Embedded and consecrated in the rugged, untamed wilderness of the UK Black Metal underground, Pale Mist ascends to new heights on captivating third full-length, ‘Through the Labyrinth and into Connectivity’ – a transcendental and triumphant passage through the cycle of chaos. The creative mind behind this empowering entity, Glomor, ponders the vitality of connecting with nature; the growing importance of tribe; salvaging positives from a suffocating mire of negativity; progression though self-destruction; and the eternal struggle to elevate one’s essence in this empire of nothingness.
‘Through the Labyrinth and into Connectivity’ is a bleak, sombre, haunting and introspective body of work. While the music is undoubtedly dark and oppressive – in the true spirit of Black Metal – there is also a defiant and transcendental spirit detectable throughout (a call to arms, perhaps – “May victory arise from stoic power”), giving the impression that the message here is as empowering as it is negative?
“Inspiration comes from everywhere and, naturally, the influence can be both positive and negative. The more negative side of my lyrics is not supposed to be deemed as nihilistic or intentionally pessimistic, I’m just simply recognising that any spiritual / transcendental journey comes with severe struggle. Crush or be crushed. And on the flip side, even when you feel your spiritual levels have peaked, the utopia you envisioned can still be far out of reach. I for one am not even close to the full version of what I want to be, I have simply dived into the abyss and I am ascending the thresholds until I reach the final gate (death).
“I laugh at all the nihilistic / depressive Black Metal musicians who sing about grief and misery and how they hate it, despite it being a choice they’ve made. Too scared to kill themselves and not enough self-discipline to grow away from it. Stuck in between the two parallels and releasing mediocre music all about the same subject thinking that it’s a type of remedy when in fact it’s really all for validation for their failures. Being negative for the sake of being negative is just cowardly and a sign of a low IQ. This is why I have never had this mindset and from the very beginning Pale Mist has always strived for triumph. Those who labelled Pale Mist as a DSBM band back in the early days (and occasionally still do!) are very wrong and have completely misunderstood what it is I do.”
As well as being triumphant, the songs sometimes seethe with bitterness and a barely-concealed rage. Does this accurately reflect your present state of mind? We exist in insane times and – even for the most spiritual and resilient amongst us – it’s difficult not to become consumed by utter despair in this incomprehensible era of moronic servitude?
“Even though I tend to be more relaxed about everything the older I get, outbursts of rage are inevitable. Sometimes something so outrageously ridiculous happens you sink into a state of despair in a flash. Events throughout 2020 were good examples of that. But, ultimately, I spit at all of it. There are many times throughout my life I could have just (and admittedly, nearly have) rejected any worthwhile path and succumbed to a more convenient, hedonistic lifestyle, but I have been fortunate enough to grasp a tighter grip on things and, through power and struggle, here I am today. Living in the modern world is a blessing and a curse, but one great advantage is that it’s easy to find out who someone really is. Therefore, over time your circle will get smaller and the quality amongst it will be greatly higher. One thing I have really learned in recent years is the importance of tribe, which I feel is the one thing people lack.”
‘The Crackling Path’, ‘A Metaphysical Dissolution’, ‘Life in the Dead Tree’, ‘Through the Labyrinth and into Connectivity’, ‘Crushing the Inferior Realms of Becoming’ – all grand and evocative song titles, the latter four embellished with fascinating lyrics. Is there a recurring thread in the lyrical themes that is especially important to your art? Nature takes a prominent position with numerous references to lakes, oceans, bogs, seas, mountains, snow, storms, the sun, stars, the cosmos, darkness and light. Are you paying homage to the power of nature and, as part of that, the endless cycle of life and death (decay and rebirth through death)?
“My connection with nature is probably the most vital part of what inspires me to write. Both nature worship and death worship are very present in Pale Mist and my musical work will crumble without frequent trips to the mountains and other sentimental nature sites. So I wouldn’t say I’m intentionally paying homage per se, because it’s just a huge part of me and, when writing lyrics, it naturally comes out.
“The recurring lyrical themes I find myself writing about a lot revolve around transcendence in the cycle of life and death or, as I’ve referred to it, the cycle of chaos. All three albums are about it (this may be not so noticeable on the first album). Even though the topics are similar, I’m not writing the same thing again and again. With the latest album, you’ll read a lot of Evola and Jung influence within the lyrics, both of whom I started reading back in 2018 and who have quickly become a big influence. Reading is of course a mandatory thing in my personal life, so naturally I’m always looking for literature to adapt and expand my beliefs, and even step outside of them.”
Not least because of its powerful opening (“The deep bogs in the empire of nothingness, Consuming the souls of the spiritually deprived, The mental spiral of manipulation and confusion, Crushed by the hierarchy of filth”) and closing (“The scythe is in our hands to guide us to the path of our own death, May your hidden divine eye remain open forever, Weakness remains within toxic degeneration, Strength reigns within archaic purity”) verses, ‘Life in the Dead Tree’ for me conjures the most evocative imagery. Revered in art throughout the ages, the tree is a sacred energy force, representing life, growth, wisdom, strength and maybe even regeneration. Apparently, there is more life in a dead tree than a living one. From death springs life…
“You pretty much got it. In a society filled with soulless robot-like people, it’s easy to forget that inside everyone is a long legacy of power and struggle. The song basically talks about the escape from the cursed tunnel vision leading to a spiritually-deprived being to something of actual value. I believe you really need to disconnect from yourself to eventually fully connect with everything. Like a progression through self-destruction. You’ll hear that the mood throughout that song changes, from a powerful euphoric atmosphere to more dark, sinister moments and it came out that way, very naturally. I always tend to find my longer songs flow out a lot easier when writing them.
“Even though I believe that everyone has it in them to grow to a level above and beyond the mundane, I also believe that most are truly beyond redemption. It’s just game of how long they can spin in the cycle of chaos until their time of death arrives, leaving no worthy legacy. It is in your own hands which path to take, but don’t expect it to be easy.”
Guests vocals on this one are performed by none other than the inspirational Dan Capp of Wolcensmen, while Helena provides enchanting vocals on the album’s majestic title track. How did these collaborations manifest and how pleased are you with the final outcome? As you generally take responsibility for all the music and vocals yourself, I imagine you are quite particular about who you are going to invite to participate in a Pale Mist recording?
“I met Dan at a Wolcensmen show in Zurich. We got along very well, and turns out we have a lot of mutual beliefs. I was talking to him one day about the progress of the new Pale Mist album and mentioned I was looking for someone to do some choir-like vocals on one of the tracks. To my surprise, Dan offered his services. I of course accepted his offer straight away and we began work. The result was just excellent and gave that song the enrichment it needed.
“As for Helena, back when I had a personal Facebook account, I posted that I was looking for someone to perform female vocals on one of the tracks. I didn’t want to do it that way as I really wanted someone I knew to work with, but just didn’t know anyone (or so I thought). Immediately, Helena wrote to me saying she would love to participate. I was really happy with that as we are good friends, so I didn’t have to worry about working with a stranger. We actually first met when Pale Mist performed in Hungary back in 2012 (the first Pale Mist live performance) so she had been aware of my work for a long time. She wasn’t really that experienced, but I was over the moon with the result. Her voice is so dark yet very enchanting and it suits the track perfectly.
“This was actually the first time I had any guest performances on any Pale Mist recordings, and I couldn’t have asked for anybody more suitable. Me and Helena will be making more music like the title track in the future, since it came out so well. Keep an eye open for that.”
Traditionally, Black Metal and misanthropy have gone hand in hand. When you observe the world today and how meekly, naïvely and unquestioningly the population at large has surrendered to what can only be described as overt totalitarianism on a mass scale, does it add fuel to your own inherent misanthropic fire? Did you ever think a day would arrive when large swathes of humanity would surrender their inalienable rights and have no issue with being told where they can go and when, who they are allowed to invite into their homes, what medicines they should take?
“The last couple of years have certainly been testing! But of course, this is no surprise. We’re not unaware of the sheep-like mentally of the majority of people, even if it is quite harrowing when you see first-hand the extents some will go to! But, as I said already, I spit on all that. It’s not really misanthropy it’s filled me with, but instead more realism, more acceptance of the world I live in and more drive to crush and conquer.
“Because, ironically, even with so much to feel negative about, 2021 was one of the best years of my life. My tribe has grown stronger and I have experienced things that I probably wouldn’t have if I was still living with the comforts we had a couple of years ago. As I said already, it’s helped my circle become smaller but the quality has grown considerably.”
It’s difficult not to be disillusioned by the spineless nature of Black Metal and extreme music in general these days. Many bands are cheerleading the charade on by participating in events where medical apartheid and blatant discrimination are being imposed upon their fans. If any band performs at an event where specific injections – regardless of their nature – are required as a condition of entry, then they are effectively endorsing that treatment. Do you find this total disregard for personal choice and bodily integrity either surprising or disappointing?
“It’s a mixture of both but more so I would say it’s disappointing. This really has been a golden chance to show the real integrity of people and to see if they actually practise what they preach, which they mostly don’t. I’ve been filling in for the band Adder on drums and have played a few shows with them already and, at these shows, it really is quite strange how disgusted they are at anti-vaxxers. Almost like they’ve been programmed to think that way. I’ve made absolutely no secret of my stance on this (just look at the Pale Mist Telegram page) and I even speak openly about it at these shows. An observation I made is that being the anti-vax guy is like being the new NSBM guy. The outcast of the outcasts that gets looked upon with scorn and disgust. Someone in one of the bands I played with at these shows responded ‘Funny how anti-vaxxers and NSBMers are related. It’s because none of it’s based in reality’. I of course was pretty shocked at such a response and didn’t wish to continue the conversation further.”
Unfortunately, it’s not just Black Metal that’s the problem but society as a whole. It feels like the masses have completely lost their ability to think straight / critically. While the majority of people refuse to even consider that something isn’t quite right but instead do as instructed, everybody will pay the price…
“And in Austria and Germany right now, they are paying the price. In fact, every stricter measure we’re getting – be it lockdowns, rules on masks, etc. – is the result of cattle complying. And, of course, this lab-rat experiment has proven it works, so be prepared for more, as this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The relentless drive to get every man, woman and child on the planet onto the hamster wheel of lifelong subscription to a treatment that hasn’t been proven to be either safe or effective is clearly about more than protecting public health. Is there something deeply sinister going on?
“Well, of course, I knew this from the beginning. Everything I was predicting at the beginning – like vaccine passports, mandatory vaccinations, people losing their jobs for not taking the vaccine, etc., and all the while having ‘CONSPIRACY THEORIST’’ spat at me – has all come true.
“This is not about a virus, it is about control. You really need to be very weak-minded to not realise at this point that this whole thing is a scam. I won’t say here and now what I think the ultimate goal of all this is but, as I said, it’s only going to get worse. Fasten your seatbelt.”
I a papers, please society, performing live gigs will become nigh on impossible for those who refuse to participate in the experiment and / or brandish Orwellian QR codes. Perhaps small-scale, clandestine, off-the-grid events could be manageable and this could serve to reignite the underground?
“I have told every band I work with that I outright refuse to play any venue that endorses vaccine passports. In fact, one of the bands I play in has been put on hold due to my refusal to compromise my stance on this. However, like you said, this brings a great opportunity to organise shows that are closed to the public, be it in the woods, a derelict warehouse, a basement, a rehearsal room and so on. I am actually in the process of organising something of the sort. Let the so called ‘anti-human, anti-cosmic, anti-society’ clowns take their DNA-altering vaccines so they can attend a show full of other vaccinated invalids. It will only further strengthen my circle and my tribe and weed out those who lack integrity.”
It’s been three years since Pale Mist took to the stage – do you fear that it might never happen again or are you determined to somehow perform live once more regardless of what the architects of the Great Reset decree?
“There is a Pale Mist show planned for next year, keep an eye out for updates. Pale Mist is an unstoppable force and it will take more than this government tyranny to get in my way. Might is right.”