One Story of Decline – An Ordo ad Chao History
There are extremely few people in the world of heavy metal prepared—or hell, equipped—to talk about their lyrics. Musicians will either revert to the good old “it’s the riff that matters, chump!” defence or make the most clichéd cop out of all clichéd cop outs by claiming that their lyrics are “open for everyone’s own interpretation”. Often, once these arguments start popping up, you know there is nothing to interpret in said lyrics. Then comes the hope that every such band would opt for the Obituary/Cocteau Twins approach of jotting down and performing indecipherable ‘lyrics’.
Mayhem lyrics have been adept ever since the beginning but during the Maniac era they more often than not lacked that element of chilling mystery that Dead’s pieces had. A partial reason for this may be that the typical black metal lyric and its imagery suffered a huge inflation in the interim. What is certain is that Attila’s lyrics on Ordo ad Chao, a theme album of sorts, offer definite food for the (reptilian) brain. Because of the cryptic wordings it may be arduous to follow the main thread at certain points, but many passages still make for a tremendous effect. The Hungarian howler-writer himself is modest when it comes to his texts.
“Maybe I’m less good with poetry,” Csihar assesses. “I’m a bit more rational and sceptic guy. I like poetry but I feel I’m less good with that thing. When I’m writing lyrics I have ideas and things but I always ask other people who are for instance into English literature what they think of it. To find a nicer word here and there… Maybe I’m a bit too rational and less humanist, with less expression of emotion and abstract visions. I have some of them but I could be a bit better with poetry, heh. I think Maniac was better. Some of his lyrics are fucking killer. I think I’m okay with the philosophical aspect of the songs but I could be a bit better poet, if I could ask for something.”
The justification of publishing the following analysis lies not in thinking that close reading a band’s lyrics is an elemental part of heavy metal investigation. It is, however, noteworthy to look into something that obviously has a wide range of meanings in the mind of its maker. To show that heavy metal rantings are not merely dead words falling on the forehead of the Sabbatic Goat.
At the outset and in general, it can be seen that the lyrics of Ordo ad Chao cover, in a sort of diachronic fashion, the entire history of the world, going full circle from birth to decay, which is surely no small feat to accomplish. It demands a heap of primitive workers, celebrations of the ramifications of the Great Flood on the advancement of civilisation, achromatic manipulation techniques that reach the psychological as well as the societal, vril-forces, watcher visions of madness, chaotic reiterations et cetera. But let’s leave the rest for Attila to divulge.
“Interesting that you recognise this, cool. It was the main, basic line, this decaying thing. It’s really about the things everybody talks about in extreme metal, this negative energy and this negative aspect of nature. We wanted to oppose to those bands that have this rising energy. It gives this majestic feeling. The lyrics were coming to my mind in that way and manifested on different levels on every song. That’s why it’s coming from the outer world through nature, society and religion. It’s different levels. The outer and inner worlds are also different levels. Like body-soul-spirit or something. This triangle is there. Then there’s the frames of the first and the last song. Of course we can go on in detail to every song and how it appears on different levels.
“”A Wise Birthgiver” is from a Sumerian tablet. The Sumerian is one of the most ancient scripts in the world and they found out just recently these so called Sumerian tablets where they’ve been talking about the Annunaki. It is coming from the sky, almost like an alien, descending to the earth. Annunaki are gods who descended from the sky and crossbred with some kind of human beings. Some researchers are thinking it was more like some test-tubing! It’s a pretty interesting theory that’s taken from the tablets. I think it’s the transversion of Zacharias Sitchin who is one of the biggest researchers of the Sumerian tablets. The Annunaki are a malevolent alien force and some researchers believe this could be the missing link. They crossbreed and create a human being from this primitive form. They raise its intelligence but still keep it primitive—create a primitive worker. The yoke is an order you give the workers to do. It’s about creating a slave race that is called mankind. They are the slaves of the gods, of course. The gods at this point are not gods but just some beings that came from the sky.
“There are so many spiritual and new-age movements but in many of these fucked up philosophies they deal with demons and some other beings that we cannot see but who are around us. All these metaphysical creatures. It’s coming from ancient Kabbalah and Rosicrucians to Buddhism and Hinduism and all these fucking religions and philosophies but they are all dealing with this: some creatures from other dimensions feed on our emotions. They create and build the yoke and at the same time create forms of fears and other emotions which could feed these so called extraterrestrial or other-dimensional entities. It could be a big bubble but at least I like the ideas. I’m pretty sceptic but I’m not closed to an idea. Since it’s from thousands and thousands years back and the Sumerian tablets have a lot of other information which is really fucking interesting, it seems it was not a caveman who wrote those tablets but a pretty high intelligent thing behind those, it made sense to use those sentences.
“It’s a sort of artistic vision behind “Wall of Water”. First of all, there are many things into the details. Wall of water is also a wall between the old and the new world. The old civilisation before the flood, presented by the intro and this Annunaki stuff, the origin of the mankind in a way, and the wall of water which symbolises a cataclysm that periodically happens on the earth and seems to wipe out civilisation. Whether it’s good or wrong, I would not say. It sounds a bit heroic there at the end of the song. But if you look at mankind and what it does with nature, here and there we are close to fucking up and burning down nature and some parts of the planet. One day the earth says it’s enough and makes one shake, like in a split second and the whole mankind is away. It’s like having this mosquito that’s starting to be a bit too annoying. Make a little movement and the whole shit is over. You can start again because if you talk about the earth you talk about billions of years. If you talk about mankind you talk about tens of thousands of years. It has many aspects to do with order and chaos. Cataclysm is a great form of chaos. Like I told you it’s taken from these old manuscripts. The traditions or cultures or something like that.
““Great Work of Ages”, if you look behind the words, is about the manipulation of mankind. It definitely has something to do with the conspiracy things. It was interesting to think that there is a malevolent force behind the world. There was a lot of information and arguments about this. You have these secret meetings in which world leader politics come together. What the fuck do they do there and agree on things above some other countries or nations? Talking about global banking systems where some people are pushing a couple of billions every day and taking a little bit of personal wage which is a huge big amount. I could go on and on and on. I’m not the guy who should solve this or fight it but it’s just an interesting theme to touch on. You feel the effect of the achromatic mechanism but you cannot see it. I don’t know how to say it.
“I’m not talking against wisdom but I think we should use wisdom on completely other things than manipulating people. There are two kinds of wisdom: one kind we share with the public and the other wisdom is hidden from the public. If you hide a big part of the wisdom and keep the public in ignorance, you can easily control them and create this fucking bubble of religions. Nature and reality have more aspects than we discover. We don’t know much about the effect of a symbol on the brain. Or how you can feel the presence of somebody else. There are a lot of not just magnetic fields but other fucked up things there. Maybe we have some kind of wisdom about those things but it’s just hidden from the public. Psychology is a big part of this. If you know it, you can easily use it and manipulate the crowd, the masses. Then you just have to turn this wisdom into this fucked up manipulative religion. Of course you share the wisdom but it will already be a defected wisdom. It’s basically just untrue.
“The only difference between “Psychic Horns” and “Deconsecrate” is that “Psychic Horns” talks more about the inner world whereas “Deconsecrate” talks about the outer world. You can see the parallels. There are some parallels on the album, like some themes coming back on different levels.
“Let’s talk about vril-forces. What I know about vril-forces is that it’s an esoteric name and there were some esoteric schools dealing with this. It’s the life force that is contained in the blood. People believing in the vril-force think that you can actually develop it. With these different techniques you can increase it and turn into this super-human. Of course it could be a big fucking smokescreen but I picked it up because I’m working with esoteric topics. It fitted, and it’s interesting how some esoteric people stick to the blood line and how some monarchs do so as well. There could be something there, even if I look at it from a sceptic view. Vril-force is an esoteric definition for this life energy contained by blood.
“"Illuminate Eluminate” questions where we have to return, and it is a life-philosophical question for me. Where we came from? Did we come from the monkey, the sky, what happened? This whole thing is symbolically about that. We want to go back where we came from to understand our whole existence. I think it’s a good goal. When people talk about getting out in oriental philosophies they talk about samsara, this circulation of lives and so called reincarnation. People like to escape out of it. I’m trying to get you closer to this.
“It’s a certain flow in the lyrics. The thing goes to less and less structured. “Wall of Water” is very material and structured and it goes through this society and conspiracy thing into religion, to a less material thing. It’s towards the abstract. The same thing happens on “Key to the Storms”. It goes into abstract from this understandable and easier “Illuminate Eliminate” song, to “Psychic Horns” and then it arrives at “Key to the Storms”, which is like a key to the madness, maybe. When you are around the edge of madness and start to see these visions, like lions at the gates, the Annunaki and the watcher… The words start to be transparent and you go into madness. You start to recognise that there are these creatures who were transparent before, you flesh them out and see that ooops, there is a fucking demon at the corner. Officially we call it madness, you can call it whatever.
“”Anti” goes into this unstructured chaos and madness. It’s also like a summary of the songs from before. Everything is ending up in “Anti” in a strange mixture. Everything that was said or heard before, it comes back in “Anti” in a chaotic way. All the themes are mixed up now. Into a fucking chaos, like a vortex. At the end of “Anti”, when the final riffs come with this break, that’s the end of the whole shit. Even the vocals turn into completely inhuman techniques which I used there. There are no more words. It’s just the speech of tongues, the last twenty seconds of the album. It’s like pure chaos. Okay, we still play and there is some structure but symbolically it is chaos when you arrive there. It’s the end—of at least the end of this album. That’s it more or less I think.”