Spreading their gospel of abhorrence and horror, The Heretic Order rights the wrongs of man through their cynically laden lyrics combined with an unholy abomination of heavy metal. I spoke with Lord Ragner Wagner about their influences as a band and their new album.
How was your set?
Lord Ragnar Wagner: It was amazing. We thought there weren’t going to be many people in the morning at 11 o’clock, but it was packed – it was a surprise. We played here a couple of years ago; actually it was our second gig ever. But we did the Jaeger stage and it was smaller and this was a proper festival thing.
How does it feel then to be back on a bigger stage?
Lord Ragnar Wagner: Actually good! This time has been good. About 3 weeks ago we were playing in Spain, we were doing quite a big-ish festival near the beach. We are a UK band but we try to play anywhere that wants some evil takings.
Well evil is all over the world!
Lord Ragnar Wagner: Yeah, well we call ourselves horror metal, having a laugh in the name of the devil. Poor guy, Lucifer: so misinterpreted.
Lord Ragnar Wagner: I think so. The Aztecs had a snake God, the Christians invented the snake God and all he did was give knowledge to men. Islam did the same. It’s not just Christianity – all religions. All religions have power-seeking political tools, full stop.
Then they’re the ones who write history, because they’re the ones who could read and write.
Lord Ragnar Wagner: Exactly and the people with money and power. That’s what we have in our days, the legacy. Everything is fucked up, the world is fucked up, humans are fucked up.
How does all this feature in your music?
Lord Ragnar Wagner : This is our topic, our songs. The band is called The Heretic Order – that tells you everything. We are actually quite a new band. We released our album in 2015 with Massacre Records, a German company. I was really shocked because they have King Diamond, who is one of my heroes. Hence our image, the whole paraphernalia we’ve got. We had a couple of dancer girls – we’re very theatrical and inspired by King Diamond, for sure.
A randomer with their album T-shirt comes over raving about their stellar set.
What’s the album called?
Lord Ragnar Wagner: All Hail the Order.
What does it sound like?
Lord Ragnar Wagner: It’s a mixture of, I would say, Black Sabbath mixed with Dio mixed with Motorhead mixed with Mercyful Fate. It’s very kind of traditional-orientated metal but at the same time, it has the modern sound – we didn’t want to sound like an 80’s band. But it’s got the spirit of the 80’s, like if you’re looking for something death metal or like Meshuggah, then no. People see me dressed like this and they’re like “oh, you’re black metal”. No, I’m like “mate – if you ever seen what happened to Rosemary’s Baby – the second one in 1970 – The guy who is supposed to be Satan. There was a big uproar of Satanism in America: already they were painting themselves in corpse paint. Death metal, black metal wasn’t even invented. It’s kind of an imagery that is very medieval, actually. So, I don’t believe people who say I look like I should be in a black metal band – hey, rock and roll is rebellious! I do whatever the fuck I want – excuse my French – I don’t go into diatribes like you are this you are that – no. I dress how I want – I’m a monk, I represent the religion and the heretic order, I don’t care what other people think.
It’s hard now because of all the subgenres.
Lord Ragnar Wagner: Everybody loves it, this subgenre, this one. No offence to the press, we need to call people something. It’s to let people know, no offence, but the masses are fickle. I’m not insulting people – an individual is an amazing person – [but] when they get together it’s like a horde, and the mass, they are mad. This is the reality of life, it has always happened since Roman times, you would have the Colosseum to calm everyone down . The Romans were very clever…but when you have the mob rule mentality you go mad and this still exists – nothing has changed. I think this is what we have today with this entertainment: the masses are kept quiet with Internet, games, this and that because if people realise what is happening political-wise, there will be riots and revolutions every day. The worst thing – and I’m a pagan at heart – is that we are destroying the planet completely. We are animals as well and a concrete palace is not what we are made for. That’s why our lives aren’t good enough, it’s why now we have so many mental diseases, people are having anxiety – I think we are not living the proper way, we don’t live in nature. I’ll be happy in a field, a forest. We are just an animal. In reality, we haven’t progressed that much, in the scheme of things. Dinosaurs lasted for millions of years – we’ve only been, 200,000 years.
So are you writing anything new?
Lord Ragnar Wagner: Yeah we have a new album all composed, all good to go and record.
Will it be similar to your previous album?
Lord Ragnar Wagner: No, the second one will be different. I think it’s going to be a bit more technical and a bit more progressive. The lyrics are even more intense, more historical. There are loads of new songs like/with characters of history. People who have been like misinterpreted in history and painted in a way where in reality we don’t know if it’s true or not.
So people like Elizabeth Bathory?
Lord Ragnar Wagner: Not Bathory – she has been done too many times, she was a woman in the wrong time. Anne Boleyn. All of them inherit so much power and men couldn’t allow that. Before that era it was a matriarch, kind of Stonehenge and all of that it was the women: they were the giver of life, they were like the bosses. They just suppressed them, I think that’s the insecurity of males.
The Heretic Order can be found via the following: