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by Catharsis

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Passion... 00:52
...Obsession 04:03
Panoptikon 03:15
Sabbat 03:00


released August 1, 1999

Walking on the water in a sea of despair.
By night we slept in vans speeding across countrysides, the earth spinning so quickly beneath us that we could feel it rumbling through the floorboards—trying to keep ahead of it, trying to outrun the clockhands.

To be free in the empire of entrepreneurs and authorities.
To be lucid between the airwaves and sedatives,
To trust yourself under the tyranny of consensus reality.
To be sensitive living in earshot of the sweatshops, the stadiums, the slaughterhouses,
With the scent of blood cheap in the air.
To dream of beauty with the stars plucked from the sky,
The angels caged and the heroes demonized.
To sing through throats stuffed with the cotton of inhibition,
To write of grace with callused hands and bloody faces;
To dare to scream, and even cry, proudly, before the jeering eyes
Of the judges, the executioner, and the crowd.
To lie, cheat, steal, and betray as much as necessary
To be honest,
To tell the truth.
To be fearless: to move and follow that movement
Even into death, to live to burn up in the wreckage.
To give everything:
To kiss without apprehension, shame, or restraint,
To make love in the city of hate.
And yes, to be alive,
Alive in the land of the dead. Catharsis.


Some are born to wander blind
And some are born to endless night
But not this one!
Feeling our youth go through our fingers
Like a razor to the bone
Let’s burn the dry brush of our hearts
And fill them with song once more
Deserts without mirages
Generations without rain
Let’s shoot like rockets through the sky
And leave this
world in flames


To sow seeds in barren fields
If there’s no more fertile ground
To bear the fragile worlds within
Through the ruined one that surrounds
(to bare the fragile worlds within
to the ruined one that surrounds)
Break the shackles of my past
Give me precious things that do not last
(and succor for the homeless ones
bring fire down on babylon)
And destroy
Lift me up
Bring it down
And we may suffer
And we must die
And we may suffer
And we may die...
Come, weary child:
You’ve touched the stars
But you did not move them.
Now it’s time to cut out your heart
And be a god in the kingdom of the dead
Or to raise your face
And make them move.
And you may suffer
And you may die
Yes, you will suffer
And you’re going to die
So sing now:
I’ll be your eyes if you won’t see,
I’ll be your heart if you can’t feel
Now we’ll see who burns the brightest
The brightest of them all
Send me their sons and prodigal daughters
Render up to me their lost and stray
Give lust and life to our dances, flight to our fancies,
Give me courage for my passions and my pain
And this will be my art: to feel alive
Break my heart
Sell my body or my soul
Spite their laws
Fight the odds
Smite the gods
Starve myself
Freeze myself
Burn myself
Kill myself
Kill myself
To feel...

Nail me to you
I will ride you like a nightmare
I will drive you past all love or pain or fear
I will escort you to the end
Take me inside you
I’ll be the master in your mirror
I will drive you until everything else disappears
I’ll be with you to the end

Everything you want to feel
Everything you want to taste


“he is coming! he is coming!”
like a bridegroom from his room
came the hero from his prison
to the scaffold and his doom.

For you who choose bondage, the world is a cage
Paralyzed under their gaze
These scraps of self, they’re not enough
But they’re all that I could steal
It’s easier for you—you don’t fucking feel
Do you
Subjugate our nightmares, bend them to their ends
And they offer to share the dividends?
A place in the shadow of the great guillotine

And are you blessed, in these days of lifelessness?
I’m choking on the rim of your righteousness
Staring through the bars at the worlds we’ll never know
Lost in the city, the beaten crowds
Those around you gagged and bound
in Panoptikon
Defined by confines, condemned to these lives
No secrets safe from their eyes
But what goes on in our minds goes on in your hearts
Denied all creation, destruction is our bitter art
We’ll slip through the cracks, we’re not afraid
For every bent knee too shall break
We’ll dance in the shadow of the great guillotine
That does its rhythmic work
On each and every unbowed head
by one
by one.

Are you the sacred and the clean?
One day we’ll rise to mount the skies
And tear your gods’ towers down
In the death rows (death throes) of this machine
No freedom here, living in fear
Until every wheel stops turning
Until every channel goes dead
Until every light goes out
Until every city is burning
Then we’ll see some freedom!

Into the Eyeless Sockets of the Night

The Witch’s Heart (Lives lost too soon, or too late)

(He survived, but his destiny burned off in the blast
Disillusion tore off his wings, and when he stepped outside
Into childhood’s end, and the moon was so bright
It looked like a white hole punched through the cape of night
But from that moment forth a moon was just a moon and a star was just a star
And nothing more...
And the morning came, and the sun did rise
But he was trapped in the corridors where it spent the night
And he could not, or he would not hear our cries--)
So take everything, break everything, fake everything, fuck everything
It’s all nothing if you want, but that’s not what I want
I’d give anything to see you feel again once more
Stand alone
Beside you
Listening for a sign of life from inside of you
Suffering some gift of god
Pursuing, hunting you
Yes, life is sour when you hit the ground,
Moments wasted, loves gone foul
However sweet the fruit, the prickly skin, the bitter core
And nausea for dessert
So fuck everything, take everything, fake everything, break everything
When you’ve been broken, when you’ve been brought low
You want to smash everything, those who still care most of all
And I can see the witches burning in your eyes
But they’re not the ones who sold you these lies
We’re not the ones who bound your hands and turned the spears in your side
Yeah take everything, fake everything, break everything, fuck everything
Heart as black as the sun
On the day that will come when it never ever rises again
And where do you go when you’ve lost your way
Inside, and everywhere you turn it’s all the same
Where do you go when there’s nowhere to go
You froze in your tracks, something broke and you
Gave up

And it makes me want to cry
An ocean of tears to flow through these filthy streets
Stained with so many years
Of smothered hopes and desires denied
The faceless masses, paralyzed
To drown all we are, all we’ve ever been
Better cease to exist than endure like this
And set you free
You and all your kind
To be free in death if not in life
But the rest is secrets, silence now
If night has fallen, sleep well
The rest is silence, secrets now
If night has fallen, sleep well
Sleep well.

May the kings all drown in the blood of their conquests
And the flags all die at the tops of their poles
May the gluttons be impaled upon the ribs of the starving
And the priests all sell their souls
May the dreamers all awaken in a world that is empty
May the lovers betray and be betrayed
May the poets all choke on their own sweet lies
And all bow before their fates
May the seekers wander lost through the valleys and the deserts
And lay down to sleep upon stones
May the sick flourish and the healthy be afflicted
And may rats fight over the bones
May hate rule pitilessly over a world of the damned
Where the rivers cease to run
Let the sun set forever on this broken heartland
Let the kingdom come.

Bring me hearts
I’ll break them
Give me poisons
I’ll take them
If I could
If I could
Trade this ache
For indifference
All fucked up
With bitterness
All fucked up
All fucked up

Threshold (To enter, the heart must break)

Severed, bowed, soul-deviled, and you’ll find:
Don’t think that I’ve got it wrong (right)
Another threshold of pain, like every inch of my life
All this means nothing, through there:
Ours is to suffer
Wanted more than this world could hold
In the shadow of a beauty
That we could never,

Duende (The soil is closer than the sky)

Duende, the wild, magical soul of Spanish Flamenco, is present only as an absence in our dreadfully serious songs. This is our attempt to find soul of our own: to seize our desperation and disillusion and brandish them so fiercely at the cruel and heedless cosmos that we too can transcend—and brush against beauty through the most passionate of ugliness, if that is indeed all we have left to offer in this slaughtered world.

Black, bitter milk we drink in toast to the dawn
In huddled silence as a long night falls
We write of love upon the bodies of our dead
Swallow pride and venom for our daily bread
Wash your conscience in the tears of men who raped
Trace your pleasures in the outlines of pain
You speak of laws and rights in this day and age?
I don’t believe in anything I can’t taste
And tonight the losers sleep, or lie awake and gnaw their wrists
Crippled dancers, beaten heroes, squandered artists
Refugees from those wretched lands
Where our dreams died like lovers in our hands
While outside in that new age
Lost children and devils play
On the very doorsteps of our homes
New deities sworn in,
Consuming from without and from within
Cleanse the land down to bare and blackened bones
Make ready ten billion beds in hell
For we’re all coming soon

And in this noise, the dreadful silence of tongues
Tied by words never spoken, songs left unsung
Vows that were bent rather than broken
Locked chambers that will never open
And none on this earth will ever get what they want
And that is beautiful, or close enough
And we’ll clutch our regrets
Shut out the rest
Cut out the hearts from our chests
And we move
Eyes shut, silent, hand in hand
Towards a broken promised land

When those before you lost their heads upon the block
Or sold themselves into the service of the
Snakes as new gods
Reshape the world in their own image
And all the others turn their eyes away
We will set out with a fire in our hearts
With a desire that cannot be bought
To snatch the morning from the jaws of the night
To take the dead and bring them back to life
No words
No touch
No sleep
No trust
No hope
No faith
No resting place
From childhood schemes on strangers’ floors
To sickbeds, cells
And foreign shores
(We push on)
Less and
Less and
And if the morning comes late this time
That fickle sun will rise to find
My fingers clutched tight around the husks
Of dreams I built from dust
Finally dead
Dead in the land of the dead
And they will call it suicide
As I scream for just one finger of dawn
And it’s coming...
On all horizons, like gathering clouds
Bar the doors to shut it out
But put your ear to your chest
You will hear
In your own breast
Closing in

and there’s nothing pure in this place
and there’s nothing clean in this place
and there’s nothing sure in this place
and there’s nothing free in this place
and in this world there’s nothing safe
and in this world there’s nothing fair
and nothing in this world is true
this world that I can’t bear
and the morning came late!

I’ll spit it back in your face
Last-born of an evil (dying) race
We’re all evil in this place

Deserts Without Mirages

The car is on fire and there’s no one at the wheel
And no one tries to put on the brakes at all
We’re trapped in the belly of this sick machine
The radiator smoking, there’s no air to breathe
And no one tries to put on the brakes at all

One by one like stars from the sky they fell
And everyone turned their backs, wondering to themselves
I’m on a strange journey I didn’t choose to take
Where I’m going I don’t want to think
But no one tried to put on the brakes at all

Your final breath will be an eastern wind
To blow through the valley of death that we’ve carved in this land
We’re accomplices all
It’s all beyond our control
So innocent when the hammer falls
And nobody tries
Nobody tries
No one even fucking tries!
Accelerating through industrial haze
Past the death camps and the marketplace we’ve lost our way
I hope we burn up in the wreckage
Rather than live another day
In vain in a world without frontiers
We’re served our just desserts:
Just deserts, in burning thirst
And no one tries to put out the flames at all.

Sabbat (Dervish Dance)

Dance around the fires of a world spinning down
Dance in the flames of a world burning down

Poison-overcast moon, watch over us in these last days
As we descend to the lowest circle
Until we reach the final station of the cross
Where faceless dancers whirl


(a fragile movement—a step, dancing)

The Passion was recorded at Mars Studios by Bill Korecky between April 30 and May 8, and mastered in the Kitchen on May 11, 1999.
Catharsis appears courtesy of Catharsis. All music, lyrics, and artwork plagiarized from other sources and rearranged in an order all our own.
They don’t call us starving artists in capitalist countries for nothing. Thank you for keeping us alive.

Catharsis is an anarchist collective bent on the total liberation of ourselves and our world through creative self-expression and self-determination, the annihilation of capitalism, hierarchy, morality, ideology, and human misery in all its other forms, and—above all—the transformation of life into a joyous, carefree game, to be played for the highest of stakes. We release all our music ourselves and distribute it exclusively through a network of friends and colleagues. We organize all our performances ourselves or through friends, working to establish a cooperative network of autonomous individuals rather than relying on and thus reinforcing the chains of corporate control that presently constrict the arts in particular and modern human relations in general. We refuse to compromise with these assembled forces of selfishness, apathy, and violence, and insist that every day of our lives be an adventure unfettered by external controls or internal inhibitions. So can you.
We struggle for a day when art will no longer be just another commodity to be exchanged for other sterile consumer goods, when both the means of production and all the products thereof will be shared openly so that everyone will be free to be an artist and live a life based on the pursuit of desire rather than ever-increasing standards of mere survival. In the meantime, we do what we can to lead lives outside this merciless system of domination and exploitation as we plot its downfall, and hold in revolted disdain all those who apparently believe it is enough just to sell things and go through the motions of traditions long dead and dry (and thus hostile to all living things).
Real life involves more than a beating heart and a functioning liver, of course. It is something that must be chosen, chased, created by those who would find it. Yes, we are idealists, hopeless romantics (both hopeless and romantic), but this idealism enables us to act while others are paralyzed by their despair, by “realism” and jaded cynicism. We think we do better to cast our lot with the quixotic madmen, the poets of revolution and absurdity, whatever the odds of success or survival may be. This is a statement of purpose, and all such statements oversimplify, as do declarations and expressions of every kind; but the important thing is to speak, to act, to do something, and let the consequences sort themselves out. So if we live, let’s live to tread on kings, to break our bodies and our hearts to keep ahead of death, to dance right through our lives.

Percussion - Jesús L. Pecador
Strings - Matt Miller, Ernesto “Che” H.
Self-styled Prometheus - B.


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