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Fahrenheit V13

Farenheit V13: Black Metallers Nixil Discuss Essential Reading, Cookery Books, and Favourite Genres

In this Fahrenheit V13, Maryland black metallers Nixil take us for a journey into their extensive book collections. Read the interview here.



Nixil, photo by Shane K. Gardener

Recent Prosthetic Records signings, Maryland-based black metal band Nixil drop their sophomore album, From the Wound Spilled Forth Fire, on August 25th.

Discussing the album, the band said: “From the Wound Spilled Forth Fire is the manifestation of will of five individuals in collaboration, clawing toward catharsis and escape from the oppressive grasp of this rotting society. It is about finding power through adversity and the increase of spirit that can be gained through the intentional death of what our feeble human minds perceive as ‘Self.’ It is also a magickal act, containing hymns of rebellion and strength in honour of the teachers and muses along the ever-winding path toward liberation.”

Away from pushing the boundaries of extreme music through their band, the individual members have a passion for the written word as well. In our latest Fahrenheit V13 feature, we dig into the subject with the band to find out their favourite genres, essential reads and memorable books.

Before you delve into the conversation, check out their new video for “Abyss Unto Abyss.”

Graphic novels and comics have enjoyed mainstream crossover thanks in no small part to the cinematic universes of Marvel and DC. Do you enjoy graphic novels or comics? Any particular titles that stand out as favourites?

Key: “The stories that sealed my fate as a graphic novel fan forevermore was Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Sandman.’ I was drawn deeply into those dark and fantastical stories by their interweaving of different mythologies and lore as well as the nods to various underground subcultures. Although the artists collaborating with Gaiman changed over time, I think it only added to the dream-like quality of the visual aspects of storytelling to see different people’s interpretations of his words. It’s also worth mentioning ‘Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron’ by Daniel Clowes and ‘Black Hole’ by Charles Burns, both for their overwhelmingly unhinged and deranged characters that shake the reader’s grip on reality.”

Nixil's Aurora Farhenheit V13 Photo

Nixil’s Aurora Fahrenheit V13 Photo

Most people seem to have a cookbook that was either passed down or gifted that has stood the test of time, and remains a fixture in their collection: do you have such a book? How did you come by it?

Key: “I was a professional cook for around 20 years and consumed cookbooks with the same voracity as the cuisines depicted inside them. The one cookbook that stands atop all the others in my life is ‘The Flavor Bible’ by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. This is not a traditional cookbook in the sense that it doesn’t contain recipes per se but instead provides a comprehensive and alphabetical listing of food ingredients, and the ingredients that pair well with them. To me, this teaches the aspiring cook to not just replicate a dish but to hone their intuition as they assemble a meal. Absolutely essential in my professional and home kitchens!”

What is the longest book you’ve ever read? Did you enjoy it despite its length?

Key:Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ was the longest series I’ve made it through, and it was well worth the time and effort. That said, I think it would most be enjoyed by readers who are already fans of the author as it contains characters, themes, and worlds from his other stories in addition to the larger world unfolding through its seven main books and ‘Wind Through the Key Hole.’ Because the series was written over the course of many decades, the reader can detect the subtle – and not so subtle – differences in King’s writing style as it evolved both professionally and because of his personal growth.”

Have you read any musical biographies? If so, any favourites?

Aurora: Over the pandemic, I fell pretty deep into reading musical biographies; it was (sort of) filling the space that was left by not being able to attend shows or go and nerd out about music with other folks. I have a personal policy of not meeting artists who have been hugely impactful on me after having a couple of really disappointing experiences, but I’m glad to say that there was only one musician whose autobiography really put me off their music after reading; largely, reading these books just made me more ravenous to go back and look for the hidden clues that were alluded to in their stories.

“The biographies that I love the most are definitely David J’s ‘Who Killed Mister Moonlight,’ Genesis Breyer P-Orridge’s ‘Non-Binary’ (and also ‘Sacred Intent,’ though that is much less about h/er experiences in music specifically), Warren Ellis’ ‘Nina Simone’s Gum,’ and Dave Dictor’s ‘Memoir From a Damaged Civilization.’ Honorable mention to Tod A’s novel, ‘Banging the Monkey,’ which felt like a Firewater (and sometimes Cop Shoot Cop) song in prose – CSC is one of my longest-standing favorite bands, so it was amazing to feel that charge again.

“All of Lydia Lunch’s books are fantastic and perverse in the best way; though fictionalized, her “true” voice is so present that I had to include her here. I recently got my hands on Kid Congo’s and Viv Albertine’s memoirs, as well as ‘Faith, Hope and Carnage’ by Nick Cave, and am really excited to dig into those.”

Nixil ‘From The Wound Spilled Forth Fire’ Album Artwork

Nixil ‘From The Wound Spilled Forth Fire’ Album Artwork

Who are your favourite writers?

Aurora:Jeanette Winterson has written some of the most beautiful words I’ve ever read; I’ve gifted ‘Written on the Body’ and ‘The Powerbook’ to folks more than almost anything else. I read Kiese Laymon’s ‘Heavy’ last year, and it still gives me chills when I think about it, so he feels important to mention, even though his work is a new addition to this list for me; same with Ocean Vuong. Kate Bornstein has written both fiction and non-fiction, which was genuinely lifesaving when I was younger in helping me understand and come to terms with my fluctuating gender and identity. Bell Hooks was integral to my radicalization on multiple levels, and her words still give me gut punches of insight.

“Carlos Castaneda’s books were a launching point for my spiritual journey, however that may be defined; whether his experiences were fiction or fact, I still appreciate his stories and the sense of curiosity they ignite. I don’t tend to follow publishers, but I bought almost everything that Contagion Press put out on their first run; ‘Be Gay Do Crime’ by the Mary Nardini Gang is an absolute must-read.”

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? What’s your preferred genre?

C: “I prefer non-fiction. I primarily read books based in the occult, “alternative” spirituality, and dark magick/mysticism. I tend to pick up most anything published by Ixaxaar; their binding is beautiful, and they’re very picky about subject matter, so the books they put out are highly specialized and usually specifically oriented to anticosmic and chaos gnostic magick. There are currently a small handful of other publishers that also do great work (Fall of Man, Aeon Sophia, etc.), and I will pretty much always pick up their titles as well; it could be said that I have a bit of a book buying problem. I rarely read fiction books at this point but when I do, I read H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, Clark Ashton Smith, and other authors of cosmic horror.”

What is the book that has made the most impact on you as a person?

C: “This is a difficult answer as I take in so much. I would say that, spiritually, the ‘Book of Sitra Achra’ and the ‘Liber Falxifer’ series have been extremely important to me. (Anti)politically, I would say ‘Endgame’ by Derrick Jensen has made a huge impact on me; despite him turning out to be a Maoist TERF and all-around terrible person, the ‘Endgame’ books contain important wisdom and information (definitely not at all involved with or connected to the two political idiocies stated above). ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley was an obsession in my formative years. It helped me come to terms with my own feelings of being an outsider in my family and the community I grew up in. Without question, it is still reflected in my personal aesthetic and artistic preferences.”

Nixil's C Fahrenheit V13 Photo

Nixil’s C Fahrenheit V13 Photo

What’s a book that you think everyone should be required to read from cover to cover throughout their time in school?

C: “‘Assata’ by Assata Shakur.”

What was the most memorable book from your childhood?

Alden: “‘Jurassic Park’, which is my all-time favorite book in general. Not just because I am a lifelong dinosaur lover, but because of the significant lasting effect it had on me. I was 7 when I saw the original film in theaters, and I sought out the novel a few years later, first reading it during 4th or 5th grade. I carried it to school in my backpack and took it on every vacation with me. I absorbed every detail and engrossing description. It was the first adult novel I read front to back, and it taught me so much about dialogue, editing, and narrative tools. I eventually collected most of Crichton’s other works; ‘Airframe’, ‘Rising Sun’, ‘Congo’, ‘Sphere’, ‘The Lost World’, and ‘Eaters of the Dead’ were on my shelf for many years during middle and high school.

“‘Jurassic Park’ remains a staple of modern science fiction, in my opinion. Of course, the original film was a landmark and a fantastic adaptation, but Crichton’s novel is still so good. The extra analysis of the park’s automation systems and why they fail, the unpredictability of chaos, and the arrogance and expediency of Hammond’s business goals gives so much more insight into the failures of the park management. There is more adventure, more terror, and a number of characters are quite different from their film counterparts, both in personality and in their eventual fates, which helps the book remain a very unique experience from Spielberg’s Hollywood film. It’s atmospheric, chilling, and still a great read the twentieth time around.”

Nixil's Alden Fahrenheit V13 Photo

Nixil’s Alden Fahrenheit V13 Photo

How important were books and reading in your family growing up? Did you share that same level of enthusiasm, or did you differ from them on that?

Alden: “Books were always regarded as essential learning materials when I was a kid. My dad kept a pretty extensive bookshelf of classic novels, and my mom and I always had lots of various books around the house. A trip to the mall always involved stopping in the bookstore, and anything from nonfiction and history to ‘Predator’ and ‘Alien’ comics was in my interest. I’m glad that I grew up appreciating books as an art form and as a storytelling medium.”

What’s the best part of reading for you? What’s your ideal reading setup?

Alden: “For me, the best part of reading a good novel is the way it will paint incredible scenes in your mind. That common saying that your imagination will always come up with better visuals than any movie can provide is 100% true, and this is coming from someone who loves film as an art form. Movie adaptations should be accepted with an open mind, but what you envision while reading a great book can be so much more incredible and personal. And the best part is that it will be slightly different for every reader, almost like parallel universes of the same events. My ideal setup is a place in the living room near natural light or a spot outside where no one will bother me. Unfortunately, I don’t get to do it very often.”

Nixil release From The Wound Spilled Forth Fire through Prosthetic Records on August 25th, 2023 and you can pick up your copy here.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.