Review: “Trinity I” by Pneuma Hagion

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on April 20, 2015 by masterinferno

Pneuma Hagion logo

Pneuma Hagion, from San Antonio, Texas, is yet another musical project of Ryan from Intestinal Disgorge (yes, he has about 20 billion different bands; and yes, I’m an unapologetic fanboy), formed in early 2015. Trinity I, released in late January of this year, is the band’s (well, solo project’s) first demo, and what a demo it is! The band plays a form of relentless, lo-fi, blackened death metal sometimes called “war metal” which has gained a fair amount of attention in the extreme metal underground in recent years. The demo’s three songs add up to just under seven and a half minutes of music, with no one track longer than three minutes – and the shortest, “Nous”, is less than two. The production is quite murky, but not brickwalled to hell and back like many modern death metal releases – every instrument can still be heard without too much trouble. The mostly mid-paced guitar riffs seem fairly primitive at first glance, but there is actually a good deal of detail and nuance which may not become apparent until after several listens. As far as I can tell, the bass mainly follows along with the guitars, not really getting too adventurous but rather adding some extra low end to the already crushingly heavy riffs. The drums follow fairly simplistic blast beat and double bass patterns for the most part, without getting boring or repetitive – with the songs being so short, nothing on this demo really overstays its welcome. Additionally, a few parts of the demo are accented by keyboards, though these just provide a few notes or chords to support the riffs, without ever really taking the lead. The vocals are extremely guttural, distant-sounding growls, occasionally veering into harsh whispers; and, par for the course, what Ryan is actually saying is completely indecipherable, especially since the lyrics remain unpublished. However, Ryan has expanded on the band’s concept a bit – and between the song titles and the band’s name (which is Greek for “Holy Spirit”), one may be able to figure out the generally Gnostic/Neoplatonic inspiration behind this project (more on that can be found in this interview). Overall, I definitely recommend this demo for fans of both war metal specifically, and underground black/death metal in general. Stream it for free, or download it for just a dollar, at Pneuma Hagion’s Bandcamp page. In addition, for the physical media fiends, war metal label Nuclear War Now! Productions will be releasing a cassette version sometime this year.

Poem: Swallowed by the Sea

Posted in Poetry on May 25, 2013 by masterinferno

The spires of stone have crumbled.
We have committed their bodies to the deep.
Great hands of blue close the sun’s eye.
The price of nature is only this:
All we take will one day be taken back.

Yet there is life in the ruins.

The forests below the waves have arisen,
and claimed our city for the kingdom of fin and scale –
the kingdom with a foundation of shell, coral, and sand.
Life continues though the elements change.
And we have moved on to new spires of our own.

What was once a home shall be a home again.

Review: “The Shadows That Stride from World to World” by Intestinal Disgorge

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , on April 6, 2013 by masterinferno

San Antonio-based goregrind  band Intestinal Disgorge have been flying under the extreme music scene’s radar since the mid-90s, putting out numerous albums, demos, splits, and EPs on various small labels to hardly any attention, much less praise. When I first heard of the group (currently a duo with instrumentalist/vocalist Ryan and second vocalist Jacob), I was actually more interested in Ryan’s other projects such as the funeral doom band The Howling Void. However, in the last year or so I started to develop a greater interest in IxDx, and with the recent (at time of writing, less than 18 hours ago) release of their newest album, The Shadows That Stride from World to World, I thought I’d offer my own opinions on it and maybe convince you kids to throw some of your welfare hard-earned money their way. Right off the bat, the album and song titles are an indication that something is different about this IxDx release. Gone are the references to gore, scat, and misogyny which have been the group’s bread and butter since its inception, replaced with names pertaining to Lovecraft’s style of cosmic horror (though the opening track “Consensus Reality Steps on a Thumbtack” shows that there’s at least some tongue left in the band’s collective cheek) When I first streamed it on the group’s Bandcamp page this morning, I described it to Ryan as feeling like my mind was “raped by gibbering horrors from dead dreams” (he insisted I put that phrase in this review, so there ya go, dude). The album’s programmed drums reach insane speeds of thousands of BPM, often drowning out the guitars almost entirely. Conventional riffs – at least catchy ones – are few and far between; the guitar tracks seem to have been cut up during production and reassembled into shapes evocative of tentacled horrors from beyond. A few tracks, such as “From Distant Gulfs Beyond Time and Space”, are straightforward noise, with guitars so distorted they sound more like machinery than musical instruments, and no discernable beat or rhythm at all. Vocals vary between high-pitched screams and extremely low pitch-shifted gurgles; in both cases, the lyrics, assuming there are any, are completely incomprehensible – but the vocals still capture the feeling of sanity-breaking Lovecraftian horror, as if Ryan and Jacob were actually being driven to mad glossolalia by Great Cthulhu while recording them. And, of course, one can’t write about Intestinal Disgorge without referencing the songs’ brevity. Eight of the album’s seventeen songs are under a minute long, and only four are above the two minute mark, though closer “From Beyond” clocks in at nine minutes – nearly a third of the album’s playing time. The band describes this release as “Lovecraftian Glitch Gore”, and I can’t think of a better appellation for it. If you’re into extreme music, or at least somewhat open-minded (or just get a perverse kick out of listening to this sort of thing), I suggest you give this album a try. It’s available on their Bandcamp page for $3, or more if you’re feeling generous – and you don’t want Nyarlathotep to come eat your soul for being cheap, do you?

Poem: The Other Side of Nowhere

Posted in Poetry on November 5, 2012 by masterinferno

There’s a place that your eyes cannot see in the light,
on the other side of nowhere –
where you sleep in the day and wake up in the night,
and the lowest of lows is a dizzying height,
and they lie and they say it’ll all be alright,
on the other side of nowhere.

There’s a place where the roads are all longer than life,
on the other side of nowhere –
where the stones of the buildings with secrets are rife,
and the touch of a hand is the cut of a knife,
and where love is just war, but with bloodier strife,
on the other side of nowhere.

There’s a place where the stars are in perfect straight lines,
on the other side of nowhere –
where the truth does not free you, but only confines,
and you desperately hide from the light when it shines,
and you’d know everything if you’d just see the signs,
on the other side of nowhere.

There’s a place where the endless will come to an end,
on the other side of nowhere –
where they’ll ask for your name but they won’t call you friend,
and the sky is below you, but still you ascend,
and the hurt that you bring is the hurt that won’t mend,
and someday I’m going there.

Shiny colors

Posted in Uncategorized on July 18, 2012 by masterinferno

Thought I’d post that I got the platinum trophy on Dark Souls today, after 80+ hours of playing. I feel accomplished. The Artorias of the Abyss DLC has a release date (in Japan, at least; unsure of its international release date) of October 25, and I can’t wait for it to get here.

Well, there are a bunch of other games I’m interested in that come out between now and then; we’ll just have to hope I get a job soon so I can get ’em all.🙂

Also beat Mass Effect 2 the other day; debating whether to play through it again or move on to something else for the time being.

That’s all I got for now. Maybe one day I’ll actually write something.

…in which it again again asserts that it is not dead…

Posted in Personal on July 10, 2012 by masterinferno

Personal laziness is something of a vice of mine, in case the few of you likely to be reading this haven’t already noticed. I have, naturally, not progressed further in my writings, for which I have nothing to blame but said vice. Forcing open the gates of inspiration often seems more difficult than it should.

On a related note, I love being able to describe stuff in an obtuse fashion like that.

Been reading my big book o’ Lovecraft; currently around halfway through At the Mountains of Madness, which is quite entertaining, and I see why Guillermo del Toro claims that Prometheus is quite similar to it.

Have also discovered the joy which is Mass Effect and am playing through the second game on the hardest difficulty (because apparently I’m a trophy whore now, having gotten platinum trophies on no less than three games when I never really expected to get even one).

Also rather excited about the upcoming DLC for Dark Souls, which is quite a rewarding game to play once you figure out what the heck you’re doing in it. Though it would be nice if Gravelord Nito would stop killing me long enough for me to kill him and proceed further along; I’d kinda like to platinum this one and start a new character before the DLC is out…

Back on the subject of writing, I haven’t had any new story ideas of note, and am somewhat lost on how to begin The Room in the Hospital, even though I have the end more or less figured out. Furthermore I am becoming increasingly dissatisfied with what little I’ve written of The Two Tablets, as certain elements of the story (either already written down or just tumbling around inside my otherwise-mostly-empty head) begin to seem more shoehorned in than they did when I first began writing it (which was, what, three years ago? Longer than that actually since I began it before I started this blog). I think the overall concept has merit and am hesitant to simply scrap the whole thing, but if I continue with it it will almost assuredly require a rewrite.

Signing off for the moment. Try not to dislocate your thought-bones too badly.

Being a new post, the first thereof in over a year, in which stuff is written

Posted in Personal on September 14, 2011 by masterinferno

Hey, look, I still have this blog! As you might have guessed, The Two Tablets is on more or less permanent hold until I find the inspiration to finish it. I’m currently germinating an idea for another Lovecraft-inspired short story, The Room in the Hospital, which I intend to be much shorter and more minimalistic than The Two Tablets, though I have yet to actually begin writing it. I also have a couple of ideas for poems which I really need to hurry up and write already as well.

That’s about it for now. The chances of anyone actually reading this post before I write the aforementioned stuff and link to it on Facebook is probably so small as to be effectively infinitesimal, but I don’t really want to just let this blog languish like I’ve been doing for the past year, so at least I’m posting something now. Peace out.