Thursday, May 30, 2019

Boris Kaldrad - A Skaldic Fire That Still Burns

ASGARDSREI 2019 – in memory of KALDRAD

A month has passed since Kaldrad’s death – a tragic accident brought to an end a life story worthy of skaldic songs and sagas. A life that has been devoted to one goal – keeping alive the fire of European tradition that runs through our veins.

The founding figure behind the legendary BlazeBirthHall, Kaldrad’s influence on Eastern European Black Metal scene is impossible to overstate. Branikald, Forest, Nitberg, Vandal – these are just a few names that secured Kaldrad a cult status among the young, angry and fearless generation that came after the fall of the Soviet state. Releasing his first demo "Stormheit" as early as 1994, Kaldrad laid path to radical pagan revival and spiritual elitism for all the Russian (as well as Slavic in broader sense) bands that followed later in 90s.

Having the honor of knowing Kaldrad personally for a long time and staying side by side until his last days, we believe it’s our duty to commemorate Kaldrad by dedicating this year’s ASGARDSREI fest to his memory.
Written by ASGARDSREI crew


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Ghosts of The Past PART 3 - The Apennine Colossus

According to a popular rhyme about the Apennine Colossus, “Giambologna made the Apennine / but then regretted making it in Pratolino”. The anonymous author of these verses probably meant that this gigantic, 14-meter-tall statue guarding Villa Demidoff – formerly the Medici’s Villa del Pratolino, in Vaglia, in the province of Florence – would now be considered one of the greatest masterpieces sculpture has ever offered the world, if only it had been placed in Piazza della Signoria instead of in the middle of this park’s forest.

Created between 1579 and 1589 by Giambologna – pseudonym of the Flemish sculptor Jean De Boulogne (Douai, 1529 – Florence, 1608) – the statue was included in Francesco I de’ Medici’s collection of natural and artificial wonders, and ended up costing twice as much as the works needed to complete the Uffizi. The masonry Colossus once had rooms, caves and inner passageways, and even a hydraulic system that connected the head of the giant to the various water sources in his body.

All we can do is stand in awe of such an outstanding, rock-solid reverie.




Saturday, May 18, 2019

A Lifestyle in Black - Fashion & Film Under Fascism

Under Fascism, fashion and film were both identified by the totalitarian regime as powerful vehicles for shaping and projecting national identity and a politics of style. As such, they became recognizable cultural institutions of Italian modernity. No government in post-unified Italy (the period from 1860 onwards) had been able to create anything like the distinct image with which fascism made itself visible:  the black shirt, which still today epitomizes the image of fascism and the Duce. Fascism understood very quickly how powerful a medium cinema was for the diffusion of visual messages.  It was with massive State support, in fact, that Italian cinema rapidly developed in the 1930s.  In the early 1930s, the first regime-sponsored fascist propaganda feature films were made such as Gioacchino Forzano’s Camicia Nera (Man of Courage, 1933), the story of the reclamation of the malaria ridden Pontine marshes by the regime, and Alessandro Blasetti’s Vecchia Guardia (1934), celebrating, twelve years on, the March on Rome and the “success” of the regime in saving Italy. However, overtly propagandistic feature films such as Camicia nera and Vecchia Guardia were in the numerical minority when compared to the other genres of film made under fascism. In fact, it is inaccurate to think of film under fascism as merely a vehicle for political propaganda. Things were much more complex than that.  A study of film under fascism involves an in-depth investigation of the stylistic forms adopted in the filmmaking of the period. Not only did fascism see in cinema a powerful medium that would help it achieve its ends, it also saw fashion in the same way.  In fact, the regime invested a great deal of energy in and exercised state control over the fashion industry. It was under fascism that fashion and film first travelled at the same speed. 

In 1932 and then renamed in 1934, Mussolini founded the Ente Nazionale della moda (ENM, National fashion body).  The aim of this government institution was to control the entire productive cycle of textile and fashion.  But in line with the regime’s totalitarian project to create new Italian men, women and children, it also aimed at inculcating an Italian fascist lifestyle through dress codes.  In fact, one of the credos of the ENM was to persuade female consumers and dressmakers to seek inspiration in Italy’s domestic roots and traditions.

You can read the full article HERE



Thursday, May 16, 2019

Wotan's Awakening

Wotan’s Awakening: The Life and Times of Guido von List, 1848–1919
by Eckehard Lenthe
Translated by Annabel Lee
488 pages, 6” x 9”, high-quality interior stock, sewn signatures, bound in burgundy cloth with foil stamping and inlaid portrait.
This is the ultimate biography of the Austrian occultist and rune-mystic Guido von List (1848–1919), a key figure in the esoteric Germanic revival who was occupied with questions of language, the occult, mythology, history, and national identity. This was a tumultuous time in central Europe, spanning from the era of industrial and democratic revolutions to the catastrophe of the first World War and the complete dissolution of the Austrian Empire.
Guido von List dedicated himself to researching, defending, and nourishing archaic Germanic traditions. He was an adventurer, mountaineer, and renaissance man who expressed his ideas in various ways, among them as a playwright, editor, journalist, and author. His life intersected with other important figures of the day: philosophers, pagan theologists and theosophists, artists, politicians, and writers.
List sought to understand the spiritual landscape that lies under the visible one, and he anchored the present to the past by drawing attention to the magical landscape of his native land, unlocking the secrets of its place-names and hidden symbols. List’s special interests included mythology, heraldry, etymology, history, and folklore—disciplines in which he rediscovered ancient Germanic themes and brought them once more into the light.
Illustrated with numerous rare images, this biography was written with great care and detail and represents a unique and sympathetic insider’s view. Much of the information in the book derives from the author’s extensive personal archives, which are the harvest of decades of research. Beyond the fascinating story of List’s life, Wotan’s Awakening contains extensive appendices and bibliographies, making it a primary sourcebook on fin-de-siècle Austria and Germany, and the lesser-known spiritual, cultural, and political currents of the age.
Wotan’s Awakening is impeccably designed in the style of the original publications of the Guido von List Society. The book is now available in a deluxe limited edition of 400 copies. Each book also includes a few special enclosures.
Price: $60 postpaid in the USA; $75 postpaid to Canada; $80 postpaid to Europe; $85 postpaid to the rest of the world.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Art As Political Manifestation

Art as political manifestation. Volker Herre continues from where the previous post left off.

(Written for Omaimon Paradosis Blog)

True, primordial art was all-encompassing, because it stemmed from a longing for a life that is wholesome, for an individual who lives in a state of eudaimonia, integrated in the greater cosmic order, close to the gods and divinities responsible for inspiring the production of art in the first place (and to whom its authorship was attributed, like the Muses in the Greek poetry of the Bronze Age). Art, in this sense, is inescapably political, like the tragedy of Aeschylus and Sophocles, because homoiosis theo, the path to a god-like man, requires the laws by which this individual man lives his life and the laws by which his community is organized to mirror the laws of the gods, the laws of nature and the laws of the cosmos. The mimetic aspect of art stems from the necessity of reciprocity between the microcosmos of human life and the larger macrocosmos that encompasses, beyond the domain of the polis, the whole of the biosphere and all the physis outside its boundaries, the sun, the moon and the lawful stars. 

We can intuitively grasp the purity of artistic expressions such as Arno Breker's sculptures and Helmut Reiche's poetry because they stem from this longing for integration. It's the political and spiritual commitment of these artists to a higher order that made their art sublime. They were retrieving art in its primordial sense, and it inspires awe and reverence in us.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Purest Form of Art & Poetry

BEREITSCHAFT (translate as "Preparedness") was a book that published in 1942. Including some of the very best Arno Breker works accompanied by the poetry of Helmut Dietlof Reiche. Here is a big part of its content. This is the TRUE Art & Poetry in its most pure form. Meaning from the Ethno-Racial point of view. A real expression of the European soul. 


P.S. Unfortunately I have not found any english translation of the poems. But nevertheless, you get the idea.

 (Published by FOLK HOUSE - 1942)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

BLACK METAL and The Spirit of WANDERVOGEL Movement

(Written for Omaimon Paradosis Blog)

When I turned to Black Metal I perceived it as something in the spirit of the Wandervogel youth movement, a back-to-nature movement. All the cover arts with images of forests, that remained a welcomed message even when it was already the 500th album I owned with pretty much the same art, because it was an important message. 

Rejection of urban environments was a huge thing. At least for me it was. I remember being 18 and walking around the city imagining a post-apocalyptic scenario, abandoned cars left to rust, plants and trees taking over the concrete, and we would ride our horses carrying swords through this landscape, reclaiming it to our true selves. Walking in the forest at night was the essential experience. It was like a awakening, a mystical initiation. Only those who and pursued such pure experiences could understand the meaning of that movement, and it brought people together.

I know this aesthetic became old and gimmicky quite fast. I didn't stay in touch to get the 5000th album with a stupid forest on the cover, but I understand people for whom the music was more important than it was for me had to find excitement in something else. But it saddens me that that healthy impulse amounted to so little, that it was lost to saturation so fast. And as result, black metal is a predominantly urban phenomenon nowadays, it has turned more and more to aesthetics and movements that are urban phenomena, such as motorcycle gangs, anti-antifa punks, alt-right zio-conservatism, national-capitalism, alcohol and drugs culture, pornography, sexual perversions, anti-muslim etc. All that is impure and degenerate finds a proper environment to grow in urban areas...

Black metal has embraced kali-yuga. At some point, at the height of the pagan nature-worshiping wave, it tried to follow a different path, to affirm a different stance, but this effort didn't last long. People seen to identify artistic value in ambiguity, but art for the sake of art is no longer acceptable, we need art as a pathway to the truth. The NS movement was ambiguous in its stance towards modernity, it embraced it and at the same time it rejected it. But there was a sound logic behind this, embracing modernity was a means of taking control over the modernizing process and surpassing modernity, retrieving an earlier, more authentic experience. Embracing the current decline these days for the sake of art and artistic expression is pointless and self-destructive, it's ego-centric and short-sighted. It's a travesty really, it's providing an excuse for inappropriate behavior and immanence in nihilism...