The Order Of Elijah has been party to a considerable tide of change. As a metal band, the messaging that they associate with their music has evolved considerably over the years. On a broader level, as people living through recent years along with the rest of us, they’ve also been subjected to what may feel at times like a renewed sociopolitical deterioration on certain fronts.
In the wake of these shifts, they couldn’t care less about maintaining the status quo. They’re here both to burn down traditions and to watch eagerly as others help those aims along. The band doesn’t intend to stop there, either. Rather, they want to replace old, outdated societal traditions with something new that’s more fitting to the actual needs of the people living here on this planet. You might think that such wouldn’t be a radical idea, and yet here we are.
The Order Of Elijah grinds ahead with those ideas on their new album, Pathos, Logos, Ethos, which is out now on Luxor Records. Vocalist Shannon Low is happy to let the other members of his band shine when it comes to the instrumentals, but he’s not about to hold back when it comes to his lyric writing and presentation. He’s not just screaming into the void; he has specific ideas about the way the world should shift.
He explains: “I think that political identity and party identity have become a psychological virus… [Some people] disagree on a couple things here and there, but with political parties, they hijack these values and they hijack these topics and then being affiliated in your own mental identity with these mentalities leads you to mindlessly follow whatever presentation they put up about it. So I think that if there’s any major theme that I’m trying to get across as far as the political aspect goes in Pathos, Logos, Ethos, it would be that we should all consider abandoning our parties. Abandon our parties and focus on values.”
In line with the fact that Low considers modern political parties and modern political identities a “virus,” he’s seriously not here for putting up with either.
“People have got this mentality that if you vote for anything other than what you were raised to believe that you’re betraying some type of tradition, and I believe that traditions were meant to be broken,” he continues. “Traditions have proven through the course of history that they survive for a course of time and then they wither away or they evolve into something else. So I think that we’re going to see that happen a little bit more. If America can’t pull its mind out of dogmatic thinking and traditional stubbornness, then we may see this culture war escalate more than it is.”
Again, you’d like to think that suggesting people should follow their own mental paths instead of following after political parties wouldn’t be thought of as “out there,” but there are plenty of examples available to prove that we’re not yet at that point as a society. Low has hope that we can get there, at least in significant part, at some point soon. That hope though, as he indicates, rests on certain necessities — including action from youth.
He sees youth driven action as key to positive social change, explaining: “I believe in a quote that Kurt Cobain once said, and he said that is it the duty of the youth to point out corruption or something like that. I believe that’s totally true. We can see that with the movements that children are doing now, kids are always ready to just put a middle finger.”
Movements that catch Low’s attention include the recently surging movement for common sense gun control, led in significant part recently by survivors of a high profile mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that took place in early 2018.
Beyond that, he feels that younger people are poised to bring a revitalization that music is ready for, too.
As for his own band, Low’s got a picture of the road ahead of him, aiming to push Pathos, Logos, Ethos intensely and then work on new music with his band mates. That road ahead includes what should eventually be a total of five released videos for the new album.
Going forward, Low hardly plans to dump the sociopolitical aspect to his music, something that he’s said he’s gotten positive feedback for alongside the perhaps predictable backlash.
He explains his band’s approach by saying: “We’re just trying to do something different; we’re trying to bring up some approaches that we haven’t seen since Rage Against The Machine. I really appreciate how Zack de la Rocha didn’t give a shit if you were a Republican or a Democrat, he would call you on your bullshit, and I think that’s what we need to go back to.”
Considering certain developments and movements across the political scene, “bullshit” for The Order Of Elijah to call out probably won’t be drying up anytime soon.
Listen to their latest round of “calling out” for yourself below.