[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
Like the first song’s title connotes (“Venerated & Despised”) Trepaneringsritualen revolves around ambivalent symbols. Like the taboo’s definition by Freud, that is both consecrated and dangerously dirty, the psychological effect of this sort of music resides on a subliminal allegiance between sacred ambiances and terrifying sound textures. Perhaps if one could imagine to replace Raison d’être’ s liturgical dimension with a demonic frequency still maintaining that same catatonic majesty, then he would have a hint to the present musical allegory. For like other ritual noise projects (T.O.M.B., RxAxPxE), the Swedish Ekelund germs his inspiration out of individual esoteric hermeneutics.
Ekelund bears not only the academic mark of those obsessed with dark arts, but he is mostly imbued with a feverish dependency on dark metal aesthetics. The track “A Black Egg” erupts like a death metal Deicide-esque attack constructed with death industrial materials. It meets Thorofon on a Godflesh non-metallic mechanical and menacing scenery.
When mankind has been made less by Christianity, today’s musical underground searches to explain it using tactics condensed with lyrical metaphors and intended sardonic atmospheres. “Castrate Christ” features an In Slaughter Natives vibe to articulate a demolishing message where music empowers itself with a vagina dentata tropism that should contribute to the weakening of such alienated values.
“Liken Ingen Jord Vill Svälja” scratches on the surface of the occipital lobe causing a somnambular staggering which eventually leaves the emotional responses inconclusive. This tedium moment familiarizes the persona with the common distortions that sleepwalking causes upon reality. The reactions to the textures of power electronics practiced by Ekelund are irritatingly ambiguous: the comfort inoculated by its rhythms is being perceived together with a feeling of mockery, spite and cynical dejection. Alone across the abyss, he fulminates upon shallow philanthropy and human brotherhood by initiating a soulless picture of our reflection in the imagery of the abyss itself. A Haus Arafna raw catechism that makes the dancefloor appear like a fashion parade of dead mannequins.
“Father why have you forsaken me…?” is heard along “Thirty-Nine Lashes”, where the whip is suggested by a metallic slapping which makes you wonder what, after all, is the difference between flagellation and sexual arousal, when the same instrument is used to provoke them. The fanatic penitence sounds here plainly demented and stripped of any other hipster connotations.
Trepaneringsritualen steams under a rigorous control like a fierce mechanism that seems to take its power from psychotic black metal acts. “The Seventh Man” reminds me of an equilibrated Abruptum concocted by a German power electronics formula.
Yet you will not find the spitting elegance of Folkstorm, as the schematic approach is more akin to brutal textures like Brethern, for instance on “Konung Krönt I Blod”. Ekelund is by all means a very effective artist, searching out with the help of a simple and evil rhythmic to engage the listener in his ritual music hypnosis.
“A Ceaseless Howling” changes the register to a dark ambient grey tone, as a kind of portal to his final piece “He Who Is My Mirror’. The song is superbly built on ascending and fading industrial noises on which a psalmed voice is echoed. Once you are absorbed in this lava immersion you will come to understand who He is, and what you are when reflected in His mirror.
You receive Perfection & Permanence not only like an offering of death electronics à la lettre, but moreover as an offertory for the flesh and spirit alike, where the only alms collected will be your humanism. Because, as Ekelund has mentioned somewhere, this musical praxis is “essential to make them (us) more susceptible to communications from the other spheres”.