Lifeless Empire

by The Keep

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  • Immediate download of 10-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more). Paying supporters also get unlimited mobile access using the free Bandcamp listening app.

    Here you are people. Pay as little as you want, including nothing if that's how it is. Anyone who pays £4 or more will get a vinyl copy of our 7" for nowt.
    Bvrserk's amazing artwork is available as a massive JPEG so that you can zoom in and appreciate the detail he slaved over for so long.
    There's also a thumbnail sized version of the front cover for your iTunes.
    We hope you enjoy. Spread the gospel.

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about

Exactly 27 years in the making. First long awaited. Then long overdue. Then long forgotten. Will never get the vinyl release it deserves because we'll never play again, so digital will have to do.

credits

released 05 May 2013
Vocals, guitars, bass, drums - Howl Oatey Williams.
Guitars - Sam Hunt
Drums on Filthier Souls - Hywel Jones
Interlude - Jon Sinfield

Vocals on Dies Irae - Ceri Harris
Vocals on Seasoned Scythe - Jim Isaac, Chris West, Ceri Harris
Vocals on Of A Lifeless Empire - Gethin Pearson

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Track Name: Last Words...
Thunder footsteps rumble down halls.
A desert inside massive, stone walls.
Inflicted with a scorpion mind.
He was herald and holocaust combined.
Weathered hands surrendered to chance.
The buzzards dance their circling dance.
He said “them that’s dead is gone,
You give them to God and move on.”

“Stars hide your fires,
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
Conscience to slay, beasts to admire.”

A knowing smile to foe overhead.
A reminiscence sodden with red.
An eon-spanning, black résumé.
Time’s meaning withered away.
“All those I ever loved were dead,
I couldn’t bear to love the ones left.
I awoke and scaled the hillside,
To see the world I had longed to defile. “

“Stars hide your fires,
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
Grim, hopeful screams; hideous choir.”
Pray, will you hear
The dying thoughts of hell’s pioneer?
Hold your ear close, he can’t speak them clear.
Track Name: Howling Cavalry
When I fall asleep,
I hide from passers by.
I can’t exist to them,
Nor them to me.

Not in this lupine fantasy.

When I fall asleep,
I run from Landseer’s stag.
He’s looking out for his,
And he’s charging me.

So I take refuge in this tree.

When I fall asleep,
I pray that I’ll be saved.
His antlers crushing bark.
No salvation I can see,

Until I hear the howls of the cavalry.

Their footprints in mine, that’s what I’d kill to see.
Instead, I just sit on my branch,
Howl and cheer with relief.

Dark eyes call me down, and beckon me into the feast.
Instead, I just sit on my branch,
Howl and cheer with relief.

My footprints in theirs, that’s what I’d die to see.
Instead, I just sit on my branch,
Howl and cheer with relief.

Maybe tonight…

I don’t feel human.
Track Name: Contre Nous
Allons enfants
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Allons enfants

Entendez-vous?
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Entendez-vous?

Ils viennent
Jusque dans vos bras, égorges
Nos fils, nos compagnes!

Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Aux Armes!

Marchez! Marchez!
Marchons, marchons!

Qu’un sang impur,
Abreuve nos sillons!
Track Name: Blaze Again
When will we admit that this love is as fruitless as can be
In the face of such tyranny? That a call to arms, will be death’s guarantee.
Can’t fight my hen wlad.
Slow creep of hushed pride.

But surely if death is the only certainty,
Then this love will be the key to dying with any sense of dignity?
Charred heart by daylight crumble to shame
Calon lan, blaze again.
Track Name: Filthier Souls
I’ve been replaced by
A ‘love’ (routine), a hope (false), a faith (blind).
Rendered obsolete by
A Fear (foreseen), a void (loss), a mistake (mine)
That only I can see.

A searchlight scours frantically,
Illuminating all that can be shown.
I fear I’ve lost you to the sea,
And no one can ever know.

I’ve been reduced to
Dead (pall) drift (long) wood (lay),
Washed up on the shore
Where cliffs (tall) once (strong) stood (safe),
There’s no sureness anymore.

It’s now been years since I could sleep.
Longing for the second it began.
Still no promises to keep.
I fear that sleep will never come again.

I’ve been robbed of my clarity,
My stone, my mortar, my burning flag.
Tandem possibilities…
I just want my land legs back.

Brick walls gave way to my head,
But righteousness can never warm my bed.

A searchlight scours frantically,
Illuminating all that can be shown.
I fear I’ve lost you to the sea,
And no one can ever know.
Track Name: Apostate Blues
Ancient passage, disheveled phrases rearranged.
Drunk prophets, generate invested lives.
Re-branded guise, inherited lies.
Purpose fit, aim changed, outcome is the same.

Understandably scared
Of being alone with god.
Their disillusion spared,
By enabling a fraud.

Drunk prophets, generations of invested lives.
Ancient passage, dusty tidings rearranged.
Purpose fit, meaning changed, outcome is the same.
Truth’s re-branded guise sells inherent lies.

Understandably scared
Of being alone with god.
Their disillusion spared,
By enabling a fraud.
The heart has felled the head,
When living by the flawed
Poisonous rationale of a mantra;

Anything’s true if repeated forever.
Track Name: Seasoned Scythe
Mortal devotees: akin to the dead.
The same deep rooted weeds grow inside their heads.
Softest autumn breeze, does enough to guide.
T’ward the steady hand that wields the seasoned scythe.
The swing to clear the land. The swing to reap the slain.
To make mortals understand, and the dead to die again.

“We weren’t to know, how futile our stride
‘Til his flames outran our footsteps.
We couldn’t know, how worthless our lives,
‘Til he came and forced us to accept.”

“Damned screams are endless.
Man and beast bore witness.”

“Father? Do I live again?
Mother? What hell is this?”

Mortal devotees: akin to the dead.
The same deep rooted weeds grow inside their heads.
Softest autumn breeze, does enough to guide.
T’ward the steady hand that wields the seasoned scythe.
The swing to clear the land. The swing to reap the slain.
To make mortals understand, and the dead to die again.
The swing to clear the land. The swing to reap the slain.
To make mortals understand, and the dead to die again.
Track Name: Dies Iræ
Death rode in on vanguard winds,
And yet, worse still followed.
Unholy cries razed the sky,
To herald its arrival.
Swirling black, the clouds drew back
To reveal the terror vile.

The face of hell and wrath as well,
Lit by fire flashes.
Once a man, now a beast, scourge of living and deceased.
A lifetime in a second passes.
It made no edict or demand, just raised its hand
To dissolve heaven and earth in ashes.

It left no marker.
And built no monument.
I fear that silence
Will be its only settlement.
There is no hiding
From its black intent.
There is no hiding…

“Hear ye, hear ye.
All shall fear me.”
Track Name: Holding Paper Tigers
Deep cuts, weep much.
(the)Bound-up (will) sew shut.
Deep cuts weep much.
(the) Free will bleed well.

Jilted perceptions. Dissolving faith.
Brittle ambitions, kept safe.
Impotent wishes, that we embrace.
These paper tigers, perish without a trace.
Shrines and alters set ablaze.
Fragile ambitions that couldn’t be more vague.
Impotent wishes, that we embrace.
These paper tigers, ignite with a simple gaze.

Deep cuts, weep much.
(the)Bound-up (will) sew shut.
Deep cuts weep much.
(the) Free will bleed well.

Its will, its mountain will.
Widespread and inevitable.
Its desires, its black desires.
Opaque and unfathomable.

Not to reap but to taint.
Sewing salt for a sure fallow fate.
Not for greed but for rest.
Killing noise, even beats in the chest
Not to lead but to end.
Laying waste to the hearts and the minds of all men.

Not to prune but to fell.
Purging rot, a whole empire to quell.
Not to loot but to ruin.
Grasping hope will soon be our undoing
Not to rule but to burn.
(En)trusting all to the birds and the worms.

Its will, its mountain will.
Widespread and inevitable.
Its desires, its black desires.
Opaque and unfathomable.

Deep cuts, weep much.
(the)Bound-up (will) sew shut.
Deep cuts weep much.
(the) Free will bleed well.

A billion footstep trodden paths erode away.
Cave wall murals of war will crack and fade.
Structures that reached to the sky fall back and decay.
Sunlight can burn these hideous prints from our eyes.

True ease is only gained when we agree a truce with fate.
For freedom from the looming rise
Of endless, cruel, blackened skies,
Which await our creeping demise,
Purest white forever in their place.
Track Name: ...Of A Lifeless Empire
It ends in blinding heat,
A halt to all retreat.
All the world a pyre.
To signal its defeat.
I awoke atop the hillside,
To watch my defiled world expire.
And see my work complete.
My own lifeless empire.

Once, colossal walls did surround.
A blockade to the noise profound.
Now deafened by silence and peace.
The still-air calm abounds.
It’s time nature be appeased
And the aches of her patient beasts.
I now willfully tear stone to ground,
And beckon them in to feast.

Stars crack and die.
Let no man say he outlived I.
I watched and was the end alone,
Just as I’d designed.

Stars crack and die.
No god will claim to endure I.
I watched and was the end alone,
Just as I’d always designed.

The sole remaining voice to call.
The one that sung throughout their fall.
You’ll hear no mention of remorse,
And read none in my tired scrawl
This night, when I’m one with the north,
I won’t look back I won’t step forth.
I haven’t the strength to recall,
Setting out upon this course.

Now the coldest cold that’s ever blown,
Can burn this skin and snap this bone.
Her will I will not defy,
Contented king atop this throne.
Stars crack and die.
Let no man say he outlived I.
I watched and was the end alone,
Just as I had always designed.