This split 7″ is the materialization of the liaison of two artists who represent pop cultures current yearning for the past as well as the actual fascination for mythological wisdom and its mysteries. The former is expressed in the song-writing, production and instrumentation of both Chelsea Wolfe and King Dude, the latter in the lyrical content that’s enriched with pagan themes and occult symbolism. Both songs on this split 7″ were record during the same session, with people from Chelsea Wolfe‘s backing band playing additonal instruments.
The overall restrained musical presentation of these two songs is also reflected in the artwork. A plain white cover, showing simple ornaments and the likenesses of Wolfe and Cowgill does not distract from the profound, touching music you will find beneath.
Fight Like Gods, performed and written by Chelsea Wolfe, is a very dusky and beautifully calm song that would have fit very well on Wolfe’s lates album Unknown Rooms: A Collection Of Acoustic Songs. Her haunting voice is enthroned over the sparse instrumentation, chanting the desperatly longing verses. There are several references to pagan themes, like the line “Lethe, the only one from which we drink the water”. Lethe is one of the five rivers of Hades, the netherworld of the ancient Greek mythology. It is said that if you drink from the waters of Lethe you will lose all your memories before entering the realm of the dead. According to another tradition it is even necessary to do so, otherwise you’ll have no prospect of being reborn.
Interesting is the fact that besides this reference to Greek mythology the rest of the song’s lyrics could be interpreted as a story that’s situated in Europe’s Early Middle Ages, when Christians and Northmen were fighting over the supremacy and religious definatory power in Scandinavia, Britain and many places in Central Europe. Especially the line “[…]you wear both your cross and your hammer” is leading towards this reception, due to the fact that it is reminding of the book “The Hammer and the Cross” by Harry Harrison and John Holm, which is set in equal surroundings and might tell of an inner turmoil of the addressed subject.
King Dude‘s contribution to this record is Satan’s Ghost. The song offers all of Cowgill’s trademarks: the distant, echoing and deep voice, the dramatic percussion that stands in the tradition of European Neofolk and the reverberant guitars that owes as much toll to really dark country music as to folk.
Lyricwise the track is drenched in occult symbolism of Christian origin, describing the unification of God, represented by Christ, and the light bearer Lucifer. Maybe Christ himself is “Satan’s Ghost”, which would give the whole story an interesting twist – in a way Christ (respectively God) would be Satan’s roaming soul which wanders the earth. If you see it like this, there’d be a amalgamation of heaven (represented by God), hell (represented by Satan) and man (represented by Christ, God’s image on earth), the union of Gods and man — an idea widely propagated in pre-Christian times.
This record was sold on King Dude’s European tour early 2013 as well as on Record Store Day that happened on 4/20/13 and is surely quite limited.