Saturday, April 29, 2023

European Doom


While looking around online for a vinyl copy of Mars Red Sky's 2011 eponymous masterpiece, I stumbled on yet another absolutely outstanding French Doom/Stoner band I'd not heard of - Witchfinder. Taken from their 2019 album Hazy Rites, you can order a super sweet bundle of gorgeous vinyl from these guys via Mars Red Sky Big Cartel Shop HERE. You can also order the anniversary edition of that aforementioned MRS record. I've got a very nice mail day coming up in a few weeks.

I have to say, so far France is my favorite exporter of Metal. Between Blut Aus Nord, and now these two bands, I feel an epic, otherworldliness in the music made there the likes of which, I've not heard elsewhere. All three bands are among the most unique and creative in their particular 'genres,' and I love the idea of old-world European creepiness informing their approach, sound and aesthetic. Just looking at the album artwork for Witchfinder, and hearing the band's incorporation of pipe organ into the music definitely lends their sound a darker sound than a lot of other Stoner/Doom bands. 


I finally re-started Alan Campbell's God of Clocks, the third and final entry into his Deepgate Codex series. 

I really wish I'd been able to roll right from the first two books into this one, but that trip to LaLaLand interrupted that - I didn't want to carry a Hardcover with me on the plane, or around in my backpack as I walked all over L.A. The joke was on me, of course, as my friend Chris ended up gifting me several books while I was there, one of which was that Hardcover edition of Stephen King's Fairy Tale I just talked about reading a few weeks ago.

I'll not lie - I love Campbell's writing, but it's proving difficult to switch back from King. There's just something so pragmatic about Stephen King's prose. Talk about 'every man.' Campbell reminds me A LOT of Mervyn Peake, and as such, it takes a bit more time to visualize his descriptions. Not a bad thing, and definitely a good exercise for the ol' attention span, which took a bit of a hit of late. Not a big deal; I'll knuckle down and use God of Clocks to readjust my concentration, and that will help with several more of the books I have coming up in the next few months, probably most notably, Nathan Ballingrud's The Strange, which I'm absolutely frothing at the mouth to read.


Druids - Spirit Compass (EP)
Dorthia Cottrell - Death Folk Country
Ghost Bath - Moonlover
Fen - Epoch
Nabihah Iqbal - Dreamer
Bret Easton Ellis Podcast S7E10: Mr. Misery 
Mars Red Sky & Queen of the Meadow - Eponymous (single)
Witchfinder - Hazy Rites
Witchfinder - Forgotten Mansion
Mars Red Sky - Eponymous
Ritual Caster - Gravity Cosmonaut


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Seven of Swords - Sephirothic Association is Netzach, which instantly conjures the word "Victory" for me.
• Eight of Swords - Sephirothic Association, Hod. Splendor. 
• King of Cups - or in Thoth-speak, Prince of Cups, the Intellectual aspects of Emotion, a conundrum if there ever was one. 

What's this all add up to? Well, I'd say having the two consecutive numbers in the same suit fall one right after the other implies Process, i.e. there's a formula. My creative juice runs best in an Ad Hoc, stream-of-consciousness that I've had to learn to wrangle, especially when it comes to Shadow Play Books 2 & 3, which I've outlined and am (trying) to write concurrently. Or rather, I was. That approach kind of became subsumed by those flaring, creative energies again, and things have become somewhat murky. I'm assuming this Pull is telling me to buckle it up tight, once again.

Pulling two consecutive cards like this, I think it's important to note that when you look at the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the path between these Netzach and Hod is the 27th Path, also known as The Tower Path, or in Crowley's words, "The Blasted Tower or House of God." This is a path where if you are ascending from the lower, Earthly realms, you must sacrifice, or learn to part with your ideas of the world, your "ego scaffolding" and begin to give yourself up to something higher. If you're descending, you must take the thrill and emotion of "Victory" and transmute it into something useful. In other words, the idea you think is great can only actually be experienced as great if you can wrestle it into a tangible form.

That's writing, to a "T."

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