Sunday, October 28, 2012

Interview With Arkansas Psychedelic Black Metal Masterwork, Pulsar Colony!

Pulsar Colony


Arkansas, United States


Psychedlic/Experimental Black Metal


Charles Sabo - all instruments, vocals, drum programming, songwriting, production.


1. Charles, you've been working on this material for a long time. A very long time. Could you go into detail and explain to us the process in creating not just one, but two separate and unique metal albums?

All my music always starts with just guitar, usually unplugged. The riffs come first, and are what the songs are built from. So Pulsar Colony is essentially rhythm guitar-based. Of course, it evolves into somewhat of an avant-garde metal sound when the various instruments and layers are added, but the foundation is completely guitar-oriented. It’s a metal project, so I guess that goes without saying. Some of the riffs are from years back, that I’ve had written down but never used. I think the earliest musical ideas date back to 2005/2006. Others are from more recent, 2008/2009. (we’re mainly talking Snowball Earth here) A lot of the Snowball Earth riffs were written outdoors on the beach of Lake Huron. That is something I’ve often done in the past, getting out there and finding a good “setting” to compose in. It provides that extra aura of stimulation that fuels creativity. The songwriting process for The Deep Sleep was more organized and concentrated in a more specific time frame, so I think the songs on that album flowed better and the album had more of a distinct sound. The drum tracks are programmed using an Alesis SR-16 and are tested extensively with guitar and revised until I’m happy with them. When it’s time to record, the drum machine is plugged in and recorded directly as an audio track, no MIDI. After that, guitar tones and effects are worked out. The mellow sections get a lot of effects treatment, which I think is what has led some people to consider Pulsar Colony “psychedelic black metal,” as I heavily get into using stuff like phasers, chorus, delay, and what not. On Snowball Earth, I double-tracked everything direct-in, and on The Deep Sleep I triple-tracked the guitars using amps. The Deep Sleep has a little more in the way of guitar-layering and dual-guitar stuff; on Snowball Earth it was mostly one guitar riff, except for the solo parts. After that barrage of guitar tracks, the bass and keyboards come next, both of which have a huge influence on the sound. These parts are written as they are recorded, song-by-song. Most of the bass lines are your (more or less) standard bass tone (the heavy parts have a very chorused-out bass, which I noticed one reviewer described as sounding “acoustic”), but I do like throwing in bass effects and chords. For example, the beginning of “The Flock” has a bass synth, and around the 7:50 point in “Why You Shouldn’t Feed Bears,” I created this weird, swirling modulation sound (yes, that’s actually bass). Those are just two examples. As far as keyboards, I try to go beyond the choirs and strings that are often found in black metal. I love using synthesizers to add kind of a new wave/80’s flavor, which contributes to the futuristic vibe that I was aiming for with these albums. You’ll find a few other instruments here and there… sitar, mandolin, hand drum… too much to describe without getting long-winded and boring the reader to death… To sum it up, the songs in their very embryonic stage are 8-10 minute journeys through guitar riffs of all metal subgenres… black, death, doom, thrash, intertwined with trippy clean parts. The other instruments are then composed and added, which kind of “grows” the Pulsar Colony sound as the recording process progresses. It’s interesting how the end result turns out. I try (or end up?) giving the music, especially those clean parts, a very primal feel, a very mind-warping feel. But it’s definitely not forced; it’s a very natural and even laid-back process.

2. What equipment are you using to create these distinct masterpieces, and what goes into each and every track?

Well on Snowball Earth there was a left guitar track and a right guitar track, one of which made use of a Gibson Les Paul Standard, the other an Aria Pro II guitar (not sure of the model, but it kind of resembles a Les Paul). All those tones you hear come from the Boss GT-6… distortion, chorus, wah, it all comes from that multi-effects unit. The guitars on that album were all plugged directly into the Pro Tools MBox2 Mini, with Pro Tools LE on an Apple laptop. The acoustic was direct-in as well. I used an Ibanez Soundgear 6-string bass, which was run through a Boss ME-50, a unit that not only shaped the typical bass tones, but also the effects, which gave certain bass lines a very distinct atmosphere. As a result, the bass can be pretty uncanny sometimes, occasionally sounding like keyboards or a modulated guitar, or something strange like that. A Yamaha PSR-1000 took care of all of the keyboard tones, as well as a few of the electronic/tribal percussion parts (the Alesis SR-16 produced most of these). I used an Applause acoustic-electric on both albums, but on The Deep Sleep I layered it with a Martin D-18. An Audix I5 was used for the vocals on Snowball Earth, but when The Deep Sleep was recorded I had a pair of MXL condensers that really improved the vocal sound, as well as the acoustic instruments. The other main difference on The Deep Sleep was that the electric guitars were played through an actual amplifier, which was placed in a bathroom to give it some natural reverb and ambience. A very useful technique. The amp was a small, inexpensive Peavey, but it did its job. On Snowball Earth I used my Alvarez mandolin in a couple of spots, and I play my sitar on both albums in a few places. In Pro Tools, the sounds are further shaped using compressors and EQ’s. The vocals on The Deep Sleep made use of Pro Tools reverb, which turned out to be very effective. I try to give each instrument its own place in the mix, taking into account panning positions and frequency separation (for example, more high end on the vocals, more mid-range on the heavy guitars, etc.). For mastering, I used a Slate Digital mastering suite.

3. What bands/musicians inspired you to create your own music? What bands/musicians are you currently into right now?

So many… some of my main metal influences are Emperor, Opeth, early Metallica, Megadeth, Blind Guardian, Nevermore, Morbid Angel, Suffocation, Katatonia, My Dying Bride, Arcturus, Borknagar, Meshuggah, Mastodon… in recent years I’ve gotten heavily into Enslaved and Gojira which I think have significantly influenced the Pulsar Colony sound. But those are just the tip of the iceberg. There are several metal bands from all subgenres that have inspired me. Overall, the black metal genre has probably had the most influence. The non-metal influences are equally important in shaping Pulsar Colony’s sound… Jethro Tull, Soundgarden, Tears for Fears, Yes, Sonic Youth, Tool, Mars Volta, world music… those of course are bands that most would not associate with metal, much less extreme metal, but their influence provides those key intangibles that make Pulsar Colony unique. Some stuff I’ve been listening to recently… Neurosis, Tesseract, Veil of Maya, Crowbar, Exodus, Alcest, Fen, Les Discrets, A Forest of Stars, the Chili Peppers, Spawn of Possession, Obscura, Led Zeppelin, Smashing Pumpkins, Flaming Lips, Queens of the Stone Age, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead… I’m pretty diverse. I think everything I listen to influences Pulsar Colony in some small way.

4. Can you explain the whole concept for the first album "Snowball Earth - 2011" not just lyrically, but also musically. What was your aim for this album? Did it end up sounding like you had originally envisioned and are you proud of the final mix?

Well the first three songs kind of tie together in that they are somewhat inspired by the changing climate, atmosphere, weather patterns during recent times, and the evolution of the planet and universe and how it affects the whole system of life. “Wounded Animal of the Four Elements” was originally told from the perspective of Planet Earth taking revenge on humanity for throwing all this pollution into the atmosphere, but it evolved to include kind of a personal perspective about anger and vengeful feelings in general. A lot of my lyrics are like that – they include multiple perspectives, multiple storylines, and thus can be interpreted in a variety of ways. The title track “Snowball Earth” is about polar bears losing their sea ice and losing their habitat – hence the lines “all I see is water and the horizon / no habitat within reach.” Snowball Earth is thought to be a stage in the Earth’s geological phase in which the entire planet was covered in snow and ice, so I used that as a metaphorical device to represent a re-gaining of elements the planet is losing, or the antithesis of global warming. “Absolute Zero” deals with the habitat of us humans. It’s actually inspired by a book I read – “Hyperspace” by Michio Kaku. He discusses the expansion of the universe and how that will make the universe to grow colder and eventually destroy any form of habitat for life in general, and then goes on to suggest the possibility of humans traveling to parallel universes, as this current universe will no longer be friendly to humans. The song is pretty pessimistic – it’s told from the mindset of having nowhere to go, and anticipating the inevitable destruction of civilization, whether it’s by a huge catastrophe, or humans destroying each other, or by some deity messing with us. That’s about as conceptual as the album gets, the rest of the songs are about a variety of themes and emotions. As for the musical concept – well, Pulsar Colony is very trippy but also very explosive, overall it’s very feeling-driven. Imagine being in a dystopian/futuristic environment, or just an all-around shitty environment, for example those found in Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Bladerunner, Slaughterhouse Five, the Russian novel “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin… or a very tense environment in shows like 24 or Prison Break, where the walls are closing in and every second is filled with tension and constantly being forced to stay an inch ahead of painful death and entrapment. As I’m typing this, I realize that Pulsar Colony has kind of a “survival” theme, which also ties into the individualistic element strongly present in the music and lyrics. An individual trying to stand on his or her own amongst a bunch of unfriendly and threatening forces. That’s pretty much what the music feels like. It’s also very outer-spacish, hence cover artwork. I won’t go on and on describing all the various images and sensations that these riffs play in my head, but I would say that for any metalhead or open-minded music fan, the end result of Pulsar Colony would likely come across as the imagistic, picturesque, surreal/abstract type of metal, although it is indeed very, VERY intense at times. Overall I am proud of the way it turned out. As an amateur producer/engineer with inexpensive equipment, I think the mix and sound quality holds its own. Each instrument (there are many) has managed to carve out its own space in each song, and the album as a whole has managed to achieve a colorful atmosphere, with lots of coherence in the instrumentation.

5. Can you explain the whole concept for the second album "The Deep Sleep - 2012" not just lyrically, but also musically. The disc certainly seems like a progression. I noticed some clean approaches on the disc that I was at first apprehensive about, but as I listened further, I saw how they intertwine with the scowls. I've also noticed that this album is a great deal more trippy than your last album. Did this album end up sounding like you had envisioned originally, and are you proud of the final mix?

As far as my original vision goes, as I’ve indicated above, a Pulsar Colony’s album’s sound kind of shapes itself as the recording process moves along, but both albums did end up roughly sounding like what I had in mind. I think I did a good job of giving The Deep Sleep a very different tone and production style than Snowball Earth. It’s a little colder, more clinical, and it’s slightly more brutal and modern. It’s got a very dirty, harsh, biting guitar sound, which I think adds more emotional depth and savagery to the album that certainly wasn’t lacking on Snowball Earth, but was definitely a quality that needed to be explored in more detail. In retrospect, one main drawback of the album’s sound is that sometimes the keyboards cancel out the guitar. In other words, you have to listen to the keyboards to ascertain the melody and atmosphere because the guitar is a bit unclear. I’m not sure why, it must have been the way those instruments were EQ’d, but it is what it is and I think the “overall picture” is a brutal, yet atmospheric experimental metal album. These albums were the first attempts I’ve ever made at seriously recording, mixing, and mastering to the fullest of my capabilities, so in that regard, yes I am proud of the final mix. I did feel that clean vocals were an ingredient that needed to be introduced. Another 100% scowl album would have been redundant, in my opinion. They may not always be exactly on key, but in “The Flock,” for example, they are meant to have kind of a schizophrenic, twisted vibe, as if sung by someone in mental turmoil, and I think I successfully created that sound. So the vibe the vocals create is often more important than perfect pitch. The increased trippyness is probably a result of my continued exploration of different guitar effects, bass effects, synthesizer patches, and in the songwriting phase trying out melodies, chord shapes, and arpeggios that probably don’t make a whole lot of sense in music theory, but at the same time have a way of capturing the listener and creating a unique sonic dimension. Maybe Pulsar Colony could be labeled “zoning out metal”? The lyrics… so much going on… personal emotions, literature-inspired, TV-inspired… I think my lyrics have an over-arching personal quality, even if they start off being inspired by a specific book or movie or whatever. There’s a lot of negativity being channeled through these lyrics, but on both The Deep Sleep and Snowball Earth I think there’s also an undercurrent of triumph and overcoming adversity that runs throughout the albums.

6. What messages lay behind these albums. Some of the concepts I find very interesting, like "Reptilian Complex", "Power In The Void", "Ancestral Recall", and the oddly hilarious, "Why You Shouldn't Feed Bears." Could you explain these lyrical ideas further, especially the oddly titled, "Why You Shouldn't Feed Bears?"

Well I’ll start off with “Why You Shouldn’t Feed Bears,” an odd title indeed… it starts off being about the territorial nature of bears and wild animals in general, then it goes into some themes from Hawthorne’s “The House of Seven Gables”, then it talks about looking deep within one’s self and facing inner demons, and then the last couple verses or so attempt to tie all those themes together in a coherent, over-arching message. Overall, the song is about indulging one’s weaknesses, guilty pleasures, and vices to the point where they devour the person. Hence the lines “you are the inverted face I see in the shadows at night / I can’t stop chasing you, so I continue feeding the bears”… so the bears are a metaphor for those consuming characteristics that may at first bring a person great amounts of pleasure, but in the end cause the person to rot from the inside. You may have read “The House of Seven Gables”, but one of its basic themes is stripping others of what’s rightfully theirs for your own personal gain. So like other PC songs, this song has a vengeance/retaliation/bad karma component. “Reptilian Complex” takes its name from the concept of the territorial, aggressive, dominating aspect of man. The lyrics toy with this concept, and hypothesize man degenerating into a more animalistic, reptilian state, in opposition to the sophisticated, philosophical, technologically-savvy brains of the 20-21st centuries. Reptiles are very simple creatures; they spend long hours basking in the sun, they camp out in the water to catch what food comes their way, and the larger species are remnants from the dinosaur age and are apex predators, so they don’t have much use for the drama and ambition of human life. So maybe it’s an animal lover song? I am very fascinated by bears and alligators… “Power in the Void” is one of my more personal songs… the lyrics contain a wide variety of metaphorical devices, such as lying in a lab connected to life-support equipment, dying and getting buried, standing in the path of a tornado, but overall this song is about embracing emptiness and nothingness. I mentioned that it’s personal, but it’s also a major recurrent theme of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, which is what introduced me to the concept. A lot of people have read it, but I’ll go ahead and explain… basically, in a distressing situation, the main hero is taught to “channel the void” using a mental technique that consists of visualizing a tiny flame, and then feeding all of his emotions into that flame, then moving the flame off to a far corner in his mind. When this state of mind is achieved, all worries and problems seem far off and distant. This increases concentration and capacity for analytical thought, thus increasing the chance of survival and defeating the enemy, and as paradoxical as it seems, it can sometimes create a “euphoria” of emptiness and non-emotion. It’s a practice that I sometimes find useful in my own life when undertaking strenuous tasks and just living in general. “Ancestral Recall” actually changed its title to “Ancestral Dream”… read James Dickey’s “Deliverance” novel or watch the movie to find out what it’s about. I will say that it’s got a very Darwinian, kill-or-be-killed theme. So just by explaining those songs, you can see that Pulsar Colony lyrics are a combination of personal emotions, literary themes, abstract philosophical musings… one of my favorites is “Pillars of Creation.” The line “my mind wanders light years away / in this cold, dirty alleyway” is perhaps the best PC lyrical moment, for me personally anyways. It just cuts so deep, hits so close to home… it perfectly conveys a sense of isolation and escapism and fits fucking perfectly with the riff it’s shouted over. Then there’s the lines “nothing to lose / lose nothing” which come from a very disturbing dream I had back in 2004, I believe it was. I was in a building that I could walk in, and that other people were in, and yet seemed to be falling apart or in disarray. I was walking in a hallway, and there was this huge hole that tore through the entire wall. In that hole, you could see parts of two different floors. In the above floor, some authority figure-type lady was sitting at a desk, looking at me and acting as if everything’s perfectly normal, when I could tell something was obviously wrong. The words “nothing to lose” were written on the wall, and then when I looked down at the floor (the floor also contained a hole that showed pieces of several floors below) I could see the words “lose nothing.” To this day, I can’t fathom exactly what that dream meant, or even what those words were supposed to mean, but that whole situation and whole sense of “wrongness” in that dream fits perfectly in Pulsar Colony’s tense, schizo-ominous atmosphere.

7. What does the project name, "Pulsar Colony" mean? Where did you discover it, and how is it a vessel for your message?

There was a time when I became very interested in astronomy and cosmology, so I read up on various related topics and aspects related to the universe. Pulsars are rotating neutron stars that emit large amounts of radiation. There are actually a few planets found orbiting these unique stars, but due to the radiation, could not harbor life. So a “Pulsar Colony” couldn’t exist, therefore it’s kind of a metaphor for the bizarre, the strange. Just thinking about the phrase “Pulsar Colony” makes you wonder where else in the universe life does exist, besides Earth. And that in turn makes you think about what other areas deep within the universe look like, and what goes on in and around them. Of course, we have amazing pictures of nebulas, galaxies, moons, etc., but there’s this adventurous spirit in humans that for some reason just isn’t content with life on this world, during this very short time frame. You’ll see this spirit manifest itself in my lyrics from time to time, for example in “Power in the Void”: “I probe the depths of my psyche / and see my reptilian roots / But once again, I also see / an undying thirst / for knowledge of the cosmos.” And the song “Proxima Centauri” is pretty much about this longing for “what lies beyond.” This doesn’t just apply to the material, physical world, but also the imagination. The last few lines of the song are “We are the lifeless matter / we are the paradox / drawing nebulas in the sky with our eyes.” In other words, it’s physically and technologically impossible to go out there in deep space, but we can use our imagination to project ourselves out there. So I guess the name “Pulsar Colony” encompasses the material world, the imagination, the universe, the scientific/analytical powers of the brain, the creative powers of the brain… all in one guy’s metal project haha. It’s a vessel for adventurous music. What we can’t achieve in real life, we can create representations of through art.

8. What are you reading and watching that has inspired you? Do you study the occult and or practice metaphysics? Is there any wisdom that you can share with us? ( I also might recommend a book called "The Nature Of Personal Reality: A Seth Book" (1972) to you. It is a profoundly interesting work, albeit thick.)

Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ve dabbled with meditation. I wish I had more time for it, but the times I have tried it have been very fulfilling. I’ve done what I’m assuming is the traditional style… sitting up, back straight, or lying down, emptying my head of all thoughts, and focusing on the “inner light” (yeah I know it sounds corny, but that’s basically what it is). The interesting thing about Eastern religions and philosophy is that they in a sense downplay the ideas of “knowledge” and “wisdom”, and encourage one to achieve a feeling of there being a single moment and single entity rather than focusing on a bunch of separate moments and “things” that make up the universe. I’m not by any means an expert on this subject, but it is something that I’ve read a little about and find to be another useful tool as far as living day-to-day and just being human. I will say that the times I have meditated, I have been able to achieve something that resembles the “stream of life” or “unity of consciousness” or whatever you want to call it. Life seems more vibrant, the mind seems clearer, and situations seem easier to deal with… very basic wisdom, and maybe not much help when it comes to traumatic situations or even the BS of everyday life, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to set aside some time and meditate every now and then, if for no other reason than relaxation. I mentioned Michio Kaku’s “Hyperspace” book earlier, but also “The Tao of Physics” by Fritjof Capra was a very interesting read. He successfully explains the similarities between Eastern mysticism and physics, in that they both attempt to explain the interrelation of all things. On the physics side, there’s quantum theory, which deals with these little interactions of matter and energy that form the basis for everything we stand on, and on the spiritual side, there’s the deep meditative states the Eastern mystics could achieve, in which they feel the oneness of reality. How does this relate to Pulsar Colony? Those mellow trippy parts, and even some of the heavier parts have kind of a droning, “meditational” sound. I like to think that the droning trippy parts are my artistic representations of the “oneness”, whatever that is… or maybe musical representations of 4-dimensional space or something like that. I’ve watched a lot of stuff, but some examples of inspirational shows/movies I’ve seen in recent years: the Swedish adaptations of the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc.), Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek (the original series), tornado videos, sea ice/polar bear videos, other wild animal videos.

9. You live in the same country as I do, so let's not beat around the bush. We've got one hell of an election this year, (and to be honest, I'd rather not have either of them in office) and people are really getting fearful of their own government. What are thoughts towards this election year? On politics in general?

I’ve never been a politically-oriented person, and I’m bad when it comes to keeping up with current events (I get distracted by music), but I’ve never agreed with the Republican philosophy. Especially recently, they’ve seemed to become quite unreasonable and radical. But I hope that whoever does get elected can come up with acceptable ideas for improving certain things, such as relations with other countries, how much money to spend and where to spend it, what to do about this job/economic crisis, etc. There’s no easy way of changing the system we all rely on, but finding some way of inexpensively putting into play the various ideas for environmental-friendly technology would be nice. Not that I’m in the least optimistic about any of this stuff.

10. What do you do when you're not working on music? Any hobbies in particular that you think we should know about?

I like to occasionally go hiking and driving through the country, which are very inspirational for the music. The videos for “Calypso” and “Snowball Earth” are made entirely of photos from hiking expeditions. As you can probably tell, reading is a huge part of my life, especially fantasy and Russian stuff. I would play my xBox 360 more if I had time, just too much music… Mass Effect and Halo Reach are pretty Pulsar Colony-esque.

11. Are there any plans for a third Pulsar Colony release? Are you currently working on it right now? What can you tell us about it?

Actually yes, we’re working on it. My long-time comrade Matthew Friend ( is playing drums, producing, and engineering it. He is very competent when it comes to mic positions, and working with EQs, compressors, reverbs, etc., so this is shaping up to be by far the most professional-sounding Pulsar Colony album thus far. Musically, it’s got plenty of experimentation, but overall it plays more like a traditional metal album. There are not as many clean parts, and the songs are shorter. There’s much more traditional black metal influence, but don’t get me wrong, it definitely keeps the weirdness in tact.

12. What is the biggest thing that you could hope for this project? What do you have to say to fans of the material?

Well in the immediate future, I’m hoping just to sell a few copies of these albums that I’ve finally got around to releasing. I know a lot of fans have an unmastered version of Snowball Earth (it was offered for free on bandcamp for a while and made its way onto a bunch of file-sharing websites), so I would encourage them to buy this newer, much more sonically improved version. I myself don’t illegally download, but it goes without saying that these albums will end up on file-sharing websites eventually. In some ways that’s good, as it creates more exposure, and Pulsar Colony has very little exposure at this point, so every little bit helps. Other than that, it would be cool to eventually get on a label that supports my musical vision and that I won’t end up owing shitloads of money to. I guess that’s my biggest thing I could hope for. And of course I would like to thank anyone who has taken the time to listen to Pulsar Colony, and who have discussed Pulsar Colony on forums.

13. Imagine you could see ten, twenty years into the future. Tell us what you see for the planet, society, and humanity in general.

Will the United States still be a superpower, or will it be a third world country? We already seem to have almost a third world subculture with the huge divide between wealthy and poor, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out. And I’m interested to see how climate change will continue to affect the weather patterns. Here in Fayetteville we’ve been having extreme highs and lows… we had no snow last winter, but the two winters before that we had temperatures as low as -20. Then a couple summers ago, we had several 105-115 days. So 10-20 years from now there will probably be even more tornado outbreaks and heat waves. And will an all-out war break out between the US and middle east? Let’s face it, that place is never going to stabilize. I’m also interested in how the space program shapes up, if they’re somehow able to fulfill their pipe dreams of going to Mars and/or the moon, or an asteroid… but as long as there continues to be articles about interesting findings and cool pictures I’m content. Also, will they still be working with the Large Hadron Collider trying to find the “god particle”, and will string theory finally be a proven fact rather than just a theory? So there are some things to like about this world, but a hell of a lot of bleak stuff as well, stuff that I can’t really do anything about, so for my part I’ll continue to try making Pulsar Colony the best it can be.

14. What are some ways that we could fix the mess we've made as human beings? Do you think that there's a "hidden hand" of sorts manipulating events? If so, how do you think we could stop them in order to restore balance back to our planet?

I think that a lot of people have the wrong idea when it comes to spirituality, following a dogma and that their dogma is “right”. I think humanity could fix itself by getting rid of fundamentalism. It does absolutely nothing for this life, but rather focuses on some kind of illusion for the “next life.” I think that spirituality should be something personal, something that improves your perception of things and daily life, rather than a set of rules and rituals that some people think should be practiced by every single human being on the planet, and that only make the here-and-now worse. Personally I believe in some sort of spiritual realm, but I have no idea whether it comes from an outside force, or if it’s something internal to humanity, and I don’t think anyone has any way of knowing, so it’s pointless to bicker over religion. So that’s one thing we could fix, but then again people aren’t going to want to question their own mindsets or break out of their old habits, so it’s a pipe dream. I’d say people themselves are the “hidden hand”… there’s always going to be conflicts over resources, ideology, territory. Too many people, too little stuff. It starts at the bottom… every man tries to earn a little more money so they can afford slightly nicer living conditions, slightly nicer cars, indulge their hobbies more, etc., it’s what we all do. It’s rational self-interest. Then as people move up the ladder, some are content where they are, but some keep going and going until they become I don’t know, say, the President of the United States or a CEO. They’re the ones in control, but do they really care about you, and if they do help you, is it only out of rational self-interest? The same goes for personal relationships… who is a true friend and who’s just using you? Sometimes it seems like very few people actually “care” about each other. And rational self-interest of course gets in the way of the desire to fix humanity and the planet. I’m starting to ramble, I’m not sure what I’m getting at or if I’m answering the question, but with such an over-populated world and with the very nature of mankind, I’m kind of at a loss to think of ways to restore balance to the planet. You could say that compromises will have to be made between every political party, every country, every group of people, etc. in order to make everyone somewhat happy and hopefully enter one of those Pax Romana-type periods, but with so many people disenfranchised (people in America, Europe, Africa, China, you name it) and with such disparities in the philosophies and ideologies between various governments, countries, religious groups, etc.; and so many economic and environmental issues, I don’t see balance happening anytime soon… and even if compromises and treaties are made, will there be enough resources to go around to take care of the various peoples in various countries with various ideologies? Or will it end up being a global communist society, like Soviet Russia? I think that’s the best I can answer these questions…

Thank you so much for your answers, and for such a unique and interesting metal project.

And thank you so much for such an enjoyable interview, and for your curiosity about Pulsar Colony. Horns!

I would humbly invite all fans of experimental and unique black metal to check out the project at it's pages:

Pulsar Colony - The Deep Sleep (2012) - Pulsar Colony's second opus is much different then their first record, (which I will have a review for later, I've just been very busy) in the fact that it takes the style of experimental black metal made famous in "Snowball Earth" and continues to evolve it with psychedelic and doom influence in certain areas. A bit of clean vocal is used here, but it's much darker and usually goes back up into a scowl. The drum machine is certainly powerful and he's got a good handle on it. Even though some of you might not like the idea that he's using programmed drums, you need to keep in mind that this is a one man project and he knows what he's doing. The riffs are filled with prog and a sense of melody at the same time - sometimes they even sound otherworldly, which helps to bring the atmosphere that each track attempts to create. Though this isn't necessarily classified as "atmospheric black metal" it's certainly got some of the tendencies of the genre. Every track on the album sounds quite different from the last and incorporates something new. It is not out of the ordinary to hear world instruments on this disc in addition to the meat of metal, and this album truly is a journey in most aspects. Occasionally acoustics and whispers will also find their way on the album, but even though those things are present; remember that this is still very much black metal and carries the proper soundscape of it. It's got a slightly raw, yet slightly produced quality that should appeal to most, if not a vast majority of black metal fans and the singles released from the first disc have already garnered some great praise from the metal community. This is because the man is truly dedicated to his music and his messages, (if you haven't been able to tell from the review) and I really do feel that this project has the tendency to become something of a mainstay in the worldwide metal community, worthy of magazines and blogs alike (that's one reason why it's here.)

If you felt that the last Enslaved album didn't feature enough black metal and didn't need clean vocals, well perhaps this album from one man who came out of the woodwork might help to fill the void. I truly urge fans of black metal and psychedelic music in any form to check out this project. It is truly something original, just like Agalloch when they, like many other great bands - came out of nowhere. Though these recordings are still a little rough, two phenomenal musicians will be featured on the next Pulsar Colony, and that could be their breakout into the scene. I very much hope so, as this material is just too damned good for the metal scene to ignore, especially with all the bells and whistles that makeup current black metal these days. This guy does by himself, what usually takes many musicians to do. That's a feat in of itself.

Definitely go check this out. If you don't, you're only hurting yourself.


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