Naos is a record of an apokalyptic mystical journey told through parables of sound.
These frequencies are known as the Naos Ecstasies.
[Since it’s conception in 2010 not much has been expounded about it by word, so by now I felt it timely to write a short summary of the project and the vision behind it; to go back to listen and give a short review of the works so far as well. From thereon, new releases and updates will be added to this article, which will serve as an ‘official’ account.]
Naos on Bandcamp (along with my other project, Solar Night: https://solarnight.bandcamp.com/
Naos is an electronic music project begotten in 2010. Over the years there have been several releases, both digital and physical. The project has evolved slightly over time and though I have never really had interest in any particular music ‘scene’, I found the sound of the early gabber/hardcore techno projects to be powerful, liberating and life-affirming; ideal to carry out the vision which the project stands for. Naos is thoroughly influenced by those 90s techno and hardcore projects; before most of them became reduced to commercial rubbish; and so I strive to maintain a certain ‘oldschool’ style of production; using simple techniques and older synths and programs to pay homage to and keep alive that unique old fashioned dark techno sound. Naos has been – and is- an underground operation; a corporate vessel for the inferno-divine.
In terms of the essence of the project I see Naos as a tool for and, an expression of, inner exploration, both for myself as the receptacle of creative energies and for the listener. The principle is more or less the same exploration as with my visual projects, only in sound form. I chose to stick with the styles of hardcore electronic dance music because it has a certain quality both of ‘abandon’ and ‘invocation’ to it; the thumping rhythms and aggressive sounds can easily open one up to a rapture of ecstasy. I aim to express the intensity which is felt during a transformative experience – or from vision – as well as the sort of ongoing, creeping intensity which occurs continuously in experience when one is awakening. I visualize the music of Naos as both a record of a mystic journey and as a tool for dancing / frenzy; as the modern version of the rhythmic music used by human beings to remember the creative power of the cosmos within.
Naos as a word, besides being the name of a star, designates the inner part of a temple, or a sacred temple itself. The translation can be nave, which also means ship in certain languages (as does the similar word ναύς), so I imagine Naos to be both the ship or vessel which carries the seeker and listener on a mystic expedition through the cosmos as well as the Temple or Shrine or Inner sanctum where the sacred dancing takes place. The physical body is itself being a Temple of the divine, dancing through life’s geometric tapestry. For what is this whole creation but a grand dance? Naos is an intergalactic spaceship-temple on an endless rave through multiple dimensions. The tracks being the record of the journey. I mark each album in ‘waves/chapters’ as to indicate a story, or chronological order; signifying a plan or prophecy in process of unfolding, beginning with the first album and then continuing therefrom in a series, thus compiling into a process of change, as the music changes, as the style is refined; as we all change, the journey continues. This is all enveloped in a playful garment, in which the aim is to make the music sound strong, life-affirming and empowering; capable of containing the vision which gave birth to it.
In the beginning Naos was largely experimental, delving into a variety of styles and sounds until finally settling into the ruthless rhythms and ecstatic melodies it represents today. Each album has its own aim and feel but more likely represent my own transformations and ever-changing perspectives on life; the continual shedding of old states an animating new ones toward the ultimate.
[As I write a short summary of each album I listen through them myself critically and add some personal notes and comments. It’s tough to give a review of your own stuff, but I’ll do my best; imagining the work to be stand-alone life-forms divorced from my personal involvement.]
Arc I: The Prophecy
It is Whispered (2016)
~The Fierce one~
Prior to the release of this album, which was originally exclusively on cassette from Vanguard Productions, US, there had only been digital releases of Naos by various labels and online platforms as singles or EPs from Traumatic, Doomcore records and on Soundcloud. One compiled album titled Necrocore, which I do not consider ‘official’ was briefly released on Bandcamp by me personally.
This album got slight notice and a little review in an Icelandic paper; but I do not view it as canon.
It is Whispered comprised of tracks produced in the earlier stages of 2012-2014. The tracks Enliven and Chyldren ov Shaitan were produced exclusively for this release. An original mix of the track Seeker, previously released by Traumatic on digital was also included.
The theme of the album is a kind of dark, youthful adrenaline rush; a de-conditioning catharsis, mixing elements of doomcore/darkcore and hard techno with necessary added experimentation. Still quite inexperienced compared to today, the production was somewhat rough and unpolished; this album being the young rebellious kid of the Naos family. In 2022 I went back and polished the album and remastered it to my best ability (which is only moderate). This included going into the original files and refining many tracks, making an entirely new edition of the track Chyldren ov Shaitan as well as including the previously unreleased Disruptive Forces.
This is where the journey begins: where a vagabond seeker begins to awaken in the crestfallen streets of a city filled with fear and melancholy; lost amid sleepers in a dream within a dream… Dark forces arise; taunt and call forth the eye-opening, life-shattering disillusionment which foreshadows the intensive initiations to come…
To this day, Seeker still remains one of my favorite tracks. Some of the roughness (in a bad way) of the album overall annoyed me a bit at this point, but the opening of the album and of the story overall with Bite the Bullet feels spot on. I have a little soft spot for this work though, being the first physical release and kind of got the project a little more out into the world, but it does not command as much respect as some of the later works to me personally. But somewhere it had to start, so this episode is an essential opening to the unfolding series.
Listen to It is Whispered:
~The Gloomy one~
With the next album, Abyss, released roughly two years later, I went back to basics and set out to make a more raw, minimal and oldschool kind of sound, sticking mostly with slower tempos to create a brooding and heavy atmosphere in contrast to the intensive feel of the first one. The initial version of the album contained tracks produced mostly in 2016-2018, although The Time has Come is a heavily modified version of an unreleased track produced earlier and Blackness from the Rift is the oldest Naos track ever released, produced originally in 2010 when the project was still in its infancy and named The Sorcerer.
I find this album very dear to me honestly; I like its simplicity and solemn directness. The time of its production as with every album, represented a turning point for me personally – as a human being on earth – in terms of inner experience and that may be why I care so much for it. It also has a space theme, which I find refreshing; giving it literally more ‘space’ to breathe.
In 2022 Desolation Galaxies Records, Germany, which has housed four physical releases when this is written, – much to my delight – planned to release the album on tape and for that release I went back and updated the music substantially and added some unreleased material. [Nevertheless, I still consider the original release year the definite one, as those original tracks still comprise the core essence of the album overall.]
Here we travel from the darkness of earthly night, lift off and traverse through the infinite darkness of space. Having been called by the Dark, the seeker embarks on a journey away from civilization and enters into the realms of higher intelligence to be bathed in and baptized by the blackness of the mysterious, shadowy source… Here the seeker is tested and brought to his limits, facing harsh ordeals which create cracks in the shell which he must then shatter to emerge as a new initiate…
As was once said: To become whole, first you must be broken.
It is tough to pick favorites among your ‘kids’, but honestly this is one of my personal favorites. I feel I managed to capture something special of that period when it was being generated and sealed it into the music. In what way this translates to the hearer is different, but hearing it now it feels like it was done with full involvement in the learnings of that time. Secondly it feels overall a cohesive gloomy trip through dark corners of existence. Easier on the ears than the first album. Don’t know what I was thinking when I made Develgeist though… It’s… acceptable? The headphones are looking at me with anguish… I might be arrogant about this but, I just really like this album, I am very happy with it. It’s a nice chapter of the saga. Kudos to me! I hope you like it.
Listen to Abyss:
~The Sophisticated one~
Now here is where Naos -and I myself along with it- began to arise from the mud of gloom and attempted to up the game slightly in production and theme. With this third part, released the following year I wanted to present a more mystical perspective, reflecting my own personal experiences and visions of the time. I wanted to provoke a deeper sense of elation within those who would listen or dance to the music. There had to be some golden coating and coloring on the established crestfallen style; the track Mahadevi itself including readings from sacred texts. My desire was, at the time, to try to include, in sound form, the strange experiences which were beginning to awaken within me, in hope that it would translate to, and possibly awaken within the listener as result. Today speaking, this was an inexperienced yet honest move, as complete clarity had not been fully embodied, but still, somewhat, there definitely is truth bled into the final, electrical vibrational product.
I focused on the subtler details of the tracks, using softer percussion, more melodies and ecstatic forms; all the while retaining the heavy bassdrums, distortion and doomcore undertones, which soil nourishes Naos’ roots for all time. It’s a marriage of the ethereal and the mechanical; the creator and the created; the potter and the clay: I wanted a kind of ancient yet futuristic sound. A first awakening of ancient rhythms and primordial geometry breathing life into an otherwise deathly mechanical sound. The album was released on a beautiful limited edition cassette by Desolation Galaxies Rec. in early 2021.
After recovering from the shedding of the first layers, the seeker appears in a dimensionally larger world. An awareness of the mysterious source begins to become apparent and with a new realization the seeker rushes forth as a new being; soaring over the previous world in a dreamlike state, viewing it from above with a sense of wonder as the terrific forces of creation guide and shake the being further; tearing down illusion and beginning to reveal the dream’s ecstatic purpose. A grand intelligence seems to play all the parts… We pass from state to state toward the unknown… Who are we truly?
Now from the little that I know – given that I live on Neptune – , this one is the most ‘popular’ album, (in terms of mostly unknown underground music that is) or at least that which I personally get most requests about. Here Naos began to become more solid but it’s still a bit rough. What I find stands out for this album to me is the length; it’s not too long, not too short. It feels a solid whole. The cover artwork on this one hits the spot. Devoted to the Dark One and Mahadevi are the highlights for me personally while Astral Halls Beyond the Stars I find a little bit dull and uninspired at this point. I am of course happy with this album, as I am with all of them, otherwise I would not release them, but even if Mahadevi sounds good, has lovely melodies and is overall a nice, solid piece of work, and a sincere vision backing it, it does not quite string the same chord with me as Abyss does – now that I am listening in chronological retrospect – . And yet…I can understand why hearers would appreciate it, at the same time… (in due time the works on this album will see the fruition which were planted here in seed form…)
Listen to Mahadevi:
~The Weird one~
For this album, the fourth chapter in the ongoing saga, released at the end of the same year along with Mahadevi I moved a bit away from doomcore and the darker previous releases in favor of experimentation and fun, wanting to have an overall more variety, for a ‘cool’ and joyful listen, though without betraying the essence of Naos’ dark energy.
Here I began incorporating elements of synthwave (which experimentation later branched off into the genesis of my latter day co-project Five AM [www.kanzlarinn.bandcamp.com], along with bleeding into another, abominable child of mine, the Icelandic themed hard-techno comedy project: Kanzlarinn [‘the chancellor’]) and played around with different VSTs and synths than I had used before to freshen up the project and gain new inspiration to open up new possibilities for Naos. By the time of the third album I had basically used up my digi-mental resources and got a little stagnated in creation. Despite all that Nightshade still has arguably more tracks in line with doomcore and gabber, however Dare to Ascend and Deadman are substantially different from anything I previously produced for Naos. The tracks The Arrival and Haunted from Within date back to 2012 and 2013 respectively, albeit revamped for the album release of Nightshade.
While the previous albums were more or less ‘silent’ – if that word can be used – in terms of samples and vocals, Nightshade boasts the heaviest inclusion of vocal samples and samples from vintage animations I grew up watching. This makes the album feel more, what shall I say… ‘Approachable’ or ‘available’ if that makes sense; while the hellbent vocal ‘silence’ of Abyss for example creates a more exclusive ‘closed’ feeling.
This more colorful of Naos albums was released alongside Mahadevi on tape in 2021 by Desolation Galaxies Rec.
We return to the city where it all began for one last time, but now with a different perspective. Revisiting old memories and redeeming them with the newfound power; letting the light of renewal shine in the tombs of past bedeviled states, the seeker gathers forces to prepare for the next overcoming. What was once a source of pain, fear and despondency now becomes a well of energy and growth as the negative states once animated are salvaged by the vision obtained on the inter-spatial voyage.
Chains are broken, records are purified, beauty is given for ashes; joy for mourning and the seeker continues refreshed, and energized to face another challenge to come.
This one is certainly different, given it includes a lot of different synths and techniques than the previous albums. A more playful and fun piece. What I like about it is that it feels like it doesn’t take itself too seriously; the experimentation and fresh outlook this album represented with its variety are the strong points. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster, being as it does include old mixed with new, things stitched together; refurbished unreleased stuff mixed with new production, rather than an ordered singular vision as some of the other works. But at the same time, that works, that is the vision of this one: a redemption of the past. It’s a much lighter / happier album though, most likely as usual reflecting my own experiences at the time, now on reflection I can hear and feel how it influenced the creative process. I really like the track Deadman if I can say so myself. The brass came out neatly. Overthrow has a nice, crispy touch too.
Listen to Nightshade:
~The Long one~
This fifth loathsome album had to be dark. Had to be heavy. Had to bring something new and have an authentic potential to invoke transformations within as well as faithfully delivering in sound the transformations and discoveries experienced during and prior to its making.
Terrorextasis brought back the ritual drums; the doom and gloom, but with a new energy. By the grace of the divine, potent inspiration suddenly received as an unexpected bolt out of the blue served as catalyst for the fruition of this violent piece. Here I wanted to present a kind of music, as with Mahadevi, which would invoke images of ancient cultic feasts, where wild dance and frenzy was undertaken to bring about awakening and life-enhancing experiences. Here I went all in to make a sound which was unmerciful in exalting the primal forces of consciousness, bringing back ancient memories to shake up the human organism from frenzy to extasis through solid flesh by sound and dance. Or in other words: Something which delivers you truly out of the illusory goo and into the irrational intensity which is true reality. Which is trembling; which is terror beyond good and evil; right and wrong and any man-made abstraction.
Cavernous, bloody, orgiastic; the hideous music contains readings from ancient texts and occult manuscripts further pushing the boundaries of the sensible manifested world; Muliebris and Élan providing the only refuge from the ruthlessness. Firstly a building up of a state of ecstasy/extasis within frenzy and elevated levels of energy, secondly a state of elation and fulfilment following a work completed, while Underworld Inferno closes the curtains with an unspeakable blackness of lethal proportions, shaping consciousness into a new, deadly form at the end of a long and arduous journey through the most heinous regions so far.
For one who is willing, can through dance and conscious attention truly let go using this album as imaginal guide. I dare you to try it…
Terrorextasis was released alongside Abyss on yet another beautifully produced audio cassette, sensationally mastered by Desolation Galaxies Rec. In 2022
Following the expedition of redemption, the seeker is now prepared to enter the darkest realms of creation so far, where the innermost core will be shaken beyond measure, in order to fortify faith for the coming of the new being. The seeker plunges into the cavernous pits of the universe, where the most sinister forms of intelligence dwell; whose sole purpose of existence is awakening through terror and trembling; wailing and gnashing of the teeth.
Coming face-to-face with these hideous and dangerous lifeforms, the seeker grapples with seldom discovered aspects of the underworld within; the overcoming of which is not what it seems. Only the truly sincere survive these terrific trials. In these ruthless depths the rapture of extasis finally crystallizes and blooms forth, allowing the seeker to shed all former limitations. Henceforth strengthened by the fusion with those ghostly Dark Ones, the journey continues toward the end, along the highway of eternity.
Now with the fabulous synopsis out of the way, does the album stand by its deadly promise?
Clocking in at 80+ minutes this album is to my best knowledge the longest one, almost one that must be endured rather than enjoyed. It certainly feels long… While the creative process was arduous and downright frustrating at certain points; this album having gone through the most revision of any album, the memory of it has been somewhat bittersweet. I even remember after the initial version of the album feeling so uninspired that I considered laying Naos to rest. Thankfully new inspiration burst forth toward me and I was unable to stop the lethal outpouring of energy which followed. Now that some time has passed and I listen to it once again, we can lend it a critical ear unblemished by any strain of previous labor. I think I can safely say that it delivers what I wished for it. Since Nightshade was… well… Whatever it was; Terrorextasis had to bring back the big guns and new, factory made ammo. Here I dove head-first into new production techniques and methods, used different software and synths once again and found an outlet for the necessary changes of energy which followed the divine urge which dawned upon me during the strange period of this creation. In retrospect it is of course a long album… Tough to listen through in one bite, unless dancing or working or simply dreaming or who knows what. However this piece can be viewed as one divided into two 40 minute albums. Terror and Extasis. That idea translates excellently on the physical tape release, split in sides A and B. On this one I feel quite satisfied and respectful of the final beast. Pherenesia, Gamma-Shocks and Muliebris stand out for me personally – as I act as listener – and now that I think of it, this album contains the highest concentration of ‘favorites’ so far.
Listen to Terrorextasis:
~The Grand Finale one~
Preceded ‘chronologically’ by the EP The Horror Called Humanity, from the same production period, the sixth album represents a beginning of a new chapter in the saga. Moving closer into the present moment, I wanted this to be a kind of ‘final act’ for the first Arc of the Naos saga. As well as stated, a glimpse of a new one. For at this point my entire world is totally different from when I began spewing out music from the pits. All my previous beliefs and perspectives I held have crumbled into putrid dust and a new, potent realization risen from it which I aim to seal into sound form as long as I draw breath.
(this old self symbolically presented as the severed head on the cover artwork)
So, Khthonaion is an end of an era and a new one germinating. With it I wanted to have a kind of ultimate Naos album, a final chapter summing up what happened in the story so far. Both personally and as a service to listeners: an alchemical sum of all the previous explorations, synthesized into a new, deadly compound. It had to have the thumping, youthful aggression of It is Whispered, the raw and dark order of Abyss, the stylish mystical aura of Mahadevi combined with the playful openness of Nightshade, all focused through the cultic and merciless lens of Terrorextasis; then crowned with a subtle erotic substance; condensed into a piece which bears witness to the seed of what is to come.
The name itself is a made-up word of the Greek khthon- and aion, supposed to indicate the energy or life-force of the earth or rather, the soil. This album also contains a more insidious experiment which is an inclusion of a play with certain frequencies and secret languages which are recorded and hidden inside the tracks. The languages spoken can be heard occasionally. What does it mean?
Khthonaion is the creative act which will give birth to the new Naos.
After the perilous voyages hitherto, the seeker arrives at last at the infernal arena where the final confrontation takes place. Dominated by phantom dancers and shadowy angelic beings; this boundary being the realm of violent forces beyond measure. Only those prepared to die descend here. Now embodying each discovery which was obtained along the way, the seeker must face the deathly ultimate emanation, reflecting the prophecy which was hidden in the ordeals. through this interdimensional bloodbath, the seeker sheds the last garment and on the throne of this enormous chthonic hall the seeker unites with the goddess herself in her youthful, most lethal form and after depositing the seed in her which contains the plan and power of deliverance, she destroys what was left of his former self setting the entire plane before aflame. In time she shall give birth to the child on this new fiery planet; whose genesis was written in the seed which came from the travels through consciousness. This eternal offspring; the being which lives before the world began, awakens in her celestial womb; making known it’s name forever and ever:
It’s a bit hard to review something which is so recent, but enough time has passed to look back. Of the albums thus far this one is my favorite. It is the most successful to me as a creation. I feel personally that it does sum up the whole journey, having a little piece of every part and it binds together the first Arc, culminating in the last three tracks: The Fiery Planet, Xian and Dance till Death. Those are the very pieces where the old dies and the seed of the new is dropped into fertile soil, rendering the whole beginning merely a memory; a prophecy; a foreshadowing. Dance till Death is by far the most complex track, containing the most amount of different mixer channels, effects and patterns. Fitting for an end theme.
To me this album is the fulfillment of the promise which was buried within the first album, hidden even from me. It is the absolute death of the old and the deliverance of the seed of the new. Inspired by a life-changing vision, I am most proud to release this creation. It is my blessing that it may communicate and presence what it is meant to, as a form. I hope it delivers the joy and ends all sorrow. I certainly had a blast creating it!
Listen to Khthonaion:
Subplots / EPs:
The Horror Called Humanity [EP-1]
Chronologically placed between Terrorextasis and Khthonaion, this short story is inspired by a terrifying experience I had many years ago when I witnessed all of humanity around me to be sleeping; their eyes empty, simply shells controlled by a shadowy, hypnotic mechanism; as mere automatons. Back then I did not understand the meaning of the experience, hence the terror; the awe of suddenly becoming conscious within the dream… I did not understand until in retrospect, but this was simply the beginning of my own awakening. What is humanity after all?
Here we dip back into the doom and gloom, but this time with purpose, consciously, not because we were trapped in it like in the beginning. Here is a deliberate inclusion of the experiences of the darker realms with knowledge and understanding of what came before. Despite the seeming horrors of the manifested world, there is only love and all shall awaken in due time.
These I wanted to be pure doomcore by definition, with the tempo very slow and the atmosphere ominous. We then depart this memory when it has unfolded with Alyaunte; a farewell to the past and a gratitude for what was learned and how life grew through it.
Listen to The Horror Called Humanity:
Orb Weaver [EP-2]
Following the climax of Khthonaion, here came the very last tracks of this first Arc spanning 11 years. All previously unreleased, produced during the same time as the albums, but never finding their way to the final work. Orb Weaver itself the oldest track on this release, not seeing the light of day until a decade after production. To fully wrap up this first era, these tracks needed to be set free. So they were dug up and included on this special EP released at the very end of 2022. Orb Weaver serves as the epilogue to Khthonaion.
Listen to Orb Weaver:
[ That sums up the first Arc in the prophecy of Naos. As this is written, there are already three further releases planned and prepped and nearly ready to be unleashed, setting aflame a dreadful Second Arc, beginning with a forthcoming seventh album. Here will unfold a vision most ancient; primordial and true: in the shape of electronic frequencies. ]
This shall be the harbinger of the next generation of Naos ecstasies
Naos Bandcamp: www.solarnight.bandcamp.com
Follow on FB: https://www.facebook.com/Naos999
Special thanks to Desolation Galaxies Records)
Arc II: The Deliverance