All Monsters to Angels

by Rome Burns

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1.
Say the first thing on your mind, And keep your mouth from ceasing, Say the worst thing you can find, Excite the fear and seething, No matter how crass the masses, Soak up every word of threat, It’s seldom true, it’s never right, it hasn’t happened yet. Power leads to pursuit of power, Power pure and uncorrupted, Power without point or purpose, Power with the tax deducted, Power – an aphrodisiac, For a most unnatural act, For those engaged, the stage collapsed, The critics leave disgusted. Principles, whose principles, There’s heads upon the block, It’s best to keep a windward eye, On who is at the top, It’s best to press the flesh, And gently kiss the hand that holds the sceptre, Whilst the closet fills with spirits, skeletons and spectres. Power leads to pursuit of power, Power pure and uncorrupted, Power without point or purpose, Power with the tax deducted, Power – an aphrodisiac, For a most unnatural act, For those engaged, the stage collapsed, The critics leave disgusted. Pick a side, pick any side, It’s not as if it matters, The rhetoric is dreadful sick, The morals are in tatters, It’s all a game of phonies, Believe the lies, the changing tides Flush towards the sea our soiled pride.
2.
See No Evil 03:22
Keep your eyes closed. It’s about to begin, Keep your eyes closed. And count to ten. If you can’t see them. They can’t see you. It’s the only logical thing to do. To make it through. I haven’t seen nothing of voodoo or hoodoo, But I’ve smelt the mildew, The incense and fear, No candles, or tapers, just unexplained vapours, But I haven’t seen nothing, Or nothing was clear. I haven’t seen nothing of warlocks or witches, But I have heard scratches, From under my bed, The fools believe in, Ghosts and goblin, (Have you seen them?) I haven’t seen nothing, So I’ll trust that instead. Keep your eyes closed. It’s about to begin, Keep your eyes closed. And count to ten. If you can’t see them. They can’t see you. It’s the only logical thing to do. To make it through. I haven’t seen nothing of sorcery and such, But I have felt cold, I’ve felt watched, I felt touched, Unfounded sensation, Is no indication, And I haven’t seen nothing, If I had, it’s too much. I haven’t seen nothing of visions or phantoms, But I close my eyes at the beginning of this, I could try to dispense with, My other few senses, Then my ignorance would surely be bliss, (Has it come to this?) Complete and incorruptible bliss. It’s about to begin… Keep your eyes closed. It’s about to begin, Keep your eyes closed. And count to ten. If you can’t see them. They can’t see you. It’s the only logical thing to do. To make it through. It’s the only logical thing to do. It’s the only logical thing to do. It’s the only logical thing to do.
3.
Kandy 04:36
A moment of panic, A season of regret, A reason to carry on, And carry on yet. A moment of panic, A time to regret, A reason to carry on, And carry on yet. Hell is hot and sweltering green, I can’t forget what I have seen, This ditch may lead to Jungle streams, My wounds may lead to fever. It’s all so simple now it seems, Embraced in varied morphine dreams, Reduces every noise to screams, And every man a believer. A moment of panic, A season of regret, A reason to carry on, And carry on yet. A moment of panic, A time to regret, reserves we can call upon, and carry on. Hold your head up Corporal George, Far better men than you are forged, In war, and glory be engorged, The regiment be praised, So curse the king and curse the colours, Officers and men and others, Butchering our band of brothers, Regret the day they were raised. A moment of panic, A season of regret, A reason to carry on, And carry on yet. A moment of panic, A time to regret, A reason to carry on, And carry on yet. The bird’s not headless and still crows, Lady Pole took eleven blows, It’ll take far more to lay me low, Our mother’s mercy tendered. Then roll me in a foetid creek, With little strength to swim or speak, Or shout my curses to the meek, And miserably surrendered.
4.
The Mermaid 04:06
Stood on dry land far too long, I’ve forgotten how to breach, My sisters’ sounds are reduced to waves, Tide to time, and each to each, I am dry and rasping by an empty beach. I’ve claimed a million mariners, Held them till they ceased, Then slowly let them drift apart, To all ports as a piece, Now I am dry and rasping by the ocean’s reach. Cursed upon the broken shore, Gulping like the struggling catch, Uncomfortable in peeling skin, My broken nails scratch, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be here anymore, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t regret my bloody past, Gulls that scream in wake, Those in peril come to me, With sinking hearts and thirsts to sate, I did my worst, here and now I wait. Cursed upon the broken shore, Gulping like the struggling catch, Uncomfortable in peeling skin, My broken nails scratch, I don’t want to be, I don’t want to be another, I don’t want to be, I don’t want to be another. Maybe I’ve imagined this: Eyes are wet and skin is dry, Reverse, perverse, a liminal dream, Above the waters, head held high, Never deeper, never fathom why. Cursed upon the broken shore, Gulping like the struggling catch, Uncomfortable in peeling skin, My broken nails scratch, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be here anymore, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be here anymore, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be another, I don’t want to be, Another wreck upon the broken shore.
5.
Tell me why, you think I, should act like you’d prefer to be, Tell me how, to break a vow, conditioning or destiny, Beliefs amount to little: our archetype’s arch answer, That you’d rather be a monster than a martyr. (Rather be a monster than a martyr) Passive aggressive defensive abusive, I will try to meet with your design, (I will try to meet with your design) Rejecting the reflection, The monster in the mirror is not mine. A serpent in every cell, that rises and advises me, No more profound than Pavlov’s hound, ring a bell for liberty, Dress it up in reasoning or lay it on an altar, You’d rather be a martyr than a monster. (rather be a monster than a martyr) Passive aggressive defensive abusive, I will try to meet with your design, (I will try to meet with your design) Rejecting the reflection, The monster in the mirror is not mine. Can you change, Should I change, Should I care for you or me, Legitimise the victimised, Bully for the bully, The dance around the moral stance, begins to slow and falter, I’d rather be a monster than a martyr. (rather be a martyr than a monster) Passive aggressive defensive abusive, I will try to meet with your design, (I will try to meet with your design) Rejecting the reflection, The monster in the mirror is not mine.
6.
The consulting doctor is in, Please leave your gift at reception, To dabble in magic’s a sin, With notable exceptions. Carving humanity into twelve, Allotting a future to your split, Banality is all I can serve, A flipped coin of fortune or forfeit. They’re after me, bearing cold malice, Swearing my practice but fraud, You should never imbibe from a chalice, If not sensibly insured, I’ve inspected the leeches in jars, The angle of birdflight to sunset, Proclaiming predictions in bars, Your votives ensured my comfort. I know that you want to conceive, well, I have the right unctions and ointment, Just lie back, breath deep and believe, Whilst I re-adjust my instrument. They’re after me to pay my bills, They’re after me with pitchforks, They’re after me with writs and laws, They’re after me for all sorts, Of crimes against the church and state, Of which I committed but half, Infamy is good for me, And I shall have the last laugh. They’re after me, bearing cold malice, And swearing my practice but fraud, You should never imbibe from a chalice, If not sensibly insured, They’re after me to pay my bills, They’re after me with pitchforks, They’re after me with writs and laws, They’re after me for all sorts.
7.
They’re coming, From where I do not know, They show unnatural appetites, For human blood and so, With mandibles and tentacles and hexadactyl limbs, They squeeze between the spaces in my head and under skin, I’m afraid to move, I can only watch, And worse than this, I think I’m out of scotch. It’s dark now, Or else my eyes are blind, But still - I find I feel them, They’re waiting now behind, Every piece of furnishing; harrowing and fierce, Eyes like milky planetoids, hands like racks of spears, Wrapped ‘round my ankles, They crawl across my crotch, And worse than this, I think I’m out of scotch. It’s bad now, But I’ve bested much worse, Traversed in various vehicles, I still resist the hearse, Confidence, intelligence, holy words and flame, Held back many entities surely half as tame. There’s a curse upon me, I remember every touch, And worse than this, I think I’m out of scotch. I fire a few rounds, But fear the last shot will, Buy me little time, But I found another bottle. So everything is fine.
8.
Back in Alexandria, a match tucked in his sash, Later in Berlin and dressed in black, Once the words take phoenix wings; choirs of angels welcoming, No rebirth, no return and there’s no coming back, A spark ignites in ’66 in wake of plague and fear, Of motives and of scapegoats there’s no lack, They said it couldn’t happen now, it couldn’t happen here, The frail voice of reason – starts to crack. Salamander in the fire, throw yourself into the pyre, Pop and crackle, blister burn, everybody take a turn, Books become the fuel of choice, silencing their nagging voice, Knowledge unbound from the page, fills the air with rage rage rage, Raging in the grating or consuming the whole house, He seemed to be so friendly, close and warm, From London to Atlanta, then Chicago to Hiroshima, Now his very presence threatens harm. He runs a calloused fingertip along the gathered spines With eyes are black as coal and just as calm, His actions have a friction that will spark a frenzied first attack, Now his very presence… spells alarm. Salamander in the fire, throw yourself into the pyre, Pop and crackle, blister burn, everybody take a turn, Books become the fuel of choice, silencing their nagging voice, Knowledge unbound from the page, fills the air with rage rage rage, Fills the air with rage rage rage. Rage Rage Rage.
9.
What do you do when your gods die? Where’s the expected apocalypse? Yesterday we went to pray, Muttered oaths from sealed lips. Sure, the sky should rip in two, Angels rain down fire and love, Drizzled in a British grey, All is empty up above. When we were gods, When we were devilish, When we were big fish in small ponds, When we were gods, When we were devilish, When we were big fish in small ponds, When we were gods. Carry on we carry forth, Topics disparate and mundane, Inside we rant and pull our hair, Outside we talk of coming rain. The tides present and then take back, From Bladderwrack to ragnorak, Do gods obey the season’s sway, Should we mourn for what they lack? When we were gods, When we were devilish, When we were big fish in small ponds, When we were gods, When we were devilish, When we were big fish in small ponds, When we were gods. What do you do when your gods die? Turn atheist or claim retreat, Sacrifice or self-entomb, Curl up beneath your master’s feet. What do you do when your gods die? Gods that live inside of you? What do you do when your gods die? Does part of you die too? When we were gods, When we were devilish, When we were big fish in small ponds, When we were gods, When we were devilish, When we were big fish in small ponds, When we were gods. When we were gods, When we were devilish, When we were big fish in small ponds, When we were gods, When we were devilish, When we were big fish in small ponds, When we were gods.
10.
Selene, Selene, a dreamer’s dream, A silver coin upon a velvet screen, A Marseille card, a celestial cheese, All or maybe none of these, Still I travel as I please, To Selene upon her sickle-shaped trapeze. Selene Selene, a dreamer’s dream, The eagles land, the angels preen, Feather in cap, you claim a future, I think the mythic birds a vulture, Our two visions unaligned, The futures yet to be divined, Men of science broken, sulked and cursed, When the dreamers got there first. I’m not alone, Cyrano’s here, And brotherless Cain, beyond all fear, Endymion the romantic, Like every leering lunatic, Escapees from the geographic, To the shores of Tranquillity and Epidemic. Selene Selene, a dreamer’s dream, The eagles land, the angels preen, Feather in cap, you claim a future, I think the mythic birds a vulture, Our two visions unaligned, The futures yet to be divined, Men of science broken, sulked and cursed, When the dreamers got there first. His arm is strong, his step is small, A giant leap: an epoch falls, Closed-minded men of science bore, Upon our perfect rocky shore, But do not fret now, fear no more, There’s more than bare rock left here to explore. Selene Selene, a dreamer’s dream, The eagles land, the angels preen, Feather in cap, you claim a future, I think the mythic birds a vulture, Our two visions unaligned, The futures yet to be divined, Men of science broken, sulked and cursed, When the dreamers got there first. Wreckage in canals and streams, From eleven through to seventeen, Near stars and abandoned cars, Hares and toads of the distant past, Civilisation approaching fast, I think I’m done… move on to Mars!
11.
Lucky Star 05:45
We raise you our glasses but we daren't drink to excess, You were the embodiment of what we thought the best, Cut from the old cloth, a chip off the old block, A legend in your lifetime, there'll never be another like you, You thank your lucky stars, You have no comprehension of who or what you are, An overnight sensation, Your own unwise creation, In torment and in tension. Did it really make you happy? Standing, if only for a while, Did it really make you happy? Posing, in such impeccable style. You’d get away with murder with a nod to the jury, Your selfishness attracts our love but also righteous fury, God you were a devil, Christ you were so wrecked, Beyond all expectations, There'll never be another like you, You thank your lucky stars, You have no comprehension of who or what you are, An angel on probation, Companion in damnation, The torment and the tension. Did it really make you happy? Commanding, if only for a while, Did it really make you happy? Imposing, in such impeccable style. You were free with your relationships, free with all our cash, We let you take everything, you only had to ask, Possessions meant so little, it's no surprise they didn't last, Past the point of saving, behaving like the devil in you. You thank your lucky stars, You have no comprehension of who or what you are, The torment and the tension, In torment and in tension, The torment and the tension. Did it really make you happy? Standing, if only for a while, Did it really make you happy? Posing, in such impeccable style. Did it really make you happy? Commanding, if only for a while, Did it really make you happy? Imposing, in such impeccable style. Did it really make you happy? Standing, if only for a while, Did it really make you happy? Posing, in such impeccable style. Did it really make you happy? Commanding, if only for a while, Did it really make you happy? Imposing, in such impeccable style.
12.
I’m the shy one at parties, Studying clock faces, Waiting for exits, Hiding in dark places. Here out of duty, Expecting the worst, Which comes in the form, Of the deplorable host. The monster at the centre of the room, The spider at the heart of the web, The heart of the problem, The cause of the distress, The fear that here’s a destiny unavoidable at best. The life of the party, His voice above all, Drunk and obnoxious, Handsome and tall, The jokes are banal, but rewarded with laughs, If Hell was a drama, He’d be the cast. The monster at the centre of the room, The spider at the heart of the web, The heart of the problem, The cause of the distress, The fear that there’s no destiny avoidable at best. Cast aside at parties, Not allowed to speak, No one to talk to, No exit to seek, Here for the longrun, At twenty past nightmare, The clock hands have frozen, Faces despair. The monster at the centre of the room, The spider at the heart of the web, The heart of the problem, The cause of the distress, The fear that here’s a destiny unavoidable at best. There’ll be other parties, After the event, Our positions may yet alter, I might relent, If I was reprogrammed, A new ghost in my skin, I’ll plead to my makers, Don’t make me him. The monster at the centre of the room, The spider at the heart of the web, The heart of the problem, The cause of the distress, The fear that here’s a destiny unavoidable at best. The monster at the centre of the room, The spider at the heart of the web, The heart of the problem, The cause of the distress, The fear that there’s no destiny avoidable at best.

credits

released December 7, 2019

Rome Burns are:

Simon Satori Hendley: Vocals / Daevid Jael: Guitar, Programming, Backing Vocals, Bass / Nevla: Guitar, Programming, Backing Vocals, Bass / Gregor Samsa - Drums, Synths, Samples

Special Guests: Alixandrea Corvyn: Backing Vocals on Tracks 2, 5 and 7 / Tori Pink: Backing Vocals on Tracks 8 and 12, Mike Uwins: Bass on Tracks 1, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11 and 12

Recorded at FP Studio, Newark

Produced by: Mike Uwins and Rome Burns / Engineered by: Mike Uwins / Mastered by: Gordon Young / Album Design and Artwork by: Jeff Conway / Photography: Steve Kenny

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