Friday, April 21, 2017

Interview with Anthony Czerwinski of Annulment

I first got to know Anthony Czerwinksi last year when there was a comp being put together that our bands were both going to be on. The original comp line-up got changed a bit, so it didn't ultimately come together as initially intended, but Anthony struck me as a really thoughtful guy who seemed to have a lot of the same views on hardcore and such as I did. Not to mention, when I checked out Annulment's other releases, I was mighty impressed. 

Since then, the band has gone through some pretty significant line-up changes, but Anthony has kept things together and the band is currently recording what is most likely going to be their final release, a six song effort entitled "The Nihil of Vibrant Soul". Just based on the title alone, I was intrigued as I could tell there's a lot more going on than the typical hardcore record. 

We had a pretty extensive chat covering Anthony's family, views on anarchism and spirituality, and of course, the new record. Read on.

To begin with, talk a little bit about your childhood and family. To what extent was art, creativity, music part of your household coming up as a kid?

This might be a surprising question to some because it's not something I explicitly talk about, but my sister and I's childhood was heavily influenced by art because of our grandfather. Our grandfather John Buscema was a fairly well-known comic book artist with Marvel comics and also some DC stuff in the mid to late 20th century. So both myself and my sister were heavily supported when it came to the arts because of him. He was kind of like the glue that held our family together too - really genuine, generous, kind, and powerful guy. He was always pushing us to support whatever creative venture we had on our plate, my sister actually ended up going full throttle into the art field after he passed but I kind of ventured into writing because I was too intimidated to get into art full time.

I'm only now starting to say 'fuck it' and do more artwork, it's funny because I'm almost 32 and I'm only now thinking about getting into tattooing because I've worked every retail job under the sun and have been largely miserable. Punk was something that was introduced from my uncle to my sister, and then my sister onto me when I was about 10 years old. I held onto that at an early age because right off the bat it gave me something that was mine that I could hide away with. Granted, my first records I was ever introduced to were Rancid's "And Out Come the Wolves" and Op Ivy's "Energy" among other stuff that were more alternative or grunge in the 90s, but I know I listened to what little records I had to death pre-internet because I didn't know and was too young to find this stuff on my own.

It wasn't until I was 14 that I got into hardcore, and that was a huge jumping point and exploration for me because my sister wasn't really into hardcore, she was more of a punk and oi type but she did introduce me to my first two hardcore bands which as it turns out was Warzone and Blood for Blood. From there I found myself checking out Victory's late 90's/early 00's catalog and by association, Equal Vision and Revelation. I was absolutely obsessed as a teenager and it never really left me oddly enough, I'm either stubborn or stupid, haha.

Man that's awesome! Did your grandfather ever sit you down and show you the stuff he was working on, drawing techniques, etc. or was it more like you knew he was really good and you checked stuff out from afar?

No way! My grandfather was the type of guy that was extremely humble with his family, and even people outside of his family and willing to help out and guide people along. He was a really hard worker, but since he worked from home, he always made time for family and was constantly pushing me and my sister along in terms of art. Since I was just a kid though, I didn't utilize all of the resources he gave me - I was always doing other average kid things, but he was always planning for the future for us. He was definitely more like our father figure than anything else, especially since ours was out of our lives at a very young age. He himself had a really rough time growing up in the 30's and 40's in the red hook district of Brooklyn, he grew up really poor and his family life was far from stable, so this was a guy who built a life for himself out of complete ruin.

Have you ever talked to your uncle about how he fell into stuff when he was young? Did he ever take you and your sister to shows at all, or was it more like you guys just knew he was in the know on cooler shit?

My uncle was on a completely different plane of existence and underground music was something he exited out of by the time he was in his early 20's. I've never actually talked to him about what shows he'd seen but he would have been of a ripe enough age to see Cro-Mags during the AOQ-era, Gorilla Biscuits, and Youth of Today. I know he liked Suicidal Tendencies and the Dead Kennedys. I'll have to ask him about it one day, but I largely got into a lot of music through my sister.

Alright so you mentioned getting big into Victory and EVR when you were young....what were the shows like when you first started going and what bands made an impression on you? Obviously Long Island has such a storied scene and so many great bands, give us some insight into what it was like to experience that when you were coming up.

Going to hardcore shows on Long Island in 2001-ish were much different than going to shows now. It was the tail end of all of the 90s stuff that happened out here and bands like Vision of Disorder, Neglect, Indecision, and Silent Majority really weren't around anymore. The influence of all of that stuff was pretty huge though, especially Silent Majority. SM have always been like a reference point for a lot of bands that came after in the early 2000s - absolutely a band like Crime in Stereo or Heads Vs. Breakers (though Rich Jacovina from SM was in H vs. B for their entirety)

However, Kill Your Idols was really huge around here and they carved out their own niche within our scene and exploded. Really important LI band regardless of what your stance on them is. It was locals that made an impression on me first, and the vibe was more chill than how outwardly violent shows around here are today. That's not to say that early 00’s shows were any less energetic, but there was definitely more of an emphasis on pile-on’s and sing-a-longs than explicitly going to a show and expecting your teeth to get knocked in. Whenever there was any bullshit or nonsense, it was taken care of and people were confronted and thrown out of shows by the other attendees. No one does that anymore, but that's not to say Long Island is any less unified, it's just different now.

Melodic hardcore and straight up hardcore isn't as big now as it was then, metal-core and heavy hardcore seems to be taking the helm this era. Shows were always really diverse back then too - it wasn't uncommon to have a hardcore, metal-core, indie, singer-songwriter, punk, and emo band all on the same show. At some points I remember electronic projects being on hardcore shows for better or worse depending on who you asked, haha. Also pamphlets, benefits, donation jars for various causes. We're just seeing that coming back now over here.

Locals of my era that made an impression on me as a teenager were Subterfuge (Rick from This is Hell's band before This is Hell) Strongpoint, Gabriel, Heads Vs. Breakers, The Backup Plan, Kill Your Idols, Celebrity Murders (Artie from Indecision), Blood Red (ex-Silent Majority). Pretty much anything that wasn't Glassjaw (though Sons of Abraham were great) or Brand New. I couldn't stand that entire school of stuff because it harped on so many themes and attitudes that were born from our underground scene but was completely contrary to what makes Long Island's scene great. Pushed to the front, and it's what Long Island was largely known for. To each his own, of course, but I found the overall integrity of that stuff lacking when Long Island has so many diamonds in the rough. Bands that made an impression on me in general as a teen - Bane ("Holding This Moment"), The Hope Conspiracy, One King Down ("Bloodlust Revenge"), Most Precious Blood, Hatebreed, Stay Gold, Judge, Cave-In, Converge.

Talk a little bit more about that cultural change....less posi, less ideas oriented. That's something I've definitely noticed over the years as well...what do you see as driving that evolution and how do we bring it back around?

I can't say for sure, and I tread carefully when discussing this sort of thing because it seems to be reoccurring attitude to use the old "well, hardcore's not like it used to be" scapegoat. I mean, it's never going to be like whatever you or I were comfortable with it being or representing, that's dogma, and fuck dogma, that's what all of the older crowd who were in bands in days' past are trying to push onto the kids to keep their vision on life-support a bit longer to satiate whatever fragile ego they've built up. I have more of a problem with that than hardcore changing. it's going to shapeshift into something else almost by default.

What people seem to forget is that when you're heavily involved or devoted to a space, you are free to create within it. 90% of the time you're going to fall flat on your face, but it's worth committing to being the change you want to see. Admittedly, I get awfully jaded and bitter at times, but a larger part of me realizes that you can't fault a teenager or young kid just getting into this to adhere to you or I's vision of hardcore if it's something they've otherwise not been exposed to. Hardcore is not above marketing either, it's strange to me to be aware of what school of bands is the hot new thing, and I can't tell if it's a hot new thing or if people are actually finding substance in what's puked out at them. I would venture a guess that the internet and bands and shows being oversaturated and hyper-accessible might have a bit to do with how disposable hardcore can feel at times.

I'm not going to harp on "well this is what I had to do to find a show" nonsense, but there is some truth to the fact that social media has made flyering and booking shows INFINITELY easier. I can't speak too much on this because I got into this at the transition period of show dates being available on the internet, but they were always on some really crude website or forum. I also think a lot of people don't put their money where their mouth is either, and I think a lot of people overlook context in nearly every situation that sprouts up. I truly feel like this is a material problem, no matter what wing you lean towards, and in a lot of ways it feels like a smokescreen.

We live in really weird times and we're moving towards even weirder shit. People feel safer than they actually are, and that kind of recklessness is definitely a young man's game.

At what point did you start to pick up the mic/guitar and start doing your own projects?

I've been playing guitar since I was 19 (poorly) but I've only sung in two bands. My first was when I was 20 in a band called Invade, which actually wasn't terribly different from Annulment. We had a lot of momentum and we even got to do two splits, one with our friends in In Times of War (the same singer, Tim, sings in Carcosa now) and the other was with Die Young. It was cool because we had a ton of momentum propelling us forward but I was dealing with some pretty severe mental health issues in my early 20’s so I wasn't able to commit to the band and go on tour like we planned. I left the band and they kept going a bit longer, but they eventually called it quits shortly after.

The great thing about Invade is that I kept really close with all of those guys after the fact, they were so cool about my entire situation and were truly my friends before they were my bandmates. It took about 7 years of working with various people to finally get Annulment up and running, first started by our former guitarist Brian Christie. To be able to have something tangible I can put my hand in creating is essential to my sanity, haha.

I'm not sure if I'll ever stop playing music, I actually started playing guitar way more seriously lately, Matt Reed who was the previous singer of Jukai has been helping me out a ton, he's a crazy-skilled musician and also has had his hand in Annulment too. I hope I get to work with him too in the future, definitely a solid and genuine person.

Take us through your time with guys have the e.p. on Blasphemour, a couple digital songs and now you're working on the final will and testament. What would you say was the vision for the band both lyrically and sonically when you started, and how close would you say you've come to realizing that vision?

Annulment started in 2013 between me and Brian Christie, though our current guitarist Simon Swist was technically in the band from the beginning, but he left for a couple of years and we had him back with us in 2015. We had several other people play bass, second guitar, and drums. At this point I guess I’m the only original member the whole way through. For this upcoming record Dan Lomeli from Incendiary was kind enough to help us out with drums and working with him has been great, really laid-back, up-for-anything, salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. Our other friend Randy Nieves is on bass for the recording, also a really solid guy we all know from back in the day which was cool because we’ve been without a bassist since December.

Simon’s been handling the guitar-work and generally piecing together and writing a lot of the songs, which has definitely been a trip. I love working with the dude because he has a really good ear, a good taste in what works and what doesn’t, and I relate him in the sense that we both create manically and obsessively until whatever we’re working on is where we want it to be. As it turns out, he’s going to be working on mixing our record too, and I think he’s going to be doing more of that in the future too; he’s starting up a mixing and mastering gig called Late Bloomer Audio.

Annulment began as a really politically-driven band, and I’ve always tried to assess things I found to be detestable and grossly-exploiting. However, I found a problem with this along the way – not in what I was writing but that I didn’t want to pigeonhole ourselves as strictly-politics. I’ve always had a really easy time writing this sort of thing because it was stuff that deeply frustrated me, but you don’t have to look far anymore, these issues are everywhere.

It became apparent when we were writing and recording the “Filth Upon a Gaping Maw / Rage Against the Dying Light” 2-song’er that I was starting more and more to write about myself. It’s something I’ve previously had a really hard time doing because there’s a sense of narcissism that comes with publicly revealing yourself like that and in a lot of ways I felt selfish and shameful in writing about myself. But I’m also changing as a person too; there’s such an emphasis on labels, alignments, and absolute, black-and-white ideologies these days that I’m seeing intense isolation in other people as well as myself.

This is probably the first time I'm publicly stating this, but I feel more and more distance from traditional atheism, which is weird for me to say because it's something I rigidly adhered to since I was about 17. I’m not exactly sure where my beliefs lie but they’re more ambiguous than concrete at this point, which makes more sense for me as an anarchist. Whether it’s allegorical or literal, it’s still the same value to me. But, I'm seeing a sort of dogma in schools of thought that people like Richard Dawkins spearhead that is damn near equivalent to the sort we've been seeing fundamentalist theists put forth for centuries.

They are quite literally two sides of the same coin, their actions and motives are alarmingly similar. I believe in the sciences, but you can’t deny that there’s a sort of imperialism as to how it’s steamrolling its way through culture through colonialization and a sort of technophilia – we are quite literally a skip away from living in Blade Runner, and I have mixed feelings about that because technology as it stands is almost always going to be within a capitalist context, lining someone’s pockets, or turning the environment into a frothing septic tank - we already see this most perversely with the hold of the pharmaceutical and food industries in this country.

On the “Celestial Mother…” EP, I finished off the record with some alluding to where I was going spiritually with “Lilith of Fair Soil…” which was both allegorical and literal to me. It’s a common figure, but Lilith is a demon from Jewish mythology who was told to have been the first woman before Eve, and created at the same time as Adam. Lilith refused to be subservient to Adam, and consequently left Eden as a result – thus Eve was created to replace Lilith, who in some context might be represented as the first true rebellion, question, or refusal.

On "The Nihil of Vibrant Soul", our final record, this is a record about egoism, both in myself and forces that attempt to dictate others and the idea of egoism turning inward on itself. It's the literal and allegorical idea of the Gnostic demiurge Yaldabaoth, who as the mythology goes was a being or force that created the Earth but is a false god that is not the true creator of the universe. It keeps us suspended and trapped in time, mortality, and illusion and feeds itself off of human suffering believing that it created the entire cosmos and handicapping our potential. True salvation lies beyond overcoming this illusion and reaching the true "source" and the interesting thing about Gnostic thought is that there is no real legitimate hierarchy. In knowing, people have the ability and means to become equal to this "source", rather than live under the thumb of a false creator.

I thought this was a great analogy especially to the current state of American life, government, oppression, and means of control. In a sense, we all live in the Gnostic dilemma on a physical plane at bare minimum. Amebix was a band that realized a lot of these same themes and I definitely cite them as an influence too. 108 is a band that while I don't agree with everything they had to say, are probably the best and most important band to come out of hardcore because they definitely initiated a lot of important dialogue.
Ego is a powerful driving force, we see it in people whose voices are so loud to the point of narcissistic personality disorder, to sheer manipulation, and even depression has a lot to do with the ego. I see all of this in myself and also people I've known over the years.

The need for control and adoration is poisonous and if not truly and selflessly devoted to something outside of yourself, surrounding yourself with fiercely-creative and benevolent company, and by association some kind of self-discipline, I can guarantee that any and all people trapped in the confines of that egoism will have very sad, unfulfilled, and tragic ending to their lives. Over the years we’ve had overdoses and suicides from our friends; young people, and I can’t help but keep coming to that conclusion. Work through your shit and be devoted to others, you'd be surprised what kind of true and powerful bonds you'll create. We are not as grand as we build ourselves up to be. Fuck charisma without substance and merit to back it. That's a really hard lesson I had to learn and will continue to learn. All in all, I'm not sure what material I could even possibly write after this record, it feels very conclusive in a lot of ways. I'm excited to share it even if one or two people listen to it. I’ve always been in this for personal growth, dialogue, and deep bonds.

It's awesome to see you bring up these deep ideas, I wish more people in hardcore were wrestling with these big questions. So I come from a pretty religious background and have retained a lot of those spiritual beliefs but at the same time have shed a lot of them as well. largely because of what I've encountered through punk and hardcore. It's interesting to hear you talk about the limits of human capacity ("we are not as grand as we build ourselves up to be") while at the same time identifying as an anarchist. 

One of the criticisms that's always been in my mind when I hear people talk about anarchism is like yeah it's great to talk about autonomy and being unbounded and all that, but on the other hand, history has shown us that as humans we are more selfish and vicious than I think we even understand, so a little humility, and gasp! submission to some sort of authority is probably needed to control the worst of our excesses. Talk a little bit more about bringing together an anarchist perspective and an understanding of the human condition (I realize this is the type of question about which whole volumes are written, haha).

I think by nature something like punk rock and hardcore gives us a sense of skepticism for the organized religions we likely grew up with. I remember questioning at a very young age though, even before getting involved in underground music. I grew up Catholic and went to an afterschool program to receive communion and confirmation. I think I was about in 5th grade when I asked a question about Adam and Eve because I was confused as to how we were all descendants of two humans because it conflicted with what I was learning in the sciences at public school about genes overlapping and creating birth defects due to incestuous procreation. Basically the answer I got was “well, don’t you believe in miracles?” and that kind of set off a lightbulb in my head at a young age that critical thought was being squashed at the most basic level.

That’s not to say that I came from a deep and strict religious household though. As weird as it was growing up, we were never pressed for what we believed or disbelieved. We celebrated religious holidays for sure (and still do) but we were never really observing the religion, it’s always been more of a sense of family tradition and being a part of a societal norm than being explicitly connected to a religious observation spiritually. More frankly, it’s just an excuse to get the family together. But I can count on one hand the amount of times we actually went to church as a kid, haha. My family also saw any sort of spirituality as taboo – they’re the kind of people that aren’t really offended by astrologers, psychic mediums, or witchcraft. In that regard we had it really easy growing up!

As far as anarchism and spirituality goes, I strongly believe that they can go hand-in-hand. The issue is that we have monocultures and dogmatic schools of thought hovering over us. One thing that comes to mind was lightly studying anthropology when I was at university, specifically ancient African civilizations. This stuff changed my outlook on things significantly. From what I learned, pre-civilization humans traveled in extremely small groups of people, categorically ‘bands’, which is even smaller than a tribe – consisting of roughly about a dozen or so people. What’s really interesting is that by nature there wasn’t really a hierarchy to these bands of people, it was largely egalitarian, they just had duties so that they could actually subsist and survive (sounds a lot like anarchism to me) They also had spiritual beliefs too, believe it or not, but their gods were personal gods, and sometimes they were gods and deities and took the form of their deceased relatives and ancestors.

Here’s where things get interesting. As civilization grew and became more complex – from bands, to tribes, to chiefdoms, to states, to empires; it becomes less egalitarian and there is more of a need of a unified state spirituality, alignment, and cause in order for society and nation to function as a whole – but at what cost? It’s a no-brainer I guess; if you have millions or billions of people claiming their own individualized spiritual and political presence, there’s no unification if you have several dogmatic or resistant beliefs. Actually, they don’t even need to be dogmatic or resistant, if they’re merely different in any capacity that doesn’t support the larger growth; it becomes a problem in the eyes of an overreaching state.

Pure anarchism is largely a dream in the modern era, especially when we’ve overpopulated ourselves to exceed seven billion and growing, it would come off in a lot of regards as wholly selfish, which is why you see a lot of anarchists jumping ship and becoming anarcho-communists because (admittedly) it makes more sense in historical and in current political context. But I think to an extent, even in a seemingly egalitarian system like that, there’s still a degree of state control no matter how you slice it. As a point of reference, it’s no secret that Gnostics were largely exterminated by the greater Christian following and were nearly wiped out of Christian canon entirely until we discovered the Nag Hammadi texts in the 1940s. Which by the way, when Christianity was first founded, there were something like 100-150 sects of it. The idea of a state religion is absolutely an imperial endeavor.

I can’t speak for the rest of Annulment because I know we’ve always been a diverse bunch, but I have to really drive the point that I’m personally in complete opposition to Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism (which is not anarchism any way you look at it. Ayn Rand and Rothbard were not anarchists) which is probably also why LaVeyan Satanism never appealed to me either, which just kind of comes off like Ayn Rand “fuck you, got mine” rhetoric with spooky and edgy teenage poetry. Of course, there are other schools of Satanism that are more cohesive but as a whole it never really appealed to me for its overemphasis on personal power and less on personal sacrifice. To me it just comes off to me as people who have tendencies of unapologetic empire-building and are largely afraid to die.

The strongest people I know are the most humble. They’re not doormats, but they’re spiritually connected to the idea that we exist here on an expendable physical plane and that materialism is worthless; that our personal connections to people, weakened groups of people, and self-exploration are so much more valuable and any wealth or power. But also that violence is sometimes necessary to defend these things as well on a personal, not militarized level.

As far as the idea of authority, I think leadership and authority are two entirely different things. Fuck anything that refers to itself as authority. We don’t need authority, but we can certainly stand to learn from the leadership of our peers. Some people are just better suited for certain tasks, and are better suited to learn from than others. All of this can still be egalitarian. A lot of my friends are way better musicians than I am and of course I’m going to learn from them instead of get this pig-headed idea in my mind that I can currently do better than them on my own. Maybe one day, but not today haha. I feel like you can apply that to nearly anything, I’ve always treated other people as equals even if there’s a difference in ability. I think that’s what anarchism is all about. Again, removing the ego, which is not the same as confidence but a perversion of it.

In the idea of humans being vicious and selfish, yes, that’s an unfortunate side of duality all of us come to face at one point or another. We can be ugly, disgusting, awful creatures to one another but we can’t curse this part of ourselves either, that ugliness is very much a part of us but we don’t have to feed it either. I also see no problem with excommunicating (not imprisoning) someone from a community if they are innately malicious and malevolent towards the community. That brings up a lot of grey areas and aspects of agreed-upon communal law and there are always ugly variables to deal with but the point is that nothing is black and white and you have to look at things on an individual basis. There is nothing inherently wrong with bending in my opinion.

As far humans being vicious and selfish in the modern era, I could chalk that up to the fact that there’s an obscene economic disparity between one person and another. We’ve been poisoned by the idea that we deserve and are entitled to the opportunity to build empires and I’d like to think we’re capable of being more than a colonial virus.

Alright so let's bring this back to Annulment and the new/final record you guys are working has the recording process been going thus far, and what should people expect from it sonically?

Recording has been going great. We recorded all of the instruments in a few days with our friend Taykwuan and in the coming weeks we’re doing vocals separately and taking a bit more time with that. Simon’s taking care of mixing the record, and we talked about sending it to Audiosiege to be mastered but we’re still unsure of that currently. It might take a few more months for all of this to be pushed out, but I would rather us be obsessive and particular about fine tuning the record to get it where we want rather than rush out something that could’ve been better.

I’m sure all of us would have a different input as to what the record sounds like sonically, but to give an idea – I would say that this record is some kind of cross-pollination of Jesuit, Unbroken, Deadguy, Converge, Turmoil, and a touch of Integrity. I hope I’m accurate in that description, but that’s the vibe I’ve gotten from us writing these songs for the last couple of years. Though those influences are rooted in the 90s, it’s definitely got a different vibe than the deliberate heavy 90s hardcore influence we had in the first release. The 2-song EP we put out in 2015 probably serves as a transition marker for sure.

As a final will and testament so to speak, what do you hope people take away from it?
I haven’t really thought about what I hope people take away from it because I’ve been so involved in internalizing the writing process. Whereas on previous releases, especially “Celestial Mother…” I was writing to reach out to people who felt the same way about social issues and find some semblance of a community. To an extent that was successful because I made a few good friends in other scenes out of it.

This is the first time I’ve found myself writing a very selfish record lyrically. It’s entirely unhinged and raw, and if people relate to it that’s fantastic, but like I said before, I’m in this for the dialogue. There’s definitely a part of me that’s curious to know what people take from it, if anything, and I hope I can look forward to some conversations in the future. There’s not enough of that in hardcore, in my opinion. Any and all criticism is always welcome, I’m not thin-skinned about what I create, I have no delusions about sitting on some golden egg or being entitled to reap the benefits of something I worked on or some nonsense.

Simply put, this record is just a lot about coping with my own experiences – socially, spiritually, and internally. The only stake I have in this is urging people to keep their minds open and look past a lot of the illusory waste that surrounds us; it’s not merely outside and explicitly pressing against us, it’s also very close to us – the people you keep closest and agree with you the most could often turn out to be the most vile. Make friends with a supposed enemy. You have no idea how valuable your presence could be in someone else’s life and how your dedication, drive, and consistency could change them and yourself. There is no polarity, just intention.

You mentioned potentially continuing to create music with some of the people involved in the current incarnation of Annulment, what sort of project are you hoping comes next?

I’ve been messing around with guitar, I don’t think I’ll ever personally stop making music. It’s compulsory, obsessive – the healthy kind, I assure you haha. Who really knows for sure, but I’ve always wanted to do something a little bit lighter – we’ll see how true to reality that actually sticks though. It’s true that this is shaping up to be our last hurrah of sorts, but I can’t predict what happens today or tomorrow. We may play a few more shows, we may play a good amount more, we may never play a show again. But this band certainly has a timeline, however long that stretches. It’s exhausting to reintroduce and say goodbye to several people when you’re steering a singular, lasting project. At what point do you hang it up and devote your energies elsewhere? If Axis comes back to Long Island and Withdrawal tours out this way again, maybe we’ll stick around for a bit longer. That’s my unreasonable ultimatum and I’m sticking to it. Anyway, thanks for the approach!

Annulment's "The Nihil of Vibrant Soul" will be out later this year. 

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