In the past five years, a collective of underground artists under the banner of the Eurasian Artists Association has been gaining traction within the post-industrial scene, with Sol Mutti’s TSIDMZ being the flagship project. Originally focused on harsher, atomic-noise industrialism, TSIDMZ has evolved since their earliest offerings, embracing other styles of music such as neofolk, ambient, neoclassical, and military pop. This evolution is no doubt due to the influence from the many collaborators TSIDMZ has partnered with since its inception.
The latest album from TSIDMZ, René Guénon et la tradition primordiale, concludes a trilogy of albums exploring a Euro-Asiatic theme. Released in the spring of 2015 on Old Europa Café, René Guénon… completes the cycle that began with 2012’s Pax Deorum Hominumque and 2013’s Ungern von Sternberg Khan. While Pax Deorum Hominumque was a general album of Eurasian themes and ideologies, both Ungern von Sternberg Khan and René Guénon… instead focus on specific historical individuals. Ungern von Sternberg Khan is a warrior’s album, dedicated to Russian warlord and adventurer Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, who liberated Mongolia from China in 1921 before being captured and executed by Russia’s Red Army later that year. Conversely, René Guénon et la tradition primordiale is the polar opposite of Ungern…—a mystic’s album devoted to French traditionalist and intellectual René Guénon.
Adoration and exploration of writers and thinkers permeate the underground scene, with many bands dedicating songs, entire albums, or appearing on themed compilations to express their interests. Ernst Jünger has been a popular subject along with Julius Evola, Emil Cioran, and many others. With René Guénon…, TSIDMZ tackles a new personality who has influenced projects within the Eurasianist sector of the post-industrial underground, yet whose work has not been overtly explored via songs or albums as others’ have. For Mutti, Guénon is “the most important thinker and exponent in Traditionalist thinking.” He recognizes that the French author, who eventually turned to Sufism, had a profound influence on his own personal development. He explains his high esteem as such:
“Guénon (like Evola and other Traditionalist authors) was and still is a pillar, and is the most clear and holistic author that I have ever read. He is able to speak about God, about the most ‘unexplainable’ and metaphysical things with a unique coherence and with the most simple yet deep words. Guénon, unlike the majority of authors that dealt with spirituality, offers a scientific approach in his studies; with a constant and strong logic, he always proves the higher religious and metaphysical topics and concepts. First of all, however, there is this most important topic: the doctrine of the Unity. Guénon is the most important, organic, holistic, and coherent author, and he fully dealt with spirituality, religions, and metaphysics in the most deep, exhaustive, and scientific way. He gives answers.”
If Guénon provides answers, then Mutti aims to present this knowledge through the tracks featured on this album. All of the lyrics on the album are lifted directly from Guénon’s own works—either verbatim or slightly rearranged—and are delivered in a dramatic spoken-word style via numerous guest musicians. TSIDMZ’s trademark collaboration approach is on full display here, with appearances by Barbarossa Umtrunk, Gregorio Bardini, Hoplites, L’effet C’Est Moi, Lorenzo Gasparella, Porta Vittoria, Sonnenkind, Stefania Domizia, and the Wyrm. Most of these collaborators are Eurasian artists themselves and have been present on other TSIDMZ compositions. In an interview from 2014 with our own Yannis H., Mutti spoke of the importance of the multi-collaborative approach as it keeps the compositions from being boring while providing an avenue for new ideas which would lead to an enrichment of style.
For a TSIDMZ album, the style of music on René Guénon… is extremely subdued, especially when compared to the prior offering of Ungern von Sternberg Khan. In Ungern…, the music was abrasive and bombastic with many songs ending with an unnerving static noise. This style, of course, complements the subject matter presented on Ungern…: a harsh personality begets harsh music, a style where TSIDMZ excels. For René Guénon…, TSIDMZ embraces a lighter, more accessible sound, as the majority of tracks on the album lean heavily on the neoclassical end of the spectrum.
“Ost und West” is the sole bombastic track on René Guénon…, driven by a menacing, pounding war drum that punctuates a rapid speech given by Sonnenkind. The vocal delivery and martial quality of the song makes it seem like a lost track from Von Thronstahl‘s E Pluribus Unum, akin to the track “Fahnenträger.”
Barbarossa Umtrunk, a veteran of many TSIDMZ collaborations, appears on two René Guénon… tracks, “La crise du monde moderne” and “La vérité totale.” Uncharacteristic of Umtrunk, both compositions are not martial at all but are spoken words over ethnic sounds and chants. Umtrunk’s greatest strength has always been his bombastic martial might, as he is one of the better martial-industrial acts on the scene currently. Prior tracks with TSIDMZ, “Avatara in Eurasia (Yeni Ceri Mix)” from Pax Deorum Hominumque and “The Fourth Political Theory” from Ungern von Sternberg Khan showcase the TSIDMZ/Umtrunk partnership at its best. The end results for both tracks on René Guénon… are acceptable and fit with the overall sound of the album, but one cannot help but feel that Umtrunk is out of his comfort zone.
Porta Vittoria makes a welcome appearance on René Guénon… as well. Their track “Simbolos de la ciencia sagrada” sounds like an accompanying piece to their prior collaboration with TSIDMZ, “Spiritual Struggle” on Ungern… as both songs sound mystical, like forgotten tombs being opened by nervous priests.
The best track on René Guénon… is easily the instrumental “Le démiurge.” This is a timeless piece; it sounds like it could be a soundscape from Cairo’s ancient past, during Guénon’s time in Cairo during the 1930s, or even perhaps the present day. The song conjures up images of bazaars, street-corner magicians, vendors of street food, crowds hustling to and fro in the roads, and chiming temples. If you have a fetishized, idealistic vision of an adventurous Cairo, this song is the soundtrack to it.
As with prior TSIDMZ offerings on Old Europa Café, René Guénon… receives the digipak treatment with a limited run of three-hundred copies. The cover depicts Guénon juxtaposed against the Eurasian Artists Association cross-symbol, indicating the influence of Guénon on the artists and movement. The digipak lacks lyrics or other texts for the album as these were offered separately as five different cards designed by Raimondo Gaviano, who records as the power electronics band Svart1.
The neoclassical sounds make René Guénon et la tradition primordiale TSIDMZ’s best offering yet. The shift from abrasive, atomic industrialism shows the project evolving while still being successful, honing that distinctive, canonical TSIDMZ sound. For folks who cannot speak the various languages presented on René Guénon…, they will still be able to appreciate the neoclassical experience. For those that can understand the lyrics, Sol Mutti would hope that he could impart some of Guénon’s philosophy in an accessible way.
01) Ewigkeit im saltarello
03) Ost und West
04) La crise du monde moderne
05) Simbolos de la ciencia sagrada
06) La vérité totale
07) La rosa e il cuore
08) Le démiurge
09) Estasi divina