Friday, November 5, 2010

Breath of life - Delineated, pt II

Beaten again by inches. Damn your tenacity. I had better make this count.

I awoke laying on my back in the white space. Here again. It was only my third visit. She leaned into my view, inverted as she knelt by the top of my head. She smiled, said hello, and then asked me how I had been feeling. I told her that things had been difficult, but I was trying to work it out. She said she knew, and that she had something that might help. When she leaned over and kissed me, it tasted like rain and the earth. It was life, thriving and fresh, a kiss of salvation. I realized in that moment that this was no mortal who was extending her favor to me. She leaned back again and assured me with a shimmering smile that I would feel better. When I awoke, things were different.
This year has been one of many great experiences, but it has often been undercut with worry and doubt. I stopped writing here as much because I don't like to talk about defeating moments or the fears and agonies that come with keeping a dream alive. Last weekend, a certain friend whom I respect immeasurably insisted that I should not allow this space to become derelict, and despite my weak excuses I realized he was right. 

Averse Sefira has always been its own creature, and it does what it wants in its own time. Fortunately, that time is coming again after a spate of relative silence. Many of you have seen me out on the desolate roads of America in other capacities, and your praise of our work has been a great solace and inspiration. Nevertheless, it is incumbent on us to make good on your expectations and honor your dedication with more and better. I am sorry I have to dangle the promise of album 5 over everyone's heads, but it is either that or remain silent, and clearly nobody prefers this option.
In the wake of our reignition, Triptykon and 1349 played Austin last Friday. It was exhilarating to see our friends all but tear down the venue with their mastery. It was also a strange feeling to not have been a part of the show. Granted, Sanguine and I enjoy being spectators as well, but there were lingering regrets that we couldn't have pursued being on the lineup. 

It was Triptykon's first time in Austin, and they introduced themselves with a degree of darkness and fury that continues to reverberate in my mind. As a unit they were fantastic, and Tom's command presence signaled a mighty return to his fans, skeptics, and the uninitiated. When Celtic Frost disbanded, I bemoaned the idea of losing connection with such an important elder statesman, but now he is back and more powerful than ever before. His choices of Vanja, V. Santura, and Norman were impeccable; not only are they dedicated and strong performers, but as individuals they are brilliant, genuine, and an absolute pleasure to know. They are collaborators and believers in Tom's vision, and it seems that they will succeed in taking Triptykon to realms that Celtic Frost could not explore. It is exciting to consider the possibilities, and I hope to witness as much of it as I can in the years ahead.

After working as stage manager for the recent Immolation/Vader tour, I found that the regular rigors of the live circuit were still there, and that we hadn't missed much in that regard. But then there were those singular moments, the ones that keep all bands on the road like deluded gamblers looking for that next big score; the great shows and transcendent performances. It was hard to watch them pass us by.

So what I learned in the last month is that metal is still the best thing on earth, watching friends triumph is almost as great as doing it yourself, and our fifth album is going to be a strong one because in many ways it is in the name of rejoining the greatness around us. It would have happened regardless, but I particularly owe a huge vote of thanks to many of my peers who counseled and encouraged me to keep the faith even at the most challenging moments. It made all the difference. And to the one in white space - thank you, too.