The Spring Equinox is upon us, at the moment this post appears on our site. At 12:15 pm Eastern time, the sun comes directly in line with the equator; on this day the Northern and Southern hemispheres will experience an equal amount of daylight and night; from this moment the days in the North will grow longer until the Summer Solstice in June. The beginning of spring has been marked in the tilt of the Earth’s axis, and Teloch Vovin have marked it through the release of a tenth Psalm Ov Khaos.
Two years ago, on the Winter Solstice of 2015, this occult New York black metal band embarked on an extended musical project, devoted to the electronic and ambient textures and ritualistic elements of their creativity. Beginning then, and continuing on each quarterly change of the seasons since then, they’ve released a new Psalm Ov Khaos. The one we’re presenting today — “Casus Belli” — is the tenth of those. One more remains, and it will be included in a physical edition collecting all 11 Psalms, which is projected for release sometime next year.
Of the Psalm we’re presenting today, Teloch Vovin tell us this:
“‘Casus Belli’ is an assault on the senses and an attack against this world and the misery and futility of this existence. A clarion call to war for the restless souls who constantly strain at the bonds of this material creation and the slavery of the veins and Flesh which tie us to it!”
Most of us may think of Spring as a time of rebirth, and perhaps a rekindling of hope. But within the tortured turns of “Casus Belli”, it seems to have brought a reminder of the ceaselessness of pain and the supremacy of death, as well as a call to war.
You hear the distant rumble and crack of ritual drumming and the buzzing of an angry guitar… and then silence. When the silence ends, an abrasive maelstrom erupts… frenzied percussion, the seething and warping of vicious chords, morbid words exclaimed in brain-scarring shrieks. And then the silence returns. And so it goes, with cyclones of fury exchanging places with moments of peace until the Psalm moves into a passage of drifting ambient tones, which kindles in the imagination the slow movement of a spectral serpent.
Further silences and assaults lie ahead, until the Psalm draws to a close with a final rattle and snap of the drums and a last swirl of ghostly ambience.
The experience is disorienting, painful, and yet hypnotic. A cycle of rebirth may begin again today in the world around us, but as this performance seems to tell us, the cycle of death knows no season, no beginning and no ending. But rather than resignation, a feeling of violent resistance and the exertion of will is here as well.
Pain upon pain
Slice upon slice
Scar upon scar
Blood upon blood
Rot upon rot
Tear upon tear
Soul upon soul
Death upon death
(I am losing all my beliefs
This damnation never escapes
Such fragile flesh ceases to be
Purgatory infinite waste)
NOTE: The last set of lyrics in parentheses were omitted from the recording, but it was what was originally written for the track.
“Casus Belli“, like all the Psalms Ov Khaos that preceded it, is available now on Bandcamp.