Sunday, June 26, 2016

Victim of your dreams

A second article, Victim of your dreams: A review of negativity and melancology in black metal theory and the arts of Xasthur, has been published in the Journal of Metal Music Studies, volume 2 issue 2. The abstract and a link to the journal page for the article are copied below.

The inherent criticisms presented by black metal and black metal theory demonstrate that the fallacies of ontology rest upon the illusion of coherent organization. This blackness consumes the human perspective and reveals a nothingness that penetrates all interpretations and purpose. In melancology, this epistemic darkness of black metal is directed upon the false human foundations of identity and orientation, negating the principles from which notions of value and agency originate. Black metal is then a misanthropic art that demonstrates the futility of moral ideologies. The present discussion examines these criticisms and explores the themes of pessimism, melancology, and misanthropy in examples derived from the black metal music of Xasthur.,id=21979/

Monday, May 11, 2015

Minblod: Stigmata sans Schemata

Minblod album "Stigmata sans Schemata" is now available from the official website. The content of this release is presented as developed in the fall of 2012. There are no current plans to release this album in any format other than the free download.


1. The indifference of nature
2. Chaos reigns I: The hammer
3. Chaos reigns II: The adversary
4. The nature of suffering


Suffering is the definitive experience of subjectivity. Functional representations enable one to compare the present state to other potential forms of existence. As experience accumulates, the subject becomes increasingly aware of the fatality of continuity, and suffering occurs as one realizes that nature is not consistent with subjective valuations.

Nature is indifferent to such suffering. It is without intrinsic value. All forms are merely instrumental to the continuity of existence, and this progression is independent of any subjective judgment. Any criticism of its character is without absolute validity or an authentic foundation.

Nature is a truth that is only imperfectly realized by the subject. Because experience occurs through relativity, all representations are merely summations of phenomenal mechanisms. The authentic character is metaphysical. It is known only indirectly through a limited set of relational physics.

The subject inevitably compares present representations to alternative states. Some ideal states may be realized through the activity of the subject. However, because perceptual representations are not equivalent to existence, and because subjective values are often distinct from natural ends, other ideals are impossible in practice.

Suffering occurs with the accumulation of unsatisfied desires. The marginal increase of suffering resulting from each disappointment is proportional to the subjective value assigned to the relevant ideal. A shift in values or circumstances may alter the degree of suffering, but this essential condition is perpetually associated with the phenomenal limitations of subjectivity.

Suffering is only alleviated in death. In abjection, subjectivity collapses to reunite with the natural state. The cessation of artificial representations negates the possibility of idealism. Perceptions of intrinsic value are revealed as distortions of existence. This value is not an authentic property of nature but only preference defined in relation to erroneous interpretations.

The subject exists in a state of chaos. Existence may consist of some natural order, but the epistemic limitations of relativity prevent its revelation in the dimensions of consciousness. A fear of the unknown motivates humanity to construct artificial systems of organization that attempt to make sense of existence.

Nature is not bound by such principles. Nature continuously invalidates theoretical notions by demonstrating inconsistencies. Suffering is the symptom of this continuous failure. It can only be alleviated through the abandonment of epistemic pursuits.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Depressive Metal: Cultural Expression and Social Organization

I recently had the opportunity to aid in the translation of Depressive Metal: Cultural Expression and Social Organization by Egle Jurciute-Baleviciene. More information can be found at the following link, and a descriptive paragraph is below.

Depressive metal musicians and fans are a new and culturally specific community that is both musically and ideologically exclusive. The present book attempts to reveal this phenomenon, and it proceeds with an analysis of the features of the global depressive metal subculture intended to identify the cultural elements and social relations that may enable a conceptualization of its character. It discusses the perspectives, artistic creations, and cultural constructions of this subculture with an emic anthropological orientation, and it also attempts to describe the sub-cultural expression and the informal social organization of depressive metal musicians and fans within the context of globalization and in relation to the broader metal music culture as well as the more general contemporary society.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dark Epistemology

An article written by McWilliams, "Dark epistemology: An assessment of philosophical trends in the black metal music of Mayhem," has been published in the journal of Metal Music Studies 1(1). The issue is currently available as a free pdf at the following address.

The abstract is below.

This article attempts to characterize a negative form of postmodernism as expressed in examples of black metal. Black metal is discussed in reference to a collection of examples from the music and comments of individuals of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem. Through an integration of ideas advanced in postmodern philosophy and theory, this article attempts to describe a realization of epistemological darkness that is demonstrated within black metal, and this discussion concludes by considering the limitations of essentialism in relation to the art and its themes.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Millpond Videos

Videos feature music from upcoming Minblod album: Stigmata sans Schemata.
Images and video taken from Millpond in Laurens, SC.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Depressive Illusions Records

"Apparition and Aberration"
is now available from
Depressive Illusions Records.

This package includes a compact disc, case, booklet and sticker.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Black Metal and Brews Review

For most of my life, I've had a slight hearing issue. Not the sort of thing you could really diagnose and treat, just the sonic equivalent of everything blurring a little around the edges. It wouldn't surprise me if the extra focus this requires of me has contributed heavily to my great appreciation of listening to the intricacies of music. I listen for the notes between notes, the hidden things that bands might not have even intended for us to hear. When I hear a murky album like Minblod's "Apparition and Aberration," I get a rush from the challenge and the promise of hidden sounds just waiting behind the blur of noise.

Minblod's music works in textures more than individual sonic components. While a determined ear can separate the instruments from each other, the first listen gives little more than a heavy blanket of distortion and shrieks. As the listener focuses, there is almost a calming sensation amid the bleak atmosphere that Minblod creates. The dense fuzz becomes a layer of fog enveloping the listener rather than an obstacle between the music and the listener. Indeed, there is a certain meditative quality to these songs, many of which plod along at a slower pace than is traditionally accepted in black metal. The slow pace paired with the density of the music take the lo-fi template of artists like Xasthur to new depths of isolation, as presented on tracks like "Three Permutations." However, unlike depressive groups who share a similar aesthetic, Minblod seems to be simply acknowledging the inherent chaos in every moment rather than simply holing up and wallowing in self-pity. Indeed, closing track "Heuristic Construct" has an almost redemptive quality to its relatively mellow ambiance, as if rewarding both listener and artist for surviving the album.

This album is available for download courtesy of Humid Records and will soon see physical release from Depressive Illusion. The album comes on CDr in a DVD case which holds a booklet explaining the philosophical journey on which "Apparition and Aberration" takes the listener. To say that the brief essays contained within are challenging reads would be an understatement, but they detail the artist's thoughts on our ability to observe ourselves using our established tools of perception. This companion booklet really makes the physical release a must-have, so keep an eye out.

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