Malevolentia is a French, female-fronted Symphonic Black Metal band, one that saw the light of day thirteen years ago. In that time, they have managed to release a grand total of three tracks; The newest of which, République was sent to us here at Metal Revolution, and it blew us away. The band has been kind enough to agree to this interview.
MR; First of all, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Your album, République, was very well received here at Metal Revolution. Hopefully that makes you proud?
JcReiss: Hi! Effectivelly, We had rather positive reviews from most metal webzines, so yes, we are satisfied of that. This album is a concept, so the bet was not without risk.
We speak about the rules about french democracy since the french revolution and earlier, to the actual Deep State who rule the country (as many other…).
This is not an easy theme and the message can be easily diverted or misunderstood.
I feel that the audience is rather understood the thematic of the album, which is positive for us.
MR: The album was among other things, described as a ‘soundtrack without a movie attached’, a statement that I can stand behind. But exactly what kind of film did you envision when you created this ‘soundtrack’?
Dies: If I had to add a movie to my music, I think it would be a mixture of Gray State (a David Crowley’s film which unfortunately never been possible because of his strange suicide) and an historical film about the history of France which would be passed through the filters of the deep State propaganda. Add to this the epic dimenssion of Lord of the Ring and I think we come close enough to the idea of what I wanted for “Republic”
MR: How would you, in your own words, describe your music and the concept behind République? And is there an underlying concept or connection to your previous releases?
Dies: Describe Malevolentia’s music would describe the mood of the moment when I compose. I never impose me anything, I do what I want to do when I compose. About concept, I am always inspired by litterature. Republic have not escaped this and it is heavily inspired from 1984 (George Orwel) and Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) . But link with a literary work and the only common point between this album and its predecessors.
Republic is a scathing critique of the violence of the globalist logic. This leads to treat many subjects like the omnipotence and fascist power of the Bank, lobbies, corporations, Deep State, real vocations for wars and origins of terrorism. It is a denunciation of the process of individuation and alienation by contemporary consumer culture and commodity fetishism. “République” is highly political because the context lend itself. This is not to say that Malevolentia will become a political band. The next album might be really different.
MR: So far, all of your releases has been in your native French. Is there any particular reason behind this, or is it merely your preferred language on which to perform?
Dies: More than anything, to impose his language is to impose his thinking. I do not say that I want to impose mine, I’m not at war against the English nor against the English language I am answering your questions in this language. I’m only opposed to the idea of a one-track thinking . For a lot of people , the defense of French language is a chauvinist battle for reluctance to modernity. I am opposed those who pretend to make English the universal language. Never a language had a comparable extension in the world to what is now the English domination. This threatens the heritage of mankind and confronts us to a greater problem, see this “single language”, the language of the market through which is exposed a neoliberal thought mainly profit-driven, result in a “single thought” obsessed by money and consumerism. Languages don’t serve only to communicate. A language is also a way of thinking, a way of seeing the world, a culture. Any language that disappears represents an inestimable loss in the same way that a monument or a work of art. Many people, moreover like myself, speak a commercial English, and are a long way from mastering litterary English. I wonder too if some people prefer not to use their native language because this gives an excuse to the poverty of their texts. It’s not a mask that would give you some immunity. Whatever has been said in English does not necessarily seem deep. Writing texts and especially give them depth, it’s not the same thing as selling pants. Language gives structure thought and develops critical thinking. You can not promote a French thinking in English.
MR: And speaking of your releases, which track is your favourite Malevolentia track and why?
JcReiss: For me, this is the first album I made with Malevolentia, so I can speak principally of “Republique”.
I can’t say :”I prefer this one … or this one…”, on the album ,because it’s a concept with a continuity between songs, with a specific chronology. But being a drummer, I have a preference for fast songs like “Ordo ab chao” or “Magnus frater spectat te”. I like the interlude of “Doxa” a lot too. However, each song is significant and progressive in the timeline of the album.
MR: You have been around as a band for over a decade now. Do you have any experiences, good or bad, that sticks with you from that time?
Dies: We have not done a lot of concerts. The good side about it is that I have no bad experiences to tell. For good, I would say, in general, all the concerts we have done in Switzerland and Belgium. I love both countries for their warm welcome and their simplicity.
MR: Will you be going on tour in order to promote for this record?
JcReiss: We are excited about the idea of playing “Republique” on stage, but we can’t go on tour to promote the album, because our singer Spleen is expecting a happy event.
We therefore envisage the first tour for the album in 2017. We would also this concerts is marked by imaging on stage at the height of the album.
MR: Well knowing that you have just released a full-length record, I am still curious to know; Do you have any new releases planned?
JcReiss: Since we did not leave right away on tour, we have time to begin to compose the next album. I can only say that the thematic will be different from the one discussed in “République”, but it will always be in the vein of Malevolentia, fast, epic and symphonic. There may be some surprises between “République” and the future album…
MR: Thank you for your time. Is there anything you feel like sharing with our readers?
JcReiss: I want to thank all the people who follow our work. The conception of ”République” was a good experience for us and a I hope you’ll like it.