Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Quick Plug

A blog originally started by my friend Kal's roommate. Kal was the guy I brought with me to see Watain. I guess he decided to "force himself" into his friend Michenab's blog, but just the same check em both out.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Painful Divorce

I'm sorry Black Metal, but I'm leaving you. I can't continue living like this. We've had a good run, and in the end we both tried our best. I know that deep down inside, we still both love each other, or at least I love you very, very much. But sometimes love just isn't enough, and we have to part ways.

Last Tuesday I went to see Goatwhore and Watain in concert. Lemme tell ya, it was something wicked. Course, I'd seen Watain live once before so I knew what was coming. But none the less it was still an incredibly powerful performance. There was much blood, filth, and mayhem all across the stage. Goatwhore was pretty good too, which was was pleasantly surprising. I've heard their albums before and didn't think all that highly of them, but they sound a Hell of a lot better live than they do on recordings. They got a pretty good mosh pit going, and myself and a friend of mine jumped on in despite being half to a quarter of everyone's size in there. Those guys were huge! I was pretty surprised by my friend Kal jumping in too. He was really only along because he'd come down to visit me and his other friends from Austin, and there was no way in Hell I was going to miss out on seeing Watain again. So he sorta came along for the ride, but in the end he seemed to really enjoy himself. Which is pretty nuts, really. The dude is gonna be a teaching aid for a bunch of elementary school kids in a few months, and he's been doused in blood by the fiendish Erik Danielsson!

Man do I love being a degenerate.

Well anyways, that whole "Watain are fucking excellent" rant kinda clashes with my opening bit a little if you noticed. I love Black Metal. My favorite band of all time is a Black Metal band. But I can't deal with Black Metal culture anymore. See, the genre isn't really a genre of music so much as its own little world. It has its own values and ideals, and for the longest time I really identified with that. But as of late the scene has been getting worse, and its values have changed in light of a lot of stupid shit that's been happening. People are now starting to loathe any band with moderate success and accuse them of being "mainstream." I've seen people accuse Funeral Mist of being mainstream. Really? Fucking Funeral Mist? Holy shit dude, I wish music like Funeral Mist was mainstream. People would be so much more interesting.

Now, in all fairness I sort of understand where this is coming from. I've met my fair share of morons who think that bands like Cradle of Filth are Black Metal. Not to mention there's Dimmu Borgir, who pretty much wrote the book on selling the fuck out. But popularity alone has nothing to do with it. A band, an act, a musician can be popular without "selling out." The problem with Dimmu Borgir isn't financial success, it's that they fundamentally changed their music to achieve that financial success. I mean, you can't deny the fact that half the tracks from Death Cult Armageddon were clearly inspired by Danny Elfman and meant to appeal to the Hot Topic crowd. Listen to this shit.

Now, don't get me wrong. Danny Elfman does some great shit. But seriously, don't act like you're somehow a part of the "Black Metal scene" when you're busy sucking off the guy who does the music for half of everything that's done in pop culture. It was a cold, calculated business decision and nothing more, and thus the antithesis of everything that Black Metal stands for. You really shouldn't pretend to be a part of something when you very obviously aren't.

All that being said, the Black Metal community has, as far as I'm concerned, gone way too far in the opposite direction. If you're reaching the point where you're afraid the financial success of a band is ruining their integrity, but the band pretty much sounds the same as they always did or at least has a logical sound progression that isn't motivated by making cash, then you're letting the attitudes and behaviors of the so-called "Mainstream" influence you as much as it does Ke$ha. And that's just as bad.

So I guess I can't in good conscience call myself a Black Metaller anymore. And I guess I'm fine with that. Bought the new Sargeist album and am very pleased with the results. Still heavily into the Orthodox Black Metal music and all that jazz. But I'm into lots of music, so it's no love lost really.

What I am totally into now, though, is horror punk. Mostly the hard core stuff, mind you. Punk tends to be very hit-or-miss for me. That being said, I'm having a blast with Order of the Fly. Just bought their new album, "Hollow Voices of a Dead Generation," and it's unbelievably good.

I also recommend, among horror punk bands...

Crimson Ghosts: Hunted

The Other: Howl at the Moon

The Hitchcocks: Renegade

Scarecrow: Zombies

Left For Dead: Tonight You Die

Schoolyard Heroes: Attack of the Puppet People

I guess I can also post some great Deathrock.

Theatre of Ice: Tomorrow Never Comes

45 Grave: Evil

Corpus Delecti: Patient

Not quite Deathrock, but a favorite of mine.
Nosferatu: Wiccaman

Salvation: Girlsoul

The Screaming Marionettes: Screaming Monster

The Wake: Nazerene

Anywho, I've got a ton more but I think I'm good for now. Hot damn I don't know what I'd do with myself without all this great music out there in the world.

As always, Love Under Will


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Excitement Building

I have no idea what to do while I wait for the Watain show tonight. So I decided to write stuff here. Also been killing time listening to Ministry. I'm by no stretch of the imagination a great fan of theirs, but every now and then I pop in a listen. Right now I'm rocking out to Scarecrow from Psalm 69. Good stuff.

Got an hour and a half of work study today at the office. Shouldn't be too bad. After that I'm hitting up a couple of stores in downtown Austin and then prepping for the show. Got my boots and shirt ready and everything. Dunno what else to do with myself right now while I wait for my shift. Classes all got canceled today (awesome!) so I chilled out and played a little Red Dead Redemption. Undead Nightmare is a blast. Then tried to hit up an ATM machine, but the girl in front of me busted it. It's also the only bloody ATM machine in the entire campus, which is incredibly upsetting. Don't wanna go off campus just to pull money from my account. But oh well. Life is life, after all.

Anywho, I'll shut up now and start heading off to workstudy. Maybe the ATM machine will have been fixed by now.

As always, Love Under Will.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Devils and Demons, Oh My!

Going to go see Watain tomorrow night. I've seen them once before, so I know more or less what horrid sickness to expect going in. But they've also got new material released, and I'm very curious to see what some of it sounds like. The concert's at Emo's in downtown Austin, not too far away from my university.

So in honor of this most glorious event, I figured I'd post a bit about the Ars Goetia. When people think of the traditional image of Ceremonial Magick and ritual demon summoning, they are usually thinking of the process of the Goetia. It's become rather eponymous and one of the biggest influences in the Occult world. The Ars Goetia is the art of summoning and binding a demon from "Hell" into an earthen jar (clay and whatnot) to command. The Demons summoned are those with stately positions within the Hierarchy of Hell. They even have titles, such as "Archduke" and "Baron" and even a "President." Each demon that is summoned has behind it a legion of spirits to do that demon's bidding (and therefore, by extension, your bidding).

The Ars Goetia is got started with a book known as the "Lesser Keys of Solomon," which was attributed to King Solomon of the Bible. The story goes that one day, God decided to test the good king Solomon. He did so by sending forth a legion of demons to torment him. Solomon, using his great wisdom and wit, instead bound the demons in a jar and made them his servants. The Goetia has thus been extended to encompass the art of binding and compelling spirits to do one's bidding, rather than entering pacts or asking them for assistance. Of course, the actual King Solomon didn't write the Ars Goetia. Ancient Jewish kings didn't use titles like "President" and "Duke." But attributing it to Solomon is not completely inaccurate. Like most things within the occult, all is not as it seems.

The name "Solomon" means "peace," which is highly relevant to the practice of the Goetia. When Crowley re-introduced the Lesser Keys of Solomon with some new additions, Crowley also introduced a newer interpretation of the Goetia. Rather than a literal demon summoning from the "pits of Hell," the Ars Goetia was meant to represent common archetypes of the Self. The Ars Goetia is then intended to act as a sort of self-exploration exercise, where one confronts the inner "demons" of the Self and aligns them with their own True Will. Hence, the name "Solomon" being relevant as it infers a state of mental balance and tranquility that comes with a complete alignment of the Goetic forces.

This is much of the reason that the Tetragrammaton is used within the Goetic workings, and in many Ceremonial magicks. The Tetragrammaton, or the "Hidden Name of God," in this case represents the entirety of the "All." If the goal of the Thelemite is to discover one's own True Will and enact it, part of that True Will is understanding one's place within the greater workings of existence. Therefore, one aligns one's self with the All to learn the essence of the True Will and thus compel the self accordingly. In doing so, one evokes the demons of the Goetia into the world to enact said True Will. Thus, by working with the Goetic demons, one begins to understand what the True Will intends from the perspective of the Occultist in question. It acts as a process of self-discovery and a meeting place between the lower self, the True Will, and the All.

If you're interested in trying out the Goetia, I can recommend Crowley's version.

Give it a whirl. You might like what you find.
And as always, Love Under Will.



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Eliphas Levi

Right. Life. It gets in the way sometimes.

After the laptop fiasco I got a replacement. Since then I've been dealing with moving all my files over from my old laptop (as many as I could save) into the new one, virus scanning them, all that good stuff. That between classes, where it seems my professors wanted to exactly space out every test in such a manner that I had at least one every week. I prefer to spend about a week studying for exams whenever possible, so my free time has been eaten up.

But as November break comes closer I've finally gotten some free time. Sadly not enough to get back into real ritual practice, but by golly I tried! What I did get is some neat research done on one of the most well known occultists in recorded history. I'm talking about the legendary Eliphas Levi. Crowley believed that he was a reincarnation of Eliphas Levi, so I figured it would make sense to look into him some. Turns out he has a fascinating back story.

Born under the name Alphonse Louis Constant in 1810, Eliphas Levi (name assumed to be a translation of his birth name into Hebrew) would grow to become one of the leading figures of modern day occultism. He was the son of a poor shoemaker and attended a Catholic school for the impoverished, where he showed an aptitude for religious thinking. He worked his way towards becoming a member of the clergy, but before taking his vows he decided against it. Most sources seem to suggest that he chose not to because he had fallen in love and could not imagine living a life of chastity.

He eventually met up with an enigmatic figure named "Ganneau," a prophet and socialist advocating social reform. Levi wrote for the cause, which landed him a few months in prison for sedition. After he left, he married a girl from Paris believed to be only 16 years old (he was 36 at the time). The marriage did not last, and eventually the two divorced. Starting in 1850, Eliphas Levi began offering lessons in the occult while contributing to various theological encyclopedias. At around this time he rejected his birth name and became known as Magus Eliphas Levi to his students.

1852-1854 marked the true beginning of his involvement in the realm of the occult. He met with a mysterious woman who wanted him to engage in a Necromantic rite to speak to the occultist Apollonius of Tyana. During this time he also began writing his most famously known occult manuscripts, including The Dogma and Ritual of High Magick and The Key of the Mysteries. He became well known in the occult community for his theories on the Astral Body as well as connecting the 22 Arcana of the Tarot to the Khaballist Tree of Life. Though considered inaccurate, many found Levi's writings to be a major foundation for modern day occultism.

If you're interesting in giving some of this stuff a look, I recommend: (The Dogma and Ritual of High Magick) (The Key of the Mysteries) (Conjuration of the Four Elements)

Good stuff, if you ever decide to give it a chance.