WITHOVT

by BURDEN

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    72 minute long cd in a Glossy Econo Sleeve. with Artwork by Jeffrey V Daniels

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about

WITHOVT - HOPE, SIGHT, FEAR, TIME, VOICE, YOU.

credits

released 02 October 2014

Travis Weinand - Vocals, Bass

Jason Herrmann - Lead Guitar

Jeffrey V Daniels - Rhythm Guitar

Jason Strapec - Drums

Meg Moyer - Additional Vocals (Withovt) You

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Track Name: (Withovt) Hope
Without Hope

I open my eyes. I hear the wind outside.
I see the light coming in, and I can taste the morning air.
You are next to me, still asleep, your body rising and falling in the warm morning sun. They are coming. Coming for us.

This is the last time I will hear you.
This is the last time I will taste you.
This is the last time I will see or smell you.
This is the last time I will touch you.

You have a power. One little understood, yet widely coveted.
To create, or to destroy.
I have protected you, for as long as I can.
But I fear the day has come. I have failed you.

What have I done? What will I do?

Without you.

How did they know, how did they find us here? This cannot be.
You are the one, chosen to save us all. The hosanna.
I protect you, if not the world will end. I must not fail.
Stolen from me, I will not stop until I am dead.

Dragged out into the hall I am bound and gagged.
I hear your screams fade as you are taken away.
Every breath we grow further apart, I feel myself weakening.
I know not where they are taking us, to what demise awaits.
Before my eyes swell shut, I catch one last glimpse of you.
Our eyes meet, and you mouth just three words: “Please save me.”
Then an opaque darkness comes over me, hooded and now blind to the world.
It is an all encompassing, fear, black, pain, and certain death.

These three words echo in my head. I think of nothing else but her.
You are gone. Where am I?
Without hope.
Without hope.
Please save me.
Track Name: (Withovt) Sight
Without Sight

No light. I stare into an immovable blackness that covers my whole being.
This hood, my faceless face. This hood, is now all I am.

In a cage barely bigger than my body, forced only to stand.
I call out to the dark, proclaiming that I am still a man.
No one answers.
I scream up to a God for some form of salvation.
No one answers.
I would wish this hell upon no one.
No one answers.
My hood is pulled up as I am restrained.
Not a word spoken to me. Not a face to be seen.

My body appears before me.
Floating, weightless and vapid.
I mouth words to myself that I do not understand.
No sound emanates from my lips, only the chill that surrounds my bones.

Abandoned again. Left to dwell inside my own mind.
How long has it been?
How long have I been here?
Mind, regressing into an incoherent state.
Abandoned again, I have not seen another soul.
How long has it been?
Standing... It’s been years.
I’m dying, but not fast enough.
Standing and I’m dying, but not fast enough.
How long has it been?
How long have I been here?
I’m dying.
Standing. Dying. But not fast enough.

Only myself.
Only myself, and time.

My hood, my cover, my identity.
Only the thought of you keeps me sane.
The flavor of the hood infects my food and water.
Stale, insipid, the stench of years of oral decay.
I am fed so rarely, food makes me sick.
Dry vomit covers my face.
Weeks old, months old, years of filth plastered to my skin.

The hood is my face. No name is my name.
This cage is my home, and my tomb.

Hands shackled, feet bound, in a cage.
Neck chained to the wall. No escape.
Kill me. Kill me. Kill me. Kill me.
Track Name: (Withovt) Fear
Without Fear

Long, deep breaths. The silence between the beats of my weakening heart, grows with each passing moment. I believe the end is near. But then I sense the other, he has returned. My eyes attempt to open, to possibly steal a glimpse of light. It may be my last.

“You will not die here. There is much work to be done. They imprisoned you, tortured you, and are trying to break you to nothing, but they will not succeed. You have a purpose. She is waiting for you.”

He. He is me. His voice. The herald of strength.
Stand. On your feet. Breath deep. And prepare.

I hear it. The sound of my heart, gaining strength. Now is the time, to make my voice heard. I take a breath of this acrid air, and I scream.
For her, I would tear every brick down, until I am free, to be with her again. I must break free from these shackles, that are imprisoning me.

Move fast, be silent. Their eyes, ever present.
I have become like a phantom, no weight nor shadow.
I have stepped out of my cell, bare feet on cold stone ground.

I see one of them. I lunge for his throat, wrap my tired, dirty hands tight as he scratches and gasps.
“You’re mine.” I cackle and spit, he’s coughing up blood, and I stare into his eyes and crush his throat.
I. Will. Kill. All. Of. You. I promise you will never see another day.
You will suffer for what you have done to me.
More guards come to me, simply to die.
I am hatred, revenge, your judge and jury.

They’ve released the hounds... I’m running through darkness, this concrete maze may be my tomb. Lungs on fire, muscles burning red.
Fangs sink into my leg, they pounce as I stumble. Ravenous and feral, surging with bloodlust, I sink my teeth into them too.
I can feel their hot breath, right on my heels.
Drooling and hungry for meat, they hunger for my flesh.
A wall of fire, blocking my path. They think themselves bold. Yet I still attack.
The cowards, they think they can hide behind the fire.
I see my shadows cast by lanterns up ahead, I step forward again.
I leap through the flames like a demon spewed forth from the bowels of hell, I bring death. Tearing their flesh from their bones they cry out for a God that I know will not come.
I am here.
I break out onto the grounds surrounding this prison. An army pursues me, I have to keep running.
I climb up the wall, bones break, skin tearing, blood pumping from every pore. I climb through the wire, I leap into darkness, my lover I am coming home. I am coming home.

I have no fear. I only see her face. She is my savior. Mine alone.
I have no fear. I land in the black water. Instinct carries me through. My lungs and heart keep pounding. I have escaped your hell. Now you will fear your shadow.
I will return.
For you.
Track Name: (Withovt) Time
Without Time

In the long months that follow the escape, since I scaled the wall and swam through that black hell, I heal.
In between the deep, pained breaths, I scheme.
My thoughts flicker back and forth like a flame in a storm wind, between you and the ones who did this to me.

While I know the outside world has moved on since I’ve been imprisoned, I care not for the importance of time, I lust only for vengeance and your warm embrace. So I proclaim...

I... will find my way home, to see us whole again.
I... will cross whatever lands that lay before me.
I... am prepared to do what I know must be done.
I... will return to see their heads roll when I am through.

So I march forth into this world that I have not seen for so long.
The colors seem less inspired than I remember.
Time feels different, as if it’s slipping.
I only hope my sanity maintains.

I... can’t make sense of how long I’ve been away.
I... sense chaos and fear trembling beneath my feet.
I... can feel people watching, every eye on me.
I... am a stranger here, wherever here may be.

I approach a crumbling city, what lies within these walls?

It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Corpses and rubble litter every corner I see. I don’t understand.
What has happened to this world?
I am attacked by an unseen force, throwing me to the ground. I regain my footing, and turn to see his disfigured face. Scabs and puss, sores and lesions populate his flesh.
What has happened to this world?
Am I losing my fucking mind?

I do not wait for a second attack, instead I lunge for him. Grabbing a piece of stone from the street, I cave his mutated head in. Then I turn and see an army of his kind stepping from the shadows, anger and hunger in their eyes.

I turn to flee, blood pounding in my heart like war drums. Behind me, I hear their deranged cries for flesh and death. I run as if the flames of Hell were licking at my heels. This strange city is like a labyrinth, and I am scared and alone. But then I hear his voice again, like a beacon guiding me home. He tells me where to go, where to hide. I take refuge in an empty building, and collapse into the dark. My pursuers run past. For now I am safe...

As my eyes adjust to the dark, I see I am in an old, decrepit church.
It has been ages since anyone has set foot in this place.
I call out into the dark, asking for guidance from the voice that led me here.
Yet I hear nothing. No response, but I know that he’s still watching.
Just then I see a faint pink glow, coming from deep within the church.
I follow the light, and as it grows stronger, so does the sound it emits.
Like a swarm of locusts, it begins to permeate my being.
I am now in the depths, going deeper and deeper underground.
Then I see it...
A brilliant orb, a perfect sphere sitting on the altar.
The sound grows louder and louder still, yet I cannot stop myself. I reach out and grab it, and in an instant I am worlds away.
Then I see her. The one I long for. The one I swore to protect. But where? Time has no place here. Nothing makes sense, nothing except for her. I must get back to her and end this madness. This is the only truth I know.
I see a tower, surrounded by a black sea.
It is the prison where all this madness began. I must free her.

I collect the sphere and begin my journey back to the tower.

I... vowed I would return to kill them, and that is what I’ll do.
I... know not how, or by what means.
I... swear on my father’s face and by my mother’s name.
I... will save you from that hell.

I... am going to the tower.
I... will sail across the black sea.
I... will stop the destruction of our world.
I... will see us home once more.

This world. Reality is slipping, if she dies then everything dies.
Time and space. Merging, weaving, diverging.
Each breath may be her last, rippling outwards. Spiral into nothing.
She is the lynchpin, the nexus.
If she dies, then everything dies.
To the tower. There is no time.
If she dies. Then everything dies.
Track Name: (Withovt) Voice
Without Voice

The ocean. Bottomless and black. Its movement like the lungs of the planet.
Surging and pounding, unending in its persistence.
It aims to swallow me. But I must not let it win. Time is running out.
My travel is not without direction. The sphere speaks to me, it guides me trough the foggy abyss.

My eyes begin to grow heavy. My body slips into troubled sleep.
I dreamt of a time before time, when the world was much different than it is now.
Where Gods walked among men, where magik was the way of the righteous.
They crafted thirteen towers, each of which a doorway to other worlds.
The central tower anchored them all, to prevent them from spiraling out into the void.
Over time, servants of The Eye began to lay siege to the towers, attempting to gain control of all the worlds for the Crimson King.

So they stripped the magik of the central tower, and placed it within a host, the body of a goddess that could be moved and hidden while still holding the other twelve towers in place.
Then was chosen a guardian, a man with honor and strength.
For eons he has protected her, as was his charge.
Yet the Ancient Ones never could have foreseen their love for one another.
They began the hunt, to restore her magik to the tower, and end their lives for their sins. They were unaware that their actions had led the Crimson King right to them...

Wrath. Destruction. Murder. Desecration. This is the Crimson King.
An outcast of the Ancient Ones, a power-mad antithesis to their utopian ideals. He seeks vengeance, and absolute rule.
He wishes to ascend the tower, to reign over all the worlds.
The whole history of creation resides within this glass treasure.
I feel myself rising from it’s depths...

I wake from my dream, to this reality.
I can see the tower through the mist.
Dwarfing all, obelisk.
I will be with you.
Before this day is through.

The orb is pulsing. It breathes, it has awakened.
Ancient magik pulling me in close.
Speaking forgotten tongues.
I can hear his voice.
Coming from the pink sphere.

This voice was not mine, but his. The Crimson King.
I have been betrayed and led astray.
Waves crushing down on me.
I have brought him here.
Opened the gates of hell.

The sphere turns from pink to black. And I am gone, I can hear him laughing.
Once again I am within the sphere.
Yet it is not the same.
Blackness becomes me.
I am His emissary.

The thirteen worlds, all lay out before me. I see what He sees.
An army to command, prepared to storm the tower.
I try to fight his control, but he is too strong.
The power of the black consumes me. I hear the swarm approaching.

I have lost myself.
I am his dog of war.
Imbued with limitless strength.
I set my foot on the shore.
As I take each step closer...
I can hear the swarm.
The army of the Crimson King draws near.

And I am their General.
I have failed you.
They are mine to command.
I have failed you...
Track Name: (Withovt) You
Without you.

Sentenced to rot, inside a dark, cold hole. How could this be?
It’s not my fate, not how it should have been. Must stay alive.
Where have you gone? Where have they taken you? You must survive.
Screaming for you, yet I get no reply. I will save you.

Without you.

I heard his voice, this time I know it’s me, so far away.
Buried so deep, inside this cursed sphere. But I’m still here.
He has tricked me, forced my own hand in this. This must not stand.
I must fight back, push back against the dark. I must save you.

Without you.

The Crimson King, seeking to overthrow. Control all realms.
I now command, a legion of the damned. Hungry for death.
We are the swarm, spreading across the land. To the tower.
I can see it, on the horizon now. Battle draws near.

To the tower. I now bring suffering. None shall survive.
Vengeance is His, wrath upon all the Gods. And then I see.
Why they took her, why they took her from me. Ignorant fools.
He needs a host, a vessel of his own. And she is here.

You are the light, the beacon for our realm.
Of the thirteen, you are the most powerful. The central beam.
All others spiral out from you.
I was charged with your protection. And I have failed.
I brought the Crimson King upon you.
Those who seek to control you, do not understand the cost.

His voice envelopes me.
His mind embraces me.
I have no choice in this
All hail The Crimson King.

The black sphere shatters. I collapse to the ground. She is standing before me.
It is in her eyes it’s too late.

When I see her eyes, I know they belong to Him, and his Crimson lies.
When I see his eyes, I know they belong to me, beyond a thousand skies.
Then I see behind, deeper inside the mind, and I know I still have time.
With one last breath I cry, “It’s time for us all to die.”

He now owns her form but her mind won’t give in just yet.
She reaches out and beckons for one final embrace.
Pulls me close so I can hear the last words of her life.
“You saved me.” as she throws our bodies from the tower.

As we plummet into the black I can hear His desperate screams.
This is the end of all things, if she dies, then everything dies.
We stare into each other’s eyes, as the tower begins to crumble.
The skies turn black as we fall, now everything dies.

I close my eyes. I hear the wind rush by.
There is no more light in the world.
She is in my arms, now awake, our bodies falling in the blackness of fate.
No one is coming.
The Tower has fallen.
We are gone.
There is nothing without you.