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I've been asked before what music I listen to while writing, so here's the Unofficial Soundtrack for LILITU: THE MEMOIRS OF A SUCCUBUS.


I specify that it's strictly an Unofficial Soundtrack because this album is never going to be sold. If there was a movie, we'd have an actual original score. However, these are the songs that I associate with scenes and characters of my book. You can listen along while reading if you like.


I couldn't find all the songs I wanted on Spotify, so you'll have to make do with a YouTube playlist:



TRACKLIST:

1. ELEND - Overture

2. SEPTICFLESH - Lovecraft's Death

3. IGORRR - Tout Petit Moineau

4. MOONSPELL - Night Eternal

5. APOCALYPTICA FEAT. NINA HAGEN - Seemann

6. THE CURE - This Is A Lie (Ambient Mix)

7. DIE FORM - InHuman

8. BELPHEGOR - Bluhtsturm Erotika

9. DIAMANDA GALAS - L'heautontimoroumenos

10. TORI AMOS - Raining Blood

11. VIRGIN BLACK - The Everlasting

12. CINEMA STRANGE - The Red and Silver Fantastique and the Libretto of the Insipid Minstrel

13. DARK SANCTUARY - La Clameur du Silence

14. DIMMU BORGIR - A Succubus In Rapture


I have not chosen these songs for their popularity. Indeed, I don't think you'd find a single one of them on the radio today (if ever). I have chosen them because, in my mind, they capture the atmosphere I'm going for, have lyrics that feel appropriate, or are even what I'd pick to play in the background for certain scenes if there was a hypothetical LILITU movie/show/whatever.


I'll go through each track and talk about why I chose to include it.


1. ELEND - Overture

"Thousands upon thousands come to us out from the depths of Hell..."

Elend is an underrated French Neo-classical/Gothic band that creates beautifully violent music. While writing LILITU, I frequently listened to two of their albums in particular--"THE UMBERSUN" and "A WORLD IN THEIR SCREAMS"--and could easily include any other song off of either of those albums on here, since they perfectly capture the epic, creepy, demonic vibe that the book is going for. I'm going with "Overture" because when I imagine a "LILITU" movie, this is what I hear coming over the studio logos: haunting female vocals, slowly leading to a crescendo and setting the spooky stage. It also works perfectly as an opening track for the album, leading perfectly into...


2. SEPTICFLESH - Lovecraft's Death

"You know too well that minds like yours can never rest in peace..."

The soundtrack kicks into high gear with the explosive second track, from the symphonic death metal titans known as Septicflesh. "Lovecraft's Death" combines classy symphonic elements with guitar riffs that snake to your ears like tentacles (which LILITU contains quite a lot of, as it turns out). The lyrics are all references to various H.P. Lovecraft stories. Mind you, since LILITU takes place in the 1870's, Lovecraft has yet to be born when the story begins, and modern readers are rightfully critical of his racism. Nonetheless, his stories were big influences on my own, and there's definitely some Lovecraft DNA to be found in LILITU. This, combined with the song's beautifully twisted atmosphere, makes "Lovecraft's Death" a perfect inclusion on the soundtrack.


3. IGORRR - Tout Petit Moineau

"Lovecraft's Death" ends with the tolling of funeral bells, leading smoothly into the Igorrr's unpredictable "Tout Petit Moineau." Like LILITU itself, it starts off by painting a picture of an almost-normal Victorian England. The piano, the harpsichord, the haunting baroque singing...there's something slightly off, but it's familiar enough to lull you into a false sense of security. Then the song becomes violent. The singing becomes screaming. The normalcy of Victorian life shatters. By the end of it, the instruments are creaking and warping under the weight of the change they've just undergone. This leads us to...


4. MOONSPELL - Night Eternal

"Night eternal, our world is burning / Bride eternal, our world is dying..."

Like "Lovecraft's Death," this is dark symphonic metal, creating the feeling of a spooky epic, and its apocalyptic lyrics connect to LILITU perfectly for reasons that will obvious to anyone who reads it.


5. APOCALYPTICA FEAT. NINA HAGEN - Seemann

"Come into my boat / A storm is coming, and it will be night / Where do you want to go, so totally alone?"

"Seemann" has the singer tempting a listener in need, drawing them into their boat--an obvious sexual metaphor--so that they can weather a coming storm. Much of LILITU is about loneliness and sexual temptation, and the song title also kind of works as a dirty joke here. I also considered Rammstein's amazing original, but decided to go with the Apocalyptica cover because the strings felt more Victorian, and Nina Hagen's passionate vocals make it into a woman's story rather than a man's.


6. THE CURE - This Is A Lie (Ambient Mix)

"How each of us believes / I've never really known / In heaven unseen and hell unknown / How each of us dreams to understand anything at all..."

This is a song about lies: about love, about religion, about fidelity--how we pretend to know everything about the world, pretend to love, and pretend to not feel suffocated. Without spoiling too much, there is a relationship at the heart of LILITU built upon a grand lie. The Ambient Mix/Palmer Mix is all strings, and once again has a classy Ballroom Waltz atmosphere that suits the book. I recommend putting this one on during Chapter Eleven.


7. DIE FORM - InHuman

"You give yourself up to the secret of my lips, and discover an urn to my Viscera..."

The creepy, sensual female vocals combine with the strings and dark electronic throbbing to make this song feel perfectly appropriate for a succubus. This is another song about dark temptation, and those who finish the book may find other appropriate motifs in it as well.


8. BELPHEGOR - Bluhtsturm Erotika

"Bloodstorm Erotica, your heart is racing, insatiable..."

This grindy blackened death metal track is erotic, blasphemous, and bloody. It's a song for demons. It's placed here for pacing reasons, to punch up excitement with some metal just before we delve into the full-on nightmare territory of the album's second half, starting with...


9. DIAMANDA GALAS - L'heautontimoroumenos

"My desire, that hope has made monstrous, will frolic in your tears..."

All I'm going to say is, put this song on during Chapter Sixteen.


10. TORI AMOS - Raining Blood

"Trapped in purgatory / A lifeless object, alive..."

Tori Amos's creepy piano cover of Slayer's "Raining Blood" plays in my head during some of Chapter Seventeen, and that's all I'm going to say about that.


11. VIRGIN BLACK - The Everlasting

"Please give me my peace..."

Virgin Black's nearly-20-minute opus takes you on a nightmarish journey, from spooky pianos to violent guitars. Although it has its own story to tell (that of the singer being haunted by an unstoppable pursuer), there are sequences of LILITU that, in my mind, have parts of this song in the background. The epilogue to the song swells with a sense of loss, before moving on to a foreboding outro that seamlessly transitions into...


12. CINEMA STRANGE - The Red and Silver Fantastique and the Libretto of the Insipid Minstrel

"I was painted red and silver / Now I'm filthy, lost my dollar, and my dog, he rots!"

For some reason, I always think of Loretta when I hear this song.


13. DARK SANCTUARY - La Clameur du Silence

"May the shadow that I am finally vanish into nothingness..."

Other than Elend and Virgin Black, Dark Sanctuary was one of the bands I most frequently listened to while writing LILITU. They put to mind the image of being in a cemetery mausoleum, while it rains outside. You are mourning, but there is a dark beauty to the world around you. "La Clameur du Silence" was always on the soundtrack to this book, in my head. The placement is significant because the last few songs have taken us further and further down the tunnel of nightmares, and this song feels like coming out through the other end--only for you to sorrowfully contemplate all that you've been through, and yearn for peace after years of torment.


14. DIMMU BORGIR - A Succubus In Rapture

"A serenade made out of black magic / She has learned to set souls afire / And makes sure that you never / Will leave its trance / Her diabolical beauty / Enchants your bewildered mind..."

Of course, there was no way that this Dimmu Borgir's classic track wasn't going to end up here. It's simply one of the best succubus songs ever written, and the perfect closer. Think of this as what goes over the end credits.


That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed!



I posted my review of "CATS" (2019) on my Facebook back in December when the movie came out, but never got around to posting it here because I was still revamping the site. Given recent events and the underlying message of the review, it seems more appropriate than ever to post it.


---


Society is collapsing. “CATS” is here.

They have human hands, human faces, human feet. They wear just enough clothes to look all the more naked. They sing and dance under the pale moonlight, somehow synchronizing their movements through some unspoken telepathic connection.

These creatures are Cats, and they are horrifying.

They have no genitals or nipples, and yet one jokes that another “must be neutered,” as if they all aren’t. There is no explanation for their existence, so we, the audience, are forced to form our own conclusions. Mine? Most of the humans are gone, and the world has instead been inherited by the abominable spawn of the cats people fucked. It's probably the same origin story as Pixar's "CARS," which coincidentally is only one letter away from "CATS."

We sit, confronted with these sensual, pseudonaked, feline fuckmachines of the apocalypse. They somehow embody all the awkwardness of Broadway with the creepy uncanny valley aspect of “THE POLAR EXPRESS,” the near-bestiality of the Furry fandom, and the fecund faux-sexualization of Barbie and Ken dolls.

Nations run military tests in preparation of armed conflict. We are on the brink of World War III. What’s showing in theatres? “CATS!”

If you live in the world of “CATS,” you must never ask who someone is. They will tell you--but it will be in the form of a long, long song.

Rebel Wilson is wearing a cat-suit that she unzips to reveal her true cat-self, like the feline equivalent of Buffalo Bill's human suit in “THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.” (And yes, viewer, she would absolutely fuck herself.) She teaches mice to sing, and they love her. Instead of eating them, she eats cockroaches with human faces. While singing. Who was this movie made for? Who ever asked for this?

Jennifer Hudson Cat, the emotional center of the movie, sings so hard that snot dribbles down from her nose to her lips in shining rivers, forcing you to imagine her tasting it. They animated her snot but not her tears. They had PRIORITIES.

Before we know it, Sir Ian McKellan Cat is singing a song that might as well be about all the adventures he and his wrinkled cat dick got up to when he was younger.

The cats sing on and on about Jellical Cats, and it never stops sounding like they’re saying “genitals.” Genital Cats, going to their Genital Balls, only they have no balls. Perhaps you think I am making this too sexual, but if you see the movie, you will understand. It’s THERE. And you can’t ignore it.

The few audience members here are on their phones a lot, and none are concerned with the lights interrupting the sacred movie-going experience. Some people leave and never come back. A group of kids keeps running in and out of the theater--leaving, only to return later, as if repeatedly checking to see if any seats vacate in "STAR WARS."

During a rare break in the wall-to-wall singing, we hear moaning and gasping from the seats above, and realize with perfect clarity that people are fucking up there. I’m not making this up; this literally happened in our screening. But were we surprised? No; it's “CATS.” A theater showing this movie is an Arby's bathroom--a foul filthpit, where no good things can occur. How else to pass the time but with public sex? And what better way to muffle it than with the seemingly endless singing of overly horny cats?

Humanity is slowly but surely destroying the planet. Climate change has reached the point of no return. Our species is doomed. “CATS” was released.

Why is Dame Judi Dench in this? Why do some cats have magical powers and others do not? Why do the cats have human hands and human feet? What does that mean for their mysteriously absent genitalia? (...Jellitalia?) Does Sir Ian McKellan Cat have a human dick or a cat dick? Don't answer, I don't want to know--which kind of sums up the whole movie, really. It's all questions you don't really want to know the answers to. They will only be answered in song, and can only be more horrifying.


There is a scene where we hear the barking of a dog, and the cats slam the door shut in fear. But we never see what we can only assume is a horrifying dog-man hybrid. The filmmakers spare, or perhaps deny, the audience this particular horror.

Sometimes, the music distorts until it sounds like something from a 70’s Italian Horror movie, like “SUSPIRIA.” It’s as if the movie itself has realized that it is an episode of "SESAME STREET" from Hell.

Taylor Swift is a kitty drug dealer, giving everyone free samples of catnip. Her presence brings Idris Elba’s Macavity, who suddenly sheds his clothes, becoming a naked dancing cat-man who looks all the more nude from the fact that he was once clothed.

I find myself recalling “TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN,” for not since then have I been in such awe of a giant-budget studio film failing on so many fundamental levels. It’s so baffling that to witness it is an almost-religious experience. I now have concerns about my sanity and sexual preferences.


Somehow, the film keeps going even after the “story” finds its apparent conclusion. Judi Dench looks at the camera and tells you, yes YOU, that the moral of the story is that a cat...is not a dog. Apparently, we needed two hours to come to this conclusion, despite the fact that the film we just watched did nothing to substantiate it. I shit you not, that’s how it ends.


And soon the world will end. “CATS” is the harbinger of the end times. It is proof that humanity has gone too far.

It is the film that we as a species deserve.


----


In retrospect, this movie really was the harbinger of the apocalypse. Just look what happened after it came out. Coronavirus, the fall of Western Civilization, and a whole lot of awful other political stuff.


At least we have the Butthole Cut to look forward to?

It's been a busy past few weeks. Let's round up all the things I've been up to...


MARTIN LASTRAPES PODCAST:

First, Martin Lastrapes was good enough to interview me last week for his excellent podcast. I had a great time chatting with him about the book, my background and a bit about the current Covid-19 pandemic (since that's all any of us can think about). You can listen to our talk right here:


It should also be available on iTunes, Google, and Spotify.



INTERVIEW WITH ARM CAST PODCAST:

I also had a fun interview with Armand Rosamilia for his podcast, Arm Cast Podcast. That should be up sometime in the coming weeks. Keep your eye on the ArmCast twitter, @ArmCastPodcast.



STEAMY EXCERPT AT I SMELL SHEEP:

If you want to get an all-too-brief glimpse into LILITU's sexy side, check out this saucy excerpt from the book at I SMELL SHEEP.



BEHIND THE SCENES OF LILITU AT MY GEEK BLASPHEMY:

Carlie St. George was kind enough to host my guest post on her blog, My Geek Blasphemy! While you're there, check out the rest of her blog as well. Carlie is an amazing author whose work has been published by such markets as Nightmare Magazine, Strange Horizons, and more.



INTERVIEW AT MEGHAN'S HOUSE OF BOOKS:

I was also interviewed by Meghan Hyden at Meghan's House of Books! We talked about book covers, what makes for a good story, and more. Check out her blog! It's literally a house of books.



INTERVIEW AT ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? (A.F. STEWART'S BLOG):

I also did an interview on A.F. Stewart's blog! Come hear me jabber on about about favorite characters, the challenges of writing dark fantasy, and what's coming next after LILITU.



GHOSTIE'S ENDORSEMENT:

As a bonus for reading this far, here's a cute picture of Ghost with the book. Ghost is my housemates' dog, not my own, but the photo was too cute not to share.


Thank you so much everyone!!

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