Blood Axis


BLÓT - Sacrifice in Sweden

This is a live performance by the band Blood Axis, fronted by Michael Moynihan (author, Lords of Chaos) in Sweden, November 1997 for the Cold Meat Industry 10th Anniversary Feast. They played songs spanning their entire career, from the instrumental “Gospel of Inhumanity” (name of their most well-known album) to the nearly monotory “Storms of Steel.” The performance was recorded to a digital multi-track and then remixed back at home. The recults are marvellous - such a clear, crisp recording that I had no idea it was live until I read the publictiy notes. The name of the album, BLÓT is a Swedish word for “sacrifice”, and they have chosen for their cover a reproduction of a mural by Swedish painter Carl Larsson, portraying Midwinter sacrifices at the nearby pagan temple of Uppsala (although the “sacrifice” portrayed looks more like a murder.) Supposedly, the band made a “pilgrimage” to Uppsala after the show. With this, the theme of the album is established: sacrifice of the Self, the Ego or personality for a higher cause. Thus in the song “Sarabande Oratoria”, over the sound of a medieval church organ, we hear a exhoratory speech from a stern and almost professorial drill sergeant to his “Brother Blackshirts” advising them not to be like “the little men of the old parties, blown hither and wither by every gust of fancied opinion, elated by a little success, downcast by a little failure, gossiping and chattering about the prospects of the next five minutes, jostling for place, but not so forward in service, without loyalty, endurance, or staying power.” Sound advice, I suppose. The next song, “Herjafather” is a ratherforeboding piece with a Pahntom of the Opera-type organ line and some very cthtonic voices whispering unintelligibly int he background. This is followed by “Seeker”, a revivifying pagan folk song about a man who is piously searching for union with his God, Odin, “Father of All.” Then we come to a severe and unassailing rhapsody proclaiming the right, if not the duty of the strong and mighty few to rule over the “stagnant multitudes”, the rag-tag and vulgar plebecute referred to by Shakespeare as “the blunt monster with uncounted heads.” This song is called “Electricity.” Track number five is definitely my favorite, a rousing and inspirational doxology beseeching “Nocholaus, God of the morning” to “ give us strength for the day”, “keep us true to our vows”, and “teach us to die aright.” It’s very milataristic-sounding and guaranteed to an exhalted state of consciousness. Other songs include: “Eternal Soul”, which resurrects the old heresy of Deism; a dramatic reading from Thus Spake Zarathustra entitled “Brids of Prey” and; a sad song called “The Hangman and the Papist”, about a boy who must execute his own brother because “he has failed to show allegiance to the king.” Finally, in “Reign I forever”, another exceptional track, Michael Moynihan takes on the persona of Thor, announcing that “This is my hammer... there are my gauntlets... This is my girdle. Whenever I brace it, strength is revealed.” (I almost expected him to say “here is my handle, here is my spout”, but of course that’s a different song entirely.)

Once upon a time, music was used to strengthen people’s spirits, to bring them to the theight of religious ecstasy, to bind their individual wills together, to prepare soldiers for war, and to instill pride in one’s kin, country and God. If the members of Blood Axis have anything to do with it, music will one day return to its former glory of vigor and purpose. Allow them to rekindle the flame in your pagan soul.

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