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"Grishjärta" by Nattramn

Grishjärta is the first book both from the demented world of Nattramn and from the Publisher Humani Animali Liberati.  Nattramn is a familiar face (or in some photos, the lack thereof) in the realm of black metal, having now notoriously fronted the Swedish project Silencer for only one album in “Death – Pierce me”.  The mythology surrounding the figure has it that he was institutionalized which led to the departure of Silencer all together as the sole other members, Leere, joined Shining for a short time.  Much past this point is unknown other than Nattramn re-emerged with a death industrial / dark ambient project by the name of Diagnose: Lebensgefahr in 2007, releasing — again — one album entitled “Transformalin” through Ominous Recordings and then Autopsy Kitchen Records before falling back into the distant shadows.  His silence was disturbingly familiar, however, this time it only took four years before he once again re-emerged, this time abandoning music all together in favor of art in the visual and literary form through poetry and frantic, sometimes seemingly automatic writing that describes a mind every bit as torn as the famous photographs and mythology that surround him.

Grishjärta is thus Nattramn’s first attempt at really speaking to the world from beyond his depressive screams — or perhaps he isn’t really speaking to the world at all, but rather violently lashing out in his own way.  Grishjärta simply stands for “Pig’s Heart”, and even through reading the poetry found within, it is difficult to deconstruct exactly what Nattramn is thinking as a whole with this name.  It may be of interest, however, that a pig’s heart is the closest in the animal kingdom to that of the human anatomy, so in a way it would seem that Nattramn is voicing the opinion that the human heart is as fickle as a pig’s in the cliche view of the animal; greedy, hungry, filthy, and insatiably thirsty to consume more.  However, this book isn’t a social commentary on Nattramn’s views of the surrounding world.  No, his thoughts are much too introverted to get into political subjects.  Rather, what Nattramn has attempted to do with this book — outside of collecting his poetry and lyrics from the past fifteen years — is give the reader a path towards evolution or de-evolution back into the bestial mindset.  So much so that poems like “Striving for Brotherhood” insist on the freedom of the individual through the achievement of animistic reprogramming and the lack of need for companionship, comradeship, or community.

The poems in this book range everywhere from suicidal considerations and blatant mental breakdowns to finding freedom from various means of enslavement on every level of being, physical, emotional and mental.  Certain poems are subjects that have been talked about and covered so thoroughly in black metal through their depressive writhing that they can be compared to songs by other artists.  For example, “Attempts and Temptations” is so close in theme to Woods of Ypres’ “Allure of the Earth” that it’s uncanny.  Other writings like “Christ is Asleep on a Distant Planet” can be so absurdly visceral that they border on psychedelic experiences.  Yet others still are straight forward and frighteningly serious to the point that they feel as if they’ve come from some cosmic psychic connection with the troubled minds of others like his late fellow Swede Jon Nödtveidt (R.I.P.). The length of these poems is equally as variable, stretching from full two-page ramblings to four line whispers and back to the numeric weirdness of “Numeric Circle”.

It doesn’t appear as if Nattramn is appearing to be a savior of sorts.  Rather he would seem to simply be reminding us of our roots through those poems meant for others, and desperately wishing for freedom from his skin-bag vessel when the time is right in others.  The illustrations that have been included from Costin Chioreanu perfectly represent this hinting at various re-occuring subjects from the freeing of the spirit and mind from the body both literally in death and metaphorically through knowledge, the understanding of the Jungian shadow, the cosmic and everlasting nature of the spirit, and seemingly inescapable mental solitude.  The last poem, “Pigfaced Messiah” spells it out perfectly — our newfound technological ego, our confident stride as a civilized society, constantly pushing against the way of nature for our own arrogant interests.  The writing is begging us to realize what we have become and destroy the enemy — our own individual and collective ego.  In the end, “Grishjärta” is every bit as depressive as it is uplifting and excruciatingly honest.  However, as poetry, what you take from it will largely be from your own perception, especially with a strange mind like Nattramn’s behind the pen.

Article by: Sage
Book Author: Nattramn
Publisher: Humani Animali Liberati (SWE) / HAL001
Pages: Not Numbered
File Under:  Poetry / Art
Type: Paperback
Limitation: 100 copies (Paperback), 200 copies (Hardcover)

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