Monthly Archives: October 2013

Diurnal Aural Experiences: A Two’fer!


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Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Art, Geek, Music


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Happy Halloween



Enjoy your evening!

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Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Anthropology, Art, Characters, Cultura, Game, Geek


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Music Review: Ihsahn’s Das Seelenbrechen (2013)

Das Seelenbrechen


“Art can be created with those who strike us as having a deep inner self that is attuned to what is beautiful. They seem to have a “beautiful soul” that is orderly, respectable, and well-behaved. 

However, these sorts do not produce “the mightiest effects of art, the crushing of souls, moving of stones and humanising of beasts.” Here lies the importance of the ugly artistic soul.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Aphorism 152 from Human, All Too Human.
Sixteen months after Eremita, Ishahn provides us with another release.  This time, the musician offers a “side-step” per his Metal Underground interview.  To this point, each of his solo releases have introduced or presented different elements altogether.  The Adversary offers his most straight forward Black Metal; angL approaches Black Metal with Opeth’s melodic grace; After pulls in a broader scope of instrumentation and emotion.  Eremita was the most progressive of Ishahn’s efforts, combining all elements from the A trilogy.  
Das Seelenbrechen focuses on organized chaos and mystery in ways that he has never attempted in his solo approaches.  Thematically, his albums have all ways progressed from the end of the previous album; e.g.: The Adversary‘s questions were answered in earnest on angL whose questions were answered on After.  Therefore, if Eremita is the follow up to AfterDas Seelenbrechen should been expected to follow Eremita; however, it serves another answer to After and offers an entirely different perspective on the question presented at the end of After in my opinion.
Finally, before heading off into the music, let me first express this: to me, Ishahn is a singular talent in metal and music at large in that while his albums are always technically sound and enjoyable, they feel much less like art than they do philosophy.  I feel like I’m listening to a philosophical discussion about the topics presented on his albums (which is why I intend on writing long form posts and deconstructions of his solo career going forward).
Fortunately, Das Seelenbrechen does not disappoint.  Its first song thunders into the singer’s trademarked snarl: “At the verge of winter’s chasm…”  The music is tense and foreboding, but never unsettling at this point as your ear can hold to the chiming synth above the churning guitars below.  This attention to detail focuses the music going forward on the album.  The album takes turns from stunning heights and hopefulness (!) into frozen valleys and pure despondency.  With respect to MetalSucks here: they are right in that there are moments that will make you feel like “OMG” and others that will make you groan; moments that will cause clarity and others that will make you say “shit.”  But, never in a bad way.  Everything makes sense on this album.  From the nearly saccharine synth’s in the middle of Regen to the alien, nearly mechanical, whispers of and to the feedback on See.
Tacit 2 and Tacit are the most interesting, musically, songs on the album.  The former has a skull rattling drum beat that is nearly impossible to follow and forms the core of the song that hits in all its improvisational nature as as a train wreck that has no explanation.  It is this album’s unexpected thunderstorm.  The latter explains what has happened and why Tacit 2 came to be, raggedly snarling: “Magnetic emptiness drew me into cathedrals of silence/ only to see them collapse and fall/ like promises on the frozen ground/ And as the dust settled/ My hands reached out to ash clouds and ruins/ eagerly, like onto strings/ to feel destruction and play the sound.”  This desire expressed is reflected with: “The bitter sweet song of a poet’s lament/ that even his best are just feeble translations.”
If Nietzsche’s quote was the call to action for this album, then Ihsahn has met it.  It is filled with an “ugly artistic soul” that wends and dances around the question of artistic interpretation of reality.  It questions the very thing that the artist makes, and it better yet it does it well and in a way that will leave the listener raw, soothed, and contented in a catharsis only Black Metal can provide.
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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Accountability, Art, Geek, Music


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Diurnal Aural Experience: Ihsahn’s “NaCl” from Das Seelenbrechen (2013)

Enjoy.  It’s a catch song with quite probably the most accessible riff Ihsahn’s ever composed.  The music doesn’t hit you overwhelmingly hard (though it’s beautifully and skillfully written and evokes a sense of tension mixed with confusion).  This lyric will however: “Or maybe I’m the bigger fool who nurtures every fight and every loss.”

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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Art, Geek, Inspiration, Music


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OMG: In which October was the most insane time I’ve had in a long while.

Okay, I really intended to write more.  I really intended my blog break to last a far less amount of time.  However, a combination of real life, stress, and politics kept me from re-visiting this space.  So, I’ve got work to do here to make it up.

On the good side: kiddo’s softball team ended up placing second in our city wide tournament.  This was unexpected and awesome.  The federal government pulled their head out of their collective asses and did the right thing in the end (more on this in the bad).  And, I’m on vacation, earning a much needed rest from the grind that is the life of a bureaucrat.

Bad side:  The shutdown was one of the most tense moments I’ve faced.  Combined with the release of the Affordable Care Act, this October is the most stress I’ve felt at any point my life.  The time from October 1 through October 18 felt like a year, simply put.  Due to the shutdown, SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) was the only reason I remained at work.  The majority of individuals paid solely on Medicaid funding are federally funded, even though they are paid by the state.  If the shutdown lasted much longer, my position, which is moderately funded by Medicaid, would have been furloughed.  This hung like a thick cloud of smoke over my head, while my workers were coming to me and asking if I knew whether they were going to work tomorrow.  As Medicaid was decimated during the shutdown, the policy and legal departments related to the Medicaid/ACA integration were sent home.  This essentially left us blowing in the wind with regard to policy and other needs during this time frame.  Fielding questions from curious individuals, many of whom are fully participating in the workforce and are not eligible under current qualifications, was next to impossible and the most common question was: “my employer offers health insurance, do I take it or try my luck on the marketplace?”  This was something that I could not answer and is not something any of us could until after we got clarifications on it all.

Ultimately, by the time 1pm Thursday rolled in (the start of my vacation), I was exhausted.  I came home and passed out until kiddo got in.  Friday was no different, but included a softball game.  Saturday was our double header and our greatly successful day.  Sunday was the first day I got to rest.  I’m behind on my vacation writing for Cultura and the Lay of Seidenbard, but I’m doing well on it.  Further, I’ve attempted again to get back into archeology, so we’ll see how that works (though I’m not extraordinarily hopeful at the point and am focusing on my current work and my writing).  The Lay Comic, done by Paimona, should have been featured over the past few weeks, but wasn’t.  This is because I didn’t have the spare time to help her develop the layout.  That will resume very soon.

Thanks to everyone that follows the blog, our work, and has taken a interest in any of our projects.  It’s very much appreciated.  Sorry for the diary-esque entry, but I had to get some of these things off my chest.

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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Accountability, Anthropology


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As you can tell, we’ve been missing posts of late.  Between the comic, writing the story, the game, and work, we’ve been busy.  See you guys next Monday.

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


Diurnal Aural Experiences: Queen’s “Killer Queen” (1974)

I went to bed with this in my head, dreamt about the lyrics, and then woke up with it still playing in my head.

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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Art, Geek, Goofballery, Inspiration, Music


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