May 012022

This week’s Shades of Black falls on May Day, the morning after Walpurgisnacht. That night, which of course has a significance that long pre-dates the German name, falls halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, and in old pagan traditions it was celebrated to mark the changing of the seasons, just as Samhain does six months later. And in the ancient folklore traditions, as on Samhain, the veil between the material world and the spirit world was thought to be at its thinnest.

Of course, in northern Europe the Church co-opted the pagan May Day, turning it into the feast day of Saint Walpurga, a German abbess honored for her success in putting an end to pagan sorcery (among other achievements), and on the night before it — Walpurgisnacht — bonfires were built to ward off witches and evil spirits in her name. Continue reading »

May 182012

Skogsrået, Näcken Och Djävulen [“The Call of the Nature-Demons (in the Name of 1000 Devils)”] is the title of Mikael Häll’s doctoral dissertation on the subject of sexual intercourse with nature spirits and demons in 17th and 18th century Sweden. It will be published later this year by Malört Förlag, a Swedish publishing house that specializes in “texts about the fantastic, the numinous and the aberrant.”  It sounds like an interesting book, especially since it may explain the ancestral roots of why Sweden produces so many killer metal bands.

I would also like to applaud Malört Förlag for coming up with the idea of issuing a soundtrack for every book they release.  And, of course, what better way to read about sexual intercourse with nature spirits and demons in 17th and 18th century Sweden than to do it while listening to Rotting Christ and Negative Plane.  That’s what Malört Förlag decided, and it sounds like a fuckin’ good idea to me.

Malört Förlag is now selling a 7″ vinyl single to accompany the book which includes two exclusive new tracks by those bands. I still haven’t figured out what turntable to buy, but I’ve ordered this single as further inducement to get my damned ass in gear and get a turntable, and also because both bands are awesome.  You can buy the single, too, by following this link.

I wish I could stream these two songs for you, but I haven’t found them online yet.  HOWEVER, while we’re on the subject of things related to Rotting Christ, earlier this week a new song was released by Thou Art Lord, which is a side project of Rotting Christ’s guitarist/vocalist Sakis. More about that after the jump, including a link for a free download of the single. Continue reading »