transmit, if you will, what we believe to be elements of gnosis that, from a certain perspective, shed light and understanding on our common reality. This was of course primarily an act of worship because, at the bottom of it, it’s a calling and that is indeed crucial. Facing something as unknowable and overwhelming as it is abominable – you wouldn’t try to negotiate with a tsunami, now would you?

You do not unlearn to perceive the world in a certain way, especially not when everything points towards the fact that we may well have been, ironically, optimists in our very early assessments. Those were the unstructured and rabid acknowledgments of the incredible force – the herculean Todestrieb (death drive) that’s part of our species – of the very thin layer separating the most refined civilisation from absolute barbarism, for man remains man.

Rather than the acts themselves, which are but a dull and uninspiring first-level reading of events, it’s their revealing power that’s of immense relevance. Hannah Arendt demonstrated during the 1950s that the death camp is the finality of all totalitarian regimes – which China, Cambodia, and others would soon corroborate to various degrees. It’s the death camp because the actual purpose of these regimes is the acknowledgment – no matter their apparent differences and official ideology – that the natural human being is superfluous. It’s too easy and comforting to reject them to the confines of history, as monstrosities even, as if they were not the expression of something deeply ingrained in the entire species. Here’s the leap: what is the implicit statement of transhumanism? What are the Silicon Valley billionaires saying with their funding of Mars exploration instead of channelling these funds towards the preservation of a habitable planet? That nine billion humans are superfluous and that the horizon, in time, is a global death camp. Anything that unveils these tectonic forces, that drive, be it historical events through the centuries or metaphysical speculation, anything laying bare these structures is a worthy consideration because it’s part of an Apocalypse; in other words, a revelation. “The Furnaces of Palingenesia” is mostly that, a revelation.

One ought to distinguish between that which is the Divine – which on one hand is and shall remain, by definition, unknowable to man – and how this principle manifests. The means, if you will. At the core of it, discussions regarding the existence or non-existence of divinity are about as irrelevant as Byzantine debates on the gender of angels. What matters is the conduit, man, and his biotope: this planet. At the very end of a superfluous process of vulgarisation, Satan is as undoubtedly real as man makes Him; an egregore, if you will, and its denomination is perfectly irrelevant so long as – after peeling layers and layers of dissimulation – the Accuser and the Adversary stare you in the eyes. The sceptic may want to keep in mind that it took the Red Khmers only a few years to give birth to an egregore, an entity called the Angkar, which possessed, at least in appearance, most traits of what we Westerners could call divinity. People lived and a fourth of all Cambodians died under the rule of the party’s spiritual emanation – a golden calf, perhaps, though no doubt deadly and real enough, should you ask the victims.

 

Bearing the collective’s name and past emanations in mind, do you still seek to detonate this world and put an end to all that we are?

No, we would not detonate the world because that’s not our role – rest assured there’s enough candidates for that, often by indirect yet very efficient means. Our role is – as stated previously – to document, lay bare, reflect, witness, and bow the head in awe; to build constellations for the intrepid to explore, the whole of which demands to be done with utmost artistic coherence, sincerity, and devotion. There’s a Chinese curse that says ‘may you live in interesting times’ and, at 23:58, we definitely are. Nukes would be a disappointing finale.

Judging from your lyrical work, you seem willing to kneel in reverence and awe before forces of divinity – but what of the natural world? Do you ever humble yourself before the elements of nature? Comparing the organic fallibility of your flesh to the stony eternity of a mountain, as it were.

Now this has some serious appeal, doesn’t it? Mountaineering is one of the few activities during which inner peace is almost within reach. It demands both physical and mental prowess – especially the latter, actually, a level of focus that’s almost meditative in nature. It is one of the most humbling experiences there is and possibly the best moral and mental compass. The history of mountaineering is full of truly singular men and women, very promethean in a sense and extremely inspirational.

Researching this interview, I have ploughed through an ungodly amount of online analyses of your lyrics and aesthetics. I initially dreaded this part of my preparations – fearing myself having to wade through torrents of pretentious twaddle – but was surprised to find many of them to be of seriously impressive quality. Leaps and bounds over what I was expecting, quite frankly.

People are analysing, cross-referencing, and comparing to other writers, as well as – perhaps more importantly – looking up source material. This must be a greatly satisfying accomplishment in these modern days of depleted attention spans? But, more importantly, I’m also suspecting this might even be part of the purpose? Meaning, to provide gateways into learning for followers dedicated enough to dig deeper beyond the vinyl booklet.

During our formative years, we searched to no avail for the equivalent of a relevant Index Librorum Prohibitorum. You can consider our work since “Si Monumentum…” as our Summa Diabolica, based on the idea behind Bataille’s Somme athéologique, which itself was an answer to Thomas AquinasSumma Theologica. A portion of that work has now been done; the corpus exists, albeit in cryptic fashion. It’s the constellations alluded to earlier, one sentence referring to a certain writing which, in turn, depending on the context may lead to another. Some quotes are unmistakable, others are deconstructed precisely to cause apparent contradictions or unintended consequences. Like vandals rummaging through the history of ideas, slowly sketching the contours of the Devil…

While a rather distant thought, our glances firmly stuck below in internal logic, it’s come to our attention over the years that some people lived up to parts of the hidden challenges – these clues we scattered all throughout our work. The first person to send us a thorough exploration of “Si Monumentum…” was probably Nasko of TEITANBLOOD, back in the day. The latest communication of a similar nature came from a student in philosophy with whom we had no prior connection.

See, we firmly believe in the motto of ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’. In other words, almost every great piece of art in history contains multiple worlds or interactions and the acknowledgment of the people who came before, those worthy of every praise and whose works scarred the world forevermore. It’s everything but the navel-gazing, frivolous narcissism our contemporaries revel in, because it demands that you humble yourself and learn and learn evermore. It is certainly not a matter of bland imitation but of paying your dues to people and works of exceptional fabric within the context of a work of singular nature which, unmistakenly, is your own. All the while paving the way for whatever or whoever may possibly come next. Within a line of work that primarily yields desolation, these transmissions of moments of grace are perhaps the only fully positive aspect – those rare moments during which some individuals rise to the firmament for a brief instant and the banal recedes in the face of a triumphant singularity.

A sequel to this interview – featuring questions courtesy of Roy Kristensen from Imhotep, among others – will be published at a later point in 2019.

  • Festín Sagital

    Nice to read alt-right is not supported here, but on some point tolerate close mind fundamentalism is delicate, how this tolerance is not a partial support of ideologic fanatism, wich at the end is “weak” morality? (In nietzschean words)

    • Pablo

      Please go listen Liturgy…

      • Festín Sagital

        I was thinking, if the French circle of DO, have conflict with this second circle that support opposite mundane politics… why don’t talk about those conflicts? Also that idea that Bataille was some kind of higher philosophy that is above left and right is wrong: there is a text called “what I understand about soberanía?” Where he explicit his support for a anarcocomunism, the rationality of communism versus the sacred transgressive freedom in all that’s sacred (art, parties, a orgies, etc)

        • Patrick Bertlein

          I can’t find that article or even a reference to it anywhere. But I don’t think a support for any form of anarchy or communism in some degree necessary means he would be considered a Leftist. Ideas are contradictory, that seems to me to be a central part of his view and the Hegellian influence.

        • VV

          Worms can’t “tninking”. That is out of their value. Go to wave some cunt red commieflag, shithbreed.

      • VV

        please go to GULAG

    • Patrick Bertlein

      Not really understanding this.

      It seems to me there whole thing is question all ideologies.

    • VV

      “alt-right or any totalitarian idealism is not supported here”
      exclusively by you, fucking comrade of stalin

  • Festín Sagital

    Also, Bataille was in a clear opossition to individualism, he say that capitalism is fear, the need of security in accumulation of power is based on fear. Also Bataille express satanism is just an inverted moral, as some aspects of Nietzsche too. This points are in contradiction here…

  • Marc Rikmenspoel

    Congratulations on getting this interview. I’m sure your past work, full of intellectually stimulating ideas, is what made them willing to email.with you. Hardly anyone else today would be able to indulge their penchant for obscure references, and actually understand those references. This interview will take a long time for me to properly digest, and that’s a good thing!

  • Man this is a leagues better interview than the last DsO interview I read. Relatively unpretentious and very in-depth about the themes.

    I appreciate the little references to totalitarian regimes (the Chink in me caught that Mao quote in “Ad Arma!”).

    • remote_viewer

      why would you demean yourself like that in praise of some overly verbose wank from a band whose singer is a pedophile? this entire interview is words upon words insisting their detachment from regular human life is somehow not entirely banal; that they’re “standing on the shoulders of giants.” every bit as pretentious and absurd as liturgy or whatever. provocative, lofty nonsense from edgelords who even use social media dipshit phrases like “virtue signalling.” when i was younger i felt this band was something deep, but what i’m seeing here is tiresome bullshit. (don’t worry, i know the soft-brained metal nerds have already girded their loins for dismissal and deflection of all dissent from “twitter crybabies.”)

      • Pablo

        This “Aspa is a paedophile” is really boring idiocy. Please make some research, read some of his interviews, find something about transgressive art, something about old Throbbing Gristle, Whitehouse and the stuff he is inspired by. Or better, stay clueless and whine in Roadburners FB group etc.

        • Festín Sagital

          Please Don t try to equal Nicole 12 and Grunt to Whitehouse and Throbbing Gristle, William Bennett and Genesis P are far more deep and inteligent people than the alt right social darwiminist, of Aspa. And honestly DO would a lot better without that idiot on board, even his voice is not as good as the music… I can sing better than Aspa. The problem here is a missunderstood, a superfual interpretation of Bataille concepto of transgression.

          • Patrick Bertlein

            How? You made a bold statement, so explain it.

      • I don’t think Aspa is a pedo; it’s just part of power electronic aesthetics. I do think he’s a shithead but that doesn’t stop me from liking DsO.

        • VV

          According to your userpic and usernme you are a pedo and a soyboy and a freaking millenial. How freak we have to deal with that crap bag?

          • I have stared at your comment for five long minutes, but I still can’t decipher its writing. You must be one of those intelligent hipster types who come up with constructed languages.

          • VV

            Trace your body cunt, soyboy. Best wishes with that.

          • I don’t speak Google Translate my dude.

          • VV

            Maybe I am not a good english speaker (I am not, because fuck you) my dude. But you are hippie cunt.

      • Patrick Bertlein

        I am not in complete disagreement with you, but there is tremendous value in what they say about seeing the strings that are pulling everybody and I do not think in the slightest they concern themselves with being “edgelords”, and your use of such language shows you to be on the same level that simplifies this other “side” and calls them “twitter crybabies”; essentially you are two sides of the same coin and I doubt many of you commenting truly grasp the intellectual understandings of life revealed within there words. Are you really that sure of yourself that perhaps you simply lack the depth and intellect to grasp these ideas?

        Not grasping for some moral rung here either, I’m the one disagreeing with you on a comment section it’s all ridiculous.

        • remote_viewer

          having read bataille and observed the language used in this interview (“virtue signalling,” really? which side of the coin is that, do you think?) i am sure that i have no need to prove myself worthy of advancing a critique of these poseurs-extraordinaire. sure, we’re all bound by chains of some sort, but claiming to see them doesn’t free you of them. there’s nothing here any more intellectual than the bullshit peusdo-intellectualism ben shapiro and those types drown the world in on the daily.

          • Patrick Bertlein

            I think it is beyond ridiculous to not recognize how intelligent this person is, even if you disagree with them. Are you responding to the interviewer using the term virtue signalling? I am unclear of what you are even trying to say.

            Childish name calling that you used is no different than when people with obvious right winging slants call everyone snowflakes or cucks. It is programmed narration which the masses follow. That is not to say at times someone is being a snowflake, or a “neckbeard” for that matter, but in general when people use these terms it shows a lack of maturity and free thought.

            You have no need to do anything, post, not post, stick a finger in your bum, scream at the world; it matters not. But, you chose to make some pretty ridiculous claims here and outright deny any intellectual fortitude with the person in question, and all you have been able to back it up with is “twitter crybabies”. So, if you choose you can add something that has integrity and thought behind it, or continue to make yourself look foolish to most reading your comment. Just like I can continue choosing to respond if I feel compelled to do so, or not. Either way, I appreciate an interview where I can learn from and be exposed to more ideas and things of historical value. I am sure there is an article somewhere your comrades have written that you can go comment on if you have nothing to add here.

          • remote_viewer

            use ctrl+f. it was not the interviewer who used the term “virtue signaling.”

            then try again.

          • Patrick Bertlein

            You’re boring.

          • Patrick Bertlein

            I was asking where you got the virtue signaling thing from in the context of this conversation. Are you an adult? It was pretty clear what I meant.

            Thanks for proving you simply are incapable of understanding basic things, try again.

      • Alex93

        Why do some white dudes feel like they should dictate how other races feel about themselves? No need to jack yourself off because you told an asian guy not to demean themselves.

        • remote_viewer

          i didn’t tell him anything. it was a question.

  • Maco Gabriel

    This is a big achievement for the website, congrats for the great interview. Now let’s just wait for the twitter crybabies throwing a tantrum.

    • Patrick Bertlein

      Sadness Will Prevail is one of my all time favorite albums, the only one I ever bought the day it came out, cool to see that.

      I have so much more research to do after reading this, coincidentally I’ve been reading a ton of Bataille lately, the Impossibles in particular has really struck a chord for me.

      While I agree with the twitter “crybabies” comment, I may be in the minority here where I agree that we should be careful to encourage any ideology which leads directly to violence, but I also always tend to play the devils advocate no matter what. The response though to the complaints about the title are hilarious, i was unsure if the Greek comment was the interviewer being sarcastic or truly just someone being so dumb yet pretentiously trying to sound intelligent that what they said was pure nonsense.

  • Aurora

    Excellent reading.
    The black stork is about to lay the golden egg of transcendence!

  • Morgan

    DsO often speak of the music and philosophy that guides their work but they haven’t really ever discussed the literary fiction or poetry that they are fans of or was instrumental in their inspiraitons/influences. If you could ask them in part two what novels or poems they find particularly enlightening, that would be swell.

    • Τσαμάσι ΤόΓιο

      They say “ it’s 23:58 on the doomsday clock“.
      I don’t to sound naive and spoil the philosophical atmosphere, but there’s a nice DC comic by that title, running this year.

      —————————————————————
      Fantastic Interview!
      DsΩ always provide 15year-food-for-thought-and research!

      • Morgan

        Do you mean the Watchmen sequel? A shame it is not being headed by the great Alan Moore himself

      • Agiel

        23:58 seems to be a reference to the current “doomsday clock” time laid out by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (“2 Minutes to Midnight”),

    • Patrick Bertlein

      Bataille. It’s like a massive part of the interview, they bring him up three times at least. Did you read it?

      • Morgan

        ……….Obviously I’m talking about literary examples that aren’t constantly brought up in either interviews or album lyrics. Isn’t that obvious? Surely it is fair to assume that Bataille is not their only literary inspiration, just as John Coltrane is not their only musical influence.

        • Patrick Bertlein

          No it’s not obvious read your post again. “They haven’t really ever” does not acknowledge the mention of literary figures at all.

          • Morgan

            Here’s why it’s obvious: Bataille is more of a philosophical figure than a literary one, even when he is discussed they typically cite his essays rather than his short stories or novellas. Your assumption from earlier that I didn’t read this interview (or the last one, or any of their lyrics) makes a lot less sense than simply using context and/or deduction to realize that when someone is asking for literary recommendations, they are obviously not asking for a recap of what the band has been recommending for the past 15 years. I mean, the fact that even you in your comment can only bring up Bataille is proof that they don’t really ever discuss literature very much.

          • Patrick Bertlein

            I seriously think you are grasping for straws here. No, it was not obvious. You believed your communication was easy to understand, but it was not. It was not obvious to most that they mentioned Bataille before, as they have only done I believe two interviews. It is not obvious because I doubt even a quarter of the people who enjoy this band know or much less read Bataille (I, by the way, do). It was also not proof, as there are many names I am not familiar with, so I would need to look that up, but Rosseau is also an obvious one. His Meditations of a Solitary Walker by the way is one of the best reads I have ever come across…but that is besides the point.

            I too would love to hear more suggestions of who to read, and I am sure that as I can this again and again more names will pop up, yes many of them literary figures. I also include philosophers with literary writers, so to be more clear, which you really need to work on instead of being so defensive about your miss steps (we all have them), what you are asking for in particular is FICTION, is that correct?

            Literary, by the way, does not mean fiction per se, it can be any body of writing that is imaginative or creative. Would you disagree Thus Spake Zarathustra would be a literary work? I doubt that, not in any context. So since you so desperately are seeking invalidation (as well as validation) Arendt is but one name they mentioned. No, he has no works of fiction.

            Better luck next time!

          • Morgan

            Philosophy is, by definition, not literature. And my first comment clearly states “literary fiction” and “novels”. The only reason I didn’t mention some afterthought like “excluding Bataille” was because that is obvious to anyone who has actually been following the band. It’s useless to say that most fans don’t even know of Bataille as that is highly debateable, and the type of fans who would care enough to read their interviews probably do know of the Bataillean influences, so it was a moot point.

          • Patrick Bertlein

            The only thing obvious is your pathetic attempt at trying to argue complete nonsense, go call your parents for the validation you seek so desperately of your irrelevant existence.

          • Morgan

            Lol. Nothing like low-tier ad hominems to admit defeat. When you’re capable of rationalizing like an adult, and stop living in some magical fairy tale land where the rules of context and deduction don’t exist, hmu.

  • Awesome.

  • Festín Sagital

    Is “transgression” play with a singer who speech exactly what is happening on a imperialistic dimension? individualism and discrimination is Trump, Putin, Bolsonaro, that’s not transgressive, that’s plain support of the empire, of the more massive mainstream of human politics. Here is a superfual why to understand Bataille proposition of “transgression”. I think even a Christian es more rebel than a social darwiminist individualist as Aspa

    • vertiginousvoid

      Did you miss the part where they declared the “minority members” to be their “irreconcilable political foes”? You probably also missed the declaration, which is incredibly Bataille, where they state: “If only things were as simple as good amd evil!”
      Or had you already made up your mind and came to talk shit about a “member”, that has nothing to do with the band other than vocals, to prove you’re somehow of a higher ground than those they include in their collective? I’m pretty sure they don’t give a single fuck about your insight.

      • Patrick Bertlein

        You’re on the right path my friend, but way too caught up emotionally in this base nonsense.

        That idea of having those that are political foes but also part of ones inner circle is a big part of my internal dialog lately. i can understand how some can choose to not allow anyone close that fits into that absurd either/or category, but that is most people if not all by some standards. I think it becomes inevitable to accept these differences unless one is willing to drastically limit the amount of social correspondences one has in this world. I don’t “blame” anyone for the choices they make in this regards, only in how they point fingers at others for it…

        • vertiginousvoid

          To be frank, it is disgusting to watch DsO be dragged into the NSBM scene because of ideas, espoused by Shaxul, they abandoned long ago and have not held for over fifteen years if not longer. DsO became an anonymous entity to do away with these prior, petty arguments, and the recognition of them as individuals, so others would focus on their Art, theosophy, and not the members involved in its creation. How utterly human of their detractors to relegate their project to people rather than the discourse; one which attributes aspects of politics to their arguments but does not embrace a singular political ideology nor one embracing NS. The current zeitgiest abandons understanding and argument in favor of outrage. Words once spoken that no longer hold any value become a curse on those who uttered them; an innane argument against the ability for others to progress in the name of progress. This is something I have never been able to abide. How does one seek change while declaring one does not change? A foolish notion pandering to “thought-crime” as an absolute representation of a person even if they rescind their original thoughts. I’m not sure why you would find my, admittedly harsh, response to be of a base, emotional essence when it was developed by the intolerance of the tolerant. I would rather be angry than feel nothing in response.

    • Morgan

      You’ve misread the interview. DsO said that it is the TENSION between different political views that they find conducive to transgressive art, not the straightforward advocacy of any one given political side of the table.

      • Patrick Bertlein

        This is correct.

    • Patrick Bertlein

      I think they made it pretty clear that these ideas of transgressions are based on a New Man and a foolish attempt at discarding the old regardless of what will be left in the ashes. It is not something to glorify in the sense of “like” or “unlike” but to recognize for the splendor it is. Again, I do not think you understood the words, only your reaction to the words.

  • Scorching Chaos

    Fantastic interview, based on my first read. I will need to read a few times over to fully digest it due to the variety of topics that have been discussed, even if the themes may be related.
    Great job, and well done, on arranging an interview with an elusive band (or collective) that hasn’t actively sought publicity to increase sales, but rather lets the (very high) quality of their music do the talking.
    The Furnaces of Palingenesia is an excellent album and I think quite a major change in the lyrical theme from previous releases, so the silence has been broken in a timely manner.

    • Patrick Bertlein

      I doubt almost anyone could read this interview once, or even five times, and not only start to understand it all but to become familiar with all the references.

      • Scorching Chaos

        That’s true. The well-written questions of this interview were answered with a great deal of thought and depth. The references were many, and spanned a wide range of human endeavour.
        I also thought that the previous interview with DsO in 2004, with Ajna Offensive, was a terrific read. It showed how times have moved on since then, as the majority of the questions and answers to that interview revolved around philosophy, theology and their earlier releases, and there were no references (to my knowledge) concerning the social and political environment of that time.
        This interview contained references to the power and influence of big technology firms, which has grown immeasurably since 2004 and does influence the contemporary social and political environment. As we have seen recently with regard to the work of Project Veritas, this influence can potentially be used subversively, against the general democratic consensus.
        It will take many reads of this interview to understand everything that has been covered, but that’s great; it’s a challenging read, and its content isn’t for the “tl;dr” type instant gratification mentality. Many references to research and books to read as a result of this interview.

        • Patrick Bertlein

          This is the part that I wish people would get; these words and ideas are not meant for everyone. That does not make the person as a whole “better”, it makes there capacity to understand certain things “elite”, and there is nothing wrong with that. We are fools to not recognize this in society and allow doctors to be doctors, mechanics to be mechanics (I would trade half my “knowledge” of the esoteric to be able to fix a car with my own two hands), and allow intellectuals to be intellectuals. I believe this is the flame they speak of when they discuss such matters as elitism.

          • Scorching Chaos

            That’s interesting. There is of course definitive proof of the importance of quality practical skills to ensure that our societies are able to function effectively. Having these skills increases a person’s independence.
            On to matters that are of a theoretical or esoteric nature, particularly of that which is theoretical, concepts discovered through these studies can be the drivers for future advancements and innovations.
            I feel that elitism is often derived from the sacrifice of everyday pursuits in order to be obtain a more deeper, precise and thorough understanding of their topic(s) of interest. This requires hard work, passing through perhaps mental and physical barriers of pain, and determination when the chips are down. This often results in greater insights and perhaps a more informed view of their reality than what the average person is capable of perceiving in theirs. It’s evident that the individuals who set the musical and philosophical direction of Deathspell Omega are not just very highly skilled at writing and performing complex music, but also competent and deep thinkers – stating the obvious, but the skills and mental potential had to be developed through hard work and perseverance, as well as possessing a natural inclination and motivation.

  • Agiel

    Would be interesting if in the next part DsO could confirm or deny the rumour that Franck Hueso is one of their producers.

  • Patrick Bertlein

    I’m probably going to comment on this a thousand times, and I love this bands philosophy probably more than the actual music, and even simple things like the “name dropping” bands put a smile on my face. I fondly remember seeking such things in my youth and looking for new bands to experience. While the internet has hundreds of great things to discover, finding music this way is a missed treasure that I don’t know if younger people can appreciate.

  • trstn1

    I find interesting that they put the date 1984 in their album statement, I can feel Orwell all over the lyrics and overall mood. Superb album.

  • Τσαμάσι ΤόΓιο

    I dont know if DsΩ had this in mind but,
    You Cannot even Find the Ruins” reminded me of a story I once read about Michel Fourmont.
    A French “antiquarian” , a-so-called- “classical scholar”, and of course Catholic priest.

    He is known for travelling to Sparta with a sole purpose of destroying archaeological “pagan” ruins, while on an official mission by Louis XV to Constantinople and Greece “to search out surviving Byzantine manuscripts” .

    A short but interesting article, can be found below:
    https://www.historydisclosure.com/greek-treasures-destroyed-and-stolen-by-18th-century-abbe-michele-fourmont/

    .