The Order of Apollyon has just released their debut full length, The Flesh. While some of you may not be familiar with the band, the members are all experienced figures in the extreme metal realm, formed by BST (Balrog, ex-Aborted), Daniel Wilding (ex-Aborted), James Mcllroy (Cradle of Filth) and Peter Benjamin (Akercocke). We had the opportunity to talk to mastermind behind the band, BST.
Bst : Hailz. It’s been quite good so far, too early to talk about album sales of course, but we have a nice reaction, can’t wait to start playing live shows!
The Order of Apollyon is a reference to Abaddon, the angel of the bottomless pit. What exactly is the nature of this angel and how does it suit the band’s music and image?
Bst : You are right, one of the reasons why that particular character from the bible was chosen to represent our movement is that in a way it brings a relativisation of the notion of good and evil, in the way that it is a form of destruction that serves a purpose as purification. It is a necessary evil, . Our music has something dark and powerful about it, there is a mean feeling coming from it, but in the end it’s all in the order of nature, as God made it. And we are his servants.
In the band’s biography, it is stated that the band takes on the role of “the Celebrant of the Word of the Lord”. Who exactly is the “Lord” in this case? Does it deal solely with Christianity?
Bst : Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all are parts of what influenced me into creating the organisation named The Order of Apollyon, before the musical branch. The Lord is God as we see it, omnipotent and merciless. Creator of both what we perceive as good and fertile, and evil and destructive.
In the blackened death metal scene where most bands sing about anti-religion, what was it that made you decide to form a band writing religious and spiritual lyrics?
Bst : I believe lots of the actual black metal bands do not sing about anti religious themes, on the contrary. Bands who do so are composed of atheists, and therefore cannot really be considered black metal. The band was formed to serve a purpose, to spread a Word, and it felt natural to do it this way.
The Order of Apollyon can be considered a “superband” of sorts, with members from other prominent bands such as Cradle of Filth and Akercocke being part of the band. With Pete from Akercocke and yourself from Balrog, bands that have music dealing with Satanism and anti-religion, was it hard to convince them to play in The Order of Apollyon, which presents ideologies on a different end of the spectrum?
Bst : Balrog was never anti-religion, and actually on an ideological point of view, some things that are now in The Order are in a way a continuation of some ideas I started developing within Balrog. As far as Satan is concerned, I believe that it is something that must exist in any ideology, and even is the base of any balance. Therefore real Satanist ideologies interest me as well. I’m obviously not talking about worshipping Satan as one would God here. But acknowledging he’s importance in the equilibrium.
How did the collaboration among such high profile musicians come about?
Bst : We all have quite some experience, and all are pretty easy to live, and open minded on the musical aspects, so it was actually quite easy. The toughest part is to make all our time schedules fit together.
Looking at the concept of the album and the biography of the band, it seems that you are a deeply spiritual person. What was it that took you so many previous bands before deciding to start one that deals with the spiritual side of you?
Bst : As said before, this is not entirely new to me. My interest for religion started quite a few years ago, and even before I started studying religious scriptures, I was fascinated by the power it withheld. The last Balrog album, “Ars Talionis” has one song which lyrically could have fit in the Order, called “Acquiescence”. It pretty much sums up the idea of devotion to a higher power that cannot be reasoned with because it is so high above us.
The Flesh was released under Listenable Records, home to numerous prominent bands in the extreme metal circle. How did this collaboration with Listenable Records come about?
Bst : I have been in touch with Laurent for a long time, and sent him the first demos from the very start of the writing process. It felt natural to work with him, as we’ve known each other for four and a half years now, and it felt like the right label for us to start on, not too big, not too small…
With music as spiritual and epic as such, how will the band bring out the atmosphere at live shows? What can fans expect when watching The Order of Apollyon live?
Bst : We’re still working on that, with a pretty limited budget unfortunately, but it should be pretty intense, yes.
Being a band with such spirituality, are there any “rituals” of sorts that the members of the band perform before going on stage?
Bst : Not all the members are involved in that, some of them are here to serve their purpose as artists to promote the Order . But there is a mental preparation, and an awareness of what we stand for, which means the ritual mainly consists of meditation and almost a form of transe.
With Pete in Akercocke, James in Cradle of Filth and yourself in Balrog which are all pretty active bands, have there been any clash in the schedules for the members between their bands?
Bst : We try to make the best out of it, it’s not always easy but fortunately Internet helps a lot when it comes to sharing info and ideas.
The Order of Apollyon’s music draws influences from bands in the 80s and 90s. What do you think is it that made that period of time such a prominent benchmark in extreme music?
Bst : Extreme metal was new back then, therefore it was more spontaneous, less thought about… Productioins were raw and there wasn’t a typical formatted sound everyone wanted to get close too… Bands just sounded like themselves and not a copy of others… then during the early nineties I guess, it all died…
One last question: any final words to fans and aspiring musicians out there?
Bst : Thank you for the Interview. Judgement is upon us. True servants will be rewarded.
Thank you once again for this interview and we wish you all the best in your upcoming endeavours!
The Order of Apollyon on MySpace.
The Flesh is out now at all good metal record stores!