Illudium - ''Music has an innate ability to validate our joy, pain, and grief ''
Shantel Amundson (Vocals Guitar) The name for Illudium was inspired by Eliade’s concept of ‘Illud Tempus' in his work The Sacred and the Profane, referring to sacred time. For this project it means to reflect a sort of nostalgia for a lost paradise, not just in the sense of it being a primordial place but rather as a liminal space of oneness and renewal. I chose the name because it captures a sense of what I am seeking to embody in my music, and a state of being that I implore the listeners to at least consider, if not attempt to discover through their experiences in listening to our music. These songs are very much rooted both the sacred and the profane, as Eliade outlined in his work as the spiritual and mundane, or physical worlds before us. You can interpret music in this context in a few ways, having its roots in the human experiences in emotions of the physical world and taking us to other planes, or similarly having its roots in the transmundane and manifesting in audial form.
‘’Music has an innate ability to validate our joy, pain, and grief and truly feel the depths of our emotions. The concept of transmuting the universal phenomenon of human anguish into art, whether one is a creator or a passionate enthusiast, is at the core of metal, and that right there I feel is what unites us. This is not to say that all music should be rooted in human emotions, but it just so happens to be where I draw my inspiration from primarily. I find abstractions within art to be equally inspiring, especially of the context of boundaryless genres and musical exploration.
The evolution of Illudium with your new Album ‘’Ash of the Womb’’. it offers a more central theme than its predecessor ‘’Septem’’? Is it also heavier yet more intangible?
I think the central theme/s in this album are much more accessible than Septem. It was our debut but was also a concept album relating to overarching metaphysical and cross-cultural themes so in that sense ‘Ash of the Womb’ is much more human and tangible. Much of the album revolves around the interplay between life and death, and the ways in which these concepts are often overlooked within each other. Birth and destruction are two of the strongest elements in this album, relating to both the human experience and the ways in which humans are destroying their home planet. This is very much present in the lyrics for ‘Soma Sema,’ which really unifies a lot of the conceptual themes for the album. In this song I sought to honour the ways in which we nurture and love one another, and what it truly means to sacrifice oneself for the creation of new life. Another single ‘Sempervirens’ focuses on the emergence of life from destruction and carries more of that youthful and radiant energy to it.
How do you explain the human condition? How does the body equal tomb with Soma Sema? Are we trapped in this existence? Is there a spiritual release in whatever form that may take?
‘’In our music, and this album in particular there is a lot of reference to the stages of the human condition in relation to life, death, entropy, and reemergence. Soma Sema (body, tomb) is referring to the Ancient Greek concept of the human body as a prison to the soul. This is not to say that we are entirely trapped in this existence, or the physical world, but that there is yet a spiritual release, and ways of knowing that we are limited to within the confines of the human form. It is less a sentiment of doom and gloom, and more a call to reach beyond the boundaries of the body towards the true origins of knowledge, spirit, what ultimately surrounds us in this world and beyond.
Aster reflects love, wisdom, and faith. A vital part of your essence? Your love of poetry and the written word that creates thoughts and feelings?
‘’While I do value these modalities, I think of Aster as calling upon the creative energies of new life, of coming forth from the void into a vibrant, novel world. In a sense, there is a birth of the faculties here and a vital spirit that is maintained throughout the song. I am however often inspired by poetry and literature, writers such as Rilke or Tagore, in their ability to capture this essence in written word.
What is next for you creatively?
‘’Right now, we are coming out of a much-needed rest period but are sitting on an emotive album that we are expecting to record sometime early next year. One of our biggest creative goals is to be able to bring our music to new places, as sharing our music at this year’s Prophecy Fest truly made us realize how many fans we have stretched out across the globe. This is about all we are able to speak on behalf of at this moment, but I would expect new heights to be reached with this upcoming creative period for the band.
Top 6 albums of all time?
Naturally, this is a really difficult question, so in no particular order I am going to list off the first 6 albums that come to mind.
Images and Words (Dream Theater)
Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde (Alcest)
Siamese Dream (Smashing Pumpkins)
Agaetis byrjun (Sigur Ros)
Blackwater Park (Opeth)