Friday, 23 August 2019
Trepanerungsritualen - ᛉᛦ - Algir; eller Algir i Merkstave
Album: ᛉᛦ - Algir; eller Algir i Merkstave
Label: Cold Spring
Catalogue no: CSR275CD
The only problem with waiting in anticipation for a release is that it could end up being something of a disappointment and leave a bitter taste behind. In my case, this new release by Thomas Ekelund’s death/occult/ritual ambient Trepanerungsritualen project has been on my radar ever since it was first announced, and I’ve been checking my email every day to see if it’s finally dropped. And lo, it hath arrived and is currently haunting my (very) inadequate laptop speakers.
I needn’t have been so querulous about what it would be like – this is classic occult/ritual ambient, deeply embedded with esoteric streams of power and cold, marrow-freezing winds and atmospherics. These are the invocations practised in the darkest chthonic regions, in the cold wastes of the north, where night reigns over us much of the time and the cold stealthily steals warmth. Here is where malignity and enmity lie, jealous of light and fecundity, colour and profusion.
‘ᛉ’ is the commencement, the alpha point of the invocation, annunciated by a crashing crunch of metal. Then there follows a stream of abstruse flutings along with a reverberating bell, a subterranean appeal to the creative spirits of the undercurrents that inhabit the bottomless chasms and abysses of the world, to lend succour and strength to the celebrant. These streams flow darkly and unheedingly, eternally wafting and wailing through dismal hollows, nothing more than deep breaths of foetid air oozing out of places where entities inimical to life have concealed themselves since matter accreted into what would become the Earth, waiting for the time when darkness engulfs all and the old gods return.
If ‘ᛉ’ is the darkness incarnate, then ‘ᛦ’ is its opposite, the essential counterbalance of light. This quality also infuses itself into every molecule of matter in existence, whether it’s as a constituent photon of the light of a billion stars whirling within a galaxy, or the shimmering undulations of bioluminescent creatures crawling at the bottom of the nethermost watery abyss. With its manifestation comes the lifting of the veil of illusion to reveal the deepest secrets and mysteries of the Earth and its hidden presiding genius, the intelligence that keeps the positive and negative in balance. A slow exhalation attunes us to the living energy that permeates and animates all, that effervescence which is deeply embedded within everything observable, as we too are made of the star-stuff from which that intelligence emerged aeons ago. Through the deep miasmic effluvium that occupies these fathomless regions, a species of insight sparks off both the light of reason and understanding, the undeniable truth that the light and the dark are one and the same thing, their only difference being that one reveals the exoteric and the other conceals the esoteric. True wisdom is attained through a balance and an alliance of the two, and a reconciliation of their qualities.
This ploughs a totally different furrow than was evident on, say, Perfection & Permanence: this speaks to a deeper strain of mysticism, an ancient path that has been with us since the first men divided existence into this world and the other/underworld. It was seen as the perfected version of this world, attainable only through dying and passing on in this world. Death was viewed differently to how it is now: it wasn’t a bad thing, and the dead would receive honour and riches in that next world.
This is quieter, and definitely more occult, than the death industrial/death ambient I was expecting. There’s more power here too, a coherent gathering of and communion with outside forces, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and its effect is to bring into being a power that transcends any artificial (and ultimately absurd) notions of black and white, good and evil, or of any oppositional dichotomy that we have invented. Humans love to pigeonhole and compartmentalise, but almost inevitably the truth lies somewhere in between, or in the philosophy that opposites must eventually be reconciled before that truth can be discerned.
A step in a different direction (and yet very much a logical evolution), with the very faint shades of Ekelund’s Dead Letters Spell Dead Words hanging around it, and one that deserves two things: your utmost attention and a good sound system (or headphones) to play it through.
Due to be released 9th September 2019 as a CD in 6-panel digipak, and a 500 copy limited edition 180g black vinyl disc with printed inner sleeve and reverse board outer sleeve.
Also available from the release date will be a digital download:
Psymon Marshall 2019