What Brought Us There?
I remember seeing the album’s artwork somewhere by coincidence, and from a personal perspective, the art on a cover is most of the time if not always, a main hook!
Our eyes are windows to the external, and psychologically speaking; your eyes would rather fall on art in shape and colour than on text.
After the first take on getting hooked on the cover art, down to the name of the release Mantras, elsewhere to read the name of the band Grande Loge. That stuck in the unconscious memory for a while until it was released a few days ago, for us to consciously play it.
Grande Loge As A Name
The name strikes a big time! Even more interestingly, if you attempt to write Grande Loge on Google Search; you will be met with Grande Loge de France, Grande Loge Nationale Francaise and more results.
Bear in mind, that a grand lodge is a masonic term indicating the authority that governs and supervises the individual lodges of Freemasons in any particular geographical area or jurisdiction.
Aside from this information that might or might not be valid; the name Grande Loge signified a sect or a formation to us, possibly one of spiritual values and ethics.
Grande Loge‘s album carries the name Mantras, in a very direct statement to what listeners should expect. But, in which form; that is certainly a vague point before you start playing the record.
The word mantra can be broken down into two parts: man/manas which means mind, and tra which means tool. That is to say, a mantra is an instrument of the mind — a mighty sound or vibration that you can use to release your mind and to stretch its awareness and connectivity to the oneness of life, beyond limits.
Mantras Cover Art
Graphic design participates massively in revealing part of the sound signature carried by a music release, in that sense, Grande Loge‘s album cover art reveals a colour and design psychology that resembles the sound of their music.
Colours such as orange, yellow, brownish red and blue are intensely used in the Grande Loge – Mantras album cover art. Psychologically speaking, we have tried our best to interpret the selection of colours used in the album’s cover art design, while chances of being right or wrong are always conceivable.
Now let’s dive a bit more into the psychology of colour selection here; orange is possibly used to represent positiveness and energy, and yellow represents the earth, meanwhile blue is vastly used to possibly indicate authority, serenity and strength. Finally, brownish red can possibly point towards credibility and age associated with willpower, leadership, longing and more, on the positive scale of psychological emotions.
A human figure is seen riding on a bull, and slitting open the bull’s throat adjoining the moon phases in a round formation, bottomed by flames (we suppose).
Let’s take a closer approach to the album cover art symbolism, shall we?
Bulls embody masculinity in the animal kingdom, representing power and strength in physical and spiritual presence. The bull spirit’s unmatched strength, power and dominating presence has made it nearly equal to a king across many cultures, warranting praise and worship.
On the other hand, the moon is seen in its different phases in orange colour on the cover art. The moon has always been an indicator of wisdom, intuition, birth, death, reincarnation, and spiritual connection. Nevertheless, each phase of the moon’s cycle has a distinctive spiritual meaning to it.
Now this is also very interesting, and says a lot about the philosophical approach Grande Loge are pointing at here.
With song names such as: Epopteia; which stipulates beholding of the secret symbols or epiphanies of the gods, or in a more explicit context ― the highest stage of initiation; Epoptai (beholders) are those who came back to watch the rituals again; in a similar way, the philosophical purification and instruction culminates in Epoptika – the direct revelation of truth and contemplation of the Forms, or divine realities.
And with another Mantras song being titled as Hierophantes; where the ancient Greek word Hierophant points to a person who brings religious congregants into the presence of that which is deemed holy ― another embodiment of what Grande Loge are planning to reflect through sound.
A final interesting song name here is Mithra Invictus; the title that hints the unconquered Indo-Iranian god Mithra, god of the rising sun (light).
In other words, this album’s cover art design and track names reveal a lot to those who are willing to guess what Grande Loge is all about here, without even playing the record yet!
Like always, we are not big fans of describing music and to setting the bar for you as a listener so you can build an opinion on top of our possible view, so instead, and out of believing in that each and every one of us perceives music differently; we will just give you some basics here, and not an opinion.
As the album’s name indicates, we noticed there is a colossal set of voice chanting layers, that are variant, colourful and strong.
Alongside the ethnic instruments used, we could also hear thick-heavy percussion, where percussion has always been noted as the core, or heartbeat of a musical ensemble ― pretty much the case here.
Moreover, throughout society and culture all around the world, a bell has a multitude of symbolic meanings and purposes. Bells can symbolize beginnings and endings, a call to order, or even a command or a warning ― the ringing we experienced, perfectly fitted into the solid soundscape here, and possibly opened more inner windows while listening to the whole musical composition.
It is also astonishing how the songs vary in their psychological impact on oneself, giving the listener absolute eagerness to listen to the next soundscape, until you unconsciously reach the end of the whole album.
In my own humble opinion, going through all of what Mantras album visually and auditorily offered; I have to say that it was an utter pleasure, and Grande Loge should be so proud of what they have communicated here through their album Mantras!