Our interview takes place in the same empty space next to the stairs in the Academy in Islington were we spoke to Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling. Tom, the vocalist for the band, gave us some of his time before they opened proceedings for the evening.
How did Order of Israfel form back in 2012?
I was living in Japan, and I was playing in Church of Misery, but I wanted to be in a more traditional doom metal band naturally, so I started to write doom metal songs even though I was still playing in Church of Misery. Then I got to a point where I really just did not want to be in a band in Japan, because the vibe was not there, and I thought in order to do this I needed to live in Europe. I then met Patrik who was the guitar tech for Pentagram, and I then moved to Gothenburg, which is where Patrik was from and I asked him if he was interested in playing in a doom metal band, which he was, and Patrik knew of Hans, and we auditioned him, and we got with Staffan, and we began playing and recording.
What are the ideologies behind the 2014 album Wisdom?
I would say musically, we wanted to do a traditional doom metal album which was not colourful or obvious. We did not want an album with big amps or distortion, because it is not what I wanted with the album, for example not like what Cathedral did. I wanted an album with more variation.
I would say lyrically the ideologies are lessons that I have felt that I have learnt through life, and stories. For example our title track “Wisdom” is a song about keeping your eyes open on science and to learn from wise people (such as scientists), and when things get tough keep your eyes open as there will be a sign to tell you where to go, and this has happened to me. Another song on the album “The Earth Will Deliver What Heaven Desires” is a song about trusting yourself that you are on the right track, and doing what you love is when you know you are on the right track.
How was the tour with Pentagram planned?
This our second tour with Pentagram. After our first tour we just wanted to do it again. We also know the band through Patrik (guitar tech for Pentagram), also Pentagram are not a young band, and we are mature as well which is why we work well together.
How did you get into doom metal and the metal scene in general?
I have been into metal since I was 13, with Metallica’s … And Justice for All in 1980, as well as Anthrax and Led Zeppelin because it was something different. With doom metal it was Cathedral with their first album on Earache Records, with Lee in the band. I then bought their second album and I loved it.
Are there any bands you would like to tour with?
Candlemass, Metallica, Tribulation, Black Sabbath and Death Penalty.
What are your plans for the future?
We are recording a new album in January and hoping to tour in June/July.
Last question, If you were not in a band, what would you be doing?
That’s a good question as there is nothing else I would be doing really. I was an English lecturer for 14 years, so I would be doing that, maybe. I don’t know really.
All photos by Aoife Le Roux