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Those who have read the review of "Inspeculis Noctis" DemoCD in the first issue of STEEL MADNESS will know why ORDO DRACONIS is being featured here. This interview was supposed to be featured in our first issue (May 2000) but Rahab was ill and hospitalized . So now he is recovered and able to answer the interview interestingly. Read on...
Interview by Syukri.


Hail Ordo Draconis (OD)! What is the latest news concerning OD? “In Speculis Noctis” is a successful self-released CD and perhaps the best one in 1999. How was the response from the listeners so far ?

Hail! Well let me start with the second question. Thank you very much for the compliment on our demo- CD! The response in general has been very good – several people told us that “In Speculis Noctis” was among their all-time favourites, which is of course a huge compliment, especially considering it’s only a demo – a professional one indeed, but still! In most magazines the CD got very good criticism as well, so no complaints as far as the response is concerned. We did interviews with some major magazines all over the world, which is quite amazing for us as a demo band. I mean we were featured in Rock Brigade with an interview for example, a big Brazilian magazine. And when we received the free copy you see yourself in between interviews with AC/DC and Cradle of Filth.. was quite funny.

About the current situation in Ordo Draconis. Well we’re making the preparations required for the recording of our debut (full-length) album. “In Speculis Noctis” got us a record deal with the young, yet very promising and dedicated German label Skaldic Art Productions, owned by Vratyas from Falkenbach! We’re going to make a pre-production just next week and if everything goes as planned we’ll record the album in September. It should be out later in autumn then. The album will contain 7 or 8 tracks including one re-recorded track from our first demo “When the Cycle Ends”. Unfortunately I can’t give you the album title at this stage, but you can be sure it’ll turn out to be a very interesting piece of music!

 

How much money did OD spend on this demo-CD? Why was “In Speculis Noctis” self released by the band? There were some offers from labels for a record deal, so why turn their offer down? Talk a bit a bout the recording session of this CD.

Hmmm, I don’t think it’s that interesting to know how much money on the demo-CD… to give you some indication: for the recording and reproduction you’d be able to buy a small new car. We recorded a second demo, because at the time we felt we weren’t ready to record our debut just yet. That’s why we turned down the offers from the labels. Ordo Draconis is not about making money or gaining popularity as fast as possible… we want to do thing on our terms in our way! We wanted to gain some studio experience to make a real blast out of our debut. Looking back I think it was a wise choice to do things this way – we learnt a whole lot recording in a studio, both on a social level and about our musical skills. The recording session was quite an interesting experience… most of the time we were just doing nothing, wandering about, having conversations – most of us stayed at the studio during the nights and we got to know each other under different circumstances like this. I think we got through pretty good, no great tensions and a good deal of respect and patience. And what might be even just as good, I think we can be proud of the result!

 

The CD contains 4 long songs. About the selection, is there any song left out from this CD? Why did you choose these songs ?

When we entered the studio it was already sure that these 4 songs would be featured on “In Speculis Noctis” and no others. We initially intended to record a few more tracks, but time turned out to be lacking. These songs would have been for a compilation CD of the Dutch Skullcrusher Records and maybe a 7”.

 

The songs are also varied and range from slow to fast. What does OD specifically play ?

I’m not so much into labelling our music. Let’s say Ordo Draconis play symphonic black metal. It’s true that variation is a very important element in our songs – the contrast emphasises the atmosphere of the different parts… a fast parts seems even faster when there was a slow part prior to the fast one. That’s the thing with high speed black metal bands… they only play fast songs and after a track of three or four, it doesn’t seem fast any more, because the song constantly have these same blast beats. Not only do we vary the speed of our songs, but even more important the songs are varied in atmosphere as well! It’s not only blasting hatred and aggression all the time.. the range of emotions we aim to express is much broader. There’s also melancholy, hope, longing, love and despair to name but a few more. Our music is an expression of what we feel like in our delay lives, and our feelings are not limited to blind rage and hatred, fortunately.

 

I hope talking about the band’s concept and ideology is not too personal for you.  What exactly is the “Order of the Dragon” ?

The dragon is a symbol for matters to which I attach a lot of value in my life, for example the cycle of creation and destruction –a cycle inherent to the concept of life and existence. And we all participate on various levels and in various phases, like cycles within cycles. Of course the dragon is also the ancient guardian of treasures and wisdom (which just might be the same in a symbolic sense). The search for wisdom is one of the main goals in life for me. Next to that, the dragon is a symbol of tragedy and this fascinates me. The dragon is destined to be slaughtered, whether that is by ‘gods’ like Jahwe or Marduk, or by ‘human heroes’ like Sigurd or Beowolf. I think it interests me because dragons are mostly depicted as ‘evil’-beings in myths and legends (not necessarily in modern fantasy literature). People tend to label things, they don’t understand ‘evil’, I think it’s interesting and important to question and if necessary to redefine values like ‘good’ and ‘evil’. So the cause for the extinction of the dragon just might lie somewhere in between ‘justice’ and ‘ignorance/intolerance’.

Taking into account the importance of these values in our life, we decided to call our band the order of the dragon – ORDO DRACONIS. As a symbol of chaos and potential (- the opportunity to create) the dragon is the patron of the creative process within the band. An interesting contradiction, concerning our band name is the fact that the Romans only used the word Ordo as the opposite of  ‘chaos’  (it was only later that the word Ordo was also used meaning ‘a cult’), yet the dragon is a symbol of chaos…..Apart from that Ordo Draconis holds a reference the Dracul cult of which Vlad Tepes was the most famous member.

 

Is the current line-up (the line-up for the demo-CD), Moloch, Rahab, Bob, Midhir and Arco the same line-up in which you started out in 1996? How did you guys hook up and form a band? Is there any project that band members of OD were involved in before OD’s birth? How about now ?

No, we started out with a different drummer, named Timo. After a few months it turned out to be inevitable to part ways… we’re still friends though! Arco joined us at the very beginning of ’97. Moloch and I had been talking about forming a band for ages and on a night in spring ’96 we finally decided to get things on the track. During the summer we recruited the other band members who we’re quite easy to find, since we were all friends for quite some years. We finally started rehearsing in September ’96.Before Ordo Draconis saw the light of day some band members had some other projects, but nothing worth mentioning really. At this moment Moloch is also involved in a death metal band called Dark Remains, together with the former drummer of legendary Dutch death metallers Eternal Solstice and Mourning! Bob, our other guitarist also has another band, playing some kind of schizophrene metal. Apart from actually creating music Arco and myself are involved in other ways in the metal scene. Our drummer Arco runs his own distro label Moongleam offering all kinds of underground quality stuff. And I am an editor for the Dutch quality underground publication Mandrake Magazine – a magazine focussing on quality, offering in depth interviews with both established acts as the promises from the underground!

 

OD will unleash their debut soon. When on which label? How about the songs, are there any new songs? Is it still in the same style as on the demo-CD? Would you list the tracks and the album title ?

 Oops, I believe I already answered the large part of this question with your first one. Like I said the album is going to contain 6 or 7 new tracks… and we already have another 3 finished for the next album. I can’t give you only two song titles at this stage, simply because the titles for the other songs aren’t sure yet: “Wreckage” –including another lyrical masterpiece from Midhir, once more inspired by Celtic mythology (so was “Deirde of the Sorrows” on “In Speculis Noctis”) and “Turpentine Chimera”. I think the songs are slightly more progressive than the ones on “In Speculis Noctis”, with some interesting musical experiments, like for example rearranging a well known classical piece and incorporating it into one of the songs. But on a whole, you can still hear it is Ordo Draconis. I think the influences from classical music have grown stronger.

 

Is OD’s debut demo “When The Cycle Ends” still available ?

Yes, it most certainly is, though I must say we have only very few copies left! It’s nearly sold out at 1250 copies! So if anyone is interested in obtaining a copy make haste and send 6 US$ to the address below, haha.

 

The release of “In Speculis Noctis” must have led to a lot of offers for playing live, or am I wrong? Care to share your sweet and bitter experiences concerning you playing live? Will OD play in big metal festivals such as Dynamo ?

Not that many offers really and though we enjoy playing live it doesn’t bother me that much. We did do a number of gigs in the more important clubs in Holland, like the famous Baroeg and 013-venue. What can I say about our live experiences – each time you succeed in convincing the audiences is a wonderful experience and fortunately we get a good feed back from the audience most of the time, but it has occurred that we were working our asses of and did  a great show and the response was abominable… faeces occur! We never had complete disasters live, just minor inconveniences like breaking strings, swallowing lamp-oil haha…

 

Are there any new Dutch bands worth mentioning to us? Have you heard anything from South East Asian metal scene especially in Malaysia/Singapore/Indonesia ?

Yes there are some interesting upcoming bands from Holland. Of course there is Liar of Golgotha, which should be the best known Dutch black metal band. Then there is Cirith Gorgor, who have released their debut album through Osmose Productions some time ago– they’re an excellent band, consisting of a couple of great guys. We have done some gigs together and it’s always great to play with them. They play fast yet melodic black metal somewhere in league with Marduk and Dark Funeral. Then there are Salacious Gods and Absent Mind, both playing black metal with keyboards a little in the CoF-vein. For the fans of the really brutal stuff Holland has to offer Warlust, Infinity and Yoatzin. Then there are Detonation and Reborn two highly skilled bands who play in the Gothenburg-style. Some other bands that deserve attention in my opinion are Engorge, Animosity, Iscariot, Whispering Gallery and Virulent. So as you can see there are quite some bands you might want to look out for!!

I am ashamed to admit that I am pretty much ignorant to the SEA scene as far as the music is concerned. I have heard a lot of good things about As Sahar, but I haven’t had the pleasure of listening to their art. Our vocalist Moloch would have been able to say a lot more than me on this subject, I am sorry.

 

How long will you keep on playing black metal? What’s your view on the current black metal scene as well as on the entire metal scene? Black metal is not an obscure extreme type of music anymore since black metal got more coverage in metal mag’s/radio/TV. Do you think this is a positive thing for black metal? Will black metal ever be billboard music and have it’s own category in Grammy Awards (or any other music award) ?

I can’t say how long I will be playing black metal, but I hope to be making music until the very day I die! Making music is al about expressing ones emotions, so it’s quite likely the music I’ll be creating will always have an obscure touch, but I will never have myself restricted in whatsoever way. I have been walking around in the black metal scene for over 10 years now and I have seen it develop. I think it’s impossible to say this change has been all for the better or for the worse. I think due to the growing interest in this type of music a lot of really talented bands came into existence… next to a whole lot of uninspired copy-cats, which is the down side. There’s a lot of shit around and I’m not too fond of adolescents wearing Cradle of Filth shirts, because they think it’s cool to shock their parents and stuff. However, I know that I started to listen to extreme metal at a young age and I think it’s stupid to categorize all these young black metallers as ignorant posers. Maybe there are only few but among them there will be a number that will stay loyal to the scene.

I don’t have a general opinion on the entire metal scene. I only focus on the more extreme genres, and of course if for these genres my view is highly restricted.

I highly doubt that black metal will ever be billboard music or that it will become a category in the Grammy Awards. I don’t think, despite the few musical restrictions, black metal will never be able to reach an audience that large. I think that’s the way it should be, though it’s not a matter that concerns me that much. I want to do my thing with Ordo Draconis and that’s that…. Of course it still makes me a little sad when I look at the scene now and see that a large share of the people involved doesn’t have the foggiest idea where this type of music came from and how it progressed in what it is today, but I guess I have dealt with that some years ago.

 

Thank you for your time! Any last message for metal warheads, especially in South East Asia ?

Well thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to tell some about Ordo Draconis to the South East Asian metal heads! Let me close off by saying that next to “When the Cycle Ends”, we also have a few copies of “In Speculis Noctis” left. It can be obtained for 8 US$. And we also have full colour T-shirts for 15 US$. People interested to can always drop us some lines at the following address:

 

Ordo Draconis
Archimedesstraat 12
2871 XL Schoonhoven
The Netherlands

http://come.to/ordo