Through a Glass Darkly

the story of ANkST & ANkHS

In 1993, future countercultural poetgoddess eustachia seemed nothing more than a common slacker. Always fighting with her abusive, alcoholic parents, eustachia felt isolated from all of humanity. she found herself unable to hold down a steady job. she spent most of her time shooting up heroin and listening to old BeeGees albums. she was destined for an early grave, unmourned by the world. In fact, she would often contemplate aiding the inevitability of her tragic end, and even purchased a dagger once used by Himmler for use in the portentous act. But then....

One day she awoke. she realized that the very darkness of her soul would ultimately be her salvation. For, by capturing the exquisite black torment of her being and giving it voice, she could transform herself and thereby....THE WORLD. Out of one woman's vision and a desire to display, for all humankind, the dank underbelly of the human soul, emerged ANkST & ANkHS.

eustachia realized that she would need kindred tortured souls to bring to life her artistic vision. she searched the darkest reaches of the globe in her quest for the perfect musical experience. she found it.

Rotting away in the Boone County jail was Jescoe "Snake" Black. An abusive, angry man, Snake had killed an entire homeless family in a drunken rage. eustachia could see that, like herself, Snake suffered from poor upbringing and a bad home life. But she could sense that beneath his surly, hate-filled exterior beat the heart of an artist screaming to be released. After her lawyer got Snake released on a technicality, eustachia revealed to him her grand vision. Upon hearing it, Snake fell to his knees and wept openly, begging to be a part of this revolutionary experience. Snake quickly proved himself to be capable of everything from wailing, full-throttle guitar riffs to tender, heart-felt ballads.

From the rolling hills of Sweden came kickboxing champion Gunther Oszloo. Though one of the most physically intimating men alive, Oszloo could not regain the respect of his peers after he was found fellating a Dutch choirboy. Shunned by his countrymen, Oszloo resigned from the World Kickboxing Federation in disgrace. For years, he drifted through a haze of one-night stands, playing bass in second-rate bar bands across the continent. It was in one of these bars, The Incestuous Pelican, that eustachia first heard the viking rage of Gunther's instrument. That very night. eustachia invited him to join her fledgling ensemble. Without Gunther's emotional support, they may never have made it.

Fatima Muntassar felt constrained by the traditional woman's role in Muslim society. Her only release was the set of drums she kept hidden in the basement, which she would softly play each night as her parents slept. One night, her passionate rage engulfed her soul, causing her play LOUD. Her father awoke to find her shameful secret. Though she was his only daughter, and he loved her dearly, he realized that there was but one punishment for such a misdeed. She would have to be stoned to death in the village square. At the last minute, guerilla guitarist Snake Black rescued Fatima from certain doom with guns blazing. In gratitude, Fatima agreed to join the band, where she gives vent to the Wrath of Allah in her finger-blistering, gut-wrenching drum solos.

Rebecca Goldstein grew up in Queens. At the age of six, her mother signed her up for piano lessons. At the age of 21 she graduated from Juliard with a degree in Music. Looking for an outlet for her exceptional keyboard abilities, Rebecca found an ad for a band called  Jimmy and the Pop-Tones. She played with them for a brief time and even dated the lead singer, Jimmy. Then one night, after a gig at a high school prom, her life was forever changed. Jimmy and all the other Pop-Tones died in a fiery automobile accident. Rebecca narrowly escaped because she had promised her mother she'd be home by ten. eustachia found Rebecca in the cemetary, and comforted her. The next morning, Rebecca revealed her keyboarding talents. eustachia welcomed her into the band, where her upbeat, fast-tempo melodies bring an ironic contrast to the dark, brooding sound of ANkST & ANkHS.

Deke Mulligan was a cowboy. Riding the range, with only the sounds of his Celtic Harp to lull him to sleep at night. eustachia first heard his lonely harp melodies one night when the group's van broke down outside of Amarillo. Once he got the doggies back into camp, Deke saddled up with eustachia and rode into the eternal night.

Once eustachia had assembled this vastly talented band of misfits and outcasts, she knew that the time had come to make her dream a reality. ANkST & ANkHS hit the road, playing covers of Nick Cave, Metallica, and Nine Inch Nails songs, with the occasional Frank Zappa classic thrown in (at Snake's insistance). Once tha band members got a "feel" for each other, they began assembling their own unique sound. After a promising tour of bars and local mall openings, ANkST & ANkHS took a break from their tour to begin work on their first all-original album, As the Blood Streams Down My Face. After a grueling two and a half weeks, they completed this visceral attack on the musical status quo. The album, though given mixed reviews, broke new ground in the music industry.

They went on to release three more albums: Softly, Guts in the Alleyway, and I Hate the Mona Lisa. It was with their second album, Softly, that ANkST & ANkHS garnered their reputation with the underground music scene. The group was propelled virtually overnight to near-stardom. But then tragedy struck. An angry ex-lover (we won't name names--let's just say he's famous both for acting and kickboxing, if you can call that acting) attacked Gunther in the middle of a live performance. Gunther was caught completely by surprise. The cowardly attacker entangled Gunther in his own guitar wires and gave him a most brutal kickboxing. Snake was able to subdue him, but not before the damage was done.

Gunther spent the next 6 weeks drifting in and out of consciousness. When he awoke, doctors told him that there was only a slim chance that he would ever walk again. But the BLOOD OF ODIN burned in Gunther's veins. He would not be broken. After 10 months of intense physical therapy and spiritual introspection, Gunther took his first step. He can now walk extended distances under his own power, but doctors say that he will never kickbox again.

During Gunther's absence the group floundered. He had always been the spiritual and emotional center of ANkST & ANkHS Without Gunther, tensions ran high and numerous bad decisions were made. These include 1996's disasterous appearance on Regis and Kathy Lee promoting the lackluster Guts. There were even rumors that Fatima would leave the band and sign up with Helmet. Gunther returned and whipped the band back into shape through sheer force of will. Soon after Gunther's return, they mounted their vastly successful 1996 world tour. During the tour they began work on what would become their greatest album to date. I Hate the Mona Lisa, released in February of this year continues the gut-twisting, mind-scarring ANkST & ANkHS sound that made Softly such a success.

Now just on the brink of stardom, rumors once again hound the band. Gunther, looking for an outlet for his own tortured soul, recruited his own band. As the lead man for opening act Demonic Underpants, Gunther worked overtime on the '96 tour. With the recent release of Demonic Underpants' first album Kickboxing Faggot, fans fear that Gunther will leave the band for greener pastures.