Blood Oath

by RITUALS OF THE DEAD HAND

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1.
08:53
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
2.
08:57
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
3.
4.
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"
5.
11:08
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!

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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