Friday, January 31, 2020

Interview with Jane Orpheus of FUNERE RECORDS by Dave Wolff

Interview with Jane Orpheus of Funere Records

How long have you been managing Funere Records? What is the purpose and goal of the label?
The label was founded on September 9, 2018. Its goal is to release doom metal. For me, it's not the amount of bands that matters, but their quality. I want to help musicians realize themselves so the world can hear them. I do everything I can. I always listen to my bands and their wishes. It seems to me that in 2019 Funere has moved forward and developed more and I want to do better every time. Everyone should know about my bands.

Were there projects you were involved in before Funere Records, or is the label your first contribution to the underground?
Once I was a guest vocalist on a song from the ambient funeral doom band Songs From A Tomb. But of course the label is my first serious contribution and I’d like to do it more.

Where is Funere Records based and how would you describe the underground in your home country? Are there bands, zines and labels/distros people around the world should take note of?
The label is Armenian, but it is based in Russia where I live at the moment. Of course, there are bands in Armenia, but not on the same scale as countries in Europe for example. I don't know of any labels or zines; as for bands, I don't really listen to them as they mostly play black metal.

How recently did you relocate to Russia and what was the reason for the move? What is the underground scene in Russia like compared to the scene in Armenia?
I’ve lived in Russia for a long time; the reason for moving was personal. The metal scene here is more developed than in Armenia, and I think there are more opportunities.

Do you run Funere Records on your own or does a staff assist you?
I run the label alone. I make layouts of booklets for CDs and flyers, and I premiere video tracks. I send material out for reviews, advertising, etc. If a box with CDs weighs ten kg for mailing, my husband helps.

Do you ever consider hiring a staff to help out with the label or are you able to handle the responsibilities independently?
My label is small and developing. At the moment, I want to do everything alone. Maybe someday if I really need help, though I doubt it because I'm very picky when it comes to doom metal.

Why did you decide to exclusively support doom metal, funeral doom metal and doom/death metal on your label?
The first subgenre of doom metal I heard was funeral doom. Doom metal in general is closer to me in spirit; it’s a whole world to me. And I want to help musicians give it to the world. I think doom/death and funeral doom are better than black/doom, sludge/doom, stoner/doom, etc. I don't really like those mixes. But of course, in any case, I will consider and listen to such a project and draw conclusions. Doom metal of all the subgenres of metal has the most rich and beautiful emotions.

Do you design and print layouts for CD booklets or do you have them printed professionally?
It happens in different ways. If a band does not have anything, I develop layouts myself. If you need a cover there are artists who can draw; make sketches of the logo for example. If the musician has everything ready, he does it himself. The layout can include anything you want, depending on the preferences of the musician and the label. Everything is mutually decided. This can also be for photos, lyrics, words of gratitude, etc. I can make a pit-art in the form of a band logo or a picture. When everything is ready, I send the layout to the factory.

How do you define quality over quantity when it comes to supporting bands? How much input do your bands have in that regard?
The main thing is I should like the material. When a band writes to me and sends me music to listen to, I listen to them several times. If a band is another genre (for example, black/doom), I do not consider them. If I don’t know whether I like a band or not, I turn off the music, go back to it later and then decide whether to release it.
I try to do good promotion so my bands are heard, listened to, and known. I do advertising, track and album premieres on various metal sites, and reviews. All I need from bands is good music, and I put everything else in.

Do you prefer to advertise through email and social media or by placing ads in printed fanzines and mailing fliers through the postal service? On which formats do your releases get the biggest response?
I do advertising through magazines, flyers, the Internet, promo CDs, etc. Most of my releases are in CD format. Some of them are in digital, but there are more on physical media. I also put flyers with my releases in package along with orders or mailing lists for reviews. I think this is good, because after that, often people buy CD when they see ads.

Name some of the websites you have advertised your bands on, and indicate how often you correspond with them.
I make track and album premieres on No Clean Singing, Metal Injection, Decibel Magazine, Freidhof magazine, Indy Metal Vault, Subterrãneo Webzine, etc. We communicate whenever there are releases. The guys are doing well and I thank them for their help!

How many bands are currently signed? Do you mostly get into contact with bands or invite them to contact you?
I had two official reissues by bands from CIS countries, Mournful Congregation and Evoken. From the rest of the world I have Sinister Downfall, Ornamentos del Miedo, Evadne and Vofa. Contact happens in different ways; I write the bands or they write me.

What releases by your signed bands are available for streaming? How many downloads have they gotten since their release?
My digital releases are Sinister Downfall’s “Eremozoic”, Vofa’s “Vofa”, Evadne’s “The Dethroned of Our Souls” and Ornamentos del Miedo’s “Este No Es Tu Hogar”. Downloads vary; I get about nine to thirty. But I don't think it's important; it's important that people buy CDs and support their favorite bands.

How many opportunities do you usually have to be interviewed? I noticed on your Instagram page you were interviewed for a couple of zines. How much exposure did those interviews get for your label?
I get few requests for interviews. Only Atmosfear magazine and the Mastersland website were interviewed. I just had questions, then we had a conversation and got an interview. I think they learned as much as they were interested in learning.

Have reviews of your label’s releases been favorable? What zines recently covered your bands?
As far as I remember, all the reviews for my releases have been good. We should not forget that everyone has their own tastes, but I'm glad that I hear positive feedback for my bands. Ads for my bands and reviews often appear in Atmosfear and Encomium magazines. My friend Lucy SD helps a lot by reposting my releases and has a radio station where the songs of my bands.

Can Lucy SD’s radio program be heard online? How long has she been helping the label? Do you help spread word about her show?
Lucy has a Facebook page where she places all her info. I guess I’ve known her for about a year; I'm grateful for her help. She also likes doom metal. About spreading word of her show, I do if it has something to do with my releases.

You recently signed two new bands to your label. How soon do you plan to release their material?
Let's start with Evadne from Valencia, Spain. They play melodic doom/death. I’ve loved their music from a long time ago; even when I didn't have a label I wasn't unfamiliar with them. I thought for a long time of how offer them cooperation. I wanted to release them but I was a little afraid to offer, haha. But I was happy when they agreed. It’s a double joy when you release a band you love and listen to for a long time. The next band is Vofa from Iceland, a new band playing funeral doom. The members prefer not to name themselves in favor of being anonymous, and I respect their decision. I know and often hear from people they were able to win the hearts of many with their talent. The guys have a lot of experience and have created a beautiful style of funeral doom; you need to listen to it. It is not yet known whether these bands are planning to record an album this year. But if they want to release their work with me again, I will always be happy for them. My label is home to my bands.

Are you looking for new bands to support at present? Have you gotten into contact with anyone who you’re considering signing?
Most bands find my label and write themselves. I plan to release new bands this year, but this is still a secret and we are in the process of discussing it with the musicians.

Are there countries with doom metal scenes not as well-known you would like to help get more exposure?
I think doom metal is everywhere, it's a genre that probably not everyone understands, and there are people that find it difficult to listen to. The only thing I can do is release bands from different parts of the world.

In what countries would you like Funere Records to become more well-known?
Any label wants to be known in all countries, and I'm no exception, but it's more important that everyone knows about my bands.


-Dave Wolff

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Full Length Review: VARIOUS ARTISTS "Gorenoise Sucks Volume 1" (Gorenoise Sucks) by Dave Wolff

Band: Various Artists
Genre: Grind
Format: Streaming
Label: Gorenoise Sucks
Album Art: Alan of Putrefacto Records
Release date: January 27, 2020
The first volume of the independently produced and distributed Gorenoise Sucks compilation series was called to my attention by Devin Joseph Meaney who suggested I write a review (it included the demo tracks by his band The Nosebleed Section I listened to and reviewed in 2018). “Gorenoise Sucks Volume 1” features over three hours of the most vile, disgusting, repugnant, unforgiving and offensive anti-music you’ll ever hear.
Believe it or not, grind has grown since the days of cassettes and CDs. Now with more bands self-releasing material on Youtube and Bandcamp, grind is being pushed well beyond the boundaries set for it in terms of speed, noise, and effects. Some might say it’s being pushed to ridiculous levels, but on further consideration, there is an increasing factor of imagination involved in the direction these bands take.
If you have enough time to kill, listening to the first-ever volume of “Gorenoise Sucks” will show you how far they’re pushing and the experience will be rewarding. I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to get through the entire album in one sitting because it was so fucking long, probably the longest compilation I’ve listened to ever. Again, it’s worth the effort to sit through every song and really listen to the inventiveness here.
The bands featured on “Gorenoise Sucks” include The Nosebleed Section, Ocular Leech Infestation, Vomiting Takoyaki, Emaciated Waste, Engorging Abnormality, Inverted Scrotum, Anal Airbag, Rotavirus, Abscess Pool, Decomposed, Vaginal Anus, Bovine Fecal Matter, Canceraucous, Odontophilla, and Glaucoma. All relatively obscure musicians being given an opportunity to reach a greater number of listeners with this compilation’s release on social media.
Every subgenre of grind from grindcore, goregrind, noisegore, cybergrind, harshgore, nintendocore, noise and everything in between is represented here, with emphasis on bands trying new things. As always, the song titles and samples make clear the amount of effort that went into writing lyrical content and thinking of conceptual ideas to fit the music. Even if you’ve been a grindcore and goregrind fan for years and thought you’ve heard everything, it’s extremely likely you’ll come across something you hadn’t expected.
At this point, I’m about halfway through this compilation and I still have much curiosity as to what is going to assault my ears and brain next. “Gorenoise Sucks Volume 1” is immensely recommended if you’re a grind aficionado, a casual listener or even if you’ve been out of it for a while and have something of an interest in where the genre is going these days. Also, check out Gorenoise Sucks at their official Youtube profile. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Ocular Leech Infestation - Brain Matter Splatter On The Job
2. Serotonin Leakage - I
3. Emaciated Waste - ꟼȺƆ
4. Coagulopathy - Thrombosisectoma
5. Coagulopathy - 4 Gory Demo Traxxx
6. Hepatocele - Clandestine Clicks Of Carnage (9 traxxx)
7. Water Bottle Bong - 6 Traxxx
8. Water Bottle Bong - 3 Traxxx
9. Bile Of Ba'al - 4 Traxxx
10. Gangrenous Cholecystitis - Necrosis and Perforation of the Gallbladder Wall as a Result of Ischemia Following Progressive Vascular Insufficiency (10 Traxxx)
11. Klister - Squirt (10 Traxxx)
12. RxIxOxMxBx - Gorebage traxxx
13. Vomit Scat - 5 Traxxx
14. Vomit Scat - Enema Bubble Fart
15. Vomit Scat - Yeast Infected Vaginal Disfigurment
16. Vomit Scat - Necrophilic Abortion Clinic
17. Vomit Scat - Post - Mortem Secretion
18. Vomit Scat - Biological Discharge Of Human Feces
19. job4abrokeback - 3 Harsh Gorenoise Traxxx
20. Glaucoma - Only Cum Inside Anime Girls
21. Dental Work - Your Father Must Be Proud (Dead Rats In The Laundry Basket Mix)
22. Ivan Ooze - Universally Despised
23. Ivan Ooze - Yung Ooze
24. Ivan Ooze - Do The Swim!
25. Goarwhal - 0000000001
26. Goarwhal - 0000000002
27. Goarwhal - 0000000003
28. Cloutclit - I Don't Mind Butchering
29. ExTxFxTx - Extraordinary Probing
30. Cocaine Cadaver - Stomach Ulcer
31. Hootie Blows A Phish - Waterproof Radio Trapped In A Fishes Stomach (13 Traxxx)
32. Putrefaction Hediona - Putrefactio (Primer Cover)
33. Putrefaction Hediona - flagelado, castrado, infectado, impalado, desollado, destripado y desmembrado (por malcriado)
34. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZECTOMY - Track 4
35. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZECTOMY - NUCLEAR WASHING MACHINE NOISES
36. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZECTOMY - Track 5
37. Headgore - Heres Some Four Loko, You're Being Subjected To A Doom Show
38. Crocodile - Nuclear Smackdown in Atlantis EP (51 Traxxx)
39. Crocodile - C.I.A. Hunts The Nepai Yeti
40. Engorging Abnormality - Penile Dysfunction Dismemberment
41. Engorging Abnormality - Hogtied And Facefucked
42. Engorging Abnormality - Buttfucked By A Cancer Patient Redux
43. Inverted Scrotum - Dragon Penis
44. Inverted Scrotum - Rainbow Kisses From Heaven
45. Eating Gilberts Gape - Jiggly Nigga Dick (Feat. Ryan of Cunt Torch)
46. Vomiting Takoyaki - We Proud To Be The Suckest
47. Rotavirus - 20 Untitled Traxxx
48. Lil Wayne's Liver - Fermented Codine Splatter
49. Lil Wayne's Liver - Untitled
50. Paralyzed From The Waist Up - The Increased Risk of Pathogen Transmission as The Encounter Rate of Hosts Increases
51. Paralyzed From The Waist Up - Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
52. Paralyzed From The Waist Up - A Foul-Smelling Discharge Leaking From a Sore
53. Odontophilla - Ghastly Dentist
54. Odontophilla - Gaging On Floss
55. Odontophilla - Floride Overdose
56. Snuff Film Shampoo Commercial - Broken Femur
57. Snuff Film Shampoo Commercial - Needle Full Of AIDS
58. Snuff Film Shampoo Commercial - Decrepitated Regurgitations In Foetal Leprosy (LDOH Cover)
59. Snuff Film Shampoo Commercial - You Still Have AIDS, Loser
60. Snuff Film Shampoo Commercial - Dead In The Shower
61. Snuff Film Shampoo Commercial - Eric Harris & Dylan Klebod Are My Role Models
62. Snuff Film Shampoo Commercial - I Wanna Stab You Really Bad
63. Snuff Film Shampoo Commercial - Enbilulugugal Is Gay
64. Abscess Pool - Embody
65. Decomposed - Traxxx
66. Spermicidal Suicide - Incestupus Elf Orgy
67. Renal Hydronephrosis - Mescaline Induced Cannibalism
68. Bovine Fecal Matter - White Noise Regurgitation
69. Bovine Fecal Matter - Por Fin Se Murio Jose Jose
70. Bovine Fecal Matter - Clitfucker Lick Her Asshole Vaginal Snack
71. Bovine Fecal Matter - Anal Blowout (Funk Trap Remix)
72. Bovine Fecal Matter - This Tit Taste Like Chicken
73. Bovine Fecal Matter - Masticas Como Una Vaca
74. Old Man Piss Session - All Hail Master Piss
75. Old Man Piss Session - Kitchen Basement Of Gore And Piss
76. Furry Orgy Massacre - Lollicon Is CP, You Fucking Weeb (Demo)
77. IxRxJxSx26 - 3 Traxxx
78. Splurp - Yo Quiero Fumar Mota
79. Hepatic Lichens Planus - Blisters Oozing Purulent Pus Within A Bleeding Foreskin
80. Hepatic Lichens Planus - Hook Worms Dangling From Fecal Residue In A Fissured Rectal Cavity
81. Hepatic Lichens Planus - Perineal Tearing Leading To Severe Infections In The Urinary Tract
82. Hepatic Lichens Planus - Erection Filled With Pus
83. Hepatic Lichens Planus - Liquefied Pieces Of Gore
84. Goregasmatron - Padre Kalibanga Konstipado Karatista Invoking the Copro Miracles of Mechupatamia
85. Goregasmatron - Meditative Approach to Defecation from the 16th Dimension
86. Goregasmatron - Gouging Out The Eyes And Slitting The Arteries Near The Neck
87. Goregasmatron - A Serenade To Ask A Woman Out
88. Urinophobic - I Sold My Soul To Satan But Bought It Back From God With This Song
89. Deflorated Eye Sockets - Untitled 07
90. Anal Submarine - Urethral Defecation
91. Curd - Steph Got Stabbed
92. Cornhole Crucifixion - Vomitcore (REMIX)
93. Defecate - the floor is on the shit
94. Eckankar - Lifestyle You Need
95. Enema Puss - 1
96. Enema Puss - 2
97. Enema Puss - 3
98. fuckchicken - fuckchicken
99. GGGGSSSS - @thuggerthugger1
100. GGGGSSSS - 79ers
101. GGGGSSSS - Throwing Up Black Acid
102. HOAXXX - 1 Chef, 1 Cup
103. HOAXXX - I Need Your Anal Ingredients
104. HOAXXX - Urinal Chef Master
105. K9 Hemorrhoids - Ready to Play (Recorded at Meijer 1/9/20)
106. Körperlich - Beat Wet Dripping Legs
107. Canceraucous - Infernal Shrine
108. Necrologyst - Devourer of Jewish remains
109. Necrologyst - Human sludge regugitation
110. Necrologyst - Viking metal is for cucks
111. OxMxPx - Greens N Taters
112. OxMxPx - Josh no Cock
113. OxMxPx - Kill for the Creator
114. OxMxPx - Meltdown pt1
115. OxMxPx - Meltdown pt2
116. Putrid Vagina Ablation - Jean-Michel Deepthroat
117. Putrid Vagina Ablation - Untitled_1
118. Putrid Vagina Ablation - Uranus Get Destroyed
119. R.X. Catheter - Incomprehensible Stream of Piss
120. Renal Hydronephrosis - oligoasthenoteratozoospermia
121. Splooge - Blues and Grind Intermission
122. Splooge - Fuck Shit Jesus Christ
123. Splooge - Violent Tendencies
124. SubHuman Scum - Escaped Custody
125. SubHuman Scum - Killing Spree
126. Swollen Gargantuan Fecal Fetus - Explosive Gastrointestinal Disintegration
127. The Nosebleed Section - Dawn of the Pariah
128. The Nosebleed Section - Demons
129. The Nosebleed Section - Herbal Euphoria
130. The Nosebleed Section - This is the Mummering
131. Toxocara Canis - Xiphinema indeX
132. Toxocara Canis - Baylisascaris Procyonis
133. Toxocara Canis - Ubiquitous Gastrointestinal Wvrms
134. Toyland - Pussy Squirt Slurpy
135. Toyland - Teabag Tonsillectomy
136. Tromacore - Cunt Lick, Texas
137. Tumori Benigni - Benigni Chainsaw Massacre
138. Tumori Benigni Il Movente è Sempre lo Stesso - Il Movente è Sempre lo Stesso
139. Tumori Benigni - Il Professore Mano-Morta (Gore- Gabber mix)
140. Liquid Thickness - 7 Traxxx
141. Coprophilic Dissection - Unreleased Coprophilic Dissection 1
142. Coprophilic Dissection - Unreleased Coprophilic Dissection 2
143. Vaginal Anus - Carrion Cunt
144. Vaginal Anus - Explosive Regurgence
145. Sycophantic Sex Soldier - Everything Was Alive, Then Nothing Was
146. Sycophantic Sex Soldier - The Art Of Destroying Sanity
147. Subhumanoid Secretion - Blind Their Eyes
148. X's Xenial Xanthippes Xenophobia (xXxXxXxXx) - Cremation Means Ebola
149. X's Xenial Xanthippes Xenophobia (xXxXxXxXx) - Pungent Smell of Boniak the Mangy's Entrails
150. X's Xenial Xanthippes Xenophobia (xXxXxXxXx) - Viral Hemorrhagic Fever
151. Gynecomastia Hypertrophy Elephantiasis - Flaking Ball Bag Skin
152. Gynecomastia Hypertrophy Elephantiasis - I Have Man Tits
153. VxN - 3 UNTITLED TRAXXX

Monday, January 27, 2020

Single Review: 6HOST WITHASIX "Unchained" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Location: Cape Breton Island
Country: Canada
Genre: Hip hop
Single: Unchained
Label: Independent
Format: Streaming
Release date: January 26, 2020
Earlier, I put together a brief review of Ghost WithaSix's single ''Good Man.'' Within a few hours, I was scrolling my Facebook and realized that 6host had posted another track. This newer song is titled ''Unchained,'' and in my opinion, it is even catchier than the previous track!
Both offerings are really good, but this one I can really get into. The feeling and vibes within this soundscape are much darker, but this all adds to the tone, and for the sake of entertainment value, this one takes the cake.
Not to mimic my last review, but the lyrics are very tight. The beat is very catchy, and I can guarantee you there is nothing sloppy about any of this. Time and effort are for sure factors in the making of all 6host's tracks, and I am glad I have the pleasure of listening to him progress over time. His most recent is for sure one of his best.
6host deserves support, so anything that you can do to help him push forward with his music I encourage you to do it. Even small things, like giving him enough likes and shares to bring his music to a wider audience.
And again, much love and respect. Keep it up, homie! -Devin Joseph Meaney


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Single Review: 6HOST WITHASIX "Good Man" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Location: Cape Breton Island
Country: Canada
Genre: Hip hop
Single: Good Man
Format: Streaming
Label: Independent
Release date: January 5, 2020
Once again, the talented Cape Breton rapper and musician 6host WithaSix hits hard with another vicious banger. Whenever he releases a new single he usually sends it my way, and as always, he will without question find some support through me.
The contents of this new track “Good Man” include tight lyrics and a flow that few in this area (Cape Breton) could ever emulate. Backed by a catchy beat, overall, this single is very pleasurable to listen to, and I encourage anyone who enjoys hip-hop to give this song a spin (or three).
Speaking again of the lyrics, although 6host WithaSix is a fair bit younger than myself, I find the words he puts forward to be honest, genuine, and sometimes relatable.
A talented artist, 6host will forever be one of my favorite CB rappers (along with X-plycit and a few others) and I am always more than glad to give his tunes a listen.
Much love, 6host. Keep up the good work! -Devin Joseph Meaney


Article: "RAY BURTON: THE FATHER OF HEAVY METAL" by Marc Del Cielo

RAY BURTON: THE FATHER OF HEAVY METAL
Article by Marc Del Cielo

Ray Burton, the father of the late Cliff Burton has passed away at age 94. In the more than 30 years since his son’s death, Ray was still very much a part of the lives of the other members of Metallica. The band issued a statement on their website and expressed how much Ray meant to them, long after his son’s death in 1986. In joint and individual statements, Metallica praises a man who made people comfortable with his positive energy. Robert Trujillo speaks fondly of a man who would tell it like it was. Metallica considers themselves lucky to have had him in their lives: “From coast to coast and overseas too, Ray's beaming face would regularly greet us, offering warmth and anchor to our travels, and when it came to the entire Metallica family, band, crew and fans, he viewed us all as his own."
So while there has always been a great debate between Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin over the origins of metal, why Ray Burton? Why do I call him the father of metal? Ray was who we looked to when Cliff died. The father that already lost his oldest son never failed to remain a part of the friends who were with him when he lost his youngest son. Always championing his son’s legacy, he never failed to mention his bandmates. Fans of Cliff have always revered Ray Burton. After Cliff’s death, Ray encouraged Metallica’s fans to express their feelings to Jan Burton, Cliff’s mother, going as far as letting music magazines print his home address.
My best memory of Ray was the 1998 VH1 Behind the Music where he recalls Cliff’s puzzlement at why his neck was hurting: “Cliff! What do you mean your neck? You’re bouncing your head up and down all night long and you wonder why your neck hurts?” he says with a smile. So great was Metallica’s respect for the Burton family that the band included Ray and Jan in the hiring of Cliff’s replacement, Jason Newsted. Newsted recalled in a 2017 interview: Jan Burton grabbed me right away, “Once the guys told me, I said you were the one, they know you are the one, please be safe.” It was Ray who joined Metallica and Jason onstage when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. With a beaming smile, he dedicated Cliff’s induction to Cliff’s greatest fan, Jan Burton. Ray Burton was regularly backstage at Metallica concerts and has lent himself to Metallica’s All Within My Hands charity. In 2017 it was revealed Ray had been donating his share of Cliff’s royalties to charity, including a music scholarship to Castro Valley High School, Cliff’s alma mater.
So why is Ray Burton the father of metal? Metallica’s impact on the genre is undeniable. They sell out every arena in the world. They’re at the top of every top metal band poll. They’ve sold 125 million albums worldwide. What Ray Burton did was to become a surrogate father to Metallica, their crew, their fans, and their genre. He was a father to us all.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Full Length Review: VOMI NOIR "Les Myasmes de la Deliquescence" (Terrible Mutilation Records) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: Vomi Noir
Location: Toulouse
Country: France
Genre: Goregrind
Full Length: Les Myasmes de la Deliquescence
Label: Terrible Mutilation Records
Also released on Bringer of Gore Records and A Symphony of Death Rattles
Format: Digital album, 12" 45rpm black vinyl, 12" 45 rpm opaque brown vinyl, 12" 45rpm clear yellow vinyl, CD (Terrible Mutilation Records)
Release date: December 13, 2019
After a busy day of appointments and job hunting, I came home, ate some salad, and immediately logged on to my computer for my almost nightly goregrind fix. The first thing that jumped out at me during my search was the 2019 LP ''Les Myasmes de la Deliquescence'' by Vomi Noir. I have been meaning to check out this band for months now, so I decided that this LP would be the first thing I listened to.
Within minutes of loading up Youtube, I had this LP pulsing through my speakers, and I can honestly say that this is without question a goregrind masterpiece. Reminding me of (early) Carcass, Gruesome Stuff Relish, and Blue Holocaust, I was riddled with ear-gasms and an intense desire to destroy everything in my bedroom.
After doing a bit of research on Google, I found out that the similarities between Vomi Noir and Blue Holocaust really make sense. Pierre (from Blue Holocaust and Braindead Webzine) is the guitarist and vocalist of this band, and just like anything else he puts his hand to, this LP is well put together, filled with talent, gore, and genuine putrid blasphemies.
Something worth mentioning is the lead guitar solos. I may be a bit off the mark here, but the riffage held within reminds me of very early Obituary. The music and feel of the LP as a whole is much different (and more entertaining I might add) than anything put out by Obituary, but the style of the leads is similar.
Fans of goregrind, grindcore, and pure audio violence should be more than pleased to give Les Myasmes de la Deliquescence a listen. A vibrant splatter-fest, I plan to return to this LP time and time again, and I would encourage anyone that likes this kind of thing to do the same. Listen to the LP. Buy the LP. Buy merch. Do what you can to spread and support this sickness... it is an absolute gem! 10/10. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Lineup:
Pierre: Guitars, vocals
David: Bass
Laurent: Drums

Track list:
1. Ouverture Thanatopsique
2. L'effusion Ichoreuse d'une Hémoptysie Foudroyante
3. Reliquats Pestiférant
4. Eclatements Humorragiques dans l'Acrimonie Putride
5. Les Myasmes de la Déliquescence
6. Révulsion
7. Dystopies Mutagènes
8. Pustulations Orificielles
9. Les Vibrions Septiques de Dégénérescence Nécrobiotique
10. Le Fracas Mutilant d'une Desquamation Infectieuse
11. La Fluxion Morbifique des Sugillations Purpuriques
12. D'entre Les Profondeurs Viscérales
13. Spumation Infernale d'une Masse Pulsatile et Coruscante
14. L'odieuse Rancissure d'une Pyorrhée Méphitique
15. Raptus Phléboréxique Dilacérant
16. Amoncellement de Chairs Corrompues
17. Parasitose Hallucinatoire
18. Le Traumatisme Ecchymotique des Lésions Goutteuses
19. Intussuception Intestinale Invaginée
20. Autolyse
21. Crassamentum Ecarlate
22. Le Bourdonnement Incessant des Mouches Bleues
23. Fantasmagories Pathologiques


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Full Length Review: BESTIAL INVASION "Monomania" (Nocturnus Records) by Sarah McKellar

Location: Zhytomyr Oblast
Country: Ukraine
Genre: Technical Thrash Metal
Full length: Monomania
Format: Limited edition digibook CD (500 copies), digital
Release date: November 22, 2019
Bestial Invasion is a five-piece Ukrainian technical Thrash metal project established in 2014. “Monomania” is their fourth full-length release through Nocturnus Records. A thrash -driven technical start instantly sets the tone for “Monomania” giving the impression that Bestial Invasion is not going to compromise on the aural assault. Oddly melodic - Monomania is a seriously technical, polished testament to Bestial Invasion’s customary unforgiving technical thrash style. The use of samples creates a distinct mournful feeling which contrasts wonderfully with Bestial Invasions strong and tight technical elements. A slight feel of traditional heavy metal vocals combined with an epic vibe toward the lyrics show off another musical element of Bestial Invasion- and of course their ability to shred as fast as possible. Lyrically diverse, Bestial Invasion swing from technical thrash anthems to well written historical pieces. An unforgiving technical thrash assault- “Monomania” is a must for fans of both Bestial Invasion and technical thrash in general. I genuinely look forward to seeing what Bestial Invasion has to offer musically in the coming year. -Sarah McKellar

Lineup:
Vakhtango Zadiev: Vocals
Serg MP (Metal Priest): Bass
Alexander Klaptsov: Rhythm guitars
Denis Shvarts: Solo guitars, acoustic guitars, rhythm guitars (track 6), keyboards
Ischenko Andrey: drums
(Special guest) Kelly Shaefer (Atheist): track 6, solo 1
(Special guest) Doug Piercy (Blind Illusion, ex- Heathen): track 6, solo 2
(Special guest) Regina "The Bishop": track 4

Track list:
1. The Period of Tragedy (intro)
2. Monomania
3. The Angel of the West Window
4. Deny Your Future
5. The Garden of Earthly Delights
6. Memories. The Аrchitect Of The Universe
7. Sir Francis Drake: The Queen's Pirate
8. Retribution (Atheist cover)


Full Length Review: HHOOGG "Earthling, Go Home!" (Crystal Space Bricks) by Sarah McKellar

Band: Hhoogg
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Country: USA
Genre: Improvisational psychedelic rock
Full length: Earthling, Go Home!
Label: Crystal Space Bricks
Format: Digital
Release date: February 25, 2019
HHOOG is a four-piece experimental, stoner rock band based in Boston, Massachusetts. “Go Home Earthling” is their third 2019 release through Crystal Space Bricks. Self-described as an “All improvisational psychedelic rock from outer space”- this release certainly lives up to that title. Groovy, experimental, psychedelic/stoner rock vibe with “Ccoossmmooss” provides the perfect instrumental background to commence “Go Home Earthling”. A catchy, groovy sound is consistent throughout “Go Home Earthling”- the use of synthesizers add a distinct spacey vibe, obviously the intention of HHOOGG. A more relaxed and experimental feel is taken in “Journey to the dying place” providing a welcome change from the prior tracks. Yet another musical switch with their customary groove-ridden sound that’s now expected of HHOOGG provides a more ominous tone in the following track- adding an additional musical feel to “Go Home Earthling”. “Go Home Earthling” is literally the perfect experimental, instrumental stoner rock to sit back and enjoy with its relaxed yet experimental vibe (edibles optional!). I genuinely look forward to seeing what HHOOGG has to offer in the future with their experimental, psychedelic approach. -Sarah McKellar

Lineup:
Paul Yu: Guitar
Xtina Porcupine: Bass
Yig Narub: Synthesizer
Tom the Ninth Universe: Drums

Track list:
1. Ccoossmmooss
2. Rustic Alien Living
3. Journey to the Dying Place
4. Star Wizard, Headless and Awake
5. Eaten on the Frontier
6. Recalled to the Pyramids
7. Infinitely Gone




EP Review: BAUME "L'odeur de la lumière" (Pest Productions) by Sarah McKellar

Band: Baume
Location: Paris
Country: France
Genre: Experimental rock/black metal
Format: Limited edition CD, limited edition cassette, digital
Release date: October 15, 2019
Baume is a 3 piece experimental black metal band located in Paris, established in 2017. “L'Odeur de la Lumière” is Baume’s second 2019 EP released through Pest Productions. Sheer experimental black metal chaos at its finest can be one of the few ways to describe Baume. Strong musicianship combined with a distinctly mournful approach creates an oddly melodic feel to “L'Odeur de la Lumière”. Consistently experimental with a wide array of vocal techniques and a melodic yet brutal approach ensures for a consistently interesting release. Switching from a more melodic approach to a more traditional depressive black metal approach halfway through “L'Odeur de la Lumière” adds a brutal and welcome change. Samples scattered throughout this release provide another diverse and experimental aspect to the sheer brutal, chaos that has come to be expected of Baume. A depressive and mournful instrumental gives way to the final track of “Les Saints des Derniers Jours” which is literally an exercise in mournful post-black metal brutality. I truly enjoyed the experimental attitude Baume has taken with this release as it was constantly evolving and changing- you literally did not know what to expect next. I genuinely look forward to hearing more of Baume’s future material and await to see which direction their music takes them. -Sarah McKellar

Lineup:
Gaetan Juif: Vocals, Guitars, Synth, Drums
Hugo Beauzée-Luyssen: Bass, backing Vocals
Laurene Hamery: Backing Vocals

Track list:
1. I.Ainsi grossit le Ciel
2. II.L'Air Rouge
3. III.Du Sang sur les Mains
4. IV.L'Odeur de la Lumière
5. V.Les Saints des Derniers Jours

Full Length Review: CRIMSON MOON "Mors Vincit Omnia" (Debemur Morti Productions) by Sarah McKellar

Country: USA
Genre: Black metal
Full length: Mors Vincit Omnia
Format: Digipak CD, limited edition vinyl, digital
Release date: August 30, 2019
Crimson Moon is a three-piece black metal project currently based in Germany, established in 1994. “Mors Vincit Omnia” is their fourth full-length release in their extensive discography through Debemur Morti Productions. Occultic, dark and mournful, “Vanitas” is a hard-hitting introduction and you are instantly drawn into this release. A controlled chaotic feel shows the dedication of the band members and the time developing their unrelenting and brutal approach to black metal. Further through the “Mors Vincit Omnia” Crimson Moon displays their ability to shift from a brutal aural assault to dank, occultic filth. Lyrical content throughout this release lives up to the themes of Occultism that Crimson Moon is consistently recognized for and takes the listener further into their distinct and unmistakable sound. Additional experimental and mournful instrumentals with the use of both clean vocals and screams add an unsettling but pleasing aspect throughout this release. Consistently technical throughout this “Mors Vincit Omnia” while remaining true to their customary brutal aural assault- Crimson Moon has once again lived up to their brutal reputation. I genuinely look forward to seeing what the future holds for Crimson Moon- especially if their intentions are to commence playing live again. -Sarah McKellar

Lineup:
Scorpios Androctonus: Bass, vocals, synths
Sabnoc: Guitars, Backing Vocals
Agreas: Guitars
Blastum: Drums
Lord Angelslayer: Guest Vocals on track III
Proscriptor: Guest Vocals on track III
Ixithra: Guest Vocals on track IV
Phaesphoros: Additional Choir Vocals and Wooden Recorder on track V
Brian Artwick: Outro music on track VIII

Track list:
1. Vanitas
2. Altars Of Azrael
3. Godspeed Angel Of Death
4. Upon the Pale Horse
5. Parcae - Trinity of Fates
6. Mors Vincit Omnia
7. Funeral Begotten
8. Tempus Fugit


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

EP Review: PLAGUE WEAVER "Through the Sulphur Eyes" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Plague Weaver
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Country: Canada
Genre: Black/doom metal
EP: Through the Sulphur Eyes
Format: CD, digital
Label: Independent
Release date: January 10, 2020
“Through the Sulphur Eyes” is Plague Weaver’s sophomore release, following a self-titled EP independently released in 2019. The band is the brainchild of Thorn who has far-reaching experience as a musician from working in Bisclaveret (Poland), Azarath (Poland), Mastabah (Poland), Aspergillus Flavus (Poland) and Damnation (Poland). He puts this experience to good use, with a special percipience of the inherent heaviness of death metal and the response it evokes in the listener. His strength here is his ability to utilize repetition to create an overwhelming musical climate full of noisome ambience. Rather than write progressions that slowly construct their songs to their logical progression, the band proclaim their purpose from the outset, opening each track with enough volume and distortion to push them to indurate levels. “Through the Sulphur Eyes,” the title track of the EP, starts with a painfully slow rhythm with melody, hypnotic guitar leads and a hint of atmosphere, somewhat similar to old Paradise Lost except for the layered vocals. There are also indications of Swedish melodic death metal a la Hypocrisy, At The Gates and In Flames. The song is a decent introduction to Plague Weaver if you missed their debut EP. It’s tastefully reiterative, with guitar progressions that are gritty and minimalist but delivered with clarity. The songs that follow, namely “The Traveller,” “Descent” and “Unchained,” have a necrotic effect on your mind rather than a bludgeoning effect, dissolving your brain with leisurely forbearance, eventually becoming bedevilling hymns to desolation and perdition. Apparently, the best song was saved for last as “Alchemy” presents the conclusion to the doom-laden tale that is “Through the Sulphur Eyes”, with slow, dissonant riffs, leads sounding based on minor notes and an apocalyptic feel that eats away at the last or your mental resistance. “Through the Sulphur Eyes” is majestic without being overblown or pompous, touching you on a distinctly intimate level. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Through the Sulphur Eyes
2. The Traveller
3. Descent
4. Unchained
5. Alchemy


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Interview with lyricist LEVI MERICLE by Dave Wolff

Interview with lyricist LEVI MERICLE

How long have you been a lyricist and how did you start sharing your work with established bands?
I started writing poetry at the age of fifteen, but it wasn’t until I was about nineteen or twenty when I wrote my first lyric. So twelve years ago was when I really got the hang of writing lyrics. About five or six years ago was when I really started sending my work out to artists and bands. It was on Myspace (When Myspace was really booming) where I really received the best feedback for my lyrics, from bands like Kittie, Upon A Burning Body and Davy Suicide to name a few. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to write for a band, although my work has received great comments and praise. My goal now is to collaborate with bands or artists that need lyrical help or who would like to collaborate. Music has always been a huge part of my life, and I think I could help create some great music if given the opportunity.

Describe the feedback Kittie, Upon A Burning Body, Davy Suicide and other bands have given you for your lyrics?
Most bands I’ve queried to about my lyrics never responded. But sometimes I get comments from bands that are quite encouraging. When I wrote to the band Kittie their bassist, Ivy Vujic, wrote this in response. She said, “Wow those are quite powerful lyrics! I don't know of anyone looking for a lyricist but I think you should definitely keep writing and keep trying to find someone who will publish your work. Good luck! I shared a lyric with them and also stated if they knew of any bands needing a lyricist to please think of me.
About the same time I messaged Kittie, I messaged Upon a Burning Body and Davy Suicide. Once I showed a lyric to Upon A Burning Body, they responded with “They are good! I will keep my eyes open for someone in need of your help :) thank you”. I was very happy that they acknowledged my message as I knew they were becoming a well-respected and popular band.
I’ve been acknowledged and have had conversations with bands and artists such as John Schlitt “Petra”, and The Dead South, etc. A lot of messages were lost in the Myspace transition but luckily I was able to save a few.

How many songs did you submit to each of those the bands we discussed? Did you choose each lyric according to what you thought would work for each band?
Usually, I only send one lyric per band and then I wait for a response. There are only a few bands I’ve actually sent more than one lyric to. I believe I only sent one lyric to each of the bands we discussed above. I’ve found that sending multiple lyrics at the same time, sometimes pisses musicians off. So I try to stick with one lyric per band. I study lyrics and listen to most of the music from the bands I submit to. I don’t just randomly submit stuff out there without first doing my homework on the band. I tried that in my much younger days and didn’t get any results, lessons learned. 

Do you think Myspace needed its upgrade to version 3.0 or should they have left well enough alone with version 2.0?
I didn’t quite understand the change they were making in the beginning, but once they did, it was like a night and day difference for me. For one thing, when I switched to the new version, I lost all my correspondence responses. All the messages from all the bands (for the past three or four years) I talked to were just gone. And I didn’t receive a notification email explaining that to me. That totally pissed me off and turned my likeness for Myspace into pure dislike. I do still have a Myspace account, although I don’t think I’ve visited the site for about two years now. The Myspace I once loved is now just a fond memory.

When Myspace waned in popularity and people switched to Facebook, were you set back when it came to corresponding with bands or were you able to continue?
It was slow at the beginning of the transition but once I switched, I quickly learned the ins and outs of Facebook. It didn’t take me long and I’ve been submitting lyrics to artists and bands ever since. I’m not just a one genre lyricist, however. Although one of my favorite genres of music is heavy metal, I enjoy writing in many different styles. So, therefore, I write to many different artists in all forms of music.

Do you still have your earliest writings saved in notebooks or on your computer? If so would you ever consider releasing them in print?
I have boxes and boxes of notebook pages and scraps of paper in my storage that I haven’t looked through in a decade or longer. A bunch of the lyrics I wrote in the Myspace days are still on a hard drive but I haven’t seen them for some years. I would love to one day unearth my old poems and lyrics and share them with the public. One day soon hopefully I will.

How much of your work is collected on your Facebook page at present? How many subscribers are reading your work there?
I have links to all my published works including, short stories, interviews, newspaper articles, competition results, etc. I have currently published over a hundred poems and short stories all of which can be read there. I have just a hair over three hundred follows on my Facebook page at this time. I’m hoping to acquire more and more by doing interviews and soliciting my page through other literary avenues.

What sort of a transition was it from poetry to song lyrics? Or is writing poetry and lyrics based on the same principles?
When I first started it was basically one and the same. But when I matured in my craft and learned how to format lyrics, it became clear to me that they are not exactly the same. Although the lyrics are essentially poems set to music, the meter and flow of a lyric can be much different from traditional poetry forms. And without having a melody, that can sometimes be a hard task to execute. Almost every lyric I write, I create a tune in my head which I think accommodates the lyrics. Although I am not a vocalist I think I would be good at placing lyrics to existing tunes if given the chance.
Now, I put my poetry and my lyrics into two totally different categories. I submit my poetry (Free forms, traditional, haiku, etc) to magazines and lit journals all over the world, but most of these venues won’t accept lyric formats. So, I pretty much only submit lyrics to bands and lyric contests.

Which magazines and literary journals have you submitted your work to most often? Do any of them have websites where your lyrics can be read?
“The Journal of Artistic Creation and Literary Research” from the University of Madrid out of Spain probably has received the most submissions in the past four years. And in that time I’ve been published from 2016-2018 in that journal. I’ve submitted to hundreds of journals and magazines and I have gotten my fair share of rejection letters. It wasn’t until about four years ago when I started getting more acceptances. And when I received that first acceptance, it really motivated me to submit more often. Now I submit as often as time allows. All my published work can be read on my professional Facebook page The Poetry and Writings of Levi J. Mericle.

Is “The Journal of Artistic Creation and Literary Research” well known exclusively in Spain or does it reach readers in other countries?
JACLR is based in Spain but they publish their journal in English as well as Spanish. I’m not entirely sure how far their readers reach expands, but being one of the largest and oldest universities in Spain, they should have a fairly large readership.

Can you view “The Journal of Artistic Creation and Literary Research” online or is it published exclusively in print?
It can be viewed on Facebook and on its website. I’m actually not sure if they have a print edition, I think it’s solely an online publication. But their website is https://www.ucm.es/siim/journal-of-artistic-creation-and-literary-research.

Name the magazines you have submitted to in recent years. Do you collect any of the magazines that published your work?
I’ve been published in over four literature magazines and journals in over half a dozen countries. Some are online and some are in print. These include The Awakenings Review, Apricity Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, Black Heart Magazine, eFiction India, The Elephant Journal, Mystery Tribune, and Zero Flash to name a few. I’ve been reviewed and have had news stories printed in Premiere Magazine and ABC News, as well as local newspapers. Most of the print magazines I have submitted to, do offer a contributors copy. The smaller print magazines that can’t afford to supply a contributors copy, I buy one from them to go in my personal library.

In which countries has your writing received the most favorable response? Where would you be most interested in publishing next?
I would have to say India and the United States. I’ve gotten several pieces published by several different magazines in India, including eFiction India and forthcoming in Taj Mahal Review, etc. I’ve been published in China, Africa, Indonesia and France to name a few. The country I’d like to see more of my work published in would probably be England. I’ve had one poem published in England from the expired magazine The Screech Owl. This was one of my first publications.

What other genres do you work in when it comes to writing lyrics? Does the tone of your lyric writing differ from genre to genre or is it similar throughout?
Lately, I’ve found myself writing more and more country lyrics (something I thought I’d never do). I never really listened to country music until a couple years ago. I wrote my first country lyric entitled “Whiskey Deep” which I entered into a major songwriting competition called The International Songwriting Competition. For last year’s contest, I ranked third place in the lyrics only category. And after that placement, I really felt comfortable writing and submitting country lyrics to artists and contests. Also, pop and R&B have become some of my best lyrics I think. And although metal is my favorite genre to write lyrics in, I like to delve in many others.
I find almost all my metal lyrics have a dark subject matter which I think is pretty much par for the course. But I try not to write stereotypical lyrics for each genre. It’s easy to only write about booze and your favorite dog when writing country songs (much like Whiskey Deep). But I try to think outside the box and write something fresh and different within each style of music.

What is your definition of thinking outside the box when it comes to writing lyrics from genre to genre?
Since I have no music yet behind my lyrics I try to follow the basic formulas and patterns of lyrics but with my own twist. For example, when I write a country lyric, I try to incorporate maybe a dark side. Yes, there still might be a dog or a pickup truck, but I try to throw in my own personal flair as well. Now with my metal lyrics, I almost always keep it dark. Hopefully one day, they’ll be finished songs that metalheads, such as myself, can rock out to.

Did your transitions into other genres come naturally? Was it more honest than when people try to force themselves to branch out?
Actually, it was fairly easy to write in the other genres I thought would be difficult for me. To my surprise, I wrote my first country song in under a day and it flowed very well. And it was my first country song I entered in a major competition and scored 3rd place. So yes, I am able to write in other genres without too much trouble. This has been the same in not only country lyrics but also in the pop genre among others. I try to listen to every genre of music. I’ve studied by reading and examining lyrics to learn how different songs are compiled lyric-wise.

Do you think about expanding further into genres like Celtic, world, ska, goth, etc?
I’m always open to writing in any genre of lyric writing. My music library expands all the time as I listen to music in the genres of thrash metal to country and from classical to southern gothic. My music listening exceeds no bounds, as I pretty much listen to every style. I just love music. And I’m hoping collaboration opportunities come with bands and musicians that play in different genres.

What albums have you picked up recently that are making an impression on you?
In the metal genres, I must say Korn’s “The Nothing”, is quite remarkable. I am a huge fan of Korn so I love all their stuff. But this album really stands out. My favorite song in this album would have to be “You’ll Never Find Me”. My favorite mainstream band however is Slipknot. And their new album “We Are Not Your Kind” is really good. It’s not my favorite album they’ve put out, but it’s great nevertheless. In the Hip Hop and Country genres, I’ve been listening to a lot of Joyner Lucas, 21 Savage, Boogie, Tom McDonald, Juice Wrld, The Dead South, Brantley Gilbert and Bridge City Sinners to name a few.

Are any bands who have read your work showing interest in collaborating with you?
At this point no. Most of the bands and artists I talk to have the lyrics side of the songs covered. So even though quite a few of them leave me great comments, they are unable to collaborate with me.

Have you ever considered publishing your poems and lyrics in a book or an eBook? Many writers are self-publishing their own work these days, did the idea ever cross your mind?
I have a poetry and flash fiction collection that will be published in 2020. Unfortunately I can’t dive into details at this time, because we are still in the process of getting the layout completed. I have tried to steer away from self-publishing as I personally like traditional publishing more. This will be my first collection of poetry published in the traditional fashion.

Have you found a company to publish your collection, or are you still looking at the time of this writing?
I can’t reveal the name at the moment but I can tell you the company publishing me is listed on the Poets And Writers Magazine Database for publishing companies and they are based out of India. Once we get everything squared away, I’ll be able to say more.


-Dave Wolff

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Interview with Grand Elder Madame X by Dave Wolff

Interview with Grand Elder Madame X
Co-producer of the second annual Elder and Leadership Summit

I recently got wind of a major event in the planning stages, that you are co-producing with Stefan Henderson. Many people have been invited to get involved. Tell the readers what this event is, where it’s being held and its significance?
Indeed. Stefan Henderson, aka Lord Stefan Resurrectus and I are co-producing the second annual Elder and Leadership Summit. This event has been created to stimulate face-to-face interaction, problem-solving, education & collaboration for the betterment of the Greater Nightkind Community: Vampire, Pagan, Therian or Otherkin.
I am very proud to say that this year the Summit will be taking place right here in New Jersey, with the majority of the gatherings happening at my “home away from home” QXT’s Night Club! Located at 248 Mulberry Street, just a few blocks away from Newark Penn Station. We are very excited and can’t wait for our four days of networking, discovery, education, and fun, beginning Thursday, May 28th.
We seek to continue the spirit of what we began at our first Summit in Georgia spring of 2019. To continue to offer Elders, Leaders and fledglings alike, the opportunity to sit down in the same room, get to know each other in person, and discuss important topics that will encourage further collaboration, problem-solving, deeper understanding of techniques, as well as a deeper understanding of self and others. We hope to heal old wounds, build new bridges and motivate our many fragmented groups to grow together as a Community that shares interests, challenges, and goals.
So yes, our 2020 Elder & Leadership Summit Planning Committee is still open to both seasoned and fresh presenters who wish to share their experiences and beliefs. We are open to presentations, workshops, classes and panels on Community building, leadership & communication skills, inner nature, personal development, energy work, innovation, mysticism and all other topics that may appeal to the multifaceted individuals that make up or very colorful Nightkind Community, be they Vampires, Pagans, Therians or Otherkin. We are also looking for Merchants, Art Exhibitors and Authors.
I encourage everyone who can - to attend. It will be an unforgettable experience!
You can find a tentative agenda on our Facebook Event. And there is more information on the Elder and Leadership Summit at our Official Facebook Page.

How successful was the first annual Elder and Leadership Summit? Who were the guests involved and what did they contribute?
The 2019 Summit was what I would call intimate but it was without doubt very successful. It was a special and rare blessing indeed to be counted among the participants, representatives and distinguished dignitaries from so many Nightkind organizations across the country, which included: Georgia, Washington State, Colorado, Louisiana, California, Illinois, and New Jersey just to name a few.
Together with members from the Court of the Iron Garden and my international coven, House of the Dreaming, I offered a sacred Affirmation Ceremony. It was my interest to affirm, solidify and elevate the ancient blood within us so that it will continue to flow, revitalize & strengthen our journey as leaders and future leaders - today, tomorrow & for years to come, empowering all of us in our renewed Dream of Community.
Some of the more vocal participants at last year’s Summit were Anya Magdalena Rakoczy of House Rakoczy, Lestelle Dawn of the Coven of the Articulate, Janet White of Clan Resurrectus, Derek Lestat of the Greater Chicagoland Coalition, Alex Longineet of the Court of the Iron Garden, Mistress Nyx Fury of House of the Dreaming, Wendy Kestler, and of course Stefan Henderson.
The educational presentations offered a variety of explorative opportunities. My very favorites were a very informative presentation on Enochian magick, the sanguine exchange demonstration, and the workshop on the energy of gems and minerals. The private Elder Meetings were also very constructive focused on sincere dialogue, identifying common challenges and collaborative solutions. But I must say, the highlight of the event was certainly Stefan’s and Anastasia’s Wedlock Ceremony and the beautiful exchange of vows, spotlighting the vocals of the Community’s own Baron Misuraca.

Who among your friends and contacts has expressed interest in this year’s event since you started inviting guests?
I am delighted to see that this year’s Summit agenda has indeed sparked the interest of my friends and colleagues, and we haven’t yet really begun to promote. Many of last year’s attending Elders have already confirmed interest in returning including Wendy Kestler, Janet White, Derek Lestat, Lestele Dawn, and Alex Longineet. While it’s too early for the Planning Committee to announce who will be attending and who will be presenting; at this time I can certainly disclose that we are showcasing Rune Readings by return attendee Bakaal aka Wes Reeves, Tarot & Bone Readings by Lady Aubrianna, and Fangsmithing by the infamous Tom The Misfit of Costume Fangs NYC.

It sounds like there is an extremely healthy occult scene in New York and New Jersey, as well as other states across the U.S. How long have you been involved in what’s going on locally and what interested you in this lifestyle?
New York and New Jersey have always walked hand in hand when it comes to their joint interest in the occult and mysticism. Immediately coming to mind is NJ native Henry Steel Olcott, the first president of the NY Chapter of the Theosophic Society. And since then, there have been so many others who have exchanged blood and ideas between our two states, to pave the road for where we are today.
I have been interested in the occult ever since I can remember. It’s simply part of who I am. By ’75 I had already become an avid reader and collector of books on the subject. My first fascination was with extra sensory perception, mediumship, and divination. I have been involved in the ‘scene’ since the NYC Coven Days of the mid 80’s. A time before the internet, when we met in secret at each other’s homes, or otherwise covertly announced our back-room-meetings on The Village Voice, a local NYC newspaper. Rob, host of the old alternative club The Mission, Mike, host of The Cat Club, and Herman Slater, proprietor of the old occult center The Magickal Childe were some of the very first individuals I met, who facilitated gatherings where the occult and vampirism were openly discussed. Back in the 90’s I ran The Rift, an arts forum guild catering to the beautiful children of the night, where I hosted various events on both sides of the Hudson at locations like Archetypus in Edgewater NJ, The Pulse Theatre in Midtown Manhattan, CBGB´s Gallery, and of course at my favorite location Madame X Lounge. I was an early member of SNOG (NYC), co-founder of the original Iron Garden (NJ) back in the 90’s, the first citizen of the Court of Lazarus (NY), the first bearer of the Order of the Black Marble … Currently, I am the Matriarch of House of the Dreaming [est. 2000] and the Primus of the Iron Garden [resurrected in 2015] among other roles with other lesser-known Community organizations.
For me, it’s an inner calling. I am simply compelled to serve our Community. I have met amazing individuals that both humble and inspire me. I feel I am making a difference for those around me – some call me sister, muse, teacher … even mom. In reaching out to others I build myself. I really can’t imagine a more meaningful life-path or growing experience.

What occult/spiritual paths have you taken on since discovering the occult underground/ Nightkind Community and how have they been beneficial to you?
I love that question. Yes, we learn, grow and evolve. Evolution becomes more dynamic, more pointed, with the level of exposure and interaction, not just with truths and understandings, but also as a response to those who we encounter on our journey, regardless if they walk our path, a parallel path, or a diametrically opposed one. In my life, I have had two major awakenings that stand out among all the other layers.
When I was seven years old my schoolmates stoned me for being a witch. I guess they saw thru me, into what I thought was just natural. This very cathartic event propelled me into a deeper understanding of who I was – a natural-born witch. I accepted that layer of myself well into my late 20’s. I studied witchcraft, sorcery, necromancy and often used the term sanguine witch. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to deepen my path by studying Taoist, Native American, and Urban Shamanism. Shamanism will always be at the core of my beliefs; it is the basic truth of all magic. I also studied Yoga and T'ai chi ch'üan for years. I studied Ceremonial Magick, Palo Mayombe, and Chaos Magick…
My second major awakening was just as cathartic. I almost perished in my attempt to test what I had denied about myself for years. I had been told repeatedly I was a vampire, but it simply was not my truth. I resolved to test it and consciously abstain from interpersonal interactions and any type of energy absorption. This test catalyzed my ‘dark night of the soul’. The results were dangerously evident; I would simply come apart without vitality exchange. This changed forever how I perceived who I was and my role in the Community. It was time I accepted I was Vampire. I emerged ready to take my cumulative Nightside experiences and the wisdom I had garnered, combine them with my Dayside, manifest my potential and become who I was intended to be. I became a minister, a priestess, and a guide. I started my own coven, took in acolytes and embraced a more visible role in the Community. From the Awakening to the Becoming.

Since Magickal Childe, Other Worldly Waxes and the old Enchantments closed down, are there newer occult shops open in Manhattan and New Jersey? Which of them would you recommend?
The only constant in the universe is change. It is, however, disconcerting to look back and observe the ebb and flow of those havens around us, which has also forced us to change and grow into newness. The new Enchantments shop isn’t bad. I’ve picked up a few things there recently. But my favorite metaphysical shop is in Clifton New Jersey, Botanica San Lazaro. It’s a beautiful space replete with treated candles, fresh herbs, oils, books and other tools we simply can’t live without. They offer yoga classes in their Inner Peace Center upstairs, and from time to time they also host psychic fairs. Plus they have a very accessible and knowledgeable staff, who is very helpful and accommodating. I would most certainly recommend Botanica San Lazaro to anyone who is procuring everyday magical staples or the more hard to find components. When you go, tell them Madame X sent you.

Are there any memorable tales from those shops you mentioned that are worth recounting in this article?
Back in the 80’s at The Magickal Childe, Herman Slater was a terrific influence on me. Not only did he prepare the most remarkable potions for us seekers of the magickal arts, but he conducted the most powerful, transformative gnostic masses; a great inspiration to my own ceremonies to be sure.
I also recall with fondness the Full-Moon Circles held at Enchantments back in the 80’s & early 90’s. Sister Carol of Enchantments, better known today as Lady Miw Sekhmet, would share with me such profound wisdom, reminding me of what deep inside I already knew. I often think back on her eyes and attribute my determination to the tools and acumen she lovingly placed on my hands over 30 years ago.
Today’s Enchantments still offers caring personalized services that reflect the spirit of old. I find their magical candles and apothecary selections to still transmit the heart and soul of both Carol and Herman. Cat and Tom are knowledgeable, articulate and sincere – what more can we ask for?!
A few years ago, my international coven, House of the Dreaming held an unforgettable gathering at Botanica San Lazaro. We were extremely satisfied with the care, attention, and generosity of the proprietor, Lorenzo Martes; all our guests raved about the shop. We were so pleased to welcome our international members and our friends from NJ, NY & PA to this warm, modern space to participate in meditation, open discussion and, of course, ‘shopping’. I continue to collaborate with Botanica San Lazaro at our Iron Garden gatherings. They are welcome purveyors of pagan goods, services, and have also presented educational segments and spiritual ceremonies for our group.
I hope both Enchantments and Botanica San Lazaro are available to join us as merchants for the Summit.

Who in the occult Community - musicians, practitioners, authors - have you met or established friendships with over the years?
You know, its questions like this that get me in trouble. How can I possibly mention all the many friends I have made over the years? As I said I have been in the Community for over 3 decades… and I strive to keep my friendships. And goodness, I certainly wouldn’t want to misrepresent them… But I do love to spread the love so hope it is perceived just for what it is. Here are just a few names you may recognize.
Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza (ID) - High Priestess & Spiritual Mother of Temple House Sahjaza. Some may know her as Goddess Rosemary, others as Silky Rose; I call her Sister with a capital S. Goddess Rosemary is the loving mother figure and Grand Elder for countless many in our Community always offering encouraging advice and a warming embrace. When the going gets tough, it’s my Sister Rosemary I turn to for sound advice. Hailing from the same roots of the ‘NY Coven Days’ and of underground fetish parties, Rosemary and I share many friends and interesting stories, but by far the most remarkable story is the one told by those who have been transformed by her generous wisdom.
Patrick Rodgers (PA) – Best known for being a concert promoter, DJ, and the big boss at Dancing Ferret; he is also an author, as well as the beguiling interview host of the YouTube program “Interviewed by a Vampire”. Patrick and I first met in 1998 at the very first Dracula’s Ball he hosted. Patrick is a beautiful man, charismatic, traveled, intelligent and an avid consumer advocate. It’s no wonder I became a frequent attendee of Patrick’s fantabulous music soirees in Philadelphia. His multifaceted efforts and creative drive to build Community is truly inspiring.
Father Sebastiaan (CA) – Infamous fangsmith, author, club promoter, and impresario. He is best known as the founder of Clan Sabretooth. He is also the most controversial figure of the modern-day vampire Community, despite having been the very architect of it. It was his NYC Vampire Balls that first brought the Vampire to light; I was there, but many of my friends refused to attend and come out of the coffin. I didn’t meet Sebastiaan at the first grand ball of ’96, we were already friends from years back, as we frequented the same music clubs and shared similar interests. Through the decades we have collaborated on a variety of Community projects including subculture books, events, and socials. I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve.
Baron Misuraca (NY) – Vocalist, Musician, Conceptual Artist and overall Renaissance-Man of the Arts. He is the bassist & vocalist for the international acclaim band Carnivore A.D., but is still best known for being the long-time vocalist for the Gothic Metal band Vasaria and for his retro music show the Vampire Lounge. The Baron commands his audience with his debonair stage presence and his silky mane. The Barron and I first met at the old NYC vampire club Mother’s back in the 90’s. Since then, we have fostered a working friendship; I’ve shared in each other’s company on stage at QXT’s, at the Iron Garden, and at BatStock functions. It was wonderful to put work aside and have the opportunity to casually socialize at last year’s Elder and Leadership Summit.
Michelle Belanger (OH) – Founder of House Kheperu, Author, Teacher, and Singer. Who in our Community has not heard of Michelle Belanger? She is a renowned author, researcher, paranormal specialist, television personality, and is ‘the’ leading authority on vampires in fiction, folklore, and modern culture. Back in the mid 90’s before we even met in person, Michelle and I were both working independently in different corners of the US on very similar literary projects designed to draw out others who shared our Nightkind identity. When we finally met, we immediately recognized each other as spiritual sisters. I consider myself honored to have had the opportunity to interact with Michelle in person, both with Community and musical endeavors. She will always be a welcome guest at my home.
Margot Day (VT) – Singer, flutist, poet, and songwriter. Margot Day is the centerpiece goddess of the witchy-goth musical duo Metamorph. Margo and I first met in the 90’s at GBGB’s Gallery at a club night aptly called Alchemy. I couldn’t help but identify with her transcending lyrics and voice. She has the soul of a seasoned witch, the heartbeat of a passionate poet, and the voice of a Nightingale on a rainy moonlit night. We just had to be friends. Over the years, Margot has had an extremely busy calendar, yet she has always found the time to be a steadfast supporter of my Community efforts; like the 2000 NJ Goth Challenge at Connections and the Iron Garden. We’re so due for another visit.
Doktor John (NJ) – Journalist, Reporter and Artist. Many may know him as the journalist who for nearly 20 years chronicled of the Gothic, Punk and Industrial scenes in The Aquarian Weekly, a NJ-based regional newspaper focused on alternative events and rock music. Our eyes locked across a crowded dance floor at The Bank in NYC, and we immediately became friends. We’ve shared many scene moments together at music concerts, poetry nights and social events. Dokor John has been a supporter of all my Community events, including The Rift, the NJ Goth Challenges, as well as the Iron Garden. It would be great to have him exhibit his art at this years’ Elder Summit, particularly that piece he painted me in.
Myke Hiddeous (NJ) – Vocalist, Songwriter, Author, Photographer, and Artist. Best known for being the founder and frontman for the gothic rock band The Empire Hideous, he also sang lead vocals for SpySociety99 and The Misfits among others. Myke is a wonderfully complex man brimming with genius and mystery, who never ceases to amaze me with his talents and determination. We’ve shared a delightful friendship since the 90’s. I have been inspired by his profound artistry with the canvas and paintbrush, I have modeled for one of his photography projects, and may even appear on one of his upcoming music videos, so stay tuned.
Genoveva Rossi (NJ) – Actress, Scream Queen, Writer, Model, and Professional Psychic. Knowing Genoveva has been an adventure, her days are filled with action-packed off-the-beaten-path fun. Although I promised never to disclose for how long we have been friends, we have certainly spent many evenings together dancing, stargazing and enjoying the camaraderie carved by our mutual thirst for the occult, the macabre and the supernatural. Once, we even feasted on a freshly slaughtered willing sacrificial victim… and we have pictures to prove it!
Don Henrie (CA) – Actor and Model, best known as The Vampire Don or The Vampire Emperor due to his appearance on the reality show Mad House. He is one of the few individuals who are perfect for the public eye; he is savvy, well-spoken, charismatic and good-looking, which transmits a very favorable image, not just for himself, but for the whole Nightkind Community. Don and I met in NYC at a social event hosted by mutual friends where we bonded over shared drinks and engaged in a bit of energy play. We may live across the country from each other but we’ve managed to keep an eye out for one another, always look for the random opportunity to catch up for drinks.
Jeffrey Jene (NY) – Magician, Grand Illusionist, Actor, Artist, Singer, Writer, Animator and yes, he is a bit of a juggler too. He would have to be to combine all this with his pointed interest in metaphysics and the occult. Jeffrey and I met at QXT’s back in 2010 and I immediately recognized him as part of my soul family. It is rare to find someone so talented, dedicated and persevering, with a nurturing heart always aiming to lighten the spirits of those around him with magic, wonderment, laughter, and pleasure. Jeffrey is a Citizen of the Court of Lazarus in NYC and from time to time joins us at the Iron Garden to offer us a special treat.
Kai Irina Hahn (NY) – Singer, Actress, Event Producer, and all-around Bad Ass Diva. Kai is best known for being the lead singer for the EBM Dark Wave band The Sedona Effect and being the keyboardist and back-up vocalist for NOIR. But Kai is also the producer of the yearly Vampire Cruise on the Hudson, which I had the pleasure to be stage manager for last year. Kai and I met in the summer of 2013 at the Tuxedo Park Renaissance Faire and I was immediately captivated by her fantastic accent and European flair. We share many interests including a love for visual arts, martial arts, roleplaying, and of course vampire mischief.
Amara Willey (NJ) – Elder of Hands of Change Coven, Founding Elder of the Pagan Pan Council and Creatrix of Mind Body Spirit Home. Also known as Crow, she is the driving force behind Ishtarfest, the Pagan Picnic, and the public Full Moon Rituals hosted by HoC. Crow and I met at a workshop and ritual night hosted by her coven in the spring of 2016 and anchored our friendship on spirituality, the fact we are both Aquarians, and our shared love for the Community. Crow’s shining light walks hand in hand with her generous spirit in a pointed effort to nurture, motivate and empower all who seek her counsel.
Lorraine Henrick (NJ) – Founding Elder of the Tree of Light Healing, Teacher at Healer’s Academy, International Instructor for the Modern Mystery School, HPS, Magus Hermeticus, and Master Healer. Lorraine and I met thru Facebook in 2015 but because of our mutual international exploits, it wasn’t until 2018 that we finally connected in person. Lorraine and I share a passion for globetrotting. Like me, she has traveled extensively, including remote locations in Asia & South America as both a student and teacher. We are very blessed to have her as a frequent presenter at the Iron Garden.
Eddie Massey (PA) – Author, Teacher, Artist, Psychic and Event Producer. Reverend E. Massey is a Ronin Elder of the Iron Garden, Founder of the Pocono Witches Festival & Ball, Owner of The Pocono Witch Shoppe, Psychic Investigator at Paranormal Spirit Finders and Founder of the Pocono Paranormal & Psychic Weekends. Exemplary Community leader of the Pocono region and practicing witch for the past 25 years, the Reverend and I share a mutual drive and were destined to meet. We will be conducting a lunar ceremony at Dark Side of the Con 4, this spring, and hope to collaborate on many future projects, so stay tuned.

What group from those you mentioned earlier is directly involved in planning the Elder and Leadership Summit each year? Who is on the event planning committee with you? Is this the same staff as you had last year or are there some new members?
Last year the event was planned primarily by key elements from Clan Resurrectus. This year we have a special Summit 2020 planning committee for our NJ based event. The planning committee is made up of the team of individuals that developed the NJ Bid for this year’s Summit, as well as, a few members of the Allied Coalition of Elders or rather ACE. ACE was formed at last year’s Summit, where all of its members are Community Elders who were present at the 2019 Summit. Our 2020 Summit Planning Committee is entirely different than last year although there is some overlap, however half the team is new to the Summit planning effort. This is the dedicated team that makes up the 2020 Elder & Leadership Summit Committee:
• Viceroy Stefan Resurrectus, ACE & Patriarch of Clan Phoenix Resurrectus (GA)
• Madame X, ACE, Matriarch of House of the Dreaming, HPS, Primus of the Iron Garden and Prince of the Skylands-Gateway Halo (NJ)
• Lady Danann-Starseed aka Janet White, ACE, Founding HPS of Coven of the Northern Lights & HPS of Clan Resurrectus (GA)
• Lord Blueeyesoul of Ra-Horakhty aka Alex Longeneet, ACE, Founding Elder of the Court of the Iron Garden (NJ)
• Lady Morgana LaRouge, Mother and Founding Elder of House LaRouge, Elder of Clan Order Of The Dragon (NY)
• Lady Finna DeElf aka Denise Ericksson, Clan Corvid, Master or Ceremony for Arlington Lodge at VASA and Founding Elder of the Court of the Iron Garden (NJ)
• Heidi Worthless aka Wendy Kestler, ACE (CA)
• Fluffy aka Andy Beck, Citizen of the Iron Garden (NJ)
• David Siriux (AZ)

What role or roles will you be taking on during the Summit? Does it include being a presenter?
I think my primary role with the Summit is happening right now. I am in essence the lead when it comes to producing this event. Together with our planning committee, I developed the 4-day agenda and will continue to work on cultivating just the right combination of presenters to make this event a thrilling success.
I have thrown in my hat to present on the History of the Vampire Community; since I am one of the grand-elders of the VC and have experienced much of it first hand, I feel particularly qualified to speak on the subject. Yet, as a seasoned teacher and presenter, I can also offer a lecture or workshop on a variety of other topics like dream-work, awakenings & becoming, energy exchange techniques, vampire craft, building Community, etc.… I am certainly open to present on whatever topic the Planning Committee feels would be most beneficial. I don’t expect we will know exactly what I’m presenting on until the Committee has fully considered all other submitted proposals. The Elders & Leadership Summit is not about any one person, but about the greater Community.

Where have you been doing your most aggressive promotion for the Summit?
Since we are in the early stage of securing presenters, we have depended primarily on word of mouth and sharing the news on some select special interest groups. I don’t think a full-out advertising campaign is what we really want. It’s not our interest to attract everyone; instead, we’d prefer to attract those individuals that are already involved in vampirism, paganism, therianthropy, witchcraft, and already grasp the integration of the deeper shades of magick and self-identification. As we get closer to the date, we may release public service announcements both on social and on print media; after all, it’s not just about this particular event, it’s about raising awareness about the elders of today, the leaders of tomorrow and how to best foster open-dialogue, cooperation, networking and fraternity.

Are there any topics you would like to see covered besides those you discussed? Who else would you like to see attend?
Regarding topics, it would be great to have a shadow-self workshop. I feel it would be very beneficial to explore what the shadow-self is, to discover the benefits of reintegrating with our shadow-self and perceive it as an ally.
Another topic of interest would be the worship of ancient gods, discovering pathways to better connect with the essence of ancient deities and maybe even touch upon the dangers of communing with the darker divinities.
I would also love to see a panel discussing addressing “What is an Elder” it would be interesting to hear the different requirements for Elderhood from different groups and hear the opinions and expectations of what elders should embody.
Another idea would be a panel discussing “Elder Needs”. Elders are often perceived as impervious, and although that would be ideal, it is far from the truth. Elders often find themselves isolated and lacking in support networks.
… Meanwhile, in addition to the wonderful creatures I mentioned before, I would love to see more of my House of the Dreaming Family attend the Summit like Master Deacon, Lady Sequanna, Bholanath, Khan, Ezikiel, Hesperus and Queen.
It would be wonderful if some of the Iron Garden Elders like Lady Talon, Sir Dario, Lady D, and all our Citizens joined in the fun.
I would also love to see some of the First Generation VC Elders attend this year’s Elders and Leadership Summit, like Lady CG, Lord Vlad (Don Deich), Rexxx Black, Lord Stephan O’Mallie, Damien Daville, Lady Saint Eve (Gabrielle Penabaz), Lord Vhamp, PsyVamp, Tony Sokol, Dominae Draconis, Lord Vlad & Sky Claudette and other Community luminaries like Kathrine Ramsland, Konstantinos, Lord Corvis (Eric Vernor), Lady Rhea, Aron Leitch, Raven Digitalis, DW (John Coughlin), Christopher Penczack, Joseph Laycock, John Edgar Browning, Craig Setti, Jet Black, Merticus Stevens, Xeurika, Narradas, Ravena Lee, Sappho (Emilie Conroy), Contessa Emil, Old World Vampire (Christopher Loehlein), Logan & Daley South, Lord KJ, John Bardy, Lord Ramirez, Lord Blackheart (Blake Hart), Lady Mehnea Panthion, Lady Monette Panthion, Lord Ryu, Lord Alexander Warlocke, Dire Wolf, Queen Gotica, Father Evan Christopher, Belfazaar Ashantison, Lady Jezabel DeLuna, Azrael Frost, Raith Kell, Miguel Valentin, Sir Victor Magnus, Lord Thanatos Ventrue, Lady Valfreyja, Empress Gem Evolution, Lord Shaolin, Mother Gunnr and Father Vincent … just to name a few…
YES, I would love to see ALL my friends stateside plus all those that live abroad to attend!
I would like all my Facebook friends, as well as my friends who refuse to get on FB, to also attend! I would also like them to come and bring their amazing friends to join in and share. It would be a splendid opportunity to get reacquainted or to finally meet, to clarify past misunderstandings, to make cross-introductions, and to sit down and chat face-to-face exploring, discovering, networking, and building.

What is the future of the pagan/occult community in Manhattan and New Jersey from your perspective?
One of the biggest troubles of our Community (and not just NY & NJ) is that pagan/occult groups and organizations are typically decentralized, fragmented and isolated from one another. For a community that is anchored on accepting diversity, we can sure be a judgmental unforgiving lot, ostracizing each other for diverging beliefs and personal choices. Our Community could certainly benefit from cohesive stability. Larger institutions can ensure permanence and efficacy, but at the same time, these institutions can become static, resistant, and pedestrian. New concepts, approaches, and out-of-the-box thinking generally stem from smaller groups on the fringes of the Community. For these reasons I believe it is crucial that we come together, if not always, at least on special occasions, like this Summit, to share, grow and create according to our collective evolving needs. We are part of the generation that has brought us a very daring brand of progressive paganism. I foresee that together we will usher in an even more inclusive, dynamic and productive post-modern approach to our joint communities: a reclaiming of the vampire, a deeper relatability for otherkin, and a more holistic attitude to magickal thought. I envision our contemporary Community growing toward a resilient empowered collective that will enable limitless spiritual and cultural evolution.
See you at the 2020 Elder and Leadership Summit!


-Dave Wolff