As stated in my bio, I am a passionate fan of black metal and similar genres of “Dark” music. Of such bands, one that has been the biggest influence on Tenebrous Satanism is Uada. It’s thus inevitable that I’ll be talking about their songs on here from time to time. In today’s case, the song in question is “In the Absence of Matter.” What does it have to do with Tenebrous Satanism? Well, regardless of what the band intended, the lyrics and sound both match up strikingly well with my gnosis of a certain entity, the one most central to my spiritual experiences in recent years: Nythra. And to illustrate the connection, I’ll have to talk about the gnosis itself…
My experience with Uada’s music
Uada has a had a particularly decisive impact upon my life in recent years.
First, amid a crippling depression back in 2018, this song basically saved my life. It gave me a perspective on Darkness I had not previously possessed, and I realized thereby that I was allowing my life to go to waste. Snapped then out of despair, I found the hidden strength I needed to start setting my life back on track.
Second, while listening to this album on mushrooms that New Year’s Eve, I went into a trance wherein I strongly felt I received contact from “something.” I figured out later in 2019, when I received sober contact amid the initiation experiences referenced here, who “something” was – and what manner of Sinister path was to shape my destiny.
Third, having backslid in my mental state in mid 2020, hearing this song inspired me to perform an impromptu ritual during the lunar eclipse that coincided with its release. That working was, shall we say, excessively successful. And by 48 hours later, I was writing Nine Keys of Abyssal Darkness.
The bottom line: I am not sure Tenebrous Satanism would even be “a thing,” at least not in its current form, if not for Uada’s influence!
The occult orientation of the band
Now, a few interesting tidbits about Uada’s own occult background:
- The frontman, Jake Superchi, is descended from a judge of the Salem witch trials – and has, it seems, grappled with this history by strongly championing “the other side.”
- Superchi was previously in a band called Ceremonial Castings, whose last work before Uada was a Lovecraft Mythos concept album.
- Uada has way less explicit occult content than a lot of other black metal bands, but a general “dark pagan + chaos magick” aesthetic, with only rare references to specific entities (e.g. Apollo, Abaddon).
- Some lyrics suggest familiarity with Qabalah, Eastern mysticism and/or Neoplatonism/Gnosticism – at least to me (not sure how intentional this is).
- The most recent album, “Djinn,” together with an Instagram post or two, suggests familiarity with S. Ben Qayim’s “Book of Smokeless Fire.”
My overall impression, especially from that last item, is that though Uada does not present themselves as explicitly “Satanic,” they are pretty clearly of the left-hand-path in some sense. Moreover, they strike me far more as “serious practitioners” than many other black metal bands who merely throw the aesthetics around.
An important disclaimer about Uada
Now, I want to emphasize, strongly, that to my knowledge, Uada is NOT associated with the Order of Nine Angles (ONA/O9A), nor even O9A-adjacent in the way that, say, Dissection (an influence of theirs) could be classed. Nothing I say in this entry should be taken as implying otherwise.
However, that does not alter my own experience: that there is some kind of real occult power in Uada’s music, which has set off a cascade in my own idiosyncratic brain, opening me to acausal contact with O9A’s Dark Gods, the Nekalah – and with a particular one, Nythra, first and foremost.
I should pause here to highlight to anyone new to this blog: Tenebrous Satanism, as I am constructing with Nine Keys of Abyssal Darkness, is essentially an effort to extract that which is life-affirming and constructive from O9A’s mire of counterproductive criminality, and win the Dark Gods of this current some competent sorcerers to work with, instead of being stuck with their current dysfunctional selection of followers. Read more about what I am doing here, and my addressing of the O9A issue at more length here. TL;DR: Yes, I’m a Satanist and a black metal fan, but I’m also mixed-race and politically-left-leaning, so don’t jump to unwarranted conclusions.
Last thing before I really get into it, on the off-chance Uada ever ends up reading this: if you’re not real thrilled to be dragged into being the inspiration for a new Satanic denomination of the kind I describe, even with disclaimers, sorry + I get it… but it’s your own fault for being totally awesome, so I hope we can still be cool. 🙂
About “In the Absence of Matter”
Given pervasive black hole imagery in Uada’s lyrics and aesthetics, it makes sense that one could be rendered more susceptible to contact with the “Energy Vortex in the Abyss” (as Nythra is described in O9A’s Naos) via exposure their music generally. I’ve long gotten this vibe via “In the Absence of Matter” in particular, though.
The sonic side of this is fairly straightforward for me to spell out. Whilst annoying music geeks whine about “too many major chords for black metal,” to me, it’s like, “equal parts primal tempest and lunatic assault, with a random dash of infernal celebration? Hell yeah, that’s Nythra…” Especially if I find myself primed to look for it via a few choice lyrical references like “Dark Nebula” and “Eater of Stars.”
I would note, too, that the video blew my mind the first time I saw it. For the first two-thirds or so, pretty much all the imagery is eerily similar to the kinds of closed-eye visuals I’ve occasionally glimpsed via the Tenebrous meditation and channeling practices I’ve devised – like, “how are you in my brain??” Toward the end though, there’s more and more vortex imagery, culminating in “seriously, if I were to astral-project into the acausal and ask Nythra, ‘hey, wanna be in a black metal video?’, creepy faceless hooded-vortex here is 200% what I’d expect to get.”
As for lyrics, though? Instead of the way I’ve unpacked other bands’ songs in past entries, I’m just going to present some impressions of Nythra I’ve channeled over time, parsed into a structure that reflects what I perceive of the flow of the song lyrics. Then, I’ll put the video and lyrics below, and you can see what you make of my “connections” for yourself.
My churning of the Vortex: Six meditations upon Nythra
I have known you for so little time in this, my current life. And yet, I have known you always, from the earliest of my incarnations. Enthroned in eternity, my Higher Self, who has watched them all unfold, looks upon me with sympathy: the ramifications of the ancient choice to Know you were unfathomed at the time; the price must now be paid in perpetuity. You are yourself the product of countless Adventures among alien forms, the endless somber suffering of which has produced that which at last grasps the Darkness behind it all. And in an aeon so far distant from now as to be as-yet unseen, perhaps I and others like me may evolve into something like you…
What are you? The Abyss incarnate; restless motion in the spaces between the stars; fluid medium of passion and meaning in one instant, promising an ecstasy so pure that it annihilates; broken disruption of cold, cynical madness in the next, despoiler of existence who subsumes all things into oblivion. Revelation to those who seek to know What Is Truly There, you are the lightning that shatters minds and the venom that corrupts the whole body of the blood, testifying to the utmost limits of the possible. But to liars who seek to crown themselves with vain words and petty powers, you are the Worm of terror and death, whose all-consuming hunger even the gods cannot escape in the end.
You were among the first to attain Sinistral translation, and few others have ever attained it so completely. What of Darkness’ will have you gleaned thereby? That every abomination of nature be brought to life, every vaporous ideal crystallized into unbearable complexity and then shattered into jagged pieces, and every nerve-fiber of every sentient being made to light up in every last pattern that a bored, sadistic puppet-master may devise in the course of eternity.
Insofar, then, as you have become the avatar of this seething madness, this must be your will. You are the one who gets off on the endless carnival of eating, mating and death; who sits laughing in the front row as civilizations destroy themselves; you are the divine torturer, who executes his victims only to bring them back to life afterward, for yet another round of cruelty.
And yet, you are far from devoid of compassion. For through your many lives in the flesh, back when the death of stars was still a novelty, and the countless others’ lives and deaths you have observed since, you have come to know full-well that all life is suffering. Why, then, do you not seek a way to end it? In fact, even billions of years ago, you’d already tried and exhausted every way you could think of. The Darkness that saturates your being thus taught you futility – at the same time as you taught yourself resilience…
Are there not others like you: exuberant affirmers of chaos, capable of a hearty love of existence not merely despite its horrors, but even because of them? It is your will that such comrades in arms dwell together, for only such as these can appreciate one another’s wounds – and grasp, at the same time, that they remain yet unwounded…
Enthroned in the Abyss, you watch the cycles. Descent, construction, awareness; departure, dissolution, despair. Flow and ebb. Those who fight their way free of your tide always find themselves eventually swept back into it. How can it be otherwise, when your companions are who they are? Atazoth, monarch clad in motley tatters, whose iron scepter turns the wheel of fortune, lifts his hand for few besides you, his closest associate. And Aosoth, of the raven feathers and the pale lock amid the fall of black – in her unmatched eyes, you are not only the highest artist, but the precondition of art itself; of course, then, she cooperates with you in all things. Who, overshadowed over by such ominous stars as these, could yet imagine escape?
There was a time, over three hundred years ago, when I tried. Only to discover that such mistakes may be seeded intentionally, not to escape or thwart the Sinister Dialectic, but to accelerate it, through the lessons of suffering. From you, I have learned much. Foremost among these: not to let my resolve be shaken. For when the moon has set, and the noose is brandished (as it has been in at least two-thirds of my incarnations), at worst, the time comes when I will see you again, unimpeded by the opacity of the Flesh. And since I am capable, as I have proven before, of overcoming my fear of you, then what else may I not overcome?
I have seen you, most often, as the churning black vortex, or the hooded thing that stands before it. Only rarely have I seen your wings unfurl: shredded and ragged, yet darkly prismatic, kaleidoscope of wonders and shadows. Unleasher of the spectral storm. Defiant as a fallen angel battering against the gates of heaven.
You are the soul and messenger of the Tenebrous Others. You are also their every hunger and desire incarnate. Energy vortex in the Abyss, you are that which is ever-restless, moving out there in the Darkness. You are both the thing from outside of existence that works constantly toward the devouring of all, and the thing inside of existence that is constantly devouring itself.
What are you, then, to the Light? To such as them, your dark splendor is invisible and beyond comprehension. Why is it, though, that over the long sweep of time, ultimately their lamps burn out, blackness swallows up their original plans, and when they look away for but an instant, the Worm has eaten their treasures?
Could it be that even “Divinity” is no eternal source, but just the dwindling fuel of a hope that fools refuse to relinquish, ever so slowly burning down into nothing? And the more things vanish into your endless maws, ever more fiercely does the Black Flame consume…
As the Voice of the Abyssal Void of Darkness, with what word do you announce yourself? Inevitably and invariably, it is YES.
Yes, to remaining in existence, despite all the screams and clamors for relief from that burden that perpetually reach your ears. To the inescapable alternation between life and death, no matter how agonizing the transformations between them. To the unending banquet of the grotesque that the world unwittingly offers up to you.
Yes, to a game that never ends, and which never ceases to amuse you – you, who have mastered its pieces and its moves over long aeons. To polarities, and the ever-present possibility of their reversal. To the cultivation of hidden sources of strength, and the recognition and discarding of that which sustains others, but not oneself. For thus lives the Worm…
Yes, to division, adversity, suffering and derision; to the vicious, heartless sacrifice of all those who broken upon this wheel; but thereby, to forms of bright-burning transcendence otherwise forever unknown, scorned by the comfortable and the complacent. Yes, thus, to wonders that drip with poison: deadly to the herd, but to those who dare to go their own way, the most potent entheogenic gate of apotheosis.
Finally, yes to the crossing of every threshold, the violation of every boundary, and the penetration of all that can be penetrated. To beauty in the midst of horror, and the spiraling madness that inevitably must accompany it. Yes to all that can be conceived of… and also, all that yet lies beyond, inconceivable…
Uada’s churning of the Vortex: “In the Absence of Matter”
(Note: the stanza demarcation below differs from the printed lyrics in the liner notes; I’ve added the headings to clarify the parallel to my gnosis.)
The world of separation and below
Return me to the hallowed mind
For what may come shall always go
Into regions I need not find
As within and so without
Away into the vastness of infinity
Shatter vessels of thriving doubt
And devour diadems of decaying divinity
From inner fields of illumination
Praying unto the chaos star
Bound together in our cognation
Cut, cauterize and conceal our scars
Banishing tidal disruption
Returning stellar supernal essence
Vanishing idle abruption
With the parallel setting of the cardinal crescent
Eater of stars
Protrude your wings
Like infernal parched tongues
Of the opaque and perdu kings
Shimmering cosmic dust
Through grandeur consumption
May the astral light combust
Take beyond your means
Be oh luminous Sol a pawn
And Luna our queen of queens
Radiating topaz through the skies
Beyond delusions of reality
Is where absolute actualization lies
Crawling Chaos: a Lovecraft fan theory about Uada…
Because of the subject matter of the last Ceremonial Castings album before Uada became Uada, and the peculiarly compelling quality that Uada has always had for me – e.g. sure, let’s follow the hooded black specters into the impenetrable fog until we find ourselves lost among alien ruins, it’s fine… 😉 – I’ve long had a “fantasy fan theory”: what if Ceremonial Castings, say, actually successfully “opened the gate,” Superchi ended up indwelt by Nyarlathotep as a result, and Uada was the product of this permanently-ongoing case of demonic possession – hence the band’s steady progress toward world domination? 🙂
I don’t think that this is “really” a thing, to be clear. (I’m similarly skeptical of Nythra’s claim that one of my previous human incarnations was Martha Carrier – as karmically-fascinating as that would be re: feeling like Uada’s music saved my life, it seems way too much like “fan wish-fulfillment” for me to be able to take it at face value…) Which means full credit to Uada for their own success, obviously.
Aesthetically, though, the Nyarlathotep tie-in certainly is of a piece with everything above. I’m sure I don’t have to point out to any Lovecraft fans in the audience that there appears to be more than a little bit of our favorite gleefully-malicious Haunter-of-the-Dark in Nythra. And upon recently reading Scott R. Jones’ “When the Stars Are Right” re: Nyarlathotep, I’ve come away with that impression all the more strongly. A thing perhaps deserving of further expansion down the line…
Last thing I’ll say for now, though, is a word to those unused to hearing of entities this “Dark,” who may find such talk alarming: I assure you, communing with such entities need not corrupt the human being who does so into the worst that O9A stands for. Read this bit I wrote about empathy and “Avatars of the Abyss” for my reasoning on this. Or comment below, and I’ll explain more in a reply.
This post received some minor edits for stylistic consistency on Aug 22/23.