Blood Oath

by RITUALS OF THE DEAD HAND

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about

Behind every legend, there's always a tiny bit of truth. While it's obviously still open to debate how much credit one must give to the Buckriders mythos - or 'Bokkenrijders' in their native tongue, the various gangs of thieves or who kept under their thumb the southern part of Holland throughout the 18th century by pretending they had signed a pact with the Devil and rode through the cold northern sky on the back of flying goats - it's still make one hell of story. And the prefect setting for an extreme metal album such as RITUALS OF THE DEAD HAND debut, Blood Oath...

This brand new band was put together by two members of Belgian instrumental post-rockers Hemelbestormer, on Vàn Records. After the latter was done writing for their second album, their guitarist Filip Dupont felt the urge to dwell back in the same type of epic black/death genre his former band GORATH had became famed for, especially on their final album The Chronicles of Khiliasmos released in 2012.

Recorded throughout 2017 and mastered by Patrick Engel at the Temple of Disharmony studio, Blood Oath is like the audio equivalent of famous 1922 Swedish silent movie Häxan about witchcraft. Far from our now computerized and PC-controlled society, with its four lenghty tracks (ranging from nine to eleven minutes) and very cinematic interlude ('The Gathering') and doomish passages, it takes the listener back into an age where superstition and local folklore still permeated all those small religious communities, with the story being told from the Buckriders' perspective. Actually, the cover artwork is a custom made painting of and old tree nearby their hometown where the vilains were said to gather around before launching another of their killing spree.

So, truth or legend? Simple folklore or further proof that the Devil is always lurking somewhere in the shadow, especially behind man's vilest deeds? Whatever your answer is, one thing is sure: with Blood Oath, the Buckriders will ride again!

credits

released November 1, 2018

Music by RITUALS OF THE DEAD HAND. Guitars, bass, vocals and synths/samples recorded at Crestfallen, Belgium by Lykaios. Drums recorded and final mix at Studio 508 (Tongeren, Belgium) by Jan Lathouwers. Cover painting by Renilda Smeers. Mastered by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in April 2018.

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Track Name: Bonderkuil
A place for scum and godless worms
The soil, ashen grey and bloodied

Our final destination
Where life turns into myth

Tortured, judged, condemned
A death march to our doom

The hangman is our guide
Listen, how the church bell tolls

One, the axe has struck the block
Twelve, smothered and consumed by fire
Five, still breathing while they burned
One, a severed hand, The Catherine wheel

"You belong to your father, the devil,
and you want to carry out
your father’s desires.
He was a murderer from the beginning,
not holding to the truth" -John 8:44
Track Name: Sworn
The black of night
Like a cloak on his shoulders
We have been summoned
To fulfill our blasphemous oath

When he calls, we will answer
When he rides, we will follow
When he strikes, these lands will burn
Under his flag, we'll rule the night...

They call him devil, fiend
Spawn from the pits below
Mock the cross, defiler, blasphemer
To the death, sworn and marked

Spectre in the dark
The blackest of all hearts
His will is our sole command
Spectre in the dark
The blackest of all hearts
We lay our lives in his hands

"Komt nader, gespuis en galgenaas
Vreest niet en hoort uw kapitein
Angst en verderf zullen wij brengen

De hel zal volgen in ons spoor
Stijgt op den bok, laat de toortsen laaien
Volgt mij, en scheur het land aan stukken"

An oath sworn to the dead man's hand
Track Name: They Rode By Night
Villains gathered by their Captain
Sworn, the dead hand's oath
God renounced
The sacred Host, trampled

Band of thieves and gaggers
Struck fear into the hearts of men
Black riders in the sky
Hear their godless shrieks

They rode by night

Across houses
Across gardens
Across stakes
Leaving their mark of fire

The axe and garrote, the stake and gallows
These instruments of Faith

"Vreest niet den Bijbel, negeert gebod
Den dag is onzen keten, 's nachts zijn wij vrij
Op de rug van den bok,
ontsnappen wij het schavot
en vliegen naar den Duvel op Mookerhei"
Track Name: The Scourge
Behold, for I am the law
Protector of the pious
Hunter of the wretched
I bring death to unbelievers

I shall cleanse our lands from this plague
I deliver divine justice
Cast down these heretics
Behold, for I am wrath

Confess, damn you, confess
Or you shall face whip and lash
Confess, confess
I will hang you

I will hang every last one of you
Hunt you 'till my last breath

Behold, for I am death
Judgement and execution
All means to an end
to satisfy my bloodlust

Watch, my children, tremble
This lesson should not be forgotten
For I shall come if you stray from the path
Behold, for I am the scourge

I will hang every last one of you
Hunt you 'till my last breath!

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