May 302023

About 18 months ago we had the chance to premiere a fascinating song off the then-forthcoming sophomore album The Shrouded Muse of the World’s Lament by the German black/doom metal band Stagwounder, which was released by Crawling Chaos Records. The album itself was equally fascinating, and not only because of the music. Its conceptual underpinning was a series of aphorisms drawn from a work called Pessimistenbrevier by the 19th-century German philosopher Julius Bahnsen, and we delved into it in some detail in that premiere feature.

We won’t repeat that discussion here, though it’s still worth exploring if you managed to overlook the album. What we’re doing now is to provide a very good reason to track down the album if you’re late to the party, and to give even fans who know the album well an opportunity to revisit part of it in a special way, thanks to a video of Stagwounder performing the song “Der Moder heiligster Rechte” in an unusual live setting. Continue reading »

Oct 282021


Extreme metal need not draw its inspirations or lyrical themes from philosophy and literature to be worth our time. Of course it doesn’t — visions of pentagrams, skulls, haunted graveyards, and steaming viscera will do just fine, as long as the music hooks us. Still,  provocative thinking can sometimes add an extra dimension to the experience, apart from the role it may play in providing inspiration to the musicians, and learning something new can be a welcome bonus.

Which brings us to the German band Stagwounder‘s new album The Shrouded Muse of the World´s Lament. In the press materials it is introduced by this quotation:

“Thou, eager to ascend to the sun on waxen wings, consider: even in the bleak caves of the deep it is better to reside than in the boundless ether. Between heaven and hell the child of Gaea is born, soon willing to lie itself down among the photophobic creatures of the chthonic dark, soon fluttering upward to the splendorous heights whose reflections radiate around it like garments of light.“

That passage was written by the 19th century German philosopher Julius Bahnsen. It appears in Pessimistenbrevier, a work translated as “The Pessimist’s Breviary”. That work provides the foundation for Stagwounder‘s new album, along with Japanese author and cultural critic Mishima Yukio. How these thinkers influenced the album is an interesting tale, and we think one worth telling before we get to the music itself (and yes, we will get to the music in due course, because we’re premiering a song from The Shrouded Muse… today, in the lead-up to its release by Crawling Chaos on November 26th). Continue reading »

Dec 052020


For me, Friday nights always create severe risk for Saturday mornings. I know this, yet am doomed to have to re-learn the lesson. So it was that my latest lesson began last night, mixing all sorts of intoxicants over the course of two Zoom get-togethers with different groups of friends, and today the lesson has been completed in hangover hell.

Strangely, listening to raucous music seemed to help rather than hurt, though trying to write remains… challenging. Hope you get some good out of the music I picked, along with whatever guidance comes through my meager words.


To begin, I’ve chosen “Railgun Combat“, the first single off the forthcoming debut EP of Black Hole Deity, whose line-up includes members Chaos Inception and Malignancy (the full line-up is Chris White, Alec Cordero, Cam Pinkerton, and Mike Heller). Continue reading »