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by Catharsis

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Bow Down 01:45
Pariah 06:07


released January 1, 1997

Everything that you want, everything that you feel, everything you dare to desire.
Have no illusions; if you presume to pursue these desires,
you will suffer, be humiliated, ultimately destroyed.
But is it better to renounce it all,
to go silently into the night of self-denial, of submission and surrender?
To deny yourself passion, love and hate,
and to live out a sheltered, cautious half-life
in which you may laugh, but not all of your laughter,
and cry, but not all of your tears?


For those who brought us food when we were hungry, gave us shelter when we were homeless, offered us companionship when we were friendless, thank you.

One Minute Closer To The Hour Of Your Death

Tu trembles, mon coeur?
Tu tremblerais davantage, si tu savais ou je te mene.

EXTERMINATING ANGEL (----- is laid in the tomb)

The sun also rises...
in Hell.
But now never again, kill the lights, fucking break the skin--gave it all I had, I have nothing left to give,
and if you love life there’s some ‘life’ you won’t live
Burned my bridges beneath me, I’ve more than had my fill--so much, unspeakable, in the four chambers of my heart (in the torture chamber of my heart)
Laid out on that floor, those nights hanging by a thread, unsure whether it was desire or despair that kept me drawing breath, when all my dreams came down to nothing, left me just another piece of meat, for you I carried my life on in my teeth--through betrayed years, to bloody tears, and pits where you can only crawl
Now ‘Grendel’s had an accident’--so may you all
and in dust the end of all my fears, nothing and no one can reach me in here--holy of holies, the altar of flies,
and I will sleep in your embrace tonight
She draws me close and shuts my eyes, regrets and secrets, don’t say a word
(On rustling wings of leper skin) slides a finger in every nerve
[We burned down the candles of our youth, bathed our lives in heart and soil
Poured out our corroded insides, while we could, body and--
Sold for blood money, blood money, that bought our ghettos and gods,
The black skies hanging over the highways--so this is how it comes to a close:]
And she’s wringing out the memories from my heart, with all the tenderness of the dispossessed
Now I’m counting down the seconds in fear and bitterness, praying to cease to exist
Thy silent hands, they come for me
Thy cold caresses comfort me
Thy icy blood, it runs through me
and I will sleep
in your embrace
I’m never coming down again
(Into nothingness I’ll never know)

BOW DOWN (Every Bent Knee Too Shall Break)

Plunged to a nadir, the years spent in isolation
And the windows of the skull look upon only devastation
Inside hunger gnaws like rats in your sides
Outside iron rain like nails in your eyes
Bow Down--God can infest you with maggots, my son
Bow to the vultures and the scaffold
Down before the masters of your fate
to the virus and the gallows
as they seal your fate, bow down
Rise up--Would you of mere flesh contest the divine?
Under the knife you’ll renounce it all in time
Etched in emptiness, I watched them disappear
Beneath the wheels of desperation and the heel of despair
And the Western sky would as soon kill as shelter you
Bow down to your doom
An all-seeing eye
An all-clutching claw
Unknowable God
His jaws devour all
Bow down.


There was nowhere to sleep, so he wandered the night
Saw the wreckage of life to which we’ve been led
And all of the factories that had ground to a halt
By the side of the ocean, boiling with blood

We’re corpses in their loving hands
Sleepwalking through a nether land
And when we wake from dreams there will be nothing left
Are you satisfied in your cage,
Feeling nothing, no love or hate or pain?
Will you settle for nothing? . . .

There are those in our ranks who would lull us to sleep
As they wrap the whole planet in a skin of concrete
They are the wolves in shepherds’ clothing
They sent you sons to the tomb, put a flag on the moon
The stakes are the very soul of humanity

When she drew back the shroud from the remains of our age
She fled through the streets gripped by hideous fear
Until she knelt at the foot of the sky where it touches the sand
In the twilight it felt like she was the last one alive, at the end of the world
Choking on the ashes borne in on the wind
When our flesh fills the air, and falls softly like snow
And a red cloud rises behind the earth
It blots out all the stars, and the sufferers below
That’s the mere antechamber of their ‘paradise’
As we breathe in our death

We’re corpses in their loving hands
Sleepwalking through a never never land
And when we wake from dreams there will be nothing fucking left
Are you comfortable in your cages,
Living out your very numbered days?
Don’t settle for nothing--


(Sacrificed yourself to the gods, did you?)

I’ll cut out your mother tongue, sow salt in the fields of the fatherland,
I’ll sink my teeth into freedom. . .

The wages of sin are freedom, and though the wages of freedom may be death,
Is it not better to live with uncertainty than to fear to draw an honest breath?
So scrape the veil of faith from your eyes
Your prayers ascend like black smoke to the empty skies
Under your carnivorous god of deceit, maybe just maybe do you feel incomplete?
A wheel of knives is spinning in me, here always up to our eyes in disease
Crawling through our darkest hours, slow funeral march to the end
We’ve been led astray once again
But I will serve a different master: _____, thy kingdom come, thy will be done
In heaven as it is
Down here
Under the burnt-out skull of a sky that once shined
The snuffed out stars aren’t missed by the blind
And all of man will burn in your heaven, eternal wretched life divine
But it’s a minute to midnight in my mind, strike now or hold your peace for all time
A wheel of knives is spinning in me. . .
(For there is nothing I hate more than the stench of lies)
Lies in your head, lies in your head, will you ever dare to take a breath
Will you ever dare to take back your freedom
Crawling through our darkest hours, slow funeral march to the end
We’ve been led astray once again
But I will serve no gods or masters--my kingdom come, my will be done
In heaven
As it is
Down here.

SACRED AND PROFANE (The Carnal Prayer Mat)

Beyond the walls of reason
It’s just as dark as inside of me
Run through forests of the isolated
Into the arms of insanity
(Selling you into slavery)
In the entrails of the angel, forget your soul, try to survive
Fucking her sworn enemies before her betrayed eyes
We, the living, in instants
Suffer eternally
Take my eyes, black with splinters
The homeless nights soaked heavy with dreams
Outside the walls of reason
Guided by visions that no one could know
Yes the world is black at its heart
As I am black at my own
In the entrails of the angel, forget your soul, try to survive
Begged your forgiveness
Then left you there
To die
Every moment wrought a lasting vision
Every instant cut a deep incision
And I left you, spitting life out on the pavement
In our lost innocence
And the stench of our flesh.


In solitude, soul. . .
Ten thousand nights alone

You claim an eternal soul
Where are you when you watch the box, when you watch the wall?
Outside your circuitry, nerves crawling out of me
I’ve seen things you’ll never know
Shared a bed in hell, in hatred of myself
Clawed my way back all alone
Your heaven is my hell, everything I hate most in myself I find embodied in you
Through each solitary night, every moment of my life
I plot to steal your throne
When I see all the shit you do
I can’t put enough crime between myself and you
Blood and urine stain these streets where all my nightmares learned to breathe
Metropolis carved out of bone
What I need I’ll take, I’ve got a lot at stake. . .
Your heaven is my hell, everything I hate most in myself I find embodied in you
Every knife turned in my side, every moment of my life
I plot to steal your crown
Nights of desperation break on the shores of dawn
Solitude has seven skins, no one shall enter ever again
Feel the locusts inside me rising to a boil
Hum of the silence rises like a snake crawling down my throat
But your kisses leave toothmarks
Your embraces kill
Your whispers linger inside my head
But I know if I taste your poison I’ll never get my fill
Came to be in solitary, climbing the ranks of humanity
Choices I’ve made have isolated, but this is my reward:
I’ve been saving while you’ve spent
I’ve been sweating while you’ve slept
there’s going to come a time
When I can call your empire

PARIAH (for ------)

Cast out of so-called paradise, I awoke among the dead
Sought in vain to scrape the nightmares from my weary head
It ever so happens that what I am (inside)
Is everything you call ugly, every love you despise
Now that you’ve laid me in the lowest pit, shall I praise you from down here?
Am I to chant, among the vermin, prayers to fall upon deaf ears?
Take me in your arms, take me to your bed
Set me a place at your table, let me in your head
And I’ll betray you, I’ll desecrate you
I’ll be your worst fears realized and brought to life
Spend a night inside this cage, you’ll learn to hate the hand that feeds you
I’ll teach your withered nerves to writhe, I’ll make you feel alive

When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got no right to hunger or to thirst, to starve or to suffer at all
Those who have what you have not will gather around to watch you crawl
When your heart’s desires are unforgivable crimes, blasphemous to the castrates and voyeurs
They’ll parade your disgrace, and spit back in your face all the loves you held sacred and pure
As a slave’s only right is rebellion
As a thief’s only right is deception
As a whore’s only revenge is contempt
If you’re innocent, I’ll heap up enough sin
To buy the Kingdom of the Condemned
And I walk among the dead
Fighting to scrape your nightmares from my poisoned head
I’ll betray you, I’ll violate you--I’ll be your worst fears realized
Spend a night inside this cage, you’ll learn to hate the hand that feeds you
I’ll steal your heart, I’ll steal your soul, your very nerves
So I can feel
The ones you thought beneath you stand over you now
The ones you thought behind you stand before you now
The ones you thought could not hear are not deaf to you now
And the eyes you thought blind are following your every move
The homeless will sleep warm tonight
The starving will be fed tonight
The castout come back to haunt tonight
The have-nots will get theirs tonight
The hopeless will have hope tonight, the worthless will have worth tonight
The weary will rest well tonight, the Holy sleep in Hell tonight
The first will be the last tonight, the last will be the first tonight
The mighty are brought low tonight
The have-nots will get OURS—

Fuck going back to our cages: CHOOSE YOUR HEAVEN.

There’s nowhere left I can sleep
So I walk in the night
My heart still beating, burning with these desperate dreams
I’ll steal myself a bride
From the Land of the Dead
And we’ll watch from the water as your world goes up in flames

We’re corpses in their loving hands
Sleepwalking through a never never land
And when we wake from dreams there will be nothing fucking left
Will you dare to break your chains
To feel life pounding in your veins
Don’t settle for nothing


(the evolution of dying)


Through the confusion you see an illusion:
In this world, sex and leprosy
God never said a word to me
Your ‘eternal soul’
Reduced to flesh in disease
Run the race alone between the soil and the sky
An echoing silence to answer your cries
I have one question to ask him
I know I’ve only got so much time
Went out in the desert
Dragged myself through Hell
Bent every muscle, every nerve to the cause
Only to come face to face with:
Everyone gets what they deserve
Everyone gets their just desserts
Everyone gets what they want
Everyone’s going to die
God wants some suffering, God hates your lies
God grinds under heel when you try to survive
“So relieved to discover God loves you”?
Nailed to the cross of your hate for this life
--That’s your faith! Do you feel deserted?
You dragged yourself through Hell
Believed every word, but in Death
Only come face to face with

The Kingdom of Heaven is Flesh
To the ends of the earth and no more
Every shudder, every shivering night
Until the maggots come to carry you home
When your heroes are slaughtered, your lovers are raped
World of shit--no one gets out alive--no escape
It’s not hard to believe, is it--
That in death you will be “saved”
Went out in the desert, dragged myself through Hell
I have a growing suspicion that there’s no secret to tell

Reap what you sow in blood red sex
Deathblood red and needle tracks
As your illusions kick the last nail in
You plead for mercy, plead to Just Stop Wanting
[But I:] Once waited to return to clay
Now transfigured in Fire I pray
If nothing else is left for me
To exalt in pain
I choose to bleed
Born Again, out in the desert
Walking in God’s steps
Whispered the secret to me:
Silence as sure as Death
I went out in the desert
Dragged myself through Hell
Knocking down Heaven’s door
I only come face to face with


i. recorded May 6, 1997, at the Sound Lab, in Greensboro, North Carolina
I.-IX. recorded April 23 to 30, 1997 at MARS studios in Cleveland, Ohio, engineered by Bill Korecky

Mastered in the Kitchen in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in late 1998

All songs plagiarized by Catharsis.


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