Dzö-nga – Above The Night-Enveloped World


I’ve argued, or at least maintained, for a decade that black metal is the

most Catholic of all musical genres. People have always laughed it off as

another bit or anecdote I throw into conversations to be obscure. It was,

in fact, a revelation. I thought, and think, people should know.

To label something Catholic may be confusing. The intricacies of Catholic

magic elude most people – most “grimoires” require consecrated materials –

but black metal, on the other hand, is widely enjoyed by millions. Is this

yet another Catholic plot to influence vulnerable minds?

I’m joking, of course. However, black metal traditionally reinforces all

of the classical tropes of the “demonic” or “satanic”. Not only do Satan-

ists and Setians aschew such cariacatures – and the initial black metal

musicians eschewed the Setians and Satanists … – but the media eats the

shit up.

“Metal Satan” is a fantasy akin to a wrestling persona. The result is mo-

st black metal is so outrageous and puerile that no one takes it serious-

ly. And why should they? What DO people take seriously, after all? Music,

sadly, is appreciated in a largely unconscious manner.

I am in the odd position of having to think about music. I also have to l-

ook for music. “Research” music. I do that anyway. I stopped trying to, a-

s Jello Biafra suggested, “Become The Media”. Subversion or assimilation?

Black Metal. Sure, it is the most Catholic of all genres. But, a few years

ago I flashed on a new revelation: Surf Music. Black Metal is a deranged

variant of surf music. Which is odd.

John Zorn introduced me to the idea that surf music – a track like “Miserl-

ou” being one of the best, and conveniently most popular, examples – is a

deranged variant of Jewish wedding music. Shredding guitar with klezemer

modalities. Again, this is odd.

Black Metal was initially tied in not only with satanism, but neo-nazism &

nationalism. This, obviously, presents a contradiction. The most extreme m-

usic genre – the most evil and threatening form of all – with a history of

arson, terror and chaos is, in fact, jewish wedding music. Odd, right?

This is why people shouldn’t think. It is hard to appreciate morsels such

as this without feeling demoralized in some way. Like you’ve been conned.

I, on the other hand, owe my appreciation for the genre to weird ideas li-

ke this.

Dzo Nga is an older band. They say their name derives from a Tibetan moun-

tain demon. Interestingly enough, Tibetan doesn’t have umlauts. Meaning t-

he name was translated into German. We won’t go down that rabbit hole, but

there is something to be gleamed from that if you, dear reader, are so in-


The voices in the material are haunting. Beautiful. Often, metal attempts

to represent the demonic and untamed, elemental, forces of nature. Most a-

re incapable of getting past the voice. That isn’t a problem here.

I put ideas out into the cosmos, and more often than not I see direct res-

ults. There is so much work to be done it would be impossible to complete

it alone. If you set realistic goals and complete them logically, one-by-

one, step-by-step you can bring the impossible into existence.

The church organ presented here reinforces my initial point. Structurally,

the music is vast and imposing. The sounds are muffled. Thick reverb. It

resembles sound performed in cathedral. The bells, the steeple, suggest m-

y tulpic revelation has successfully transmitted to other minds.

I’ve brought this point up to everyone I know, at some point. But, I have

never brought up the connection to surf music. I doubt I am the ONLY one

to have considered this. Clearly, Dzo Nga has incorporated the klezmer m-

odalities I mentioned above.

I wonder some times. At one point the guitar is captured – clean tone, w-

ith reverb – and so closely resembles surf music it couldn’t be a coinci-

dence. But, what if it is a coincidence? Playing a musical form, acciden-

tally… I doubt it.

These cats are adept. Transcendant materials. I listened to it walking t-

hrough a foot of snow in a large field. A snowstorm – what the fuck is “T-

hundersnow”? – in the early hours of the morning. It was a powerful and b-

eautiful experience.

I recommend it.

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