Full Album Stream & Interview: Xenoglyph – Spiritfraud

Photo by Melissa Magri

Technology has embedded itself in every facet of our lives and pervaded the way we interact with our natural world. We as humans seemingly remain oblivious to the stranglehold it has on us. It’s slowly destroying our world, breaking up our relationships, and ruining the connection we have to the Earth itself. Collectively, humanity has convinced itself it is alone in its technological supremacy–we, these primitive creatures have somehow melded machines to fit our will. History, both in our world and among the cosmos, says differently.

Xenoglyph arrived on Earth in the wake of their planet, GJ 357 d, succumbing and subsequently rebelling against a technological takeover. Their homeworld, an icy giant similar to Neptune, experienced a similar rise and fall of humanity. They come bearing a warning of what’s to come for humans if we do not change. Millions of miles and vastly different cultures separate us from Xenoglyph, their message takes the form of melodic and symphonic black metal that is coated with a cosmic sheen. Entitled Spiritfraud, the transmission comes in six parts, spelling out a scenario of what humanity’s dystopic end looks like and what they can do to prevent—or succumb–to it.

Spiritfraud resembles many of the great novels from writers like Philip K. Dick. Meanwhile, the collective entity of Xenoglyph has adopted a look that mirrors the classic Twilight Zone aesthetic and the X-Files allure as a way to metaphorically enhance their message. That message, of course, is a searing and engrossing display all on its own. Spanning 43 minutes, it is chock full of multi-layered riffs and haunting vocals that echo across our atmosphere.

Read an exclusive interview with the collective entity of Xenoglyph—translated from their native language, Gliese  {☌⌰⟟⟒⋉⟒}—and listen to their newest transmission, Spiritfraud, now. Pick up a copy of it ahead of its release on Translation Loss Records this Friday. 

Xenoglyph comes from a distant exoplanet named GJ 357 d. Our NASA describes it as a Neptune-like ice giant with a mass over six times greater than our Earth. What brings Xenoglyph all this way to Earth and what message do you have for its inhabitants?

Xenoglyph: For many years, our home planet has been overrun by technology. Our species was mechanically sentenced by ROBOS (the android ruling class) to perform all the duties that robots were originally designed to do. The two of us were among the many who were forsaken to the sector of monitoring all stray satellite & radio waveforms – F.A.W.N. (FREQUENCY AUDIO WIRETAP NETWORK) – and it was here, through carrying out our sentence of robotic surveillance that we actually realized we could spy on the robots without them knowing, and discovered these hidden magical notes.

Robots emit a frequency that is imperceptible to them, and we started amplifying it and playing it back into the same interface that we were listening on, causing some of them to malfunction. Other robots, of course, are designed to repair these malfunctioning units, but hopefully, it will slow the androids down enough to slightly loosen their stranglehold on our species. We left GJ357D as soon as we realized it was working. There are many of us who are still there, covertly using the mechanical frequencies to put cracks in the ROBOS regime via espionage.

We found a wormhole to Earth, whose location was embedded in the F.A.W.N. coding sequence, and came here to furtively broadcast this tale of mankind’s fatal love affair with technology, interpreted through alien eyes. We are here only to warn the few who will listen.

Did you two enter this journey wanting to make black metal in this style or did your message mold the way your music sounds?

Xenoglyph: We are merely the vessel for this prophetic transmission. We couldn’t simply bring the unmodified waveforms to earth and try to pass them off as music because it would sound garbled and unlistenable to these lifeforms. Instead, we chiseled these songs out of the metaphorical meteorites that contained the unmistakable haunting melodies that we so faintly discerned.

History repeats itself, and we see that it is starting to take over planet earth. Spiritfraud is both a memory of our past and a warning signal for your future.

In what ways did you two build on your first transmission, Mytharc? Did you have any goals to progress Xenoglyph either musically or thematically to help share cosmic messages?

Xenoglyph: Mytharc is a wider perspective / general observation about the last century on earth, starting with your industrial revolution. It plays more on the idea that certain things about history will always get swept under the proverbial rug by the agenda of the syndicate/shadow government, and that more important esoteric knowledge will remain mysterious, as the sands of time howl and swarm ever more tumultuous.

We wanted this to be not the “most evil” opus we could assemble, but rather the most musical and memorable effort we were capable of. We are more interested in invoking a certain emotional feeling (to awaken the populous) even if it is ambiguous or perplexing at first impression. Black Metal, which allows for the most layered and symphonic approach of all the metal subgenres, is merely our canvas, and we will continue using as many mediums as we see fit, to animate our vision into reality.

Artwork by Xenoglyph

The message surrounding Spiritfraud deals with a future where the remaining humans on Earth are subjected to a tyrannical rule of robots and technology—originally initiated by humans themselves. How do you personally picture what Earth’s dystopic future looks like?

Xenoglyph: Humanity has been hacked by their own inventions—hence the artwork—DNA helices being cyphoned into an all-seeing eye, while a “hacker skull” occupies the centerpiece, as if it were planted there by ROBOS to make a mockery of humanity. Think of it as the inventor of the gun dying by getting shot.

Technology is being used in such a way that is leading to a wilting intellect and enslavement, instead of helping to expand human potential. We quickly noticed that audio recording is one of the only realms that technology is at least attempting to be used to its potential.

They will come for your dreams next. They know that the subconscious is a realm they do not yet exist in. Robots cannot dream (yet, on earth) – they can only experience human dreams. In exchange for some pathetic sum of money, the androids will be able to view our dreams cinematically and experience human imagination, allowing them to evolve.

You describe throughout this album the ultimatum for humanity in this future—which is either “give in to technology and become a pathetic shadow of our former selves” or “leave an artistic legacy instead of a biological one, and allow our race to expire with one last shred of dignity”

Xenoglyph: The third option is for humanity to do something like we were able to figure out—chipping away at the ever self-fortifying robotic fortress using the very weapons that it is designed to encase. Perhaps a future generation will rebel against the mindless drivel that embodies so much of present earth technology, and start engaging less with these soul-sucking interfaces. Never forget that every screen you ever look at in your entire life on this planet is designed with the intention of showing you ads.