What appeared as monolithic and impenetrable at first, gradually revealed itself to be layers and layers of sheer curtain, billowing in the wind. On contact, these curtains ignited the nerves, burning like blood-and-semen-soaked shirt of Nessus, the shirt that poisoned and killed Hercules. Because of this venom, it was impossible to touch the curtains, impossible to draw them away, impossible to see what shone so blindingly bright from behind them.
"Desire for a Holy War" - is it a desire to wage a holy war or is it a self-destructive desire to be invaded, pillaged and burned by hordes of religious fanatics? Or is it a desire to contemplate from a distance the whole of the blood-soaked battlefield, like Georges Bataille meditated upon a photograph of Fou Tchou-Li suffering execution by Leng T'che (“death by a thousand cuts”) on April 10th 1905. “I never stopped being obsessed by this image of pain, at the same time ecstatic and intolerable.”
"Desire for a Holy War" is one of the most inaccessible releases of Matthew Bower's long-running band Skullflower: the music consists of so many superimposed strata of noise that musical structure is no longer audible. Every riff is churned up again and again; tones are uprooted from their harmonies, smashed, and ground to mere sound particles, notes blown to bits and turned to dust; musical forms are leveled and the sound field turned into a desert. "Desire for a Holy War" seethes like a gigantic cauldron. The music is sheer pandemonium.
Nonetheless, after repeated exposures it becomes somewhat possible to distinguish one layer of noise from another. Then, one vaguely discerns shapes in the clouds of smoke and dust that hang over the Metalfield. One hears hypertrophied ostinati, riffs of bloated triumph, hysterical heroism, over-stimulated, over-blown muscularity, chords like bloodthirsty gymnasts overdosed on anabolic steroids and amphetamines, bleeding violently from their rectums.
"For, at Shangri-La as in other pro gyms, the use of anabolic steroids and assorted human growth hormones is both commonplace and massive, as are their resultant physical ailments, from premature baldness (...), bouts of diarrhoea and increased body hair, to spells of dizziness and chronic rectal bleeding (...)."
From: Loïc J.D. Wacquant, "Why Men Desire Muscles", in 'Body & Society', volume 1, number 1, March 1995, Sage Publications.
"The terrestrial globe is covered with volcanoes, which serve as its anus."
From: Georges Bataille, 'The Solar Anus'.
"Hört Ihr nicht, wie er aus tausend Städten brüllt, wie rings Gewitter uns umtürmen wie damals, als der Ring der Schlachten uns umschloß? Seht Ihr nicht, wie seine Flamme aus den Augen eines jedes einzelnen glüht? Manchmal wohl schläft er, doch wenn die Erde bebt, entspritzt er kochend allen Vulkanen."
"Do you not hear, how War roars out of a thousand cities, how thunderstorms tower around us, like once the circle of battlefields surrounded us? Do you not see, how its flames glow from the eyes of every single one? Sometimes War may sleep, but when the earth shakes, it erupts all volcanoes."
Ernst Jünger, "Der Kampf als inneres Erlebnis" (1922)