Northern Isolation

A Ghost for the Border Stones (A Shameless Self-Promotional Piece)

I talk a lot of shit about other bands on here. The benefit of forcing myself to listen to demo after demo of horribly executed black metal comes in the form of me learning what not to do with my own project, Deildegast. Attached is a free download of my first demo, “Appalachian Pagan Madness”. The name “Appalachian Pagan Madness” has come to represent my overriding philosophy behind this project, though at the time, it didn’t represent very much other than a visual aid. The Appalachian identity has come to represent a positive and deeply personal relationship I have on one hand with the black metal genre itself, the other with the surroundings from which I hail from. I’ve never understood why bands from this country sing about history and cultures that are fundamentally alien. It’s one thing to know a lot about another culture or history (Norse, Slavic, Middle Eastern, et al), another to begin to understand how deeply our surroundings have altered our entire existence. I did not grow up surrounded by anything but forests (and a number of years with acres of cemetery AS my back yard). The backdrop of dense deciduous and coniferous forest, punctuated by hilly terrain, is the backdrop for every piece of music I have ever created, of any genre.

The piece offered above is by no means a masterpiece. It’s incredibly rough, and, to be honest, not a lot of thought went into the song-writing process. There are also a handful of misguided references to Slavic folklore, which is something I have subsequently tried to distance myself from (though the demo I’m currently working on has a rerecorded version of these sentiments). This forthcoming piece is the beginning framework of what is to come. Gone is foreign veneration. Rooted is the concept of this region as an inspiration for creation. Northern Appalachia has a tortured history, despite western civilization’s relative youth in North America (depending on who you ask). We have a  history of cultural dominance, which in turn wiped out entire races of people. Christian culture in this area has dragged us as people farther and farther away from the landscape we live in as a means of “modernization”. It is this that I stand against, while preserving what salvageable culture this region has managed to create. I’ve chosen to draw emotional (if not lyrical) influence from our conflicts with England and their relative insignificance in the sense that, though the rites of Americans improved, nothing changed. The hills did not move. The streams did not disappear. But it did signal an end to one of the first chapters of this land under Western rule.

This nation’s approach to black metal has been scattered at best. The insight we lack is the veneration of our land for what it is, regardless of any given distaste for the shaky framework upon which we have placed the responsibility of control. Let us stop the cultural larceny so many have committed. Let the glacial shift that created this landscape carve our mark upon the living earth.

Out in August.

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