Categories
Interview

TCHORNOBOG vomits forth a spectrum of art onto a synesthetic tapestry of sound & colour

An individual’s perception of the world around them plays a foundational role in all that they are and, in turn, what they do. But what it is that we process, and to what degree, varies with every one of us, as individual brain chemistry is as particular as a fingerprint. Such is the beauty, or utter horror, of our own organic makeup, and what feeds into our feelings of individuality: a lack of absolute boundaries, consistency, or what we know as logic. Our sensory experiences entangle one another, influence each other, like characters all their own. It’s this tendency for rampant micro-mutations of the brain, also known as synesthesia, that has served as the impetus for many an artistic impulse.

The black creative heart of the cancerous spawn that is Tchornobog, Markov Soroka, drew the eyes and ears of the extreme music world back in 2017 when the band suddenly emerged with its self-titled debut – an all consuming maw of creative vision, whose sound was as bizarre and nebulous as it was strangely natural.

It felt right, especially when augmented by its stunning visual and lyrical direction, which all fed into one another in a perfect union, driven by Soroka’s own neural crossroads. “Sound and color have an intense place in all that I am.” Soroka explains. “It’s inexplicable at times, but certain noises bleed various colors in my head like a melting panorama. These colors transfix themselves in scenery, landscapes, scenarios.” This tendency for association between senses is by no means rare. In fact, nearly every person has their own particular coding for their reality. “The most common example I can think of is folders. In the typical school systems of America and the world, our schooling was divided into subjects, and often was the case that we had different “colors” for different subjects. This also happened with me, as math is red, science is blue, geography green, and so on.”

A bizarre phenomena of the brain, synesthesia is not uncommon; however, Soroka has not only recognized his own peculiarity, but has come to grasp it like a medium in and of itself. “For me in particular, as mentioned above, this phenomenon manifests itself in my head as color through sound. At times it’s obvious: Sacramentum’s Far Away From The Sun is a very foggy blue that turns into a night into a far away forest on top of a mountain overlooking a river. The best way I can describe it further is that when I hear sound, it’s as if a sonic ‘clay’ is being molded in my head, slowly. The more I meditate on it, the more it becomes a sculpture or some monochromatic being.”

 

The comparison to clay rings true in Tchornobog’s sound, which flows like a semisolid entity in the midst of perpetual transformation, and due in large part to the production, the many parts that go into each song feel as one conglomeration. The lyrics, too, mimic the nature of the music in its ceaseless onset of feeling that abandons logic shackles. “[The lyrics are] very much a stream of consciousness.” confirms Soroka, giving credence to lines such as, ‘sensory overload nightmare’ or ‘lungs replaced with eyes’.

 

“Tchornobog was an entity born through intense fixation of anxious mentalities that was wrought from a red/orange “clay” that slowly morphed to have slimy, black edges. It is as if the landscape, which is not of this world, was slowly being eaten by the blackness.” As Soroka illuminates his frame of mind, the gorgeously apocalyptic cover art for the album, by the master, Adam Burke, becomes more than simply a visual to compliment the music, but an extension of the music itself. “Red is a multi-faceted color to me, in regards to emotion, and the ones it touches on are quite easily explained: love and anger, frustration. These meditations, over the course of nearly a decade, were plucked from the impetus that was the “Eternium” project, and this is how the project came to be.”

Sound is color, is emotion, is phrase. Like a neural web, the many disparate elements of Markov Soroka’s own existence inform one another, and in turn, his art. Perhaps it is his awareness of his own brain chemistry that has made Tchornobog a truly striking work that feels as fresh as it does intensely horrific. And much like a mutual relationship between two organisms, Markov and Tchornobog feed into each other in a profound, cathartic way. “[Tchornobog is] a means to expunge demons and anxiety, which is quite common in this genre. Love and anger, often when together, a vehicle for existentialism, and is the red core of the project. The fixation on these emotions and color created an introspective, almost bodily type of foundation for the project, and this is what I try to explore with this.”


Photography by Lillian Liu Photography. Live photography by Void Revelations.

Witness Tchornobog in the flesh at Covenant Festival V, July 5th in Vancouver BC. And be sure to dive deeper in Markov Soroka’s prolific & demented world …

MARKOV SOROKA
FACEBOOK

Categories
Review

SUPERSTITION contort the spiritual & mental with ancient forces of death on “The Anatomy of Unholy Transformation”

Beyond the dark caverns of death, the dark and flesh like caves of disease that prevail in death metal as of now, a new ferocious form of bereavement dawns over the blood red sky. This spectre goes by the name Superstition, a powerful apparition that brings plagues by a fiery wind that peels flesh from bone. Instead of relying on the grimey, bass-infused style of death metal, Superstition assaults you with a blackened thrash attack that carries the stench of burning flesh and earth.

Each riff on The Anatomy of Unholy Transformation is a transcendent dance of violence, constantly weaving in and out of a storm of chaos that evoke images of grand war. Unholy Transformation is a fitting title for this absolute monster of an album, as Superstition transcends into a new territory of mastery all their own. Remaining ideas from previous release Surging Throngs of Evil’s Might can be heard, but are vastly improved upon as the riffs are now majestically braided together distinctively to create a punishing atmosphere. Not only has the playing improved drastically, but the production shines with a crisp and clear sound. Shedding the murky demo-like quality of previous albums, (although a sound that can be desired), the cleaner production ultimately aids in the cutthroat riffing and razor sharp delivery.

Superstition commands ideas previously set in place by bands like Aura Noir and Voivod and dispenses them like a stab-wound full of cruelty and malice. Each track melds into each other judiciously, broken up by uncanny keyboard dirges, invoking the spirit of wicked mutation metamorphosing the album into a grand opus of pestilence. “Torn in the Outer Lands” and “Unreclaimed Blood (Phantom Swarm)” are both stand out tracks, one not complete without the other, though despite clocking in at just over 4 minutes each lock you into a trance with a maze of guitars, transforming a relatively short journey into what seems like a 20 minute epic as you get lost and remain dumbfounded by the barbarous incursion.

Superstition’s own transformation is unprecedented, commanding your attention to recognize them as one of the leaders of the genre. It’s almost hard to believe that they are even the same band as they were just one year ago. Kyle Morgan and crew bring past prowess of black realms from foregoing projects Ash Borer and Vanum, two bands at the forefront of the American black metal scene, and infuses it with death metal sensibilities like descending hammer-ons a la Cannibal Corpse, and an impeccable thrash metal punch. To understate it to such simple influences is a distortion of their true might, as Superstition will quickly find their way to the spearhead of death metal as a whole with a completely unique sound that cannot be ignored.

The black winged messiah spreads their wings over the putrid wasteland, and a sky stained red with flames will echo with the sounds of Superstition.


20 BUCK SPIN unveils the debut LP from New Mexico-based death metal entity SUPERSTITION, confirming The Anatomy Of Unholy Transformation to the world on June 21st.

Be sure to catch Superstition’s devastating presence at Covenant Festival V this summer in Vancouver!

FACEBOOK
BANDCAMP

Categories
Review

SENTIENT RUIN Roundup: Miscarriage, Sutekh Hexen, and Suspiral intent

A trio of mind-bending tape releases has emerged from the Bay Area’s Sentient Ruin in recent months, with Miscarriage, Sutekh Hexen and Suspiral intent on royally ruining your evening. As the hideous musical propaganda arm already carries a stunning legacy of hideous filth, one can only expect each of the label’s releases to carry a vicious and unique potency. Read the mission statement: “Denial of the human race through deviant analog audio forms.” Now you have some idea of what to expect. Representative of the whole, the following releases certainly do not fail to stand up to that reputation.

First up is the prolific Miscarriage‘s Imminent Horror, a colossal lurch forward from their 2017 debut Disposed Abomination, and in a direction only hinted at on previous material. Imagine the most warped and wretched dregs of Triumvir Foul and Qrixkuor dragged through a black hole and this cavernous: Lovecraftian nightmare becomes less hazy. Powerless to resist, Imminent Horror washes over its victims like a spring tide, challenging and threatening initiates to derive any sense whatsoever from its disorientating maw of carnage.

Sutekh Hexen‘s eponymous record is equally unsettling, summoning unseen, unknown terrors with ritualistic, blackened ambient. At close to an hour, much longer than their many singles and split releases, SH can more deeply immerse and oppress the listener, switching seamlessly between brooding dark ambient and harsh noise welded to a raw black metal frame. Those familiar with From the Bogs of Aughiska and Infetu will recognise the feelings of eternal dread, although the subtlety of the deepest ambient passages is lost on the sublimely-packaged cassette version.

Suspiral‘s aptly-titled Chasm sees the Spaniards take some fairly standard death and black metal influences and bend them into a hypnotic miasma through repetition and a refusal to work with anything as trite as verses and choruses. Each of these four songs is so far from conventional structure that there are parts that almost seem jammed, albeit by a very tight, possibly telepathic group. Psychedelic may not be a term that comes easily to death metal, but there is a dervish quality to Chasm that is difficult to escape. This could easily have fallen apart if not handled with care, indeed the final song seems like an afterthought, but the superior production, musicianship and writing all combine excellently.


LABEL HOMEPAGE
SUTEKH HEXEN
MISCARRIAGE
SUSPIRAL

Categories
Review

MISÐYRMING revels in fury and disgust on the Dionysian “Algleymi”

It is a good time to be alive for fans of black metal. Within the last decade the genre seems to have undergone a wave of rapid international expansion, at the forefront of which we find the aptly coveted Icelandic black metal scene. Coming from a small island filled with venerable comrades like Svartidaudi and Sinmara, Misþyrming has increasingly high standards to uphold, and Algleymi does not disappoint.

Most bands would approach a sophomore album as an opportunity to perfect and expand upon their sound, solidifying their fanbase and establishing some aspect of consistency to expand upon with future releases. However, Misþyrming is not like most bands. Algleymi is a vastly different album from their first full length, Söngvar elds og óreiðu, swapping deep seeded depressive atmosphere for fiery, bursting melodies, overall resulting in an album more akin to the likes of Taake or Uada than their Icelandic counterparts Sinmara or Svartidaudi. The album blindsides us with the introduction of a beautiful new side of Misþyrming, a more complex, rhythm driven approach, offering listeners a euphoric voyage through a plethora of human emotion, a creative space as expansive as the cosmos itself, a space that formerly closed itself to all that was not darkness and sorrow.

Although Algleymi is a masterpiece it may not be what traditional fans of the Icelandic force were hoping for, as it is almost a complete departure, if not massive evolution, from the looming sound they cultivated so artfully with their first full length release. It almost seems that the progress the band has made in relation to their music is so immense that a different name for the project may have been necessary, but again, by releasing an album that is so far a departure and yet such a work of art under the same name, Misþyrming proves once more that they are not concerned with conforming to the ideals of fans and critics or what is expected of them, but rather, making music for themselves driven by their own emotions and ever changing existence. While Algleymi may be the polar opposite of the sophomore release we were expecting from them, it is, nevertheless, a phenomenal work of art and so much more than any of us could have anticipated.

If anything Algleymi serves as proof of just how much potential Misþyrming has, and most importantly, serves as a welcome reminder that innovation and originality are still alive and well within the raging heart of black metal, an invaluable commodity just waiting to be discovered, one must only know where to look.


NORMA EVANGELIUM DIABOLI is proud to present Misþyrming’s highly anticipated second album, Algleymi, on all formats.

BANDCAMP
FACEBOOK

Categories
Review

DEATHSPELL OMEGA drags the unsuspecting to the fires of freedom on “The Furnaces Of Palingenesia”

Satan has many faces, taking on an array of aspects only as diverse as the societies and belief systems that have illuminated his fractured portrait throughout human history. He has been known largely as a fearful entity, infinitely dangerous to the established spiritual authority, yet despite this bestial nature, he is a seducer to the hearts and minds of men and women. To the disparate, Satan has been known as the liberator, a symbol of freedom and unfettered will, carrying over into our modern era. But where much of modern Satanism results in a fetishization of the macabre and blasphemous, few tap into that aura of a genuine extraplanar power.

Enter the shadowed conclave of musical madmen known as Deathspell Omega. One of the glowering beacons of Satanic power in modern music, the work of these largely anonymous devotees stands overtly apart, conjuring the near unfathomable nature of occult geometry and esoteric practice in the musical form.

After what indescribable toiling over nonsensical progressions and signature changes, Deathspell Omega have emerged from out of nowhere with yet another intimidating masterwork of pitch black masonry for us all to stare at in dumbfounded admiration. The Furnaces Of Palingenesia hints at the creative whims of its own creators, who, having reached the heights of extremity in nearly every sense with 2016’s, The Synarchy Of Molten Bones, seem to have diverged slightly into the realm of a more narrative ebb and flow between the their own extra-elemental fury and a contrastingly subdued, brooding atmosphere more typical to death-doom.

The Furnaces Of Palingenesia stands apart from nearly all of the band’s music in recent memory. Especially being the follow up to Synarchy, which was built on only four massive titan tracks in length and content, this latest album’s shorter form songs come and go in startlingly rapid succession, yet strangely do not feel as such. Instead, such adjacent tracks like the doom – laden “1523” and its lead into “Sacrificial Theopathy” seamlessly craft an ongoing musical stream of disturbed consciousness. In this way, the song placement throughout nearly all of The Furnaces Of Palingenesia is crucial to its overall impact. Without the opening, mid – tempo scene setter of “Neither Meaning Nor Justice”, its counterpart, “The Fires Of Frustration” would doubtless be handicapped. Instead, the listener is unwittingly caught in the serpentine bondage of DSO’s interwoven strings as that second track suddenly begins at full speed, dragging them down into a state of heightened anxiety, which is only amplified by Mikko Aspa’s chilling vocal performance. Every cog seems placed deliberately by masters of structure and anti-structure, for maximum effect.

If familiarity is something that can be felt for Deathspell Omega’s music, then there is much to be had in Furnaces by the apocalyptic surrealism of “Imitatio Dei” or “Renegade Ashes”, alongside a welcome shift in direction without compromise of execution. Speed is not everything, and while none can discount Deathspell Omega in that arena, it is but one aspect of many that has made their music so groundbreaking. “Ad Arma! Ad Arma!” might be one of DSO’s longest mid – tempo songs in their discography, sounding like an imperialist shadow hovering over all the world as it is cowed into slavery. Atmosphere and technicality reign in equal measure, as the anonymous percussive hydra that mans the kit in Deathspell makes use of an airy jazz approach that explores lesser known avenues in this brand of music. Underplayed cymbal hits and weightless flourishes beget almost militaristic snare sections, while the string sections emote a cancerous air.

The sister songs of “1523” and “You Cannot Even Find The Ruins…” are yet more examples of DSO’s branching out to explosive effect. Not often does one hear music that so completely encapsulates a feeling as these two, which evoke a potent aura of hopeless aftermath. Drawing on the mortifying weight of funeral doom, and pulling the instrumentation back to the extremes of simplicity to focus wholesale on an emotional throttling. In lieu of such affecting songs, it becomes hard to deny that the slowest and most alien of tracks on Furnaces may indeed be some of its best.

To the world at large, Deathspell Omega have nothing but their music to show, because that is all they need to show. The depth and quality on display in every facet of the band’s music constitutes a daemonic personality all its own, with each album in this infernal discography carving another aspect of Satanic majesty for us to marvel and cower before. As is the way of esoteric writings and the lesser known sciences of Kabbalistic formulae, The Furnaces Of Palingenesia will confound or revile the casual music listener. But for those initiates into the bizarre subspace of taste that Deathspell Omega occupy, Furnaces is another glorious example of perverted genius at work.

Listen at risk to your own sanity!!!


NORMA EVANGELIUM DIABOLI is proud to present Deathspell Omega’s highly anticipated seventh album, The Furnaces of Palingenesia on all formats.

BANDCAMP