Interview with ORDALIE

Interview with ORDALIE

- in Written interviews

Hello! The album cover art for “Mass of Perdition” is quite striking and dark. Can you tell us about the concept behind the artwork and how it ties in with the album’s themes and lyrics?
Hello Stanley. The album cover was intentionally designed to allow for maximum freedom of interpretation by the listener. It embodies an open concept, and I prefer not to limit the range of possibilities by providing my own interpretation. My goal with this album cover is to invite the listeners to create their own personal meaning from it.

Ordalie is known for incorporating elements of ambience and darkness into music. Can you discuss the role of atmosphere in your music and how you go about creating it?
The ambient passages and samples allow to specify and deepen the elements already communicated by the instruments, the song, the texts and the images.

The lyrics on “Mass of Perdition” emphasize the insignificance of humanity in the face of an indifferent universe. Can you elaborate on this theme and how it relates to your personal beliefs and worldview?
Unlike what most religions teach, the universe is indifferent to humanity and operates outside human values. This worldview has numerous implications, some of which I will briefly discuss here.
One of the most significant implications is that there is no divine punishment or reward for our actions, aka God is dead… Whether we are good or evil, it will not affect our fate beyond the judgment of our fellow humans. This vision can be liberating as it frees us from the pressure of divine judgment, but it also raises the question of ethics and morality in a society that is not guided by divine law. How to determine what is good or bad if not by referring to a superior entity?
Furthermore, this indifference of the universe means that there is no compensation for those who suffer from adverse living conditions. This reality is harsh and uncompromising.
We must also recognize that our individual or collective existence is fragile and fleeting in the grand scheme of things. Our existence may cease at any moment, and we have no control over the circumstances surrounding this event. This realization can be terrifying but also liberating as it invites us to put our problems and concerns into perspective.

Your music is heavily influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. How do you balance incorporating these themes into your music while also maintaining your own creative identity?
I don’t think there is any dissonance here as the themes and the way they are approached are largely aligned with Lovecraft’s writings, which convey the idea of an uncaring universe that operates outside human values, which is exactly what the album is about.

The French black metal scene has a rich history and culture. Can you discuss how your experiences within this scene have influenced your music and artistic vision?
I believe that my musical, philosophical, and cultural influences are quite diverse, and I don’t think the French scene has had a specific impact on my music and artistic perspective, at least not consciously.

Can you discuss the significance of the album title “Mass of Perdition” and how it relates to the album’s overall themes and message?
In Christian theology, the mass of perdition represents humanity: “Solidarity in sin renders the whole human species fallen and guilty. It constitutes what Augustine and Pascal will call a “mass of perdition””.
It’s a concept that was also taken up by Albert Caraco, an author that I was reading when I composed this album. I quote him:
“The mass of perdition has no conscience and never will have one, the essence of conscience is to isolate beings and it is to flee their conscience that humans come together.
In truth, we will die by the masses, the masses will drag us into the abyss of excess and incoherence.
We are legion and those among us who isolate themselves will no longer change the destiny of the universe, they will only see what others are walking towards, they will be more desperate than the blind and the deaf, they will contemplate face to face a spiral without face and towards which the ocean of sleepwalkers rolls with an unalterably equal movement.
Finally, the mass of perdition is also a reference to black holes, whose mass is such that it can engulf entire planets and stars.

The track “Projection” features a haunting and atmospheric intro before launching into a more aggressive sound. Can you discuss the decision to open the album with this track and what it represents in the context of the album as a whole?
It is both the physical projection in space, but also the projection in the sense of the individual representation of reality as a mental construct based on the information we receive from our environment through our senses and our cognition.

Your music often features complex and technical instrumentation. Can you discuss the role of musicianship and technicality in your music and how you approach crafting your songs?
I try to use technicality only as a tool to enrich the music and not as a goal on its own.

The lyrics on “Mass of Perdition” feature a focus on the eternal darkness of space and the insignificance of humanity. Can you discuss your personal interest in astronomy and science and how it informs your approach to creating music?
I don’t have any real interest in astronomy and only a superficial understanding of physics. My approach is more literary and philosophical.

Can you discuss any challenges or obstacles you faced during the creation of “Mass of Perdition” and how you overcame them?
I was at times emotionally affected by the composition of this album, to the point that it had a negative impact on my state of mind during this period.
Another difficulty was that I had to compose in a different way from my usual style in order to reflect the concepts explored in the album.

Ordalie is composed of veterans of the French black metal scene. Can you discuss how your previous experiences in other bands and projects have informed your approach to creating music in Ordalie?
The objective was to use and transpose the skills acquired in our other projects in another context.

The track “Monotony of the eternal void” features a more experimental and dissonant sound compared to other tracks on the album. Can you discuss the decision to include this track and how it fits into the album’s overall structure and themes?
I think all the songs use dissonance quite heavily, maybe less on “Destroyers” which was the first track I wrote and stylistically the closest to my other band Aldaaron. “Monotony of the Eternal Void” is a song that was created to be intentionally linear and repetitive. This stylistic approach was chosen to highlight the monotonous and endless aspect of the universe. The dissonant guitar arpeggios that appear in the middle of the song are there to create tension evoking the implacable and icy aspect of the cosmic universe.

The French black metal scene has a reputation for being particularly fierce and uncompromising. Can you discuss how this reputation has influenced your approach to creating music and your role within the scene?
I don’t feel like I belong to any particular geographical scene, so the reputation of the French scene hasn’t had a significant influence on me, nor do I consider myself to have a role within it.

Your music often features intense and aggressive vocals. Can you discuss the role of vocals in your music and how you approach crafting them?
It depends on the project, but for Ordalie the vocals can be considered an emanation of the cosmos, or a cosmic entity. The way they are delivered gives them a broader significance beyond just their lyrical content.

Can you discuss any plans or goals you have for the future of Ordalie, either in terms of new music or live performances? Thank you!
The plan is to release a new album in 2024. Ordalie is a studio project so there will be no live performances.
Thank you for your interest and for taking the time to ask interesting and relevant questions.
Ioldar / Ordalie

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