Ubils: C.R.U.E.L. En Concierto Antifest VII

The music of C.R.U.E.L. started out not as an extension nor a ramification of Abyssum, but as a different avenue of thought connected to a different source of inspiration. C.R.U.E.L. is the word of an infernal prophet, and this is reflected both in the hammer-like idiosyncrasies of the music and the lyrical titles which serve as pointers and guidelines. We find here a hammer lit on fire, bringing violent illumination to the feeble minded, and a swift death to those unable to withstand the sudden onset of a cruel reality.

In this particular live setting, C.R.U.E.L. reduces its presence to an incredibly dynamic duo of overdriven guitar and a drum set which infuse their own strong personalities into the performance of the composition. The power of this recording comes in great part from the way they are performed live and the known imperfection shifts that lend it its natural feel, but old compositions are given brighter life by virtue of different strumming attitudes in the guitar and powerful inflections and fills on the percussion side.

If a simple outline of the music were sketched on a paper, it would seem like a pretty straightforward arrangement, because on a certain, superficial level, it is. However, the present music only attains its full manifestation when played and channeled through particular musicians: a sign of space for evolution, and sorcerous application. It may be argued that this is or should always be the case with any piece of music, but for those paying close attention, it should become apparent that this is not the case with most modern music whose performance is enabled by electricity and whose “life” revolves around studio recordings.

Original compositions with a new outlook are further given context by the inclusion of two short Hellhammer covers done as tribute, absorbed into the style of musicians who were probably themselves greatly influenced by the young legendary Tom G. Warrior and his uniquely deranged music.

§ Walking amongst adverse forces

The first thing that should be said in regards to the ideology that emanates from C.R.U.E.L. is that it fits the mentality of a warrior. It seeks power and upon encountering it utilizes it, knowing how to act as it becomes one with it rather than be destroyed or consumed by this fire. In a way, a symbiosis takes place in which both this infernal power becomes the enabler of the mad poet, yet the poet becomes an instrument for cosmic intentions of these powers flowing and using him as a unique gate.
The maddened defiance that results from this union only enhances a reluctance to bow down to any kind of authority, be it human or from beyond. This does not mean that there is no recognition of frailty or mortality; that is, there is no pedantic hubris leading the individual to a baseless pretension to godhood or any such empty expressions of delusional children. Rather, it is a Promethean, yet intelligent, becoming one with dangerous energies which may be destructive, and which at some level do destroy despite all, and so exert a cleansing influence over the adept so engaging them.
Against what many may and will misunderstand, this does not imply a complete disavowal of tradition [1], because this is metal music, after all, and the instruments are played according to their respective traditional roles and using their traditional techniques. Rather, primacy is placed over compositional experimentation, or wherever the transcendental musician sees fit in order that a grander plan and sorcerous scheme of music may be accomplished, as befits a music that is more than merely human.

§ Beyond Form and Function

Music as a form of a communication can be broken down into certain components which make it intelligible on some particular level(s). A minimalist music is said to be reduced to its necessary components, so that all form is serves some kind of function. That is, there is no element in the music that does not contribute to the physical mechanics and organization of the whole. The music of C.R.U.E.L. in this live album could be said to fit this description in the sense that there are no floating components here, each has its place in advancing the music, rather than serving as appendages or simply redundant embellishments.

Moreover, no form in this recording is simply in place for the sake of bridging or fulfilling a structural need, but rather maintains the contrapunctal ideal [2]; which is not to say that we will find baroque counterpoint in melodies, but that a principle of instrumental cooperation is upheld. What we see is that if we separate the two instruments, they achieve a dark beauty of their own, an entrancing self-sufficiency, and wild abandon; and when they are brought together they are made to match and hold a dialogue with each other. In this, we find an aesthetic concern in every contour of this violent music.

Music of this kind cannot be called strictly ‘minimal’ in the sense of it being reductionist, for there is no loss of potentiality; rather, we could say that this is ‘minimalism well done’. C.R.U.E.L.’s present incarnation has moved away from its previous experimentation and has been compressed through Ebvleb’s method to a place beyond both form and function —neither a ‘well-oiled machine’ nor a simple ‘work of art’, but rather a ‘sword of death’ in its full ideological glory. The flayed entity that has now arisen as C.R.U.E.L. approaches that in-between status that the imposing yet inspiring Gothic cathedral achieves by the design of its master builders. [3]

§ A world beyond expression

Artistic mystic expression as codified communication is characterized by its grasping for objects that cannot be grasped; by trying to describe things that words are not well-equipped to describe. Thus, the exercise of mystic expression becomes one of opening spaces, pushing waves of aesthetic effects and conflicting meanings so that through them, or across them, the human mind can catch a glimpse of their writer’s suggestion. Music in particular is very problematic because it is inherently mystic in that there is not always a direct correlation between structure and meaning, except for certain general implications of basic or wide patterns in frequency and speed.

But music can be the best ally of the mystic poet if he is in tune with that nature, and if he knows how to listen. Here is where Ebvleb excels and finally brings C.R.U.E.L. up to its expressive potential; he achieves this in the same way that he dis-covers the physis [4] of his music projects as they reveal themselves to him, by listening attentively, by waiting and recognizing that unfolding of being beyond description. Observation, listening, following and opening up to forces that then speak through the technical abilities of the singular composer as a linking point to our universe, a nexion, is the art at which Ebvleb excels.

Unique to the music that results from such an unveiling is a rich aftertaste, the emergence of a hidden world that lingers even after the sounds have stopped which was not previously there, uncovered by sorcerous action. The present C.R.U.E.L., as much as Abyssum, approaches the tools and language of metal not by engaging in the making of riffs, which is the illusion at which the majority is confused, but the manipulation of phrases. To borrow another term brought to mystical parlance by the enigmatic David Wulstan Myatt, it would be more appropriate to talk about fluxions [5] and their arrangement, when it comes to the metal works produced by Ebvleb.

In contradistinction with Abyssum, whose aftertaste appears to be one of immensity and of the infinite void dwarfing yet permeating human existence, C.R.U.E.L. would appear to bring fire and destruction, a veritable apocalypse. Its mystic creation, the shadow it leaves after its passage, is one of scorching obliteration and the coming of what mundanes fear, and what they presume to know as evil.


[1] An illuminating passage regarding Tantra’s attitude towards tradition can be found in Agehananda Bharati’s The Tantric Tradition; page 21 of chapter 1, ‘The philosophical content of Tantra’, reads:

[begin quote]
All tantrics flout traditional exoteric orthodoxy, all put experiment above conventional morality denying ultimate importance to moralistic considerations which is not contradicted by the fact that most tantric texts pay initial homage to conventional conceptions of morality; and all agree that their specific method is dangerous, and radical, and all claim that it is a shortcut to liberation.
[end quote]

[2] In his book, Counterpoint, Kent Kennan writes regarding counterpoint:

[begin quote]
As a technique, this might be defined as the art of combining two or more melodic lines in a musically satisfying way. Included in this definition is the assumption that each line is good in itself; and the phrase “a musically satisfying way” implies among other things that the lines will be independent yet coordinated in feeling.
[end quote]

[3] Otto von Simson says about gothic architecture, in his The Gothic Cathedral: Origins of Gothic Architecture and the Medieval Concept of Order, that:

[begin quote]
Architectural form reveals function as much as it reveals the actual physical interplay of weights (or thrusts) and support. Such interplay is very much in evidence in the Greek temple and not at all in a Byzantine church. The picture is somewhat ambivalent in Gothic architecture. Here it is not easy to determine whether form has followed function, or function form. [page 6]
[end quote]

and later, that

[begin quote]
(…) even the shape of the unequivocally structural members in the Gothic system is deliberately modified often at the expense of functional efficiency, for the sake of a certain visual effect. Thus the massive thickness of walls and piers is never allowed to appear; where it might be visible, as through openings of gallery arcades, tympana and colonnettes placed in these openings create the illusion, not of a wall, but of a membrane – thin surface. Again, the true volume of the support is concealed behind, or seemingly dissolved into bundles of frail, soaring shafts. [page 7]
[end quote]

[4] We read, in the first chapter of Gregory Fried and Richard Polt’s translation of Heidegger’s Introduction to Metaphysics:

[begin quote]
Phusis as emergence can be experienced everywhere: for example, in celestial processes (the rising of the sun), in the surging of the sea, in the growth of plants, in the coming forth of animals and human beings from the womb. But phusis, the emerging sway, is not synonymous with these processes, which we still today count as part of “nature.” This emerging and standing-out-in-itself-from itself may not be taken as just one process among others that we observe in beings. Phusis is Being itself, by virtue of which beings first become and remain observable.
[end quote]

It should also be mentioned that David Wulstan Myatt makes prominent use of the term in his own writings, but using the less confusing transliteration physis, from the same Greek word φύσις .

[5] Originally, fluxion was a term used by Sir Isaac Newton to indicate a precise mathematical and physical event. The the online entry by Encyclopedia Britannica on fluxion reads:

[begin quote]
Fluxion, in mathematics, the original term for derivative, introduced by Isaac Newton in 1665. Newton referred to a varying (flowing) quantity as a fluent and to its instantaneous rate of change as a fluxion. Newton stated that the fundamental problems of the infinitesimal calculus were: (1) given a fluent (that would now be called a function), to find its fluxion (now called a derivative); and, (2) given a fluxion (a function), to find a corresponding fluent (an indefinite integral). Thus, if y = x3, the fluxion of the quantity y equals 3×2 times the fluxion of x; in modern notation, dy/dt = 3×2(dx/dt). Newton’s terminology and notations of fluxions were eventually discarded in favour of the derivatives and differentials that were developed by G.W. Leibniz.
[end quote]

David Wulstan Myatt rescues this term in perhaps the full meaning used or meant by the one-time alchemist Sir Isaac Newton, rather than letting it be reduced to a dead-letter term for a merely numerical operation.