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).