Review in Pit Magazine Issue # 28 Choronzon-Magog Agog-Nocturnal Art Productions Releases like Magog Agog are far and few between here at Pit. Predictability is fairly common on most metal albums. Te strange, psychotic flair of this one definitely doesn't fit that bill. The first half sounds similar to mechanized aggro-metal, but heavy electronics eliminate a substantial link. The opening track utilizes layering or multi-track technique of instruments and sounds producing a disorienting effect. It almost sounds like a chaotic "test" track,to immediately weed out the nimble minded "brutal" listeners from the adventurous ones. Perdurabo(MagogAgog) follows with aggressive metal tendencies, but warps, explodes and reconstitutes itself from the meshing disarray of sound and structure. Eventually, the material calms down to reveal a black metal musician basking in the electronic light. Be warned! this record is an acquired taste! For the dark eccentric weirdo in the metal crowd only. -Kurt Hubert
Blackened Electro Metal from America
Choronzon (USA) is a one-man project under the command of Mr. P. Emerson Williams.
The music of Choronzon is a find blend of Black, Thrash and Industrial, but you also find strong Gothic elements and some out of the ordinary psychedelic/ Ambient elements.
If you've had anything to do with the goth scene or read any occult oriented magazines in the early nineties you would almost certainly have come acress the art of Peter Emerson Williams, or read interviews with his band, Veil of Thorns. What was less known at the time was the evil Demon he was giving brith to: Choronzon.
P. Emerson Williams had spent the late eightees trying to get a Black Metal band going that was sincere about its occult involvement. Finding nothing but baseball-capped thrashers who were content with aping Exodus, Metallica and Anthrax he decided to withdraw from the world for a while to concentrate on art, Veil of Thorns and perfecting his vision of Metal.
Choronzon was first brought out from the underworld with "Emotional Hunger", a heavily Death-tinged three song affair that had its good points but barely hinted in -92 at what was to follow. It was with the second self-titled demo Williams' vision was brought lightyears closer to realization, and the public interest was immediately felt to the point at which it was difficult to get review copies sent out as the tapes were sold almost as soon as they were duplicated.
What most characterized the second demo was a ritualistic experimentalism that was not quite the amorphous devilry of Abruptum and some eighties style riffs that weren't quite retro. This demo was without a doubt a far purer Black Metal release than the preceeding demo and the subsequent album.
"Magog Agog" is taken from James Joyces "Finnegans Wake". It is to be found in a passage of epithets hurled at, written down and collected by a much derided derilict in the town. It fits perfectly with the way P. Emerson Williams was treated by many in the goth scene, and the words have a very meaningful occult meaning which fits Choronzon to a T.
Choronzon "Magog Agog" CD (ECLIPSE 009)/ Nocturnal Art Productions:
"The music of Choronzon is a fine blend of Black, Thrash and Industrial Metal, but you also find strong gothic elements and some out of the ordinary psychedelic/ambient elements." What could be more fitting description? This outstandingly weird and unordinary release by P. Emerson Williams of Veil Of Thorns surely covers all the mentioned genres and almost everything else, and furthermore combines them incredibly well so that the wide spectrum doesn't disturb. It's hard to say anything collective about "Magog Agog", it's not just anything. Every single field is handled with skill and true artistic sense, and recording technology is being used very colourfully. If you're into really chaotic and original stuff, get "Magog Agog" in your hands as soon as possible! It's simply brilliant!
(5) Review by Ville Sorvali
* Desde Estados Unidos, Choronzon ejecuta un sonido pasado de tuerca hasta que roza lo rallante. Su mezcla de sonidos ambient, hardcore, industrial y death hacen que, en ocasiones, algunos temas se conviertan en composiciones ruidosamente inaudibles y más aun teniendo en cuenta la extensa duración de los mismos. El proyecto ha sido concebido íntegramente por P. Emerson Williams, quien, a excepción de alguna mínima colaboración, se ha encargado de la música y letras. El contenido de Magog agog es tenebroso y no apto para mentes endebles.
CHORONZON "Magog Agog" (Nocturnal Art) 4
Now and then records that forces me to think in new ways comes my way. When the old terms no longer are useful you have to invent new ones to describe what you hear. It is because Choronzon are totally inventive and perform music that defies gravity. It is more a combination of different styles that brings out this need for a new term. That "Magog Agog" even deserves a new term will tell you that the music is on the right side of good. Had it not been like that only one word had been needed to describe the music: shit. What does this mix that justifies a new term consist of? Choronzon have on "Magog Agog" succeeded in making the music sound like a mix of Godflesh and black metal. To call the music industrial black metal is not enough and it is not new. Norwegian Helheim mixed black metal with industrial on their mcd "Fenris". What is innovative with Choronzon is that they mix two so different opposites that Godflesh and black metal are. That Choronzon incorporates influences from other styles of music is made clear in the song "Crimson Awakening". At times this song reminds me strongly of something by Iron Maiden. Despite its strange mix of influences on "Magog Agog" it's a record that is strong enough to compete with all the straight on metal that is released. Underneath all the strangeness lie songs that doesn't differ that much from normal songs. This makes "Magog Agog" not a painful experience. Anders Ekdahl
From Fight Amnesia #9
This is Peter Williams's (Veil Of Thorns) Black Metal side project, in which he invites us to enter a completely different area of his creative work. CHORONZON are a quite open-minded act since they include a lot of noisy, HC and experimental/progressive influences and succeed in combining traditional Black Metal elements with a somewhat Big Black/Ministry sound. Yet, some excellent melodies still glimmer through the brutal arrangements and blend in one with slow-mo Doom parts, forming a rather haunting atmosphere. An excellent release for all friends of extreme music, which guarantees you many sleepless nights!
Review in Pit Magazine Issue # 28
Choronzon-Magog Agog-Nocturnal Art Productions
Releases like Magog Agog are far and few between here at Pit. Predictability is fairly common on most metal albums. Te strange, psychotic flair of this one definitely doesn't fit that bill. The first half sounds similar to mechanized aggro-metal, but heavy electronics eliminate a substantial link. The opening track utilizes layering or multi-track technique of instruments and sounds producing a disorienting effect. It almost sounds like a chaotic "test" track,to immediately weed out the nimble minded "brutal" listeners from the adventurous ones. Perdurabo(MagogAgog) follows with aggressive metal tendencies, but warps, explodes and reconstitutes itself from the meshing disarray of sound and structure. Eventually, the material calms down to reveal a black metal musician basking in the electronic light. Be warned! this record is an acquired taste! For the dark eccentric weirdo in the metal crowd only.
NORDIC VISION # 12
Interview with P. Emerson Williams in Isten 100
By Mikko Mattila
This American band is definitely delivering something different than the metal market usually limits itself to. This is something intense and hard, industrialized raw metal with chaotic and controlled sounds. Very hard and at the same time rich with noise. The industrial edge of this band is the most visual side of their music, several noisy factors do play an essential part of he music and do not allow it to become polished or predictable. The album varies from the rather noisy and non-melodic to the more easily listenable, with raw riffs and a drive to the music. Like on "Crimson Awakening", which as become our highlight on this unusual and raw album.
CHORONZON Blackened Electro Metal from America Choronzon (USA) is a one-man project under the command of Mr. P. Emerson Williams. The music of Choronzon is a find blend of Black, Thrash and Industrial, but you also find strong Gothic elements and some out of the ordinary psychedelic/ Ambient elements. If you've had anything to do with the Goth scene or read any occult oriented magazines in the early nineties you would almost certainly have come across the art of Peter Emerson Williams, or read interviews with his band, Veil of Thorns. What was less known at the time was the evil Demon he was giving birth to: Choronzon. P. Emerson Williams had spent the late eighties trying to get a Black Metal band going that was sincere about its occult involvement. Finding nothing but baseball-capped thrashers who were content with aping Exodus, Metallica and Anthrax he decided to withdraw from the world for a while to concentrate on art, Veil of Thorns and perfecting his vision of Metal. Choronzon was first brought out from the underworld with "Emotional Hunger", a heavily Death-tinged three song affair that had its good points but barely hinted in -92 at what was to follow. It was with the second self-titled demo Williams' vision was brought light years closer to realization, and the public interest was immediately felt to the point at which it was difficult to get review copies sent out as the tapes were sold almost as soon as they were duplicated. What most characterized the second demo was a ritualistic experimentalism that was not quite the amorphous devilry of Abruptum and some eighties style riffs that weren't quite retro. This demo was without a doubt a far purer Black Metal release than the preceding demo and the subsequent album. "Magog Agog" is taken from James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake". It is to be found in a passage of epithets hurled at, written down and collected by a much derided derelict in the town. It fits perfectly with the way P. Emerson Williams was treated by many in the Goth scene, and the words have a very meaningful occult meaning which fits Choronzon to a T. Choronzon "Magog Agog" CD (ECLIPSE 009)/ Nocturnal Art Productions: "The music of Choronzon is a fine blend of Black, Thrash and Industrial Metal, but you also find strong gothic elements and some out of the ordinary psychedelic/ambient elements." What could be more fitting description? This outstandingly weird and unordinary release by P. Emerson Williams of Veil Of Thorns surely covers all the mentioned genres and almost everything else, and furthermore combines them incredibly well so that the wide spectrum doesn't disturb. It's hard to say anything collective about "Magog Agog", it's not just anything. Every single field is handled with skill and true artistic sense, and recording technology is being used very colorfully. If you're into really chaotic and original stuff, get "Magog Agog" in your hands as soon as possible! It's simply brilliant!
(5) Review by Ville Sorvali Towards Chaos... Band Contact Label contact: Nocturnal Art Productions P.O. Box 4 3671 Notodden Norway Fax: +47 35012108 Phone: +47 35020862 E-mail: [email protected]
Choronzon Interview in Isten 100 by Mikko Mattila: MACHINES CAN DO A GREAT MANY THINGS Instability, turmoil, chaos and confusion are the order of the coming years",he says. "Celebrate it, revel in it and take good advantage of this happy fact. The last time we talked to P. Emerson Williams (Dark Lord, 1996), he said he wanted Choronzon to be more chaotic and disorienting than the Choronzon tape, while also more melodic and expressive. Now, listening to the Magog Agog album I can only congratulate the man. What do you say yourself ~ aims achieved? Or is it still a case of you having barely tapped into the sound that exists in your head? "I think Magog Agog is a decent start, but it merely scratches the surface. I consider this to be a very straight forward and restrained album. I was frankly a bit afraid that it was a little too much of the usual; I've been finding some of the reactions to be puzzling, to say the least, especially from some of the distributors. I believe my album is the only N.A.P. release that isn't carried by Full Moon in the states. It'll be interesting to see what the follow-up does to the status of my contract." Puzzling reactions, yes, I've heard people say about Magog Agog that there's some good stuff on it, but that it reverts into a cacophony, going up and over the limits, the guitars becoming undecipherable,... and I'm like, 'Stop right there, I've heard enough'. These people just don't get it at all as far as I'm concerned. I'm actually afraid of album number two,' cause the mere whisper of overproduction would mean that some of the magick, for e, would be gone... "Well, I knew from the start that Choronzon was not going to be taking over for Metallica, or Dark Throne, for that matter. My biggest criticism of the album is that it is a bit on the clean side, and, to my ears, not chaotic at all. I want my music to frighten even the most jaded in the Metal audience, which I'm far away from so far. I want to rive sane men mad with only a few seconds of listening to music. I want to induce hallucinations and mortal dread, and the next release will come much closer to fulfilling that ambition than the rather sedate and demure performance on Magog Agog. Only the worthy are going to get what I'm doing, and the rest don't deserve to hear any of it." It's rather easy for people to lump Choronzon together with Benighted Leams et al and diss you because it's a one-man band and you're using a drum machine. And I can't really even blame them 'case, well, one-man bands are almost always crap and also 'cause this side of Samael nobody in metal (hm?) ought to use drum machines... Your thoughts on the matter? "Besides Samael and Mysticum, metal musicians simply don't know how to use drum machines. The fault lies with the musicians and not the technology. People are rightly sceptical about one-man projects and I encourage skepticism on al fronts, so I encourage everyone to check out compilations and to pay attention to metal radio shows before blindly spending their money. I want to get all the money possible, but have done nothing that could possibly be lucrative." What's the direct effect that you hope Choronzon has on the listener - the subliminal message, is it 'Study Les Crowley, do drugs and fuck goats,' basically?
"Personally I've never wanted to fuck anything but a znoinaya grasotka, but do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. The study of Crowley isn't mandatory, though his writings are only a danger to those for whom there is no hope, anyway. And Ido support the "Never Stop the Madness"" campaign. That campaign appeals to my Skinneresque Social Darwinist philosophy. "Any subliminal message would be directly from Choronzon himself, and therefore not necessarily known consciously by even me. Choronzon is like a maggot: he turns the abundant useless souls into organic spiritual matter that the universe can feed off, and is therefore most representative of this part of the new Aeon." I still can't believe that the utterly brilliant Crimson Awakening is actually over ten minutes! Can you tell u the story behind this piece of music/magick? And... How do you do it? "Samoth complained several times that my sons are too long. I respect his opinion, since he's one of the most brilliant musicians of the latter half of the century, but I don't have the ability to do anything but what comes naturally. I try to refrain from repeating any idea too many times, but my most basic arrangements rarely end up shorter than six minutes. "I wrote the music twelve years ago, when I was neither a vocalist nor a lyricist. I came up with the lyrics at a time when both I and my girlfriend at the time were having these visions and dreams of me slaughtered in a secluded forest where my spirit was lingering and gazing peacefully at my mutilated remains. I rarely dream anything that doesn't happen, so maybe that's my fate. This is one of the few songs I've written that wasn't created in a trance state, though it is the result of many such incidents." Oh, yeah, I may have asked you this before, but what rituals do you have and believe as far as songwriting is concerned? "The process of creating results from an inward process, which I've heard Nick Lowe talk about, and the performance of the song is approached more as a ritual. I'll come out of rituals that have nothing to do with music that yield the seeds and mages for songs, but it is meditations that form the songs themselves. The act of taking this raw material is pretty mundane, though the performance, as I said, is quite ritualistic." It seems as though you want to go boldly beyond sound and structure with Choronzon. What kind of a puzzle is it to you-and what do you think is the case with music lovers in general? "Most people like music to have a sound they can easily tune out. It is to much for them if it demands any amount of attention. Hence the popularity of Phil Collins, James Taylor and Van Morrison. It is generally the job of the producer to drain the music of all that makes the music worthwhile, which is why I like the Foamin' Bros., their philosophy is the opposite of that. "Speaking for myself, I think I think the music and the performance themselves are vastly more important than the production, and I feel that there's a great deal of music that's been ruined by a pretty sound. In fact, I'm proud of the production of the Carnage demo, which I'm told you rudely criticized. It's rugged and raw! Guts hit the floor, worms exit your pores!" What Carnage demo? Gimme The Day Man Lost or Infestation Of Evil any day. As for your friend Voland's tape, I didn't say a word about the production, I merely asked him if he's planning to change the name to Bathory anytime soon. By the way, do you have any other friends with one-man projects going? It's been said that someone who's made a record/played live can never again listen to music the way he used to, before this experience. The neutrality is gone for good. I think this is most true with record label personnel - good music just ain't good music if it's on the wrong label. Anyway, what have your experiences been like? How have your tastes and listening habits changed?
"Shit, anyone who's twenty can't listen to music the same was he did when he was thirteen and discovered Venom. I don't long for the days when I knew nothing about music. But in my case I'd have to go back when I was eight, before I got my first guitar, when I was listening to my mother's Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and albums. "I don't really give a shit what label something is released on. If it's good, it's good. I still like everything I always liked. My tastes don't change so much as expand. I don't care who you are. You'd be alternately delighted or disgusted by y collection of music. I'm sure some segment would want to kill me for owning Duke Ellington records. I've also come to realize the genius of Satchmo in the last few years. Albert Ayler, Captain Beefheart, Throbbng Gristle, fuck, man, in a perfect world the mere existence of the people cause a mass suicide of the empty vessels that are the mainstream artists of our day due to the fact that they deserve no less than the ovens." Is Veil Of Thorns, still active? "We're very active these days, though we're finding the Goth audience to be more conservative and less open than the country audience. I've found many more people in the Black Metal scene who like what we do than we've found in the Goth scene. I find it gratifying to scare the meek, mild and angelic fns of Goth with our performances, though. My good friend Voland compared our live show with a cross between Mussorgsky and Abruptum. We did go through long, protracted negotiations with Tiziana for Veil of Thorns, but she couldn't ultimately deliver the goods. I didn't approach her for a deal, she offered us ne and told us to keep a low profile while we hammered out an agreement. We worked only locally, becoming one of the biggest Goth bands in the Boston area, while she drowned in previous commitments. We fell by the wayside in favor of the new 'Mayhem" (ahem) EP and the embarrassing Burzum keyboard album. "Meanwhile, we recorded our first album and are hoping against hope to find a label and an audience for it. It has a couple of songs from the Legemet Og Stemmen demo and a number of new songs. The fate of Veil of Thorns is unclear at the moment. I thought that Choronzon was a conceit of limited possibility, as I thought that Veil of Thorns had more possibility of succeeding. My instincts may be proven right, though the Goth crowd isn't likely to take to a couple ugly, butch-looking bastards these days. If we got a cute girl to sing angelic voices we'd have a chance, though. (If I hear another angelic voice, I'll go on a murderous rampage).
What a great biography that accompanies the album: "All in all a rather creative and original release" sounds like a total understatement compared with the hyperbolic BS prevalent in these circles, although it's the truth. "Samoth and I both believe in stating only the objective truth. I find the fact that he chose to go that far to be quite a compliment. The music will either sell itself or it will not." So your linking up with Nocturnal Art, How did it actually happen? It was back in '93, Minda from Wounded gave me addresses for various Satanic artists, including Rotting Christ and Emperor I then got a hold of Emperor's demo, Wrath Of The Tyrant, and, duly impressed, decided to write Samoth. I sent the first Choronzon demo, Emotional Hunger and some artwork, offering to create art for anything they might need it for, which they have yet to take me up on, and a letter detailing my plight with trying to get a metal band together in the states that was worth the effort. I never received a response, and eventually stopped waiting for one. "A Few years, a second demo and twenty interviews later Samoth wrote me saying that he was intrigued by what had been said about my work, that he wanted to hear my latest stuff and that he remembered that I had been in previous contact with him. He liked what I sent him and offered me an excellent deal. The rest is ja da, ja da."
Magog Agoy:On Nocturnal Art Productions label. P. Emerson Williams, already known in the underground scene for his various projects, released an album, which was hard to anticipate. Earlier, I've heard his gothic project Veil Of Thorns, which goes in the best traditions of Bauhaus; here, P. E. Williams does everything alone again, but the style is absolutely different and can be described as a mix of gothic, black, industrial, ambient music. It has a strong impact of horror music and films, somehow I can relate it to my favorite horror group Morthem Vlade Art. Choronzon isn't so diverse as this band, but its music is much more powerful and angry, mainly because of the great use of industrial background and elements of black metal. "Magog Agoy" also has this, not common to black metal, psychedelic touch. The info sheet explains that Choronzon, besides occult and ritual practice, was also influenced by LSD visions. So, now you know that you can expect the unexpectable. Rating: 4.25/5. [http://www.cs.auc.dk/~giedrius/edge/issue13/r13goth.htm]
Choronzon : Magog Agog -cd-
A record, dedicated for individuals, and not for the masses, victims of neverending trends. Mr. P. Emerson Williams is know from his Veil of Thorns project, full of dark ambient. I remind he is of Norwegian blood, nowadays living in States. So finally he finished his metal compositions presented on Magog Agog. Drum machine helps to complete the line-up, and Williams adds loads of bizarre ideas to the pack. Biography correctly points out black, thrash and industrial metal with some hints of electro ambient. Everybody will be confused by sick defined riffs and noisy background. Moreover - voice he delivers has lot to do with 80's thrash and techno thrash scene. Every now and then he sings in a more Goth way - then thrashy riffs (a la Sodom) are traded to dark flowing soundscapes. Even trying very hard it is next to impossible to get a clue at first couple of listens. After a while you get used to unexpected turns, but a word strange still does not leave your mind. Especially mentioning Perdurabo (Magog Agog) tune. A chaos demon has landed on Choronzon recording - that is why it is so sick. Alas never try to stick a label to this cd, otherwise it leaves you dissatisfied. Better get into it with free mind, as it can not be an everyday listen.
This is Peter Williams's (Veil Of Thorns) Black Metal side project, in which he invites us to enter a completely different area of his creative work.
CHORONZON are a quite open-minded act since they include a lot of noisy, HC and experimental/progressive influences and succeed in combining traditional Black Metal elements with a somewhat Big Black/Ministry sound. Yet, some excellent melodies still glimmer through the brutal arrangements and blend in one with slow-mo Doom parts, forming a rather haunting atmosphere. An excellent release for all friends of extreme music, which guarantees you many sleepless nights!
PETER EMERSON WILLIAMS is the mastermind behind the electronic Goth band VEIL OF THORNS and the Black Metal project CHORONZON. He is furthermore active as an artist, whose drawnings are inspired by Magic and Nature. His works bear, as you will find out yourselves, a quite dark and obscure character. We were interested in Peter's creative work both as an artist and as a musician, and here's what we've found out...
You come originally from Norway. How did you land in the USA and how do you feel today about this change?
Actually, I was born in the States but grew up in Norway. I came here with my family when I was sixteen because my mother wanted to go back to where she came from. We'd been gone for about a decade without so much as a visit, so it was quite a shock coming back, especially for me, having been so young when we moved to Norway.
I feel it's always good to add to one's experience, so I generally feel I benefited from the move. I do see myself settling in Norway to live out my life, however. It took leaving to show me how much I love Norway.
You seem to be quite annoyed about the American way of life. Which do you think is the main reason that culture is slowly dying and its place is taken by the obsession of consuming and just living a "comfortable" life?
A comfortable life is not that easy to achieve in the States. Here is no culture, only corporate product. Those doing worthwhile work have no hope of making a living. The average American is washed of any semblance of individuality and initiative in school and through popular culture.
Is there a connection between your lyrics, your music and your drawings? Do you consider your whole work as a concept or is there some part which you consider more important than the other?
I consider them to be parts of a whole, none of which would be the same if I weren't doing all.
Your two musical projects, namely Veil Of Thorns and Choronzon, are quite different to each other. The first is a more Goth oriented band, the second, your solo Black Metal project. Which are the parallels between those two acts? Did you miss something with VoT, which forced you to form Choronzon?
Choronzon is more of a ritual persona than a band, allowing me total indulgence with no regard to convention. I know that, as a listener, I like a particular release to flow naturally from beginning to end, and I don't think this would be possible to pull off with all these various sounds and moods on a single release. I'm not trying to be an industrial Zappa or Gothic Mr. Bungle.
Some of the Choronzon songs are written as Qabbalistic exercises performed as rituals, time-signature and harmonies invoking elements and elemental spirits. Choronzon is gnosis and Veil of Thorns is myth. Both are equally important and complimentary.
Which are the main feelings you want to transport through your music and lyrics?
Peace, sorrow, fear, mourning, anger, tension, orgasm, grandeur, debasement, transcendence, elation, immediacy, joy, disorientation, claustrophobia; love under Will. This is why we cannot be defined by the compilation tracks and singles...
Where can people get your music and are there any plans for album releases and any distribution updates?
You can get the music of both projects direct from us at Foamin' Bone Productions, as well as T-shirts bearing the design from the cover of the single and stickers. The "Lust Beyond Flesh" 7" is available from Nightbreed in the UK, Torture Records in California and Northern Darkness Records in Italy. We have a full-length recorded, needing only somebody to put it out. We'll be doing a limited edition vinyl pressing of this anyway, because we like vinyl.
A lot of people misunderstand the meaning of magick as something that is directed against human existence. What is for you the most precious character of magick and how does it influence you as a thinking being?
Damn, do you want to devote the rest of your 'zine to this question? Certainly, what is essential is this: attain the knowledge and conversation of your Guardian Angel. Achieve this, cross the Abyss and all else will be apparent. All we do is Magick, for good or for ill, whether we like it or not. Good and evil come together like the supreme ecstasy of Hadit and Nuit.
So, you do believe in the reconciliation of the opposites, conscious / unconscious, good / evil, man / woman, crystal / amorphous, etc.?
As I mentioned earlier, the joining of Hadit and Nuit, the annihilation of duality into zero. The way I approach the creative process is to go into a trance, let my unconscious pour out its divine insight, then to refine it by myself or with Chris. When you hear Veil of Thorns or Choronzon you hear this concept both implicitly and explicitly. Ritual grew largely out of this need within human beings.
You said at an interview with "Ghastly" that the Ocean and the water in general is very important and inspirative for your work. For many Ancient Cultures water used to have a mystical character. It is also the symbol of the unknown regions of the psyche. Furthermore, it is a symbol of the Feminine. So, what does water represent for you in your works?
What you just said includes so much of what draws me to water that all I can add is the beauty of drowning.
Let's talk a little about the development of the Norse Black Metal scene. As an artist, how do you consider the fact that a part of the Arts' history, namely churches, are burnt down by Black Metal fans?
I would certainly prefer that they got rich, bought these churches to live in and to banish Christ the Vampire from these places through sexual pagan rites. More witches, real and accused, were killed by the Inquisition than Jews were exterminated by the Nazis.
We're still dealing with this legacy, so many irrational actions will manifest until we face this issue head on. The ethnicity of various European cultures was killed by the Zombification process of the Church and embalmed and mummified by the modern consumer culture of America. These are people striking out in pain and anger. I understand their motivation, but I choose other tactics.
Yeah, but fanatics just cannot deal with open-mindedness and with tolerating each other's thoughts and feelings. Everything that is controlled and directed by someone is endangered to lose its personal identity...
If we weren't brought up to conform we couldn't be vulnerable to the pressures of those we surround ourselves with. The fact that we need laws shows the extent to which we're inferior to the other creatures. Fanatics can deal with their own thoughts and feelings even less than they can deal with the thoughts and feelings of others. It comes down to not being able to handle the responsibility of being an adult. It shows a real lack of strength of character to need to adhere to a dogma or moral code. If you need an outside reference to navigate your moral landscape you never bothered to learn the lay of the land to begin with! A good place to clarify individuality as opposed to selfishness is to look into what Ayn Rand said about the difference between egoism and egotism.
Do you think that hate can be a creative force to people? We believe that hate is a weakness to which a person might be driven because of "stern" belief.
Ah, but you might hate those whose fanaticism drives them to actions which you find repugnant. Hate is such a human emotion. My being, contained as it is by this primate vessel it is, isn't totally immune from such foibles as hatred. To quote the Vampire: "By our fruits shall you know us". The results of the actions of hate determine the value judgements we place upon them. I hate the Christ and the stifling mediocrity of the Average.
Don't you think that each person has to discover his/her own world, without being led by any ideologies but only by the hunger to learn and to advance?
I have nothing to add but an emphatic YES! Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
"The fall of fear eliminates the life that was" is a text line of yours. Do you consider this fall as an esoteric process or could it also appear as a revolutionary force?
This was part of a litany within the poem "Tear the Cities Down", which maps the progress of the Adept. This particular line IS the revolutionary force. It appears only in that brief moment before action, thus far in modern history, only to descend back into the authoritarian and oppressively dogmatic. There are many steps beyond this point, destructive and ultimately creative. This impulse has yet to lead to a better life on a greater scale because fear has yet to fall. So far fear has only tripped. Individuals can tap into this truth very easily, though.
Your arts seem to be inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, as there are some references to Cadath and to the mad Arab. Are you fascinated by these works because of their revealing the unknown and is there for you a kind of philosophy about life in them?
Aesthetically, I find the fantasies of Lovecraft appealing. I also find the rites detailed in the Necronomicon put out by Avon books to be entertaining, but I've not included these elements into my Magick except to throw in an element of Chaos. I never referred to the mad Arab in a song, but I referred to Kadath only to say that I've ventured beyond that fabled destination.
You said once that you are fascinated by physics and quantum mechanics. What does Chaos mean for you?
Chaos represents the Tao. To approach it with a rigid pre-conception has you perishing with the Dogs of Reason. Even to calculate the course of the nearest celestial bodies to a modest degree of accuracy takes the calculations of more elements than possible to conceive of. Of so much greater complexity then, must be the behaviour of sub-atomic particles, or the elements of a ritual. To make anything work one must learn to let go. This is true of learning proficiency of even the most mundane task. Order from Chaos is celebration of Chaos. Attempt at order seems only to lead to greater chaos, showing that nothing exists but Chaos.
Gothic is often set equal with the adoration of vampires, etc.? Don't you think that Gothic is something deeper than that?
Indeed! I've never had even the smallest interest in vampires. This is a decadent life style driven by aesthetics. It involves Magick and a dark romanticism. Vampire stories are cartoon versions of this.
Gothic fiction and Romanticism often describe a journey, during which one discovers the dark and hidden parts of his mind. Tell us about the dark side which you've discovered through your work...
To gaze into the unknown one must let go of the fears we're burdened with from our upbringing. To live without fear of the Devil and what resides within one's own heart is reward enough for the WORK. To follow the path with no concern as to what works or achieves results will give one this much. Often I look back on something I've done and discover something I hadn't realised consciously spelled out more eloquently than I could have done through deliberate effort. This vast insight and wisdom doesn't always prevent my explosive outbursts of frustration at the uselessness of our fellow vermin all the time, but it keeps down the escalation of outrage at my fellow humans and the acts that would follow.
Do you consider a museum or a gallery as a final stage of the process of Art or do you think that Art keeps developing even after the work leaves the hands of its creator?
Everybody brings something different to a work of art, so the process never ends. I get something different out of my work when I look at it or listen to it, than I get when I create it. One of these is often more fulfilling than the other, hence the large pile of stuff that will never see the light of day. Then again, I've discovered many times that I like something I rejected at the time I made it after checking it out later on. No state is permanent, even for fixed objects. This adds to the beauty of existence.
Did you have the chance to exhibit your works to the public? Any books and projects in which you were involved as an illustrator?
The only book so far is the Concupiscence book, the release of which I await with increasing impatience. I would welcome the chance to work with poets and other writers, both as an illustrator and as the cover artist. I don't consider anything I've done to be illustration, since all I've done so far has been to do whatever comes into my head and then let the editors use the drawings as they saw fit.
One thing coming up is my work for the Irish Pagan Metal band Primordial. Keep an eye on this excellent band both for their beautiful music and my visual input. I do intend to pursue doing CD covers, T-shirts and other things for bands and record companies I like in the future. I've had a few exhibitions of my paintings and I intend to pursue this more aggressively in the future.
Besides all that, all I've done was sets for a few theatre productions and designing a room for the reptile house of a local zoo. This was cool because I got to hang out with Iggy the iguana and listen to "The Reptile House" EP all summer while I was painting a rainforest.
You've just spoke about your excitement by the "Concupiscence Book", kinda book of alternative erotica. We never saw this book; it probably deals with S/M, Fetish, etc., so, what about all these tendencies which are slowly invading the Goth scene? We believe that this is a quite superficial translation of the SPIRITUAL sexuality of Gothic Arts and Literature.
Let them play. I see this as part of exploring one's hidden desires. How shallow this is will vary from individual to individual, depending on the depth of each person. My girlfriend agrees with you, but I see no problem in expressing oneself sexually however one likes, nor of bringing that expression into the scene as long as nobody feels obligated to engage in anything one is uncomfortable with to fit in. I think fetish and S/M can add to the beauty and profundity of the Gothic experience if one approaches it the right way, just as it can be powerful in ritual practice.
Would you like to tell us a few words about the problems you've faced as a young artist so far?
The biggest problem has been the necessity to endeavour to get my work out to people, something I've mostly ignored in favour of spending all my time creating. This gets easier as I find people I like and respect who can help me with this and who encourage me to go on. This and making my peace with Choronzon.
1.- I no longer dwell on my memory of life. That was another reality, a fever dream.
2.- I no longer obsess over the Christ. I'm growing new life from his putrid remains.
3.- Often my eyes would like to tell of the desires that purify. Of the defiled angels always at his side, how they danced drunkenly, grinning, bloody and sad.
4.- The cold, hard steel against my throat as the messiah smiled and promised love.
1.- Thought shall inaugurate the fall of fear, the fall eliminate the life that was. The life that was can never have been, lie turns back on lie. Behold.
2.- Fear shall die with its slaves. Death shall fear visions telling of lies.
3.- Visions shall lie, telling of the fear of death. Laughter will erase this carnage of thought.
4.- Fear ridden spectres flitting by. Still their fetters bind your soul.
5.- Strongholds of corrosion let burst the floodgates of dead gods desires.
6.- We have seen, and we will tear the cities down, falsehood by falsehood.
1.- In distrust lie the possibilities that were stillborn in haloed fields.
2.- We have planted the seed, and we will tear the cities down, falsehood by falsehood.
1.- Blind in water, seeking our embers. Glass hands grip his hair, aquatic flames consume his speech.
2.- Red purified in rubber aqueducts. It carries the fame, enflames our task. It remains undone.
3.- We stand watching the grinning corpse gleaming in white space. He screams beyond us, "I'm not here".
1.- "Illusions of darkness and vast halls of pain. I've cast off delusions, my body remains.
2.- The pulse of your poison which deeps life intact can bind me no longer to that which is sane.
3.- Our hopeless confusion enshrouded in sweet works, the lies of existence that help us to live. The Mindless delusions of social convention atrophies life force along with our souls."
1.- Ever falling from the vision. Embracing the warm, dry mouth. He cries no more, but dances.
2.- Here no more. Bound no more. Void the dust.
1.- Don't look too close, in the end you'll believe. Eventually you'll see. You'll think it is not there...
2.- Long gone friends far away. You smile at the thought of their comfort while you are here.
3.- You know fully that you're alive. Wind caress, a fog of snow.
1.- Do you give a damn for their welfare now? Is the reason you're doing this on your mind?
2.- Moving on in darkness, doubling over from joy. Did the priest not tell you? Death, then salvation.
3.- Strike the final blow and forever remain. The final death-throes sow the living grain.
4.- The seeds are flung at the remains, reasons found.
1.- Where is the rest of your creation? Reality? The inner monologues partially claims its falsehood.
2.- Feel the touch of the nocturnal breeze. To the snowy drifts on all sides, drowning you.
3.- Pull the lever and watch it all come down. Pull the trigger and claim our crown.
4.- With your back to the nameless crown, hide your sorrow. Get use to the cold hand on your shoulder. Beyond this initium, sleep shall never come.
Come running, run towards me.
I'll pull you from the snowy sea.
Sanctify your drowning.
Seas of sound wash your soul.
Now the vision needs no control.
The following interview was answered by Mr. Emerson, frontman of the American Experimental/Black Metal project CHORONZON. The interview was conducted after the release of his album "Magog Agog":
Psicoterror: When did you decide to initiate CHORONZON as a project?
Choronzon: I've played metal since the early eighties, and even in those days I was in search of even darker forms of the art-form. At the time I lived in Norway where I discovered Venom, Iron Maiden, Accept, Manowar among other great bands that existed at the time. What I found in the States when I arrived with my family in 1984 was an altogether much more sickening and disheartening scene. I mean, in this country at that time people thought Motley Crue was metal! (PUKE!). Then later, when I was trying to put together a Black Metal band in the mid to late eighties, I found only musicians who wanted to imitate the Bay Area trend band of the moment. Now, while I could appreciate the debut albums by Testament and Exodus, I had in mind something altogether more original and insisted on expressing my deepest misanthropic feelings and tell of things I'd experienced in my occult practice.
By the time the nineties rolled around I was living in Boston and isolating myself from the world, content to work on my own, perfecting my vision and delving further into occult studies and ritual practice. The beginning of my reemergence into the world was through some people I'd met in the occult underground who had a magazine called Fool's Feast who convinced me to create dome art for them. This started a period when I came in Contact with many occultists who were themselves musicians, artists and writers with whom I started to share my creations.
This was the time I found a line-up for Veil of Thorns. At first V.O.T was a combination of psychedelic rock, prog. Rock, goth, doom and death metal. In fact, the song "Choronzon" was the first song I wrote for Veil of Thorns, and it is quite a good example of the style V.O.T played at the time.
As V.O.T's style evolved away from this sound I found I needed a way of bringing my vision to a darker place, hence Choronzon.
P.T: Your music presents many elements, like black/thrash & industrial, etc. Under what premise was developed the musical concept of Choronzon, and what do you expect from it? (the band).
Choronzon: The sound developed quite naturally. I avoided deliberately planning what it would be, choosing to write most of the material in a trance-state. The concept is to simply incorporate it into my ritual practice. What I expect from it is self-expression and nothing more.
P.T: About your lyrics, and the conceptual basis of Choronzon: obviously exists some occult elements in them. Tell us your sources of inspiration and the message expressed by Choronzon.
Choronzon: Obviously the poetry of Aleister Crowley is one reference point. There isn't a single line in the lyrics of Choronzon, or any other musical endeavour I might undertake, that doesn't have occult meaning. The message makes up a tale of Choronzons Existance, who is vulnerable to his powers and my own interactions and thoughts on this most fascinating daimon. No message really, for I like to laugh at those who fall into his clutches.
P.T: Tell us something about your Foamin Bone prod., and your current productions.
Choronzon: Foamin' Bone Prod. Has produced everything created by Choronzon, Veil of Thorns, Byzantine Slave Drug as well as the production of both of the Carnage albums. I started Foamin' Bone as an umbrella under I could gather all my endeavours under one direction. It includes my art, recording studio; Foamin' Bone Studios and perhaps live events in the future.
P.T: Actually, exists some sectors of the european black metal scene who don't consider so seriously the american B/M scene, saying that it is merely a product of the consumer-society (I'm not referring to all of the bands, but perhaps a big part of them). What do you think about this topic in general?
Choronzon: What tries to be a Black Metal scene in the States is indeed quite pathetic. I wouldn't necessarily say that it is part of the consumer cult culture, seeing as it is impossible to make any money playing this music here. I think the biggest problem with most of the black metal here is that they live normal lives and have no understanding of what it all means.
P.T: How did you get in touch with Nocturnal Arts prod. , and how did you get a contract with them? Especially by the fact that they at that time only released European bands. How do you feel actually working with them?
Choronzon: Back in '92 Minda from Wounded mag. gave me Samoth's address, saying that I'd appreciate what his band was doing, based on the tapes I'd sent him. I sent him a couple of tapes with both Choronzon and Veil of Thorns and wrote a little bit about my philosophy. When I heard the "Wrath of the Tyrant" demo I knew that this was music for the ages. In subsequent years I didn't hear much from him, but when the second Choronzon demo was getting noticed the things that were written got his interest in light of what he already knew about what I was up to, so he asked to hear some of the newer material and where I was at, philosophically. I sent him the second demo along with some unreleased tracks based on which I decided to sign me.
I can't imagine a better situation for Choronzon to be unleashed on the unsuspecting masses.
P.T: Tell us about your relationships with the Gothic scene, and how do they see the concept of Choronzon?
Choronzon: My relationship with the Gothic scene is rather strained at the moment. Goth used to be about darkness, misanthropy and pushing the boundaries, musically, but has become increasingly pretty, angelic and representative of the new age (pronounced like sewage) mind-rot. I can't abide by weakness, sympathy to the nazarene or a wish to be accepted by society.
Some individuals see Choronzon as being closer to what they wish to see expressed in the Goth scene than that's actually going on there, though most can't handle real darkness.
P.T: Why did you want to create Choronzon as a one man-based side project?
Choronzon: I couldn't find any other worthy souls. Although, I did recently hook up with an old friend of mine, Jake Stevens, who played on a couple of songs on the album, and he'll have a bigger role in the next.
P.T: What do you think of the bands who are signing with capitalistic/trendy labels like Nuclear Blast?
Choronzon: I'm on two minds on this subject. On one hand, every satanic band signed to Nuclear Blast means that a christian band goes without a contract, but on the other hand being in any way associated with christians means an in for Jesus, the psychic vampire. Going with trendies means also that you'll be dropped once something else becomes the trend of the moment, which is why I wouldn't personally make that choice. I do, however, have no problems with capitalism. It is essentially Darwinistic, and therefore, anti-christian.
P.T: Future plans...?
Choronzon: To dissolve time and space.
P.T: What do you know about the Peruvian metal scene?
Choronzon: Only the death/black band Mortem, though I'd like more info from anyone who'd like to provide it.
P.T: Last words for our readers?
Choronzon: Ave Satanas! Ave Samoth! Ave Choronzon! Your day is at hand! Hail hate, darkness and misanthropy!! Join me in the celebration of the end!! And, as always, my message to the church: Apos Pantos Kakodaimonos.