The Fifth Path Magazine

The days of magazines, especially ones covering very-specific musical genres, is long past now. But back in the early ‘90s, years before most people became aware of the internet, these magazines were our primary source of information about bands and topics that were otherwise difficult to find.

There were plenty of punk 'zines around in the '80s and '90s, and we had Propaganda Magazine for goth stuff, but those of us into the growing post-industrial scene didn’t have anything talking about our (somewhat questionable) interests. We mostly had to just wait for the occasional band profile in Propaganda or new volume by RE/Search.

The Fifth Path was a short-lived magazine out of Sacramento, California that filled this niche. Only five issues were ever published, coming out sporadically between 1991 and 1994. The founder, Robert Ward, died in 2004. Michael Moynihan of Blood Axis was a contributing writer to issue 3 and is credited as Associate Editor in issues 4 and 5.

This magazine was unique in its time, being the first US-based magazine (that I was aware of, anyway) to primarily cover the post-industrial genre that later came to be known as “neofolk”. At the time this style was commonly referred to as “apocalyptic folk” or simply “World Serpent” — so called after World Serpent Distribution, who put out most of these releases.

Any editorial flaws the magazine had were more than made up for by the quality of the material. Ward scored interviews with most of the major artists of the time: Death in June, Sol Invictus, Fire + Ice, and more. Alongside the music was the usual selection of countercultural topics such as Satanism, Charles Manson, social darwinism, and so on.

I bought all five issues as they came out but these copies have long since vanished into time. I was reminded of the magazine recently and, after fruitlessly watching Ebay for a while, I got in touch with Fred Berger, founder and editor of Propaganda Magazine, who generously agreed to part with the copies in his library.

The feature articles are all very good, and it’s interesting to look at these as a snapshot of this subculture in the early '90s, particularly the ads and short news items included at the beginning of each issue (for example, Varg Vikernes’s arrest for church burning in Norway is covered in issue five).

I’ve scanned all five issues and you can now download them right here. Each issue contains a selection of music articles, news, music and book reviews, and articles on topics such as survival, occultism, etc.

The Fifth Path: Issue One
Foetus Inc, Death in June, Robert Anton Wilson, Zeena LaVey, Jack Chick, Throbbing Gristle bootleg reviews, An Introduction to Urban and Wilderness Survival
The Fifth Path: Issue Two
Rozz Williams, Kodo, Skinheads in East Germany, live show reviews of Death in June, Current 93, Sol Invictus, Survival: Shelters and Tools
The Fifth Path: Issue Three
Boyd Rice, Sol Invictus, Freya Aswynn, Blood Axis, Yukio Mishima, Carl Orff, Skinheads in East Germany part II, Survival: Fire Starting Tools
The Fifth Path: Issue Four
Swans, Sol Invictus part II, Adam Parfrey, Crash Worship, The Electric Hellfire Club, Thomas Lyttle, Odinism in Heavy Metal
The Fifth Path: Issue Five
Fire + Ice, In the Nursery, Ordo Equitum Solis, Somewhere in Europe, David E. Williams, Will, Bathory, Odinism in Heavy Metal part II, Third World Black Magic Dictators

The magazines are not in pristine condition, as they were used as source material for articles in Propaganda. Some pages have margin notes and highlighting by Fred Berger, and a Death in June photo was cut out of issue one for use in a Propaganda layout. Apart from these minor things, they are all complete and readable, and should be an enjoyable read for anyone interested in this scene.

Wanted to Buy

I’m also looking for a copy of Wake, the magazine/paper published by Boyd Rice’s Abraxas Foundation, also in the 1990s. If you have a copy you’d like to part with, or know someone who does, please get in touch.

Update: Got one. Thanks RN Taylor!

Wanted to buy: Nurse With Wound's Soliloquy for Lilith

A while back I stumbled upon a copy of Nurse With Wound’s Soliloquy for Lilith vinyl box set in the new arrivals bin at one of my local record stores. This was pretty exciting, but the price tag was even more so, as it was selling for less than 30% of the usual selling price for this hard-to-find album.

But then I discovered the reason for the low price: The first of the three LPs in the box was missing. The rest of the set was in great condition though, and it included the two original paper inserts as well, so I didn’t let this missing disc stop me from snapping it up.

Which brings me to the reason for this post: I’m looking for that missing record and haven’t had any luck finding it through the usual channels. My saved search alerts on Ebay have been silent for months, and the few copies available on Discogs are all complete sets, starting at $150 and going up from there. So I’m hoping that search engines will do their magic and someone will find this post and get in touch.

The record labels don’t say which disc is which, so the way to figure it out is to look at the runout etchings. The three records all read “MIRRORONE”, followed by the disc number, followed by a letter indicating the A or B side of the record.

So the one I’m looking for will be marked “MIRRORONE 1”.

Do you have a copy of Soliloquy for Lilith disc one for sale? Get in touch!

David Tibet's Sing Omega

Yesterday I received my copy of Sing Omega, the long-awaited book of the collected lyrics of David Tibet of Current 93. I preordered this book when it was first announced, back in early 2003 (that’s not a typo). I’ve moved six times since then so I’m also a little amazed it found it’s way to me at all. Honestly, I had pretty much forgotten about it until Tibet began mentioning it again in the Coptic Cat newsletter some time last year.

The book is 540 pages of collected lyrics from Current 93’s 30 years of recorded history, from 1983 through the end of 2013. Presented in reverse chronological order, it begins with last year’s I am the Last of All the Field that Fell and continues backward in time until 1983’s LAShTAL.

Based on the number of pages in this edition, if it had been published in 2003 it would have come in at about 310 pages, so we can see that Tibet’s writing has gotten a bit more verbose over the years (averaging ~150 pages per decade for the first 20 years, then 230 for the third). But then, that’s hardly news to anyone who’s been following along. It opens with brief introduction and thank you pages, and closes with a two page afterword written by Thomas Ligotti.

As for the book itself, it’s beautifully cloth-bound and printed on nice paper with high-quality glossy endpapers, with the cover embossed in black with simple artwork on the front and the title on the spine. It came with a cardstock insert printed with a quote from Pomegranate (from the 2011 album Honeysuckle Æons; page 70) and hand signed by David. The pages are all text, with a single black and white photo opposite the title page.

The book’s production is limited to a run of 930 copies, and those of us who preordered when it was first announced also received a limited edition CD consisting of previously unreleased tracks and spoken/read pieces. A line following the credits on the back of the CD slipcover reads, “This CD accompanies all those copies of David Tibet’s Sing Omega that were purchased in the first decade of the Twenty-First Century.”

You can buy copies here while supplies last.

Update: It looks like this book is now sold out and discontinued.

Basil & Co. Retired

Basil & Co. was a cocktail and spirits writing and events project based in Portland, Oregon. We were active from 2010 until 2012, but are no longer maintaining the blog or running events. All content will continue to be available online indefinitely, however.


For those who love reading about drinking

Cocktailia features high-quality cocktail recipes, reviews of can’t-miss cocktail bars in Portland and beyond, and events of interest to the cocktail aficionado, whether professional or enthusiast. Join us in our travels or just take a look at what we’re mixing up at home. You’re sure to find something you love.

Cocktail Camp

Cocktail education and inspiration

Cocktail Camp is an annual event that’s part social gathering and part learning experience. If you enjoy finely crafted cocktails, or just want to learn more about what goes into them, this full day of cocktail education and socializing has something for you.

If you have questions about these or other projects we were involved in, please get in touch. Please note that I am no longer accepting products for review or hosting events.