(NCS guest contributor Trollfiend emerges again from his lair to provide this review of Ved Graven, the new album by Throne of Katarsis.)
Like a lot of people, I reacted pretty negatively toward Sasha Frere-Jones’ piece on black metal in The New Yorker magazine (featured at NCS here). However, upon reflection, I have decided that he was just examining something he knew little about through the lens of The New Yorker‘s oeuvre, and probably shouldn’t be faulted for that. So with that in mind, I have decided to review Throne of Katarsis’ new album Ved Graven in a similar vein.
Throne of Katarsis hails from Norway and could be said to embrace the legacy of the so-called “True Norwegian Black Metal” (TNBM) scene in the same way that avant-garde sculptor Naum Gabo embraced the abstract conceptions of Wassily Kandinsky and evolved them, along with the synthetic gemoetries of his older brother Antoine Pevsner, into the perhaps narcissistically coined legacy of Constructivism….though it’s plain to see that their nihilistic worldview borrows an instinctive post-Nietzschian schadenfreude zeitgeist from Heidegger.
The band displays a certain neo-Satanic pageantry that evokes the remarkable dance-dramas of Izumo no Okuni in the Tokugawa shogunate-Edo period of the 1600s, as well as the kumadori stage makeup of Ichiwaka Danjuro from the same time, though one might assume that this style of performance is currently enjoying a downturn in popularity, much like the Saruwaka-machi era of these Japanese dance-dramas. However, the transcendence of these blaspheming iconographies is assured via cathartic self-expulsion; as Descartes tells us, “…something which I thought I was seeing with my eyes is in fact grasped solely by the faculty of judgment which is in my mind.” I couldn’t agree more. (more erudition after the jump . . .) Continue reading »