Under the Ash Tree

by Atrocity and the Complications

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released July 23, 2015



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Atrocity and the Complications Lexington, Kentucky

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Track Name: Sun and Brambles
Cold bourbon/white cigarettes, a new Kentucky dawning. The Baptists in the hills in the east put on a dress of mourning, singing old songs on white gravel yards, saying nothing. New shoes trample old shards. Sun and brambles . . . a wasp in the church-house hovers on old songs. The children grow restless; the clergy turns.

Hot bourbon/black cigarettes, the hills grown cold. Do hands reach through soil -- a reunion deferred? Names etched in granite, a vignette in between: a mansion of tin behind its king and queen.

Track Name: The Wraith
Ebony branches, the heavy charcoal sky smothers the cul-de-sac. By the candle and the window, the young man sits, pen in hand, his struggling line of thought cut short. A gaping maw in the hallway, visage bleak, a silent shadow against the plaster wall, begging meaning, some task undone, or some injustice, some riddle in the sands, without a word, the wraith gestures, urging to right all wrongs, uncover secrets, answer old demands.

With heavy heart, the young man sets out goal uncertain, searching libraries of hidden lore. Mysteries can take one distant places of geography, and the mind. Existence is never tidy -- an episodic fragment riddled with unanswered questions.
Track Name: Shadow
I thought I saw your shadow,
moving like the air.
I tried to catch a glimpse of you,
but you're never there.
If I were to see you,
what would I do then?
Would I be frightened,
or would I have a new friend?

Where did you run? AWAY!
Yet you're still here to stay.

Are you an intruder, or have you always been here,
quietly waiting, watching me these years?
Is that you there, lurking behind my door?
An empty corridor says that you never were.

I saw your shadow.
Track Name: Inferno
The searing heat of the sunrise . . . this house is an inferno! We lie helpless in the crawlspace and watch the earth fall away. Eyes break gaze in feigned surrender, but there's no lying in the secret language of hands.

Floating cinder, black as night, the piercing din of the riot outside shade the sanctuary of the still wretch and his loving bride.

Four lines, a direction, a wit to catch to form an escape . . . door to the tunnels beneath . . . trudging through rancid water, rats and fleas will line the way. No reprieve til dusk, we mustn't be spotted. By the signal of the owl we'll make our penultimate flight. Turn from the torches, hasten to the river, down to the crescent, to our sanctuary!
Track Name: Lye
Being of ashes, being of lye, lurks by the window, head cocked to the side.

Gossamer threads pulling in my mind, a pressure like an illness, charcoal fingers, the smell of fennel, it burns inside: a haze of diesel. We walk in darkness. We walk in pain. We walk in smoke. We walk in light. Being of ashes, being of lye, lurks at the window, head cocked to the side.

Dark figure floating in my sleep, face like a mask, just an apprentice, message in hand: "He's always been here, and he always will."

Always Hallways.

Eight millimeter, my defense, always observing in futility. An invader towers before me, and behind. There's no escaping. Defenestrate my memory.
Track Name: Blue House
A summer's a lock of hair of a child nailed to a sacred yew. Who will rise faster? Bones pulled on living wood. A face of canvas beckons in the dusk, a face like wax. Through the battered door to the bowels of the park, they're pushing in. Sigma will transport us back to the blue house* -- built on a foundation of web, within his grasp, outside of space, an isolated network.

My travelers and their steels make a giddy discovery: in a bundle, in a bag, the wet captives, pooled up on the leaves, released. Madness overcomes our hero. Steel now stained, he disappears into the wild.

*A house like an open book, spine up, its tenants in the leaves and the walls, beyond the reach of time. Saturn casts a jealous eye. The Wealthy One will not acquire the sons, kept safely in a world of candles.
Track Name: As the Storm
No stopping that which can eternal walk, and by his cunning, even death may be stalked.

A wall of faces, hung on broken tile above the martial drainage, the rust and the bile. Seeking fleeting refuge in a space of death, spending waking hours chasing elusive breath. Popping pills in corners, staving off the noise, tendrils infiltrating, encephalitic voice. Tension subsides to a dreadful calm; all the leaves turn over, as if before a storm.

We hide in smoke. We seek shelter in the shadows. Don't turn away, just follow the symbols leading to the ark. You're leading another: he who follows close across strange eons.

This forest is a graveyard full of thorny stones, bodies washed away, picked to clean, white bones. Equipment failure -- he sits upon his throne. The whiskey and the water give way to the unknown. To go back where we started, to erase the features of our party, like the features of his face . . . Or have we been selected -- is this a fucking game? An alternate dimension? Or is it all the same?

Exhaustion takes hold. We can run no longer, within his grasp. Something inside of me started saying, "Just keep repeating, 'Something inside of me started saying, [. . .]'"
Track Name: Strange Apex
Calling and calling me out into the darkness, I will lead you along whose little path would make me sad. We suffer, we suffer at his hand, into the dark, into the fog. At his reaching hand, we will see harm. Our will is but a haze, lifting in the dawn. Grasping and grasping at his withered prey, vibrance has grown thin. I will carve a sigil. We waste and we waste and we waste. He will not relent. We will run thin. He will never rest, hunted, exhausted, soon to be devoured: a welcome slumber, a new normal. Motive withheld, no apex more strange in this kingdom.
Track Name: Yggdrasil
Whispered rumors float on sidewalks over the warm leaves. Limbs like tendrils index a spider hole under the ash tree. Unspoken truths in webs in small town taverns, wrapped up like missing children, Arachne spins her lies, a tangle like a hidden corridor behind the stairs, lit up by the truth of Ariadne's coil.

Obstructed by the faceless son of the ash, the millennial smolder of the world-tree: Yggdrasil.