“There is a distinct sense of purpose for the engagement in this subject at this moment in time. The questions are compacting slowly but surely into a revelation. For me, THELEMA VIII marks out a milestone of comprehension.” Artaud
In the last few days visitors to the official MERCIFUL NUNS website are greeted by a lone Astronaut at the entrance of a gigantic building, a pyramid or perhaps a sepulchre. A strong image that immediately triggers a chain of associations, similar to those evoked within by “Thelema VIII” – the new album from Artaud Seth, Jón and Jawa – the MERCIFUL NUNS.
Thelema is of Greek origin and denotes the Will – the album’s subject matter, or more specifically: the awakening of individual will within every single one of us. Like a golden thread running through the revolutionary projection to enforce one’s own will, oppose and reject oppression; determine one’s own path according to one’s own ideals and without compromise. Why revolutionary? Because modern society pursues coordination and synchronisation rather than individuality. A pre-released trailer to “Thelema VIII” posted on Facebook features two citations: “Do what thou wilt shall be the only law” – addressing individual freedom and “Every man and every woman is a star” – denoting gender equality. These tenets for gregariousness were transferred to a distant exoplanet in order to bear fruit in a dystopic society. Evidently both citations originate from Aleister Crowley, a renowned and infamous occultist who achieved dubious fame at the beginning of the last century. This exoplanetary society did, however, not live in accordance with Crowleyan principles but rather those of François Rabelais who, at the beginning of the 16th century endeavoured to establish a new social structure – the Abbey of Thelema. He is indeed worshipped by the population as the creator. “Thelema VIII” pounds my ear-drums with an implosion of driven impellent Occult-Rock. Rarely has an album succeeded in drawing the listener so convincingly and quickly under its spell. Instantly pinpointed and excessive songs, wildly scrimmaging and menacingly dark penetrate the auditory canals. In the NUNS’ typical style we find the synapsis exceeding the process of mere listening by posting a fundamental question of meaning in its literary context. On this occasion we find the inquisitive Socrates on his journey into the abyss of a dystopic society living in accord with Thelemitic principles on a distant exoplanet. Still got questions? Join THELEMA VIII!