Ordeals: “We Will Seize Everything We Can”

New York’s Ordeals specializes in a certain kind of darkness.

The band’s sound is an entrancing and at times terrifying blend of black metal and death metal. It’s one which pierces the imagination of the listener and conjures visions of Armageddon unlike anything else in metal. Ordeals has had a productive year, putting out the excellent EP, Choose Death, and playing Maryland Deathfest and Messe De Morts.

I saw the band play earlier this year in Brooklyn along with Spectral Wound, Penombre and Tomb, and saw the band harness this intensity first hand. Check out our chat with lead singer, Zealous Hellspell, below and listen to “A Throttled Dream” while you’re at it.

You guys had a big year in 2019, playing with Spectral Wound, putting out Choose Death How does it feel to look back on it?

We feel satisfied overall with what was accomplished this year. STYGIAN BLACK HAND did a great job with the Choose Death EP, and have been very helpful, overall. Regarding the gig with Spectral Wound,it was to our great benefit that such a good band as SPECTRAL WOUND was able to join us in New York. All the actions we take lead to something bigger and better, and thus our curse spreads. Playing Messe Des Morts and Maryland Deathfest were substantial victories for us …We will seize everything we can, and it will continue to be so.

What were some of the prominent lyrical themes on Choose Death? I can infer What a Throttled Dream is about but want to hear it from you.

The lyrics were initially inspired by Durer’s “The Apocalypse of St John” woodcut. The image of a man devouring a bible is a particularly strong one. His piety taking him too far,showing him more than he would have ever wanted to see. The Bitter taste of The WORD. The sample in “A Throttled Dream” is from the 1933 film “The Wandering Jew” and the lyrics to both songs also have some elements from this old story as well. To explore someone endowed with what the gift of foresight AND eternal life,and have it be the worst curse imaginable. I would rather people listen to the music and read the lyrics than elaborate on it further than this.

The intros to start off each track are to inject an additional paranoid atmosphere of the perceived world’s end, something that will be explored further. The molten background noise on these tracks were done by a power electronics artist from Montreal named MAUSSADE, and he also has recently joined
PROFANE ORDER, which is as an abrasive powerful black death act as any.

Ordeals is kind of a mix of black metal and death metal. What inspired you to bring the blend of styles together?

We don’t draw a line between those two. They come from the same wellspring, and simply, we just write and play what we want.

How do you compose music? does one person take the leads or is there a lot of improvisation involved?

Typically we come up with our own ideas separately, and then we talk about them as they start to take shape. Eventually we will arrive at a point to get together every week to put everything together until it is done.

What are your recording and performing plans for 2020? Is there a full-length ORDEALS album in store?

After our performance at Messe Des Morts in Montreal last month, we are halting all live activities for the moment,as we are focused on writing new material for a full length. We have been playing one new song on all our live sets in 2019,and we debuted another track in Montreal,wanting to make the last gig meaningful,as Montreal has always been special for us … but …we are in no rush, it will be ready when we are totally satisfied. Thanks for the space given to us, We will probably do some gigs at some point late in the new year … Plans are also in the making to cross the seas,to plant our flag in new far away territories. The path to His kingdom is clear, he who hath carved a new face.