So I was reading a press release that’d come my way. Well, skimming it, really, as I’m being flooded with them again, a couple dozen this morning alone, of all varieties. Most are jazz. Some rock. Some world whatever. And one martial industrial.
What the hell is martial industrial?
Wikipedia, of course, had an entry. It explained it all thoroughly. Alas, having not majored in semantics, I could barely understand it:
Laibach were one of the first bands to incorporate military marches in their industrial music and display politically provocative aesthetics. Boyd Rice and Douglas P., the noise and neofolk pioneers, respectively, adopted such attitude at several occasions to its extreme. Allerseelen, either through ritual hymns or alchemical folklore followed in the same vein. Similarly militant but less provocative and more esoteric were the heroic choral outputs of ACTUS. Les Joyaux de la Princesse developed the genre further, offering a particularly mesmerizing style of dark ambient intermingled with historical samples, speeches and interbellum chansons. The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud / Der Blutharsch enriched this tradition, adding darkwave medieval melodies to the mix. Finally, In Slaughter Natives and Puissance expanded the genre towards orchestral and neoclassical paths, respectively. Nowadays, the Wagnerian style of Triarii serves as point of reference for most martial industrial acts.
That was clear enough, almost. I remember Laibach, actually. And I know what industrial music is, of course. Don’t quite get how it and neofolk has to do with one another. Industrial music was loud and atonal and mechanical, neofolk is drippy and irritating and all over Silver Lake. They don’t even dress alike. Industrial music fans tend towards all black, while neofolkies look like the cover of a Flying Burrito Brothers album. Not sure what alchemical folklore is. Maybe turning noise into gold. Interbellum chansons I assume is Marlene Dietrich singing La Vie en Rose. And the last time I tried a heroic choral output I hurt myself.
The term ‘Martial’ does not necessarily refer only to military drumming but in general to ominous/dramatic atmospheres and a particular thematology, style, aesthetics and Weltanschauung. Similarly, the term ‘industrial’ does not denote only old-school industrial music, but rather the broad spectrum of post-industrial scene (from neofolk acoustics to harsh noise). Thus, sonically diverse bands like Genocide Organ (power electronics), Oda Relicta (sacral), Stahlwerk 9 (industrial), N.K.V.D (industrial black metal), Die Weisse Rose (darkwave), Axon Neuron/Vagwa (dark ambient), Feindflug (EBM), Gáe Bolg and the Church of Fand (medieval), H.E.R.R. (neoclassical) and Scivias (neofolk) can all be grouped under the umbrella of ‘martial industrial’.
I knew I was in trouble when I had no idea what a thematology is.
Martial industrial bands all around the world, from Venezuela to China have emerged. However, the scene is particularly strong and qualitative in Germany, Hungary, France, Poland and Russia.
Europe, where else. They sure know how to have fun in the old country. And qualitative? That means good, I think. Social science speak. Why you never sit next to a sociologist at a party.
Martial industrial deals not only with history and politics, but meta-history and meta-politics as well. Thus, besides WWI/WWII, Goebbels/De Gaulle speeches, Runic symbols and Iron Guard marches, philosophical themes like Nietzsche’s overman, Spenglerian vision of history, Eliade’s symbolism, Guenonian evaluation of the West and Evolian apoliteia are also the main sources of inspiration. Ain Soph were the first to introduce this esoteric dimension to their heroic/ritual music. Notably, Hungarian scene in particular (ACTUS, Kriegsfall-U, Scivias) is fond of such issues.
Wow. Who knew? So many big words. It certainly sounds entertaining. Especially that apoliteia, a word I had not even the vaguest idea existed. I even briefly considered looking it up, but was scared I might use it sometime. I already caught myself using Weltanschauung. Just once, though. The bartender asked me who won the goddam war anyway and then cut me off.
The apotheosis of Doric elements in Man and Society.
Oh…..now it makes sense. Like West Side Story, or Elvis, or Neil Diamond. I am I said. Cognito ergo sum. Sein oder nicht sein. She wore an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polkapoliteia.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this was somebody’s term paper. Four years of college and all Daddy got for his money was a Wikipedia entry.