On Grey Aura’s upcoming demo and the book that inspired it

Cover photo by Sven Signe den Hartogh.
Self-described conceptual band Grey Aura is about to release «2: De bezwijkende deugd», the second demo to be inspired by the upcoming novel «De protodood in zwarte haren» by the band’s Ruben Wijlacker. As both novel and record will be released in the coming weeks, let us start by the former.

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«De protodood in zwarte haren» is a story set in the 1920’s about a young Dutch/Spanish painter named Pedro who has to flee Spain and becomes “engulfed by radical modernism and an unquenchable desire for abstraction.” The first part of the novel gave rise to Grey Aura’s 2017 demo, «1: Gelige, traumatische zielsverrukking», which was released by Dutch label The Throat and can be streamed below.

More information regarding «De protodood in zwarte haren» can be found at this location. The novel will be officially released on March 8 and a release party will take place at the GoMulan Gallery in Amsterdam, in an event that will include readings from both the author and two familiar names from the Dutch black metal scene, namely, Johan Van Hattum from Terzij de Horde and Black Decades, and Sylwin Cornielje, from Laster and Nusquama. Furthermore, Grey Aura guitarist and composer Tjebbe Broek will perform alongside flamenco singer Falu de Cádiz, whose voice can be heard above in «Martinete», from «1: Gelige, trumatische zielsverrukking». More information can be found here.

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Cover of «2: De bezwijkende deugd» by Sven Signe den Hartogh.

A few days after the novel is released, so will the second demo it has thus far inspired, «2: De bezwijkende deugd». As with its predecessor, it features voice theatre written and recorded by the band itself, as well as guest performances, this time by S. (Laster), who wrote and recorded bass in one song. Two of its tracks, «De onnoemelijke verleidelijkheid van de bezwijkende deugd» and «De drenkeling», have been revealed and can be heard below.

A detailed account of the song’s themes in connection with the overall story can be found at this location, as well as the English version of the song’s lyrics.

As explained here in much further detail, «De drenkeling» is inspired by the eroticism of Georges Bataille‘s «Madame Edwarda» and “follows the thoughts of the protagonist, Pedro, as he attempts to destroy his own (self-)awareness by metaphorically melting together with his ideal woman.”

«2: De bezwijkende deugd» is set for release on cassette format on March 11 via Tartarus Records. Recall that Grey Aura is set to perform at Roadburn Festival on Sunday, April 14 (more information here). The band is also involved with the Maalstroom commissioned piece that will be performed the day before.

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