Ordo Draconis is a brand new band from the Netherlands. Do you know many black metal bands from this country? Do you? Yes, Holland isn't overpopulated with black metal bands and may be it is good. My first introduction to OD happened a year ago. When the Cycle Ends was a good demo and the first song on this demo was a real killer. This spring OD released their second demo on CD. The new demo, the new sound, the new star is born. They have managed to bring some new and fresh ideas in this boring and stinking genre called symphonic black metal. Now the band plays cool combination of violent black metal and classical music. They already sold about 1000 copies of this demo and I am dead sure that the next release from this band will be a “full-lengh” and it will be released by one of major labels. Now you have a chance to get some information about OD before the band's appearance on the pages of all major magazines. I talk to Rahab.
I'd like to ask you about the people who created the band. Tell me about their age, education, and other musical projects.
Rahab: Within Ordo Draconis age and education are not of importance... As far as other musical projects go, there's nothing really worth mentioning.
How did you get together and create the band?
Rahab: Well Moloch and I had plans to form a band for a very long time, but in the spring of '96 we finally decided it was about time to start something off. During the summer we started looking for other bandmembers, who were easily found. In September Ordo Draconis saw the light of day, consisting of Moloch (bass and vocals), Bob (guitar), Midhir (synths), Timo (drums) and myself (guitar). We had all known eachother for a number of years. In January '97 we parted ways with Timo and Arco took his place. This has been the only line up change so far. At the same time we started working on our own songs. Up until then we had mainly played cover tracks by established acts like Emperor, Samael, Bathory and Katatonia.
Tell me about your releases to this date.
Rahab: In the summer of '97 we recorded the first three songs we had composed together - just for ourselves actually, it was but a polished rehearsal recording, Just before this recording we had done our first gig in our 'home-base' Gouda and I guess we had made quite an impression, for people kept asking if we had any recording they could obtain. This has been an important reason for deciding to put this recording out, bearing the title 'When the Cycle ends'. The tape has spread over 1200 copies so far and it is nearly sold out by now. We never expected to sell so many copies! The general response from magazine was positive as well. In January '99 we felt the time was right to record our second effort, a demoCD with the title 'In Speculis Noctis'. 'In Speculis Noctis' contains four brandnew tracks, lasting over 27 minutes and in my humble opinion it overclasses 'When the Cycle ends' in every aspect. The sound quality is worlds better, because this time we had recorded the tracks at the Excess Studios (where Sinister and Danse Macabre also recorded there latest releases) with the help of the gifted producer Hans Pieters. The new songs are better from a compositorial point of view, the influences from classical music have grown stronger and the songs have become much more diverse - much faster from time to time. Currently we're already working on new material that is to be featured on our debut album, that will be recorded somewhere in 2000. The development that was set in on the demoCD is still continuing and I think the new tracks contain some very interesting, innovative moments. We've also edited a well known classical piece and incorporated into one of our new songs.
I heard your demo "When the Cycle Ends'. This demo is heavily influenced by Celtic myths. Will you continue to use this theme in you future albums and why did you chose Celtic characteristics in your lyrics?
Rahab: Well our keyboard player Midhir, who is responsible for about half our lyrics (the other half are written by Moloch) has a large fascination for the Celts and their mythology and due to a lot of reading and studing he has gained a lot of knowledge on the subject. Midhir wrote the lyrics for 'A Crimson Dawn' and 'The Gloaming of the Haunted Eve' and it is very true that his interests come shining through. The lyrics for 'The Nightwanderer', which were written by Moloch aren't inspired by Celtic mythology at all, but by a deathwish... On 'In Speculis Noctis' Midhir has only contributed lyrics to the song 'Deirdre of the Sorrows', named after a Celtic legend and we have just finished a new track with lyrics based on Celtic mythology. It's pretty sure that Midhir will continue writing mythology-based lyrics, but it needn' necessarily be Celtic mythology...
There is a common belief nowadays that it's easy for a black metal band to get a record deal. You play pretty popular melodic black metal. Have you received any offers from record labels? What do you want to have taken up in your contract?
Rahab: Well we've sent around a lot of promotional copies of 'When the Cycle Ends' and there were some labels interested in releasing our material - but it were rather small labels and we had come to the conclusion it would be better to get some studio-experience first, before recording our debut album for a record label in order to make it a smashing masterpiece, so we decided to turn the offers down. Of course there are some matters we would like to have taken up into the contract, but nothing extraordinary I think. It's important to us that we have complete artistic freedom and sufficient studio-time. But most subjects are negotiable, since one label isn't the other - one label has strong points in a certain field, another label has them in another field. Let's just wait if there are any labels around, willing to cooperate with us, first.
As far as I know you planned to release your new demo this spring. Do you want to share your thoughts about this demo?
Rahab: Well, I've already told quite a bit about the demo. Iit was released on the first of May and it has sold 850 copies within the first two months, which isn't bad for a demo I'd say. Our drummer Arco has done an incredible job on the artwork and the demo comes with a full-colour 8-page booklet. It is a limited edition of 1500 copies and Moloch and I have numbered the first hundred copies with our blood in order to emphesize the bond between us and the music we created, which is as much part of us as the blood that runs through our veins. The first reviews have been outstanding.
Ordo Draconis comes from the Netherlands. Your country is well-known for its death and doom metal scenes, but we don't know about the black metal scene. Tell me about it.
Rahab: The Netherlands never had a particularly good black metal scene. I guess there have been some cult bands around like Malefic Oath, Bestial Summoning, Necroxysma, but none of these bands are still existing. Bands like Occult, Deinonychus and Countess have grown away from the black metal scene or stopped existing. The best known black metal act from the Netherlands should be Liar of Golgotha, they have been for some years now, but I think times are changing. More and more promising new acts are arising. A perfect example is the excellent band Cirith Gorgor who have just released their debut CD through Osmose.... and it's a smasher I can tell you!! They play extreme black metal somewhat in the vein of Marduk, but with more melody in the songs - really great! Another good example of a talented band that has been picked up by a label are Salacious Gods; I believe their debut album has been recorded - something to look out for! They play black metal a little in the vein of Cradle of Filth!
As a continuation of the previous question, I'd like you to tell me about metal bands from Holland. Can you recommend our readers any good but not yet signed bands from your country?
Rahab: Sure I can. Some unsigned bands I personally like are Detonation and Reborn - both play the well known Gothenburg style. The band Absent Mind are also quite good - black metal with three vocalists (one female) in the Cradle of Filth vein! In the more extreme black metal field, Holland has Warlust, Yoatzin and Infinity - all very brutal but very good as well. Dwelling somewhere in between death and black metal there are bands like Animosity and Iscariot, quite interesting as well!
Playing metal music is not the way to earn good money. Only few bands can say that they live from their music. Why did you come to this business? Is it a hobby for you or do you plan to make money?
Rahab: No, we're not into this for the money! That would be quite stupid, for there are much easier ways to earn money, even with music. Black metal simply offers us the appropriate tool to give expression to the emotions we want to express. To us that's worth much more than money - I'm not saying I would have any problems with it if we would earn some money through Ordo Draconis, but it will never be a main goal. We're into Ordo Draconis to achieve artistic aspirations - if money can help us doing so, then that would be very welcome.
This is the end of the interview. End it your own way.
Rahab: Well Igor, thanx a lot for this interview. I would like to mention that 'In Speculis Noctis' can be obtained for 8 US$ or 10 DM+2IRC's at the folowwing address: Ordo Draconis, Archimedesstraat 12, 2871 XL Schoonhoven, the Netherlands. We also have very few copies of 'When the Cycle Ends' (6US$/10DM) and we have full colour T-shirts and longsleeves available (for resp 15US$/30DM and 20 US$/20US$) - all prices include postage and packing. I hope some of you readers will take the opportunity to check us out!