These dark days mark the final moments of Anno Domini 2014. I find it impossible to tell how well 2014 ranks among other recent years music. Initially, the year 2012 seemed a horrible disappointment in this regard and it is still named frequently as one of the worst years in metal. However, after uncovering the work bands such as Мolot, Munruthel, Jassa, Rattenfänger, Kamaedzitca and Sivyj Yar, it became apparent that a star rose in the East that year. It shone with more luminosity than ever, its stellar arrows piercing the hollow harness of cynicism that shields only those who refuse to leave their castles and venture into territories uknown to look for the many treasures that await them.
It is quite likely that 2014 will turn out even better than it already has been. Along with new productions by some of the afore-mentioned projects, craftsmen who operate under monikers such as Sühnopfer, Stryvigor, Ungern, Tormentia, Kawir and Dub Buk have ensured that anyone who wants to make a case against 2014 being a great year for music should prepare to succumb to mountains of evidence that will show him the error of his ways. The inevitable abundance of hidden gems out there can only bring about this straw man’s demise sooner.
As far as Black Ivory Tower is concerned, I am sure I need not explain why 2014 has been the best year so far in our existence. Let us still recap, if only to enjoy the delightful vice that is self-indulgence. While I feel the essence of the BIT formula had already come to fruition somewhere in 2013, this year proved essential for advancing its form. Financially, publishing our first magazine may not have been that great an endeavour, but I could not be more satisfied with the product itself. I remain convinced that, with the reviews of Zhaoze and Drudkh, I have been able to infuse the zine with some of the best writing I was capable of at the time. More importantly, other editors contributed work that may well rank among the most astonishing articles published under the BIT banner.
To add a critical note to the tune I blew on my own trumpet just now, Black Ivory Tower still is not where I want it to be. Nowhere near it, in fact. In 2015, at least one new issue of the magazine should appear and naturally it must be better than the first one in every respect. For if we do not move forward, why should we move at all? In addition, maybe the website will be revived into becoming something more than a mere promotional platform, provided that I can muster the energy and time to keep multiple wheels running at the same time. On both accounts, I will to some extent have to rely on contributions by other writers who share a passion for extreme music and writing about it. If you feel like you could be a part of that, you can always pitch ideas to blackivorytower [AT] gmail [DOT] com.
For me, 2014 was the year I finally gained an audience instead of writing for a few of my friends. But there is still a long road ahead for the Black Ivory Tower entity. We should do more reviews, interviews and features, dragging music into the light that would otherwise remain hidden in the most nebulous fringes of deepest underground. Of course, we shall do this outside of the orbit of the promo circuit. Frankly, we have been fucking around for far too long and it is time we lived up to our potential.
I hope all of my readers, followers and contacts around the world have a wonderful 2015.