Abyssum Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore

Witches by Hans Baldung Grien, 1510


§ In the Studio, 2014

A portentous return to the studio, Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore represents a new stage in Abyssum’s development rooted in unique mystical seeds that gave rise to inconspicuously rich soundscapes of darkness but now moving beyond both musically and ideologically. In away, the present album is the closing of a chapter, while at the same time signifying the beginning of the new. Rather than hiding away beyond physical veils, Abyssum steps forth with strident power and magnificently embellishments that are not just augmentations but complementing organic outgrowths of an invisible central rod.

The release consists of an intro and outro and three extended tracks that defy definitions of conventional black metal without relying on avant-garde sensibilities or suffering of the mediocre malady of ‘flowing black metal’. Two of these main tracks are taken and enhanced from Poizon of god; these have been subject to constant, wandering evolution since their first intimations more than two decades ago. The third piece, ‘Mvundanvs, Inmvnde, Spiritvz’, is the latest published seed-idea composition to be published by Ebvleb for Abyssum.

Abyssum’s music is liberating, but not in a superfluous way, it is rather terrifying and magnificent and seems to open a rent in the fabric of our perception, leaving us vulnerable and open to the star-filled abyss that threatens to swallow us whole. It is a music of transcendental overcoming, entirely incomprehensible to those trapped in materialist, political, or merely ideological sets of mind. In short, it is music for elite minds —distinguishing the actual superior mind from the ‘Hominid Cleverness’ that many of society’s ‘high performers’ tend to exhibit.

‘Mvundanvs, Inmvnde, Spiritvz’ could be said to showcase a more explicit structural refinement that does not lose the holistic outlook which has made the manifestation of Abyssum’s music elusive for those not ready to let go of underlying mundane mindsets. The other hint of what the future may bring can be seen in 2015’s demo, All in Darkness, which contains a highly evolved version of another old seed idea from the first half of the 90s.  Seeing the latter as a fourth piece in a transition phase towards a new era, the perspicacious listener can witness the subtle outline of a sign pointing from a firm yet somewhat rigid structuring towards a more masterful codification.

One should also note the excellent job the session drummer does at emulating the personality and patterns that the original work of Abyssum displayed, as this preserves and enhances the aura of the music in no small manner. The sensibilities by the current drumming section can be appreciated even more in a live setting, where the individual has the chance of expressing his own personality even more within the spaces of the dynamic, flexible Abyssum style.

§ Raw Bloodied Live, 2015

Foremost amongst all things that could be said about this recording is the complete absence of synths in it, as the performance was a raw recording of drums, guitar and voice. One could expect that such a setting would call for certain adjustments to the sound of the instrument in order that the lack of layers was filled by a thicker sound from the guitar. Surprisingly, however, there is no clear augmentation of the stringed instrument, and instead we receive a rather unprocessed sound that is nonetheless penetrating, giving one the impression of a more rigid and skeletal feeling.

An effect of this is that arpeggiating patterns come through very clearly without the quality of the sound changing, giving it a uniform, more monolithic presentation that contributes to that slab-like impression of crudeness in this particular recording. Despite that outer appearance of unsophisticated uniformity, it is the performance itself, and the flexibility with which structures are treated specifically for this occasion that lets the spiritually sensitive listener access a dark world of painful and mysterious abundance to which they are made privy to by the amazing organicity of guitarist-vocalizer and drummer here.

The songs chosen for the release titled Desclávate de tu Cruz include a song that is not on Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore, but is in Poizon of god. This ‘Sacred Abyss’ is probably the most rigid piece in the current set, and represents the older, mid phase of this growing demon. What follows next are, from the writer’s point of view, the elite compositions of Abyssum in the current state of evolution that Ebvleb has taken them to; these are ‘Mvndanvs, Inmvnde Spiritvs’, ‘Todo En Tinieblas / All in Darkness’, and ‘Illusion of Pan’. Conspicuously missing from this selection, though perhaps not from the actual live performances, are the two main pieces from Thy Call, their flagship release, so to speak.

Many descriptors could be attached to this release, but a phrase like ‘diamond in the rough’ does not quite capture the exterior-to-interior relationship that we have here. Rather, the self-described musical obscurantism of Ebvleb fits specially well; that is, the music is organically rich, alive and potent in subtle but very palpable ways to those capable of walking through the purposely obfuscating veils in the presentation. That is not to say that value is abstract, because then this would be no better than the mediocre music of Satanic theist sophists, but that there is a purposeful setting up of crude layers that both enrich the aura of the content and hide the inner treasures from facile minds.

§ Rehearsal for 2014 album, 2017

The 2017 edition of Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore are the ultimatum that hails the new era of Abyssum, leaving us wondering what visions of impending transcendental, holistic reality the master necromancer will choose to reveal from his mental and spiritual journeys. Not only has a new, more personalized visual presentation been developed, but the release includes three final rehearsal tracks for the 2014 album which do not include synth work, but only drums and guitar, with a few guttural vocalizations here and there. To be sincere, however, the tracks do not appear to really be crude rehearsal recordings, which would be quite welcome, but rather a mix from the album that does not include the synth layers and allows the guitar sound to come to the forefront.

The result is most probably hard to listen to for most people, since the synth work is the most melodious and purely mystical of all musical sources within the music of Abyssum. Any serious listener, however, should have noticed from the original 2014 release that the guitar work is not a merely functional ‘flowing black metal’ appendix underscoring the synths (and which mistake could be made when first apprehending Thy Call), and can be seen as an independent but complimentary voice in the music. The additional tracks that remove the synth and allow us to hear the guitars bare confirm these observations beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Conversely, being able to expose oneself in full to the power and treasures of the written guitar lines on their own gives a new perspective to the recordings containing the synthwork. A deeper clarity for both enhances appreciation for the value of either, and when returning to Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore, the dual synth lines reaffirm their outworldly nature, their stellar origin, even as our awareness of and susceptibility to the black magic of the tremolo-picked guitar is taken to further realms of perception…

Monarch Exile

This is an underground, self-released EP/demo that outwardly evokes traits of Infester and the likes of Cianide, thus utilizing a cross between doom metal, death metal and progressive rock. The latter is the greater influence in the structural approach of the album, but the spirit is permeated by the esotericism and medieval-macabre surrealism of classic death metal. The release’s aura resembles these medieval dark mystic paintings in that it would appear as if the music attempts to trespass beyond the rationalizing agency and into the darkness of the unconscious. That said, there is no proper abandonment of the a logic of structure or coherence of expression.

Such a feeling of alienation transports the listener into an opaque world of grim fantasy that seems always submerged in a dream-like brume. It is recordings such as this one which represent a true underground spirit, not in that it is not associated with a label (for that is meaningless nowadays), but in that its free, wild and personal recordings seem to speak from and to the author himself. The work, in other words, is cryptic and hermetic in the full sense of the word —hermetic in that the meanings and the symbols perused here are shown in an outward, opaque presentation to the listener but are disclosed to the author alone.

Monarch’s Exile, however, only presents a brief picture that does not seem to finish unfolding itself and disappears out of sight when one barely steps into it. Half of the content seems introductory or would give one the impression of being a preparation to the actual material. The last two tracks, furthermore, seem slightly out of touch with the main piece of the work, and they seem to constitute more of an afterthought than a meaningful addition to the present work.

We can only hope that the artists behind Monarch will move forth and present a development of these ideas so reminiscent of the mystic expression that Hieronymus Bosch transmitted through painting. There is great potential in the seed ideas that are only barely articulated in Exile, and where one sees limitation and incompleteness, one may also sense dormant forces awaiting the kiss of life.

Burzum The Ways of Yore

Burzum The Ways of Yore has, in the two years which have elapsed since its publication, received a very odd mixture of reactions.  It has either been completely shunned as the work of a madman writing nonsensical empty music, or intuited to be a work of deep spirituality by those attuned to the simple and balanced as a way to beauty.  I am willing to assert that the reason for this is that it operates completely outside the paradigm of modern music.

The music is a mixture between Burzum’s ambient-styled tracks and ancient European music as one would hear in the Anglo-Saxon harp/lyre style1, for instance.  The result leans heavily towards the latter, however, leaving even fans of Burzum who only perceive form but not essence at a loss. As a whole, Burzum’s transition from black metal forms into dark ambient ones, and then further into ancient-traditiona Europeanl hybrid crossings with his own ambient intuitions served as a clear separator amongst the audience. It separated those who attune to the music’s basic elements and are not nailed to modern prejudices or the necessity of being convinced by words and apparent conjurations.

Some among the most ignorant in the audience may want to jump at the swastikas they see on the cover, even going as far as condemning it as a covert sign of white supremacy excusing itself with the fact that swastikas were present in Buddhism hundreds of years ago and continue to be used to this very day.  What is required here is a lesson in the symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history.

“The earliest swastika ever found was uncovered in Mezine, Ukraine, carved on an ivory figurine, which dates an incredible 12,000 years, and one of the earliest cultures that are known to have used the Swastika was a Neolithic culture in Southern Europe, in the area that is now Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as the Vinca Culture, which dates back around 8,000 years.”

—Ancient Origins, ‘The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history’

The allusion is made to ancient pagan and naturalist religions of Europe existing long before the invasion of the desert religions2, and surviving in mutilated and morphed forms in spite of it.  A good companion to this album, apart from the obvious Reflections on European Mythology and Polytheism by Varg Vikernes himself, are books like The Mabigonion, a cycle of Welsh legends translated in 1877 by Lady Charlotte Guest.


1 One of the most prominent performers of the ancient lyre today is Michael Levy. Ironically, he has increasingly been promoted as a player of Greek traditional music despite his true background and experience, perhaps as a very smart marketing move towards a more profitable market.
An at least cursory understanding of the themes and concepts explained by Sir James Frazer in his The Golden Bough is needed to grasp Varg Vikernes current stance on European art and traditions, I believe.

A Recount of Transmutations – SEPTEMBER MMXVI entry

hv-ojo-rutilanteDifferent people listen to music , watch movies or look at paintings with different attitudes, perceiving different things based on a variety of conditions and outlooks.  Some specialize in or are drawn towards one more than the others, and approach the message codified therein either through sentiment or technical study, and in some rare cases, using both in a unified method.  This is usually termed an appreciation of art, and most people who consider themselves serious in such an endeavour see each distinct art form as a separate medium.  Each of them expresses human concerns over situations in what is believed to be fantastic depictions that seek to relieve one from the burden of reality by escapism or a direct confrontation of the crisis-causing affair.  This is the overruling view upheld by the school of thought that confuses its materialism and underhand cynicism for “rationalism”.

The esoterist extends the previous approach to everything he can and may perceive, not only works of art.  And rather than limiting his interpretation to a consequence of homo sapien’s “imperfections”, chooses to follow the path deeper and further by taking perceptions as flashes of cosmic truths through the filter of our senses.  In doing so, the aforementioned limitations of our species  are not ignored or overlooked, and instead, there is a conscious choice of looking at the proverbial glass as half-full.  This is simply the choosing of the path that maximizes the raw power latent in sensations and the mind over the self-pity of those mentally tormented by what they cannot comprehend.  It consists of hurling oneself onto the arms of the mystery, leaving behind the fear that makes hearts cling to the thin thread of what they can know for certain.

“knowing almost everything about almost nothing”

The intention of the writer is to bear testimony to the transmuting effect transcendental works of the ars musica can have over the soul.  That said influence cannot have taken place over a period of time long enough to perform radical changes in the psyche is something the author is willing to admit as a possibility given the incontestably recent publication dates of the works in question.  What he will not yield, however, is his knowledge of the inner transformations to which these works have been incontrovertible, though perhaps not indispensable, accessories, no matter how limiting the reader deems the relatively short exposition period to be for possible developments.

These were holistic works of art of the highest order, and no manner of reduction was here possible without entirely losing sight of their identity.

None of these works belonged, at the time of their initial reception, to the sphere of styles at the very center of the author’s heart.  And so, there was little emotional enticing in the way of an outright hook, and instead, it was the perceived mystery of musics which appeared to contain much more than was at first apparent which lured him in.  It was, in a most confusing manner, at once obvious and elusive.  Technical analysis revealed much, indeed, and yet too little.  For where in most cases a detailed and sensitive application of theory that gives aural effects in context their due in a station of great import may tell us what is incumbent upon us to know in order to contemplate them as they are, the works under discussion eluded all such attempts and little information came from them that accounted for anything reasonably.

These were holistic works of art of the highest order, and no manner of reduction was here possible without entirely losing sight of their identity.  The only possible answer, then, seemed to be to open the doors of intuition ajar, allowing the senses to be flooded and the imagination run amok, so that the music itself would take one wherever it would.  As this is a testament to their influence over the author, the reader is advised to take all remarks regarding these works with a pinch of salt, understanding that while the comment bears a strong relation to its object, much of it may be the unique growth in the writer’s mind of a seed planted by the artist.


Cóndor’s Nadia
Condor NadiaYear: 2013

In Nadia we find a melancholic romanticist aura uniting with the decisive purposefulness of the classic heavy metal riff applied through death metal technique.  It unites the European day-dreaming of the 19th century with the rugged realism that the American colonizer faced decades after the independence still.  Cóndor shows us one possible take on the Latin-American foundation story in which some may see themselves as heirs to Conquistadors and early European settlers.

The music is a slow enchantment, the picture is dark yet hopeful, the author’s personal experience with the work is one of slowly falling in love, and doing so time and again in different ways when the music is caught again in a different angle.  Nadia is a tale of will cutting across desperation and confusion as an immense and unknown land is braved.  A wondrous and strange land in which the initial search for glory turns to inner search and the eventual definition of a different weltanschauung, as a foreign race and its original culture react with a new land and conditions to give birth to a new people: the grandchildren of Latin Europe.

The intent of Cóndor’s Nadia is to recognize in European heritage transformed by the vicissitudes of America the real ethnic foundation for modern Latin-American individuals of predominantly Iberian ethnic origin.

What this unexpected Colombian masterpiece transmits is a sensing of the concrete possibility of achieving group identity as Latin-Americans with a certain ethnic background.  The importance of this message may be easily brushed aside given a predominant anti-colonial and nationalist1 indoctrination, which in unintended conflation with the subreptitious concepts of Cultural Marxism, leaves room only for extreme individualism and condemns one to entrapment within the animalistic cycle of survival and pleasure2.  We are taught we are “Latinamericans”3, as opposed to the Spaniards who butchered “us, innocent and pacifist peoples of America”.  It is easily ignored that many of us have more in common, by way of cultural and ethnic inheritance, with said conquerors than with most long-dead, or in the process of dying, aboriginal groups.

The intention is not to belittle the true American aboriginal groups that survive, and it is the belief of the writer that these have an ordained right (that is, not a legal right, but an inherent volition to be heeded) to self-sufficiency and actual free will.  It is, however, important to distinguish that multiculturalism is by no means a true identity, and that group identity is an important element for beings deeply rooted in social behavior, such as humans undoubtedly are.  So, while colonialism and imperialism are to blame for the resulting mess, each pocket should be quick to recognize its origin and nature as resulting from region-specific situations.

The realist who seeks answers to questions of origin in natural roots and our relation to the universe will understand that no manner of superficial social engineering can sever ages-old spiritual and genetic ties.

The present work is by and for those Latin-Americans that are precisely what the etymology of the compound term implies: Latin blood on American soil.  Where Latin refers to the European countries who speak languages directly descended from that of the Romans, and American refers to the true meaning of the word indicating the whole of the American continent.  The intent of Cóndor’s Nadia is not to tout those who fit the bill as Europeans, but to recognize in European heritage transformed by the vicissitudes of America the real ethnic foundation for modern Latin-American individuals of predominantly Iberian ethnic origin.

The answer to be found here is that countless ladinos who find no answer to the question of true belonging can look for one in their customs and traditions as they are, and not the folkloric fantasy concocted by post-independence oligarchs or the sorry remnants of leftist ideals.  Until now, most of them wallow in inner spiritual decadence patched up by inadequate monotheism, or crying with arms wide open for Utopian socialism to summon God the proverbial protestant father incarnate in Big Brother government to blame for their problems and magically provide immediate solutions.  The realist who seeks answers to questions of origin in natural roots and our relation to the universe will understand that no manner of superficial social engineering can sever ages-old spiritual and genetic ties.


1 “Nationalism” in its most materialist sense; that is, promoting allegiance to a government that does not seek the ultimate welfare of a people, and instead function as vampiric overlords of an alienated population.  In a particular Central American country the ruling class is predominantly of Arab and Jewish origin, identifying as such while finding their official status as “Latinamericans” as incidental though heart-warming.
2 The alternate is that which posits the divine and the transcendental as a center.  This is a path in which life is lived for more than its own sake. The individual can then see himself as part of a whole and something greater than himself, thereby reaching out and achieving true fulfillment that is beyond any materialist conception.
3 Which in formerly Anglo-Saxon America radically degenerates into an entirely fictitious (like most cultural and historical concepts at the center of their fancies) ethnic group called “Latinos”. To give the reader a hint of the degree of misrepresentation, an aboriginal tribe member from deep in the Amazon is as much a “Latino” as a pure descendant of African slaves born in Rio de Janeiro, or Italian immigrants born in Buenos Aires. In that sense, “Latinos” is even far more nonsensical than the self-appointed misnomer “Americans”, by which U.S. residents is meant.


Abyssum’s Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore cover

Year: 2014

The author’s personal, inner spiritual relation to the music of Abyssum specifically, and the work of Rex Ebvleb in general, is beyond any words which can be summoned up and impressed upon these characters.  Useless will be any attempt to transmit the intense sensation of simultaneous challenge in dread and contradictory empowerment in experiencing a first-hand emotional perception of a vast multi-dimensional universe entirely out of control and conception by common simian beings. Only a few are privy to this great vision.  The reason for this is that the core of it is an enigma at the base of humankind’s relation to the cosmos, which one either knows since birth, or one is completely unable to see even if told about it.

This is transcendental elitism in its purest sense.

Although acquaintance with Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore extends only one year and a half into the past, the contours of the obscure ideas it depicts in wave and word were at the heart of the author’s suspicions, buried under layers of suppression and indoctrination which took decades of inner upheaval to peel off.  In hindsight, it must be realized that our crossing of paths with Abyssum when we did was not, nay, could not be, an incidental occurrence. The timing was too perfect, the coincidence of a necessity for a next hint and the matching teaching leading down the path towards herein found too fortuitous.  As if answering the summons of my eager mind at a time when a sense of a new direction was utterly needed, not from confused helplessness, but from a natural intimation following a final sundering of chains.

A first encounter with Abyssum happened through its only publicly available work on the Internet, Thy Call.  This was not a band I had been aware of for a long time which suddenly seemed to appeal to me.  Rather, it contained puzzling pictures of obscure vastness and depth that did not match the author’s standards but defied any sort of direct rational attack. This elicited special and focused attention, which found more yet grasped little.  It slowly became a source of healthy obsession, the kind that breathes new life into a seeking spirit battling through and against the mundane with no lighthouse or guiding star.  The only way to portray a semblance of the impressions of my overwhelmed senses became at once a personal exploration and meditation, and a misplaced duty to sing of its glory to those who did not know about it.

For it can be discovered that Abyssum’s music is unique, both in realization and in nature, though only a direct witnesses to its manifestation can prove that to himself.

The author’s calls were repeatedly answered and an unexpected helping hand appeared, which not only provided invaluable advise but also yielded information which led to the creator behind the music.  Responsive to worthy and responsive souls, the author would like to believe, a chance was was granted to delve into Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore.  The total work of Abyssum brings forth a vision of the cosmos as a dark and morally-neutral place that is fascinating for worthy minds willing to brave its dangerous confines beyond the limits of the illusion of mortality and petty social constructs.  This is transcendental elitism in its purest sense.

In this MMXIV edition of old compositions brought forth in new form, Abyssum is shown stronger than ever, ever evolving and heaving with a vibrant energy one usually sees only in the untamed genius of a few young projects.  A brief yet necessarily incomplete description of the music could be given as subtle layers of keyboard melodies, supported by tremolo-picked torrents of simple root-note-carrying distorted guitars, and underscored by destructive drum patterns.  If the author’s hand were forced to draw a musical comparison, he would, in this moment, say that Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore unites the technique of Emperor’s In the Nightside Eclipse with the progressive atmospheric buildup and overarching story-curve of Burzum’s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.  The comment would be useful, but entirely mistaken and misleading.  For it can be discovered that Abyssum’s music is unique, both in realization and in nature, though only a direct witnesses to its manifestation can prove that to himself.

What makes Abyssum’s music difficult to handle for most people is that it allows for no middle ground and no half-measures, a full and holistic picture must be at least glimpsed, otherwise all is for naught, and this musica will pass by unnoticed as the dark shade it is. The answer to this is plain and simple, yet complex and beyond the grasp of most: this is not just music, it is the channeling of essences into sonic form.  Let him who hath understanding reckon the truth of these words.  Here lies not an argument for the changing of logical minds, but a recount of the existence of other worlds which can be seen through the eye of Darkness, a written testimony for other worthy and seeking spirits.

Desecresy Chasmic Transcendence

a2150945603_10It is customary to start off the review of a Finnish death metal band by stating that they are Finnish, carrying forth a tacit implication that the band in question adheres to the particular sound developed more than two decades ago in albums like Amorphis The Karelian Isthmus and Demigod Slumber of Sullen Eyes. Such a useful hint, carrying so much information for those familiar with regional old school death metal distinctions, can only take one so far and, while satisfactory to the casual customer, does little for the serious listener looking forward to knowing what sets DESECRESY apart.

What the mature music of DESECRESY offers to the veteran audience is an exquisitely refined Finnish death metal. Refined here carries connotations of trimming away all but the indispensable, a multiplicity of meaningful rather than transitional passages. Chasmic Transcendence manages to be both atmospheric and ambient throughout its playtime while maintaining a constant stream of information in the form of proper metal. It does not avail itself of space or overabundant repetition alone to bide time and induce a state of mind. The price for this is that it must maintain a fairly uniform texture and pacing, while consistency of mode and style being a given as becomes respectable traditional underground metal.

“Rot of the millenia
In Furnace of Reformation
Memories lapse in whirling Deep
entities of the Past washed away
delivered.”

— V. Cyclonic Mass Consumptor

Conceptually, DESECRESY is incredibly focused to the point of giving a false illusion of overall minimalism. Visual artwork, lyrics and music conspire to project a clear image in complimentary pieces. This image is a sign and symbol. The picture is cold, dark, vast, cosmic on a scale beyond the wildest dreams common mankind. Only vague shadows, ripples over the waters of matter, shapes of old and powerful beings beyond good and evil. Events and characters that dwarf our petty existences to nothing. To fully understand the nightmares and crazed visions herein portrayed, an acquaintance with an inverted Gnosticism seems helpful. Here lies great death metal. This is the ritual area, where music is a vehicle for holistic human-cosmic experience and perception.

“Pillars reaching down
from Nebulous Mist
where the lack of Light
grows ever thicker.
Every brief moment
passed down
where Shadows
reach the weary feet.
From corners indistinct
Mass of Total Isolation
Endless Drift of Frigid Fog
carries on to pass the sentences
far from the past denied.”

— XIII. Infinite Halls

From the point of view of structure-building, DESECRESY crown themselves masters of their art here. Chasmic Transcendence is a laboriously wrought mansion with extensive gardens, enameled with sympathetic bits of precious stone that connect to each other by their very nature, as melodies of music which by motific alterations belong to a same root. These are the first to reach the conscious mind. Then come expertly masoned rock and stone, overgrown with organic masses living and breathing in multitudinous harmony. This indestructible foundation would seem to emanate the rest, or emanate from the rest. In truth, all of the instruments in their different functions and apparitions in space-time are so synchronous with each other that they become that sort of musical living entity that all transcendent music aspires to create. In doing so they occupy a same abstract space, working as different spheres of concentration in a morbid Tree of Death.

 

David Rosales

August 2016

Revised, September 2016

[Originally published in Death Metal Underground.]