Premiere: Realm and Ritual
Revolt and Regicide Compilation

12/10/21 | J. Proust

<i>Revolt and Regicide</i> tape J-card

In the span of a few years, the US antifascist black metal and DS tape label Realm and Ritual has grown to become a most formidable fastness amidst the otherwise uncertain ground of the extreme music landscape. In a world where edginess apes as malice and ignorance calcifies into blind hatred, Realm and Ritual has consistently flown high the banner of intelligence, compassion and empathy which wandering like-minded artists can find it, all while delivering, month after month, one of the truest and most solid outputs any underground label could aspire to—and all completely DIY, no less.

So when a label like Realm and Ritual decides to curate a compilation, it’s practically guaranteed to be a revelatory beast. According to S.G., who runs Realm and Ritual, “I’ve wanted to do a compilation featuring Realm and Ritual alumni and label friends for the past few years. I grew up listening to punk rock compilations—Punk-O-Rama, Hopelessly Devoted to You, Victory Style—where I discovered new artists and got a sense of various music communities cultivated by the labels that put them out. A good compilation fits together like a personalized mix-tape while revealing the wide spectrum of sounds housed under one roof.”

S.G. continues, explaining when he had his ‘Eureka’ moment that inspired this compilation: “I had the initial idea for Revolt and Regicide when I was reading a book about the 1381 Peasant Revolt in England. I imagined that it would be cool to have a bunch of dungeon synth artists contribute tracks themed around real historical events that still fit within the confines of the genre (Medieval times). I think DS is often pegged as an escapist form of music, separate from political ideologies and events, but I think there’s room in fantasy-inspired genres to comment on societal values and movements. I ended up backing away from framing the compilation on a specific historical event because I didn’t want to be too prescriptive. However, I like the general theme of ‘Peasant Revolt’ and used that as the inspiration behind the art direction and name of the compilation.”

<i>Revolt and Regicide</i> art

Proceeds from Revolt and Regicide will go to GiveDirectly, which helps poverty-stricken families in the US as well as in Africa. According to S.G.: “I had read about GiveDirectly a few years ago and was really inspired by their approach to charity. There are a lot of good-intentioned charities that aim to assist people affected by poverty that do so without actually consulting the people they serve. Charities that use direct cash transfers empower the people they serve by allowing them to decide how to best improve their situation. While this is a relatively new method of charity, there is already a lot of research that shows cash transfers are an effective means of alleviating poverty. I think it’s important to distill notions that people affected by poverty are going to ‘waste’ their money if it’s given directly to them—this is an idea rooted in racist and classist ideology.”

S.G. says, “In terms of the charity-piece, it was important to me to build the compilation around something outside of label profits. I think it’s really cool when people come together to contribute to a worthy cause and have really enjoyed the many comps coming out that seek to do that. ‘Vigor Reconstruct’ and ‘Riffs for Reproductive Justice’ were both on heavy rotation for me over the past year. Both had absolutely stacked line-ups with lots of exclusive tracks and both had very personal charitable causes.”

Revolt and Regicide features a wide array of black metal and dungeon synth bands and artists, but tonight we present exclusive premieres of the following three select tracks so as to stoke the fires of the coming conflagration.

MORTWIGHT: “ ‘A Triumph Laurel for the Dead’ crowns no general or emperor,” says Mortwight regarding their dirge. “It stretches instead over the broken necks of those countless, marched in misery through stygian gates across time immemorial. It is a monument to the corpses left in empire’s wake and a longing for its inevitable demise.”

And in your throat we shall stay, a piece of glass, a cactus thorn in your eyes, a blazing fire.

- Tawfiq Zayyad

FORGOTTEN GHOST: “This track should convey the feeling of walking alone through a snow-capped mountain landscape, fighting the ice cold wind and hoping to arrive at your shelter before it gets dark,” writes Forgotten Ghost. “It’s inspired by Paysage D'Hiver (especially his winter ambient release Die Festung), Snowspire and Winter Pathways. Just combining droning chords with slow moving, melancholic and icy melodies.”

KORELTSAK explains: “Saṃsāra is the beginningless cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and dying. Rebirths occur in six realms of existence, or six paths: three good realms and three evil realms which one will walk down depending on their karma. The music of Koreltsak has always been centered around the Hagakure and being freed from dying, this track foreshadows future paths the project may walk down.”

Follow Realm and Ritual on Bandcamp.

Follow Mortwight on Bandcamp.

Follow Forgotten Ghost on Bandcamp.

Follow Koreltsak on Bandcamp.