Like black metal, occultism is a realm that has been co-opted by the far-right over the years, stretching back to suggestions of esotericism, ariosophy and even satanism within Hitler’s Nazi Party that have taken root not only as a source of debate among historians but as a cultural trope seen in the likes of 1981 film Raiders Of The Lost Ark, the Wolfenstein video games and the Hellboy comic series and its subsequent adaptations. It’s a shame that occultism has had its reputation tarnished in this way, because there is another aspect it shares with black metal: its innate strength as a potential medium of resistance.
German outfit Elurra are well aware of this fact, and have spent their nine years of existence thus far setting out their stall as wielders of both raw black metal and the power of the arcane. Their merch includes a “résistance occulte” patch, a slogan which has almost become their mantra, summing up their music and latest album Die Herrschaft der Sonne in particular. The record is the ultimate culmination of their music to date – rough and antagonistic with serrated riffs that cut with all the grace of a rusted chainsaw, but with an unmistakable sense of scope and an ear for an enchanting melody that cuts through the aggression to pull at something more poignant. The album’s title-track in particular is an absolute triumph.
Manipulators of both the black flag and the black flame, Elurra deserve your attention. If you’re a black metal fan who’s yet to check them out, you owe it to yourself to set that right.
Die Herrschaft der Sonne is out now. Order here.
Words: George Parr