Sometimes thoughts have to be written down for no reason, simply because you will try to remember sometimes later and they are not there anymore...this is about the purpose of black metal as a form of artistic expression:
Provocation has no purpose in black metal. As an artist I write the music firstly for myself and secondly for a random audience which happens (for whatever reasons) to like my output. Supposing that there is absolutely nothing which could possibly shock a black metal audience, no taboo for those people that could be broken, the listeners will not feel any provocation whatsoever. Violence, sex, drugs, politics, religion...as a black metal musician you are simply not able to provoke the people you write the music for. Of course, other people may get upset about what you serve your audience, but then, those people are not your audience anyway and you can't even begin to guess what might be able to irritate them.
Taking all this into account I don't view any black metal as "meant to provoke" by default and therefore "shocking people" can only be an unintentional side effect which the artist is barely aware of. The reason for choosing album and song titles, choosing the right words for lyrics, choosing the images for a CD design and so on are based on how I like them to be and not on what I believe people outside the genre might think of them. Reducing any aspect of music to "The musician simply wanted to provoke with that" is rather offensive to hear. As a musician I do things for a reason that makes sense for me, that fits my overall form of artistic expression and not based on how it could affect people outside the genre. The moment we start directing our music at "other people" - meaning people, who are not our possible audience (as said above, a black metal audience can not be provoked by methods of black metal) - we have completely lost our justification.
Well, as you may have noticed, the campaign on IGG was a success. Everything is produced (CDs will arrive in the week after December 1st) and only needs to be packed for shipping. The only items that had to be taken in bigger amounts are the album art patch and the metal-pins, which means they will be available after the pre-orders have been shipped. The album shirts and backpatches are basically all sold, there may only be fewer than 5 pieces left after all the packages will have been sent. Below you can see photos of the merch items that come along with the CD:
You can order the album, album art patch and metal-pin from Winterblast Halls. Official release date will be on Friday, 12.12.2014!
The new album is fully recorded and mixed. There may be some adjustments in the sound during the following weeks but in general everything is finished. Therefore I have finally started the funding campaign on indiegogo.com which is going to run until September 29. The primary goal of the campaign is to collect as much as 1500€ until then. You can choose between various packages including stuff ranging from just a copy of the CD to exclusive merch items such as album shirt and patch, metal-pin, "black metal einheitsfront" backpatch (!) and awesome artwork prints on wood. If you have chosen your preferred CD package you proceed by paying the required sum for the chosen package (or more if you like) to indiegogo via paypal or credit card. If the goal of the campaign is fulfilled at the end of September I will get the money from indiegogo and produce the album on CD as well as all the merch items needed to fulfill all of your orders! There will be no additonal costs for shipping or anything after you have pledged money on indiegogo. If the campaign raises more money than the 1500€ for the basic CD production (+ merch items) the production of the CD is getting better - by adding a cardboard case to the CD - while you still pay the same price!
If the campaign fails THERE WILL BE NO RELEASE at all and you will automatically get your money back from indiegogo. In that case I have at no time any of the money in my hands, I only get it if it is enough for me to guarantee for the production (which is why I set the goal on a minimum of 1500€).
The new album "Endstation" is now about to be finished. The instruments are completely recorded and only vocals for one song are missing. At the moment I'm still working on the lyrics for that song. The Artwork is also being created (not by dead-pixel studio though) and should be finished shortly after the end of the recording process.
Tracklist of "Endstation"
1. Auftakt: Angriffskrieg
2. Initial Command
3. Aufbruch: Anfang vom Ende
4. End of the Line
5. All Out!
6. Endlösung: Vernichtungskrieg
7. Genocide Crescendo
8. Endstation: Aschenwind
The total playing time is going to be over one hour.
While I'm still working on the last song my friend Bendor Blackwolf (Eternal Decay, Elohimeth) is creating an alternative version of the whole album by adding keyboards on all the black metal tracks. In which form this version will be added to the original release depends on how well the crowdfunding project goes. It might even be put on tape to go along with every copy of the album...if there's enough money available - it's in your hands eventually.
As for the crowdfunding project, I have decided to use the platform Indiegogo because it offers more and comfortable payment methods (such as paypal) than others and it can be used without country restrictions. The goal is to raise enough money for an exclusive CD production (raw paper, cardboard box, maybe relief print...). By pledging money for this project you will be able to get first of all the album itsself for a good price as well as various exclusive merch items such as album artwork shirts and paches, metal pins, artwork prints and other interesting stuff. Most of those items would not be produced without the funding projcet and will only be available by taking part in the funding process. Also, if the project is over-funded, there is the chance of the alternative album version being released physically as well.
The idea of using crowdfunding for this release is a reaction to the common practic of withdrawing pre-orders shortly before it's time to pay. If you really want the album and an exclusive production too, you will get it - if not enough people are willing to get a physical copy it makes no sense to put much money into a physical release at all. I could listen to it at home and give a CDr or the files to close friends instead. But I like to have a well produced CD in my hands and that's why I try to provide the same for my listeners. It won't work without your support though. More information on the funding project when the music is completely finished and mixed.