There was a time in the early days of Heathen Harvest when extreme metal was not yet a focus on our pages. I had only just recently joined up in order to bring coverage of the contemporary black metal scene to the ‘zine, and in those days online PR campaigns were an idea that was in its infancy. Earsplit PR led the way for that now overcrowded part of the industry to form, and among their first clients was a small Minnesota-based imprint called God Is Myth Records, helmed by one Todd Paulson, and along with my own Ohio-local old-school metal master Rob Hames and his work over at Ars Magna Recordings, it wasn’t long before their combined efforts as Canis Dirus came to light for me. Sadly, God Is Myth flickered out in 2010 and it wasn’t long before Canis Dirus followed in 2012 as presumably Paulson became accustomed to fatherhood.
Now in 2019, a new EP has emerged on the band’s BandCamp profile, titled Das Leben ist fur die Lebenden, der Tod ist fur Alle, absolutely out of the blue and to little or no fanfare. Their Instagram account seems to hint at a larger project being worked at behind the scenes as well, but for now, get yourself a dose of nostalgia and check out the new EP here. More from the band:
“Das Leben ist fur die Lebenden, der Tod ist fur Alle (translates from German to English as Life Is for the Living, Death Is for All) was brought about as a bit of a primer to reintroduce Canis Dirus to the world in front of our impending new full-length album.
“This digital-only EP consists of two previously unreleased tracks from the A Somber Wind from a Distant Shore recording sessions and spans just over twenty minutes of music. The title track is an epic, atmospheric black metal song that would fit nicely alongside either of the first two Canis Dirus albums (released on Moribund Records). However, it also stands up all on its own which is why we have now made this song available. The EP is rounded out by an acoustic version of the song ‘Garden of Death,’ which originally appears on the debut album A Somber Wind… Main songwriter Todd Paulson first composed this song on acoustic guitar which makes this an easy choice to offer it up in its original sonic incarnation. While these two songs are certainly not new, they are new to the public and the band is very fond of how these tracks have turned out, complete with brand new mixes and mastering.
“A side note on the song ‘Garden of Death’: This music was inspired by the tragic events which happened in 2007 in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota where one Steve Posniak, a lifelong wilderness lover and frequent traveler to the BWCA, spent a week camping alone in the wilderness. Mr Posniak started a campfire at his campsite. It’s unclear exactly what happened shortly after, but soon the woods were ablaze. Posniak tried dousing the fire but high winds and drought-like conditions made the attempt futile. The blaze raged on for two weeks and crossed over into Canada. 75,000 acres of woodland and more than 140 buildings were destroyed. When it was all said and done, Mr. Posniak was charged with one felony and two misdemeanors for starting the blaze. As a nature enthusiast and lover of the wilderness he was so distraught about not only the destruction he caused but the crimes and punishment he faced, Posniak took his own life with a shotgun. To this day, the landscape in the area of the fire is forever changed but the cycle of life and the renewal of Mother Earth is beginning to once again take hold.”