Mark Carpowich 1 p.m., Feb. 27
Genre: Metal | Hardcore
Sound description: Entry-level black metal, for those too young for Slayer but too old for King Diamond.
RIYL: King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Slayer, costume parties
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- Blurt · Feb. 8, 2007
Inception: San Diego, 1994
Current Status: Two Crimson Moons are both using the name, at least for now. Dueling MySpace pages are titled “crimsonmoon666” (Nocturnal Overlord) and “crimsonmoonofficial” (Scorpios).
Influences: King Diamond, Entombed, Dio, Mercyful Fate, Kiss, Deicide, Slayer, H.P. Lovecraft, WWF wrestling, Halloween costumes
With their Kiss-like makeup and occult lyrics, Crimson Moon released their first recording in 1994, though they never performed live until 2006.
The dark metal band is comprised of two members and a drum machine. Bassist/vocalist/lyricist Scorpios and his bandmate Nocturnal Overlord (guitars, keyboards, drum programming) wear King Diamond/Kiss-style Kabuki makeup -- whiteface with black patches curling and dripping around their eyes and mouths to present a patina of WWF-level ferocity. They first surfaced in San Diego in 1994 with a self-titled demo release, followed by 1995's Into the Nocturnal Forest demo collection, earning both praise and notoriety for their straightforward and straight-faced obsession with all things occult.
Scorpios is a well-read and fascinating character who writes lengthy, learned manifestos on lucid dreaming, medieval theology, and astral projection which he posts on websites (www.geocities.com/kthuluproductions) and emails to fans by request. In songs like "The Stormbringer," Scorpios seems to be reading incantation spells direct from some arcane text, summoning "creatures of darkness and hatred" and intoning "For I have consumed the blood that lives forever more, the blood of the Draconis, I drink the blood, the hate of Kingu rages on, the furious tempest unleashes black storms and the chaos crawls beyond the stars, to unleash fury amongst the blackened earth."
The end passage of "Raise the Horns of Battle," after praising the destruction of churches and synagogues and the murder of Jews and Jesuits, includes conjurations to the unholy trinity of Lucifer, Beelzebuth, and Astaroth, each ending with a cheeky "Amen."
Crimson Moon's 1996 debut CD To Embrace the Vampyric Blood (Abyss Productions) contained nine tracks and was recorded on a four-track machine, as was a 1997 rehearsal performed with a third player on synthesizers, Khaija Ausar; this was later circulated as an "unofficial release" called "Under the Serpentine Spell." With no new material and no stage performances over the ensuing years, it seemed the group had disbanded, but Nocturnal Overlord says Crimson Moon has recorded an album archiving all the music they have done to date, including re-recordings of their demos plus three unreleased songs.
"My lyrics in Crimson Moon are occult based and not from a horror movie or fiction book," according to Scorpios. "It is not an image. It is what we do and we will not change this because it is getting too trendy or too hated, etc. We do this for ourselves." He says he rarely reads fiction and especially hates "vampire novels," but admits his lyrics are often inspired from arcane mythology. "I have studied the myths, magick and lore of not only Sumerian but Babylonian mythology as well. When I say study, I mean going further than just reading and practicing rituals from the Necronomicon. I have another ritual/acoustic project totally devoted to the dieties of Sumeria/Babylonia called 'Akrabu.'"
He seems so sincere, it's simply buzzkill to point out that the Necronomicon is a fictional invention of 20th-century gothic writer H.P. Lovecraft and texts purporting to have originated in this tome are of recent construct or from other sources entirely.
Discussing his views about Christianity versus Satanism on the San Diego Metal website(www.geocities.com/s_b_resistor/local.html), Scorpios said "They are actually very similar in many ways and they both need each other to exist! Satanism is not what I am into. I have studied much about it but it is basically a Judeo-Christian mutation of a religion. I prefer to go back much further in history to seek information." Scorpios is familiar with The Satanic Bible, written by Anton Szandor LaVey (who formed the Church of Satan in 1966), but doesn't align himself with the philosophies set forth in this notorious book.
"If you read Ragnar Redbeard's book Might Is Right, which came out much before LaVey was around, it is interesting to see how many of the same ideas LaVey had! I don't consider his form of Satanism to be true Satanism. To me, true Satanism is a form of devil worship, not psychology. The Church of Satan is not much different than any other church, perhaps a bit more honest. They still feed off their followers' money."
Scorpios wraps up his commentary with an unctuous grab for the wallets of his own followers -- "May chaos reign, and contact Nocturnal Overlord for merchandise (shirts, long sleeves, cds stickers, new promo tape, etc.)."
After all, ancient scrolls, eyes of newt, and faux Necronomicons don't come cheap!
As of early 2007, core members Scorpios (bass, vocals, lyrics) and Nocturnal Overlord (guitars, keyboards, drum programming) have split and are now battling over the band name, especially after Overlord announced an impending new CM album (sans Scorpios). “[This] material was recorded between 1997-2000 solely by Overlord on a portable four-track and with an old drum machine,” reads a post on Overlord’s MySpace page.
“Overlord was kicked out [of Crimson Moon] in September 2006,” according to Scorpios. “This [new CM album] is another one of Overlord's desperate attempts to cause confusion…just because Overlord played in Crimson Moon in the past and decided to steal the logo, name, artwork, and concepts that are beyond his limits of understanding, bought out a bunch of domain names and made a MySpace page, doesn't change the fact that he was, and will forever remain, kicked out of the band.”
Scorpios has grouped with three others (including a synthesizer player from previous CM recordings) for his own version of CM, with its own new album in progress. “Overlord was not even a member of Crimson Moon when it started in 1994 and released the debut self-titled demo,” he says.
Replies Overlord, “In actuality, Scorpios was released from Crimson Moon in 2006, and has gone around making a fuss, and started childish Internet drama ever since. He has even gone as far as to steal artwork, image files, HTML coding, avatars, sound files…[it’s] simply pathetic, and there is no need to explain why he was kicked out. I won’t waste any more time on this.”