NOBODY is a one-man band from Vantaa, Finland, whose first EP, “Gospel of the Goat,” was released in January, 2019, via Inverse Records.
The instant feeling one has while listening to the five original songs on NOBODY‘s EP “Gospel of the Goat” is that it sounds kind of weird.
“Acoustic black metal” is, by itself, an unusual and pretty rare way to label a subgenre and there are very few reports of it in black metal history indeed: an example that immediately came to my mind is “Noitumaa” by the Finnish band AJATTARA).
However, Tuomas Kauppinen, the man behind NOBODY, manages to put an unexpected attitude towards it into practice: his singing style sounds like a smothered, whispered scream, providing the right amount of pathos to the whole atmosphere, while the way he plays acoustic guitar, even if sometimes it might be reminiscent of some ULVER’s old acoustic interludes (mostly on “Bergtatt” and “Kveldssanger”), it clearly takes massive inspiration from typical Spanish melodies and strumming. Kauppinen, as a matter of fact, has been touring a lot in the Mediterranean area, grasping the vibes and channeling them into his music.
When it comes to the lyrics, the main topics are clearly inspired by Aleister Crowley’s Thelemic mysticism: yoga, transic meditation, invocations, tales about how religion can damage young people’s minds and free will – in particular, the song “Desecrating the Priest’s Daughter” is about a girl who eventually kills herself in order to get rid of that unbearable pain resulting from dealing with a religious cult where she was abused and treated like a slave.
There are also a few references to sex magick (specifically on the song “Ritual of Flesh”), which is one of the main elements of Crowley’s philosophy. An additional pillar of the whole concept seems to be the use of psychoactive substances in order to reach a deeper (or higher) level of consciousness and perception of the surrounding world. In that sense, these lyrics remind me of those of THE DOORS, making the whole piece of art absolutely unique, especially compared to the ordinary black metal subjects.
In the end, NOBODY’s “Gospel of the Goat” can be considered a good starting point in order to widen the horizons of black metal, both in terms of music and lyrical themes.
I would personally suggest this EP to anyone who is looking for an unconventional and out-of-the-box kind of experience. Open-mindedness is, in my opinion, much needed both as listeners and as creators.
Tuomas Kauppinen pushes the boundaries of black metal in an unexpected way, keeping it straight to the point – acoustic guitar and vocals only, as simple as that, but at the same time manages to develop a totally new, interesting, and, in a way, complex approach.
Written by Licia Mapelli
1. In the Arms of the North
2. Desecrating the Priest’s Daughter
3. Ritual of Flesh
4. The Feathered Serpent
5. The Temple
Tuomas Kauppinen – All instruments
Interview Phantom Elite – “It’s always good to share that feeling that none of us is alone in hard times”