Pandiscordian Necrogenesis may sound like a mouthful, but it's nothing compared to how overwhelming it's music is. Formed roughly a decade ago, the one-man, purely-improvisational black metal project pushes the very limits of the genre's rawer edges. At the helm is Ephemeral Domignostika, the brain behind the mind-melting Mastery and member of other blackened projects like Pale Chalice and Ulthar.
Domignostika is in the midst of a very busy 2018. Both P:N and Ulthar performed at the recent Red River Family Fest. In addition, he's had one release already as P:N, another coming later this month, and a new Ulthar album arrives in early November. All of these albums are great in their own regard. The impending Outer Supernal from Pandiscordian Necrogenesis draws today's focus, however.
Outer Supernal is a deeper, more complex affair for Domignostika. Over 11 tracks, he pushes himself to his limits, finding new expanses to test his mind and body. Swaths of undulating doom and synths appear; they crash against raw black metal throughout the record. Especially in today's premiere of "Hidden Supernal." It's Outer Supernal's longest song and completely goes against P:N's initial format. It lurches and crawls over the seven-minute runtime like some mechanized, howling horror. The synths melt beneath Domignostika's shrieks and cries. In fact, his vocals may be the blackest part of this track—well, that and the dread this track inherently instills.
I sat down with Domignostika to discuss Pandiscordian Necrogenesis and talk about the project's new album, Outer Supernal. Find an exclusive stream of "Hidden Supernal" at the conclusion of the interview. Also, be sure to pre-order the new album from Gilead Media.
Metal Injection: You have your hands in a number of very exciting metal projects, many of them black metal. Between Pale Chalice, Mastery, Ulthar, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis, and Apprentice Destroyer, how do you decide when to pick up a project or put one down at a given time?
Ephemeral Domignostika: I make it a priority to continue with what currently feels the most inspiring and constructive. At this point, all of these projects have clearly determined roles from a compositional and performance standpoint, and I try to find which conveys the proper language at the time. Mastery has moved along with my musical evolution the most often, being my longest active project. Pandiscordian Necrogenesis is not far behind this; it shifts focus/genres almost schizophrenically within a record, but it’s physical limitations always require a more practical approach. Apprentice Destroyer is another new project, which has taken my love of 70’s krautrock/electronic music and provides an outlet for that.
Of course, this is not to say they don’t influence one another; the voracity of Mastery rubs off on P:N; the electronics of A:D seep into both; each projects strength can be an interesting reaction against another's. Having this many projects can help channel any external influences in a proper place.
Metal Injection: I remember learning who you were and your music when Mastery’s Valis came out. I was almost taken back with how technical and frenetic it was. Now hearing Pandiscordian Necrogenesis’ Outer Supernal and the dizzying music you’ve made under this moniker, I was curious to know what your musical background is. Do you have formal training in music or did you teach yourself a lot of what you know today?
Ephemeral Domignostika: I’ve never had any formal training; all my theory has been self-taught through obsessive practice and general music devouring. Black metal was fully responsible for planting the seed to play every instrument, and 70’s progressive rock responsible for wading through everything else in between. I don’t have much of a genre filter and still look for any harmonic/meter theory I can find useful and challenging.
Metal Injection: Pandiscordian Necrogenesis is a unique entity. Everything is completely improvised, and you play every instrument at once, what sort of unique challenges does this project present compared to other bands you’re a part of? Outside of the obvious ones, I suppose.
Ephemeral Domignostika: It’s a demanding project in all regards. Nearly everything is inverted from a traditional band atmosphere, but overall it’s simply a different challenge. Any special requirements for self-recording, bringing the required amount of gear/particular set up needed at a live show, and the physical demand of its performance all become unique considerations, but enough preparation has been implemented for it to act as an easily variable band.
There are obvious pros, as well. I’m my only bandmate, and it’s a lot easier committing to a show, or a tour, than a full band.
Metal Injection: Let’s talk a little about Outer Supernal. It’s your second release this year (following Eigenwelt). How does this new record differ from either Eigenwelt or other previous releases?
Ephemeral Domignostika: This material differs quite a bit from previous recordings; an improved drum set up (more double pedals/hi-hat), re-amped guitars, etc. Eigenwelt was an archival recording that was released in part in 2014 but hadn’t come to fruition until now. There is also another album culled from the same sessions as the Eigenwelt material, which I’ll release sometime next year.
Outer Supernal is an extensive progression for P:N. The songs represent a great expanse of styles left unexplored in previous albums, from more frenetic speeds to plodding doom tempos; myriad filthy guitar forms, and scattered ambient entanglements. It also keeps within its roots of raw home recording, although this is the first time a finished P:N recording has been taken into a proper studio for mixing, re-amping, and sound mastering.
The title Outer Supernal was chosen to convey the meaning of the album as a whole; a grueling impulsive exercise of impersonal annihilation and filth alignment.
Metal Injection: Is there some celestial idea or notion to the album’s meaning of a grueling impulsive exercise of impersonal annihilation and filth alignment? Given the track and album names.
Ephemeral Domignostika: Absolutely. Outer Supernal was the most difficult P:N album to make yet, and the growth of material is reflected in the titles. The method of creation is completely exhausting, and sometimes without an engaging enough result. Being completely spontaneous, a torrent is recorded, a torrent is thrown away, and anything that remains is final. The album and track titles refer to this egregious state of hypnotic creation; an ego stretched/egoless painful cascade.
Metal Injection: How does “Hidden Supernal,” in particular differ either sonically or conceptually on Outer Supernal? What makes it one of your favorite tracks from the album?
Ephemeral Domignostika: The song “Hidden Supernal,” and later “Depth Ascension,” exhibits an unfamiliar side of P:N. Where earlier records offered rapid speed deviations and perpetual evolving melodies, a slower, dirgy compositional structure began to emerge within the live performances. In contrast to other songs with a damaged, accelerated stream of riffs, "Hidden Supernal" remains more meditative, crawling and deliberately unchanging.
This has become my favorite from the album because its style and dragged composition plainly exhibits the instantly evolving nature of the project; a complete collapsing contrast bred out of an antithetical outset from itself.
Metal Injection: I, unfortunately, haven’t been able to see you live on your recent tour and festival appearance. Are your live performances also completely improvised then? Or are you playing previously recorded improvised material?
Ephemeral Domignostika: Everything is improvised in the live sets as well. This is essential to the project, as it keeps me well practiced, requires a higher level of preparation, and offers instant criticism. New areas are easier to explore through live improvisation, which is not as immediate when recording alone.
There can be definite downsides, as live spontaneity is a completely different form than a well-rehearsed set. Along with that, if you are a looking forward to hearing a song off a record, that’s not going to happen, which could be a bit frustrating. I’ve been playing with the idea of learning a few to throw into the set, especially these new slower ones, but as of now, there are no plans.