“The Black Candle Volume III: Sympathy for the Devil”: The Interview

Back in September, 2018, we interviewed the gentleman behind the widely respected zine, The Black Candle. The discussion revealed him to be as bold and uncompromising as his body of work, something lacking in many other literary and artistic circles. He also voiced his intention to make the third volume of his zine into a full-length book, “like the smutty novels that can be found in thrift stores, or the Satanic Bible and Mao’s Little Red Book.”

And now in 2019, those dark and cursed roots have borne fresh fruit (for rotting vegetables): The Black Candle Volume III: Sympathy for the Devil. Even more exciting is the author’s choice on imprint: Cult Never Dies, run by none other than Dayal Patterson, author of Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult and about 1000 other things. The book features interviews with Spectral Wound, Amestigon, Kringa, Marid and many more, along with passages of poetry and musings on topics like religion, occultism and witchcraft. The book is out on December 2, but you can pre-order it at the Cult Never Dies webstore.

But of course, I don’t want to just tell you about the book. I had to interview “T” again and learn more about the project and the thinking behind it. What follows is another invigorating discussion about black metal, books and Bulgakov. Hold onto your butts, friends:

Greetings, sir. Congrats on the new book! What made you decide to go for a full book this time instead of another zine?

Thank you, sir. The answer to your first question is easy: I am a bonafide bibliophile. I simply love books. And while the concept of a zine is something that I will always hold very dear, the subject matter of this volume demanded another form. There is something to be said about the urgency of making a zine, but the Holy Devil deserved something else, something more fitting, something more … devoted I guess. And this is the reason why there is an index in the book, why I picked a certain typeface, why I divided everything into chapters, why there is an appendix. Every tiny little detail has been taken care of, from the sigils on the first and last pages to the choice of paper. Form follows function and everything follows His will.

As a bibliophile then, do you have any book recommendations for those who enjoy the aesthetic of The Black Candle?

I actually had a really long and detailed answer typed out, but then I deleted it all. Why? Because I believe that it is of utmost importance to make certain discoveries by yourself. There are countless occult books easily available and probably just as many about Black Metal and what have you, but no two paths are the same. But I would like to seize this opportunity to recommend a novel that has probably done more for Satanism than any other book: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Bulgakov started writing it in 1928, burned the first manuscript two years later and only stopped writing a few weeks before his death in 1940. But it wasn’t until 1973 that the first completely uncensored edition would be published and that background story alone makes it worth your while. This book is one of the finest novels of the 20th century, it is full of occult cross references, sensuality, blasphemy, rebellious spirit and well, unconditional love. The Master and Margarita was influenced by Goethe’s Faust and by Dostoyevsky just the same and later on served as the blueprint for the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” If you read only one book in your lifetime, let it be this one.

You interview some interesting characters here. Of all the ones you spoke to, who surprised you the most?

The interview with Marid is one of my personal favorites. They are real. They live what they speak about and their music is the living, breathing evidence. Another interview that I am really proud of is the one that I did with Lilita Arndt of Ieschure. Hardly anyone seems to care about her music, but she is bright and smart and incredibly talented and … well, you’ll see. But what really surprised me the most was the conversation with Spectral Wound: never before have I admitted in a zine that I was wrong about something, but in this particular case I had to rest my case in all humility and I learned something new.

How did you go about curating the photo and poetry selections?

It all kind of fell into place, to be honest. Most of the artists that I spoke to provided some very strong photographs or pieces of artwork themselves, so I had quite a treasure chest of images to choose from. The only photo that I really had to pester someone for was the image of the naked women with the inverted crucifix around her neck, and even that was not very hard to obtain: I talked to a personal friend of mine — the great but extremely underrated photographer Helmut Wolech — and asked if he had any unpublished photos in line with the the context of the book. The poetry that I chose was very obvious from the very conceptual stages of the book in one case (the lyrics to “Lucifer” by :Of The Wand And The Moon:) and the other poem was something that I discovered on my bookshelf by sheer chance … or synchronicity.

How did you come into contact with Dayal? Have you read any of his books?

I treated myself to a copy of Evolution of the Cult around christmas MMCIII and have been following Cult Never Dies ever since. It was Dayal’s Mega Zine that actually introduced me to Nahtrunar and for that alone, I will be forever grateful. His writing is very engaging and the books he publishes through Cult Never Dies are high quality products. I have nothing but the most positive things to say about him and his publishing house and no, I don’t get paid to say this.

To put it bluntly, why are you a theistic satanist? Do you advocate this way of thinking or consider it more of a solitary practice?

To answer it just as bluntly: I have experienced His presence more than once, in all its beauty and all its hideousness. I firmly believe that the inner black flame has to be present within a person in order to hear and understand His call; an intrinsic trait that is present in some and absent in others. Spirituality — for lack of a better term — has not always been a fixture in my life, quite the opposite. I used to be a very strict and rational atheist as a reaction to a Catholic upbringing, but for better or worse, “the scales will fall from the eyes of mine because now it becomes understandable to them what so far had been hidden to them.” It takes a while for your vision to adjust to darkness and you feel blinded once you step out of that darkness again. I have found this simple metaphor to be quite true on my own personal Left Hand Path.

I am not a member of any sect or coven, but the scriptures of certain more or less contemporary currents have struck a chord within me and made me see this earthly existence and what lies beyond with different eyes. I am not saying that ceremonial magick is a bad thing, but I prefer not to be around other humans most of the time. Faith is a very personal thing and is best kept private. I am a staunch advocate of the separation of religion and state and certainly do not advocate my beliefs, as ironic as this might sound considering the fact that I have written a book about the Devil.

Since I asked you about your favorite Darkthrone album last time, I’ll make a similar inquiry here. Favorite Mayhem song?

Funny that you ask this, because only a couple of days ago, Mayhem were playing literally just around the corner from my house. I had two guest list spots but I would not even have gone to see them even if they’d offered a sedan chair and an all-you-can-drink buffet. As far as I am concerned, Mayhem died in 1993. But to answer your question, I have been obsessed with “The Freezing Moon” ever since I heard Dead’s vocals on the Projections of a Stained Mind compilation and later on Live in Leipzig, but “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” with Attila’s otherworldly voice sends shivers down my spine every single fucking time. This perfect song is the perfect ending for the perfect Black Metal album, period.

So after you take the book tour to elementary schools and elderly book clubs across the world, what’s next?

Silence. Lies. Lust. Blood. Worship. Ritual. Intoxication.