21 Years Ago: SUMMONING release Minas Morgul

…the lyrical and musical concept behind Summoning is based on Middle Earth, the mind world created by Tolkien, dealing with descriptions of landscapes, battles and great events of Tolkien’s books just like “Lord of the Rings” or “The Silmarillion”.
My musical influences are lots of metal bands from the 80’s just like Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol, Sacrilege and of course Bathory. Nowadays I just listen to Dark Wave and Ritual music just like Quntal, Sopor Aeternus, Shinjuku Thief, just to mention a few and of course everything from the Swedish cult label Cold Meat Industries.
– Silenius / Summoning interview, Psicoterror zine 1996

SUMMONING’s second album, Minas Morgul, released on this day in 1995.

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Record of the Week: Mortiis – Født til å Herske (Review)

Record of the Week

Mortiis artist store

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MORTIIS released his debut through Malicious in 1993. An early release by the label, home to several Norwegian legends until around 96.
These two 25+ minutes songs, recorded with nothing more than a JV30, lack the bombast and scale of later albums or the previous demo. Instead it’s power comes from the sombre, drifting atmosphere – dark, mysterious, ancient… entirely solitary and plaintive.
Intentionally repetitive, not unlike BURZUM‘s ambient (a direct influence), variations emerge gradually, each Part ending in emergent crescendo. Built by layering, evolved and expanded, the result is an hour of excellent dark “dungeon” ambient without the high drama of later albums.

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Album Notes: Remmirath – Shambhala Vril Saucers

Distro: Album Page | Artist Page

Written by: As

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  1. Tiger of the City
    Album opener, starting things in a faster tempo to give it an energetic punch. The opening/closing riff is inspired by one of my greatest favourites – Achilles Last Stand by Led Zeppelin. Later on, we add some 80s-sounding synthscapes that were meant to illustrate the cold urban landscape mood. This track is sort of a bridge between the themes of our debut Polis Rouge and the direction of the new album – it stays within the criticism of our contemporary world & culture (rationalism, materialism, Generation Y and its narcissism), this time paraphrasing the thoughts of both postmodern philosophers (Deleuze & Guattari) and those who opposed modernity from a traditionalist perspective – Guénon & Evola.
  2. Shambhala Vril Saucers
    Beginning with the Eastern-influenced throat chanting provided by our new member AE, this song takes the listener deep down the rabbit hole of Eastern mysticism, bizarre conspiracy theories and also confused Western New Age beliefs. The lyrics are intentionally ambiguous and it’s up to the listener to decide whether we are completely serious, half-serious or just playing around to mock everything. The truth is somewhere in between. Musically, it is very diverse – the main moog theme is inspired by a certain Slovak pop hit from the 80s, there are also traces of classic 90s black metal, 80s heavy metal, prog and even space disco. This is not meant to show off how many genres we are able to emulate, it works hand in hand with the lyrics to create a confusing atmosphere which is symptomatic for the world which we live in.
  3. The Gunfighter’s Quest for Enlightenment
    Possibly the most adventurous song on the album since it travels far away from the usual grim and dark moods of black metal (our roots). We used a lot of fairly non-metal instruments here like melodica, jaw harp, even maracas. The beginning is kind of a psychedelic take on Ennio Morricone’s compositions for Sergio Leone movies which evolves into a 60s surf rock vibe, then finally enters extreme metal territory and ends up in a somewhat space/acid rock theme. The inspiration for this one came from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s movie El Topo, but just as in other songs, there are sometimes more, sometimes less obvious references to various topics, even a nod to old Judas Priest lyrics.
  4. Fox Cooper
    The oldest song on the album, we started elaborating on these themes shortly after our debut album came out. One of the rare occasions where we used disharmonic melodies – they are quite popular in current metal but we prefer to stay melodic most of the time. The lyrics are very playful and they basically merge Fox Mulder from The X-Files and special agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks into one person. The reason for that is, I think the contemporary UFO phenomenon is just an updated version of what people in the olden days called spirits, goblins, djinns, etc. This idea was proposed by Jacques Vallée, an American scientist who researches UFO cases in a critical and non-conformist way. The music does everything to enhance this cinematic atmosphere of paranormal, fear, paranoia and driving on lonely roads at night. In the intro we’ve used sounds that pay homage to early electronic soundtracks of 50s sci-fi films when the UFO theme was particularly popular. Those are mixed with a sample of the hypnosis sessions of Barney Hill that give the whole thing a disturbing touch.
  5. Iram of the Pillars
    We have been playing this instrumental song live for several years now and each time in a different version. It was heavily influenced by early 70s krautrock albums from Germany where a lot of the bands just dropped some acid, entered the studio and recorded whatever psychedelic jam they came up with on the spot. The strongest influence came from Agitation Free’s album Malesch and Electric Silence by Dzyan – both of which incorporate exotic, oriental melodies. Iram of the Pillars is a lost city that Quran writes about and it was also used by some well-known writers such as Lovecraft or Gaiman. I wanted to make a song inspired by the Orient because I used to attend an Islamic art course during my university studies, which fascinated me and Islam as a religion is also a highly controversial topic in current world. Like with everything on the album – we don’t provide a clear, conclusive commentary and let the listener think for him/herself. Our earlier Guénon and Evola references might be a key to that, though.
  6. The Coming of Kalki
    Knowing the mentality of usual metal fans, I can imagine them considering this final song as a “filler” since it has almost zero melody and no clear construction. In reality, this was one of our experiments with sound collages, musique concrète and noise. Which probably sounds pretentious and artfaggish, but we were sincerely fascinated by this approach and improvised with it several times both in our rehearsal room and during live performances. The inspiration came from several sources – from contemporary classical composers such as Stockhausen, Xenakis or Globokar, through the most radical krautrock bands like Faust & Zweistein to total outsiders like Sun City Girls & Nurse With Wound. Our song is a mix of a live improvisation from the rehearsal room and another acoustic session at a place where the second guitar player HV was living at the moment. Plus it adds some speech samples which I leave for to the listeners to find out where they come from. The theme of the song is the waiting for Kalki – Vishnu’s wrathful avatar who is expected to come at the end of Kali Yuga – the age of darkness, degeneration and decay which we live in, to punish the deceivers and restore a new Golden Age. This hints at the direction that will be taken on our next album.

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REMMIRATH Album Preview #4: Lord Kalki will appear in the home of the most eminent brahmana of Shambhala village

vicarann ashuna kshaunyam hayenapratima-dyutih
nripa-linga-cchado dasyun kotisho nihanishyati…
…After all the imposter kings have been killed, the residents of the cities and towns will feel the breezes carrying the most sacred fragrance of the sandalwood paste and other decorations of Lord Kalki, and their minds will thereby become transcendentally pure.

…this was one of our experiments with sound collages, musique concrète and noise.
Our song is a mix of a live improvisation from the rehearsal room and another accoustic session…

REMMIRATH’s second album Shambhala Vril Saucers will be released Saturday, 14th March on Todestrieb Records & Kristallblut Records.

The next Todestrieb Records release coming soon

Full details in the coming days

Vigilant, insomniac rationality
engendering descartean godzillas
In temples of postmodern debris
The proof of the proof is not to be found
In the narcissistic swamp of Generation Y

Here is an opaque introduction to the next Todestrieb release, arriving this month. Samples and details soon.

Some of the philosophers, myth-creators and writers who have wielded influence, of varying degrees, on this forthcoming title……

Deleuze, Guattari, Guenon, Evola, Morricone, Frost, Lynch, Vallée, Lovecraft…

Out Now: T.O.M.B. III: Digital Collection (Macabre Noize Royale, Nameless Spells and Incantations, Live Ritual 2014)

United by Blakk Blood!!
T.O.M.B. returns to Todestrieb Records with a new digital collection
The resurrection of Macabre Noize Royale

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Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy III
Macabre Noize Royale (2008)
Nameless Spells and Incantations (2013)
Live Ritual – Brooklyn, June 15 2014

Full tracklist, images and video at the distro

Six years after our last T.O.M.B. release – Macabre Noize Royale – we present a digital collection of three separate creations. All newly studio remixed and remastered.

Earlier this year we began talking to NO ONE about a digital edition of the long unavailable Macabre Noize Royale – the black noise/black metal assault we released in 2008. A unique recording in T.O.M.B.’s history!
T.O.M.B.’s distinct field-recorded ambience, twisted industrial manipulations joined by members of the Pennsylvanian 80’s death/black underground (DETERIORATE, GOREAPHOBIA, HAZARAX). Only an album like Burning the Temple of God rivals the savage collision of raw noise and black metal on MNR!

Macabre Noize Royale will be a journey. It will combine unholy black metal with extreme nihilistic black noise.
This black noise is what many call my work.

With this digital release we intend to force a rediscovery and reappraisal of this powerful work, which is resurrected with punishing force after a lengthy remastering. We recommend headphones!!

The reissue began to expand with extra tracks until we decided to create the third T.O.M.B. collection. Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy III includes MNR, Nameless Spells and Incantations (2013), and a 2014 live recording.

Nameless Spells and Incantation was released by DumpsterScore Home Recordings on limited cd in 2013: Obsidian black drones and vocal chants lay the foundation for thick crushing walls of unrelenting harsh noise, primitive steel gate pounding and quite literal tombstone grinding. Listening to these recordings you get the feeling of being alone late at night, hooded figures loom in the shadows of a reverb drenched corridor. Distant pounding and indistinguishable voices draw closer and closer until a blinding surge of electricity fills the room and your bones are ground to dust.

The final part of this collection captures T.O.M.B. live. This ritual took place in Brooklyn, New York on June 15th as part of an evening headlined by WATAIN. The T.O.M.B. lineup was NO ONE, Panther Modern, Joseph Curwen (GHORAGEIST) and Samantha Viola (SKULSYR).
T.O.M.B. live is not ‘performance’ or a typical show. Through stone, metal, bone and blood they channel pure unholy energy and have a dramatic, physical effect on those in attendance:

…the guitarist began scraping an animal horn across a what looked like slab of slate amplified through a guitar pickup and subsequent PA system. The overwhelming but intriguing sounds caused several in the audience to buckle while others straight up blacked out. – 2012 w/ Sunn O)))

A video was captured of the June 2014 evening. The visuals, combined with our new audio recording – taken directly from the source, removing all extraneous sound and professionally remixed – recreates this powerful effect!!

Over the past year of remixing and remastering, this project has grown into an essential T.O.M.B. collection and presents NO ONE’s vision across different eras and settings.
T.O.M.B. has expanded it’s sound, experimented, explored sinister and dangerous new paths. Through it all the original manifesto has remained, since we first discovered the mysterious entity NO ONE in 2003 and the bond was formed. Still a unique force in underground art!

T.O.M.B. has been an experimental/spiritual journey in the development of myself as an artist and a person. The experiences from the disturbed places I have recorded, the influential people I have met and worked with, have stayed with me and are reflected in my material. The name Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy, clearly defines this project’s divine intentions; TOTAL freedom and expression through OCCULTIC ritual, beliefs and invocations. This is captured using MECHANICAL recording devices and equipment, with a subconscious intent to open and unleash the diabolical audio effects and essence of pure BLASPHEMY.

Future T.O.M.B. —

I wrote my material based upon three fazes. My more industrial black metal/noise was the first faze. I used what abilities and resources I had during that creative time period. This was the beginning and birth of the project. Once I began the second faze, I had developed several new types of recording techniques and tactics. I also expanded on my equipment arsenal. Combined I wanted to create audio that when played together,effected the senses. Mind, body and soul. So we started conducting ritual practices of invocation, using instruments and objects associated with primitive ritual, and record this inside abandon hospitals or asylums were negative malevolent energy can be easily conjured. Conjuring was the second faze. Fury Nocturous marks the third faze of the project and exposes the results from the past fazes, cryptic occult audio experimentation and extreme black magic.

T.O.M.B. Live Review, Gallery Updated

Review of T.O.M.B.’s live ritual in Brooklyn at Cryptic Rock.

More photos added to the gallery here.

Video | Image Gallery

The next abomination to possess the stage was Pennsylvania’s mysterious spellbounders T.O.M.B. (Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy). Considered a black noise project, T.O.M.B. far exceeds the parameters of a typical band and is more of a ready-made dark performing art. Working with field recordings from cemeteries, abandoned insane asylums, crematories, morgues and other rotting places of a hollow and torturous past, T.O.M.B. brings something unique and terrifying to the stage. Fans watched in confusion and disarray as the autonomous and gloomy harvesters of sound began to mesmerize them with non-conventional metal instruments, conducting a series of spells and rituals such as “Jaw Bones”, “Birth”, “Ram Horn” and “Summoning.”

T.O.M.B. continued entrancing and terrifying the audience, with the smoke from incense rising up through a pile of various skulls within a wall of disorienting rabid sound. The blood letting rituals had begun. Incinerating their set T.O.M.B. cast the last spell “Ram Skull Sacrifice.” Many non-conventional items were used to create sound during the show such as the amplifying scraping of horns, jawbones, and a hand-held scythe across a tombstone to create disorienting and haunting sounds. This unique approach to metallurgy is an unusual and rare subgenre of black metal and made for a very interesting experience, to say the least.