Excerpts From a Dread Liturgy

by Drouth

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1.
Scarcely I slept, restless and fitful / Tossed ashore by oneiric tides / Waking, walking, sand in my hair / Blood shivering in the dark I have held my heart in my hands / Tested its sustenance, useless and cold / Crouching among the circle of stones / Flickering stars merely pinpricks of regret Dreaming — the stark and sunlit threshold/Over and over — slipping closer to the door I transmute delirium to substance / Dripping with sweat, cursed and feeble / I cannot recall the form of a tiger / The fragrance of wood, the slickness of deceit I reject, I deny, I lament that which I create / Curling inward, cowering from light/Lurching from idyll again into ruination I drag my raft by night to the current’s edge/Shoreline strewn with glass, like fistfuls of teeth / Cast upon wine-dark seas of time/Over the scuttling things that wreathe the innards of the earth Behold the sum of man, behold the price of rest / One forbidden sight, one familiar sin / To soar into the sun, to crush that which you hold most dear I have felt its breath in my sleeping mouth / A bitter taste I cannot coax or reproduce / Now, dragged into the moaning daylight / I feel it slip forever from my trembling hands For each attempt to produce a form in perfect structure / The more distended and grotesque my progeny / I resign myself to slump at last into the pyre / But with relief, with humility, with terror I am unharmed Steady my hand, light of the morning / Denuder of self, destroyer of all, deposer of kings, diminisher of man.
2.
An Apiarist 09:51
Ordered, golden orchard of budding umbilical pathways / Groomed and manicured with subservient hands / We few custodians strain in restless industry / Cloistered within stark and feverish walls Mask, tool, and smoker shouldered in labor / A daily pilgrimage of excremental mud / Toward the shrine of squat and droning hives / Clockwork wings in swelling chorus I had begun to loathe the trees in their luster / Blooming perpetual, incense and sulphur / Fruit dripping from gnarled, alveolar branches like the limbs of a sunken and tubercular harvest queen Once I rose in stealth to walk by fading starlight along the edge of a sleeping canal / Peering through the cataract of sweating, claustrophobic pre-dawn darkness smothering its banks I knelt at the water’s edge / Fixated on the silhouette / Reflected in the onyx surface / As it shuddered slowly into form Faint glow caught like a handful of bees, stinging, dead in my palm / Great soiled aurora advancing, slick like oil smeared across anemic skies Its luminous tendrils slithered across the rooftops/ To light this boundary, a curtain of glass / The face that rippled, recoiling below me / The stricken visage of a familiar and monstrous parasite I bent, weeping, to drink from the canal / The blood which I knew was of my host / Beyond the vein unfurled an open landscape whose exquisite austerity would not abide my existence.
3.
Stirring beyond an endless gulf of apprehension / Bent into the lurid autopsy of a mirror / Pupils dilate, malign and unfamiliar / As an arrangement of flies on a vacant windowsill Lips dripping with bile and saliva / Hands that burrow, burrow through organ and tumor Our bodies like a crust of roaches / Clot the earth’s folds, rustling and filthy in this slowly-filling well of depravation / For the love of god, will you not lower me the rope? Am I throat or the hands at the garrote? / A cyclic sacrament / Rejoice in the blessings of misery and death Are we not lain under the hill of Prometheus? / Fallen upon the dagger, “thy handle turn toward my hand?” The scar that precedes the falling of the blow / The open grave which prefigures every birth / I am the hand that wounds, I am the arch tower of guts and the arrow buried forever in its breast.
4.
An insect lands, black and ugly / On the cool expanse of her forehead / Ashen legs dangle, shoeless / From the rippled shade of a culvert / The sagging trestle groans overhead / And melts away into the slinking fog A whirling tumult of rats squirming and tangled / Enraptured, all fucking and whelping / Squealing pink and twisting crown of worms, beckoned by a cool and nerveless hand / Curled in a curious gesture Crippled Athena, spring from your headless grave / Burst from the loins of a careless word / Foul golem, echo of an echo / A gut-fear seeping into daylight Flawed in every facet / False in every aspect A peeling skull / A hall of mirrors / A twisting scaffold / Its drapery degloved Fraying and endless wound / Meager and threadbare quilt of daybreak pulled over the all-abiding nightmare / A place where time revolves and eddies in a filthy slough, to lap forever against her milky scalp Compelled, as if drawn upon a silent string / The insect stirs again, and crawls toward her eye — wide now, uncomprehending — and it begins to lay its eggs.
5.
An isthmus, a glacier, a vast and sullen desert / A mossy haven seared to stricken tinder / A homeward vision perpetually distant / A precious body crumbled to dust in our hands Desperate stewards of a fast-eroding levee / Hobbled crabs tracing circles in the sand / We reach, lunging useless at her shadow / In confusion as she recedes like the tide The lurch of vertigo on the precipice of cold nostalgia / Crumbling facade of the present clutching at our wrists with hands made of ice In every star a hungry and wandering ghost, in every heart a churning mass of worms For such a fragile lie we thirst, we convulse / On our knees as penitents in a lake of dust And she wears her crown of asphodel, slick with dew, though they grow at the mouth of hell.

about

"While rooted in black metal's traditional chromatic iciness, 'Excerpts From a Dread Liturgy' breaks the surface plane by including minimalist darkness, notes of thrashing punk and dueling suspended chords that generate melody without falling into the shoegaze trap. All this emerges from behind an enormous, powerfully sharp (but still sinister) wall of sound." –Decibel

"Unfolding song structures and menacing black metal aggression envelop listeners through this five-track record, each track of which incorporates bits of doom and grind into the mix [...] All in all, Excerpts hits a sweet spot in the career of the now full-fledged quartet, standing as their strongest effort yet and one of this year's must listen to records." –Heaviest of Art

"It is the exceptional songwriting that ties it all together that will keep me coming back to this masterpiece of a record. Drouth paint moments of darkness and sorrow yet break them up with glimpses of hope in a beautiful way." –Dutch Metal Maniac

credits

released July 31, 2020

Releases 31 July 2020 on Translation Loss Records

Drouth:
Matt Stikker – Guitar, Vocals, Lyrics
John Edwards - Guitar, Vocals
Patrick Fiorentino – Drums
Tyler Wolfe – Bass

All songs by Drouth

Recorded & mixed by Fester
at Stop/Start & Haywire Studios, Portland, Ore. MMIX

Mastered by Ryan Foster
at Foster Mastering, Portland, Ore.

Artwork & layout by Matt Stikker

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Drouth Portland, Oregon

M. Stikker - Guitar, Vocals, Lyrics
P. Fiorentino - Drums
J. Edwards - Guitar, Vocals
T. Wolfe - Bass

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