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1. Bloodguilt

Pay the ultimate price from cradle to grave
For the sins committed by my father, the mighty Zeus
Poisoned by my stepmother, my nemesis, the hateful Hera
Suffering on a scale unknown to men
Determined to make my life a living hell
Sending madness into my dreams
Turned the loved ones into the hated to be killed
Committing the most unspeakable horrors of all times...
With my blood covered body I woke up from this nightmare
Bloodstains mark the guilt on me, the guilt I have to bear
My blood rage subsides into intense remorse
An anguish which will plague me forever...

My blood guilt...

To be purified from the everlasting grief
Slay the golden Lion from the caves of Nemea
The ferocious monster, this warrior killer
Devours their remains and leaves their bones to rot

As told by child: "Within thirty days if you'll return alive
In your father's honour, a lion sacrifice"

Try to slay this beast with skin as steel
Not to be harmed by arrow, claws in my skin
Stunned this monster with my club and with my strength
I strangled it to death

As told by man: "If not returned alive
As a mourning offering, a ram sacrifice"

My blood guilt...

As told by gods, noticing my plight
"To skin this pelt, use its claws as knives"

On the thirtieth day, I returned alive
With carcass on my back, the king stunned
Amazed and terrified of my success
This was only the beginning of it all

2. Multiple Decapitation

Send to the East coast of our beloved peninsula
To the South of Argos to Poseidon's gift to the Argive, Lake of Lerna

Upon reaching the swamp springs
With cloth covered nose and mouth
To protect ourselves from its poisonous fumes
To crawl into her lair
One entrance of Tartarus
And we got confronted with this...

Serpent, dragon, monster
The Cthonican daughter of Typhon, Echidna
Theogonian womb of monsters
Many-headed monster
Called the Hydra
Poisonous blood in her veins
And venomous breath

Shooting my flammable arrows
To enlighten her cave
This lair of the "Blameless One"
With each decapitation
One head grows back to two
...an expression of my hopelessness

Many-headed serpent
This Lernaean Hydra
Poisonous blood in her veins
And venomous breath

This ongoing struggle
Twelve heads where there used to be six
With burning torch we scorch the open wounds

At last I cut off its mortal head
With the golden sword of the gods
And buried it six feet down
Dipping my light-speeding arrows
In its poisonous blood
Together with the Lion's skin I am invincible

3. Beloved by Artemis

Stag-like golden antlers with hooves of bronze
Sacred to Artemis, this Ceryneian Doe

The anger of Hera and King Eurystheus
For killing the Lion and Hydra
This third task for me will be full of doom
"Thou shall not kill this beast, nor shall thou skin
Thou will feel the suffering when it's dead"

Stag-like golden antlers with hooves of bronze
Sacred to Artemis, this Ceryneian Doe

After my awakening from the travels way up North
I spotted this heavenly creature
With antlers which gleamed in the sun
Afraid of Artemis' anger I will not slay
Bare-footedly I'll chase it down
On the mountain slopes of Ceryneia

And for the length of thirteen full moons
I bare-footedly chased this Hind
We ran from North to South, from East to West
Throughout Thrace, Istria and the land beyond the North Wind
It was not to be captured during sleep
Not to be caught with mesh
It could outrun my light-speeding arrows
This beautiful, beloved and sacred creature of Artemis

Artemis, forgive me from this desecration
It's part of my penance, my forever guilt

On the last full moon I passed the gates of Artemis' Temple
The Ceryneian Hind laid down before the shrine

Stag-like golden antlers with hooves of bronze
The Hind returned to the Goddess as it flees from the King

4. From Feast to Beast

In the midst of Peloponnese
The heart of the home of Pan
The Highlands of Arcadia

Heading to the West
For the next part of my guilt
To the mountain of Erymanthos
To capture the fearsome beast

Wearing the lion's skin
To keep the chill from my bones
In this frozen winterland

On my way to the raging boar
To gain back all of my strength
Went to visit my faithful friend

Pholus, my dear old friend
Invite me in for shelter
Give me your finest meat
We share Dionysus' wine

The scent of this gifted wine
Attracted the rest of the centaurs living in Pholus' cave
This wine not tempered with water
Got the centaurs drunk and fearlessly they attacked

I shot my poisonous arrows
The centaurs fled to Chiron's cave

I followed the centaurs
To gain Chiron's advice
On how to capture this boar
(Not like Meleager)

Drive it
Up the mountains
Drive it
Into the thickest snow

Track its footprints in the snow
Between these walls of ice
I ambushed this fearsome beast

I captured this Erymanthian Boar

Bind its legs together
Returning to the king
Frightened of this fearsome beast
Hiding in his pithos trembling with fear

5. Inhuman Humiliation

Leaving the massive walls
Of the mighty fortress of Tiryns
Heading for the Western Seas

Cleansing the stable of the son of Eleius
The king called Augeas
Cattle consisting of a thousand oxen
Immortal, in divine health

The repulsive scent in my lungs
Inhuman humiliation

Only cleansed three decades ago
An enormous pile of excrements
Cattle consisting of a thousand oxen
Immortal, in divine health

The repulsive scent in my lungs
Inhuman humiliation

Fulfill this labour in a day
And be rewarded one-tenth of the cattle
I drove the oxen away
And commenced the purification

To clean this mess in a single day
Is too much work, even for a god
I need water from the rivers
...The rivers...

To combine the nearby rivers
The Arcadian Alfeiós
And Pineiós from Erymanthos
With my club I crushed the spit

Right after succeeding this labour
An agreement nor honoured
Since this task was not ordered by him to be done

I claimed my reward in court
But was banished with Phyleus
In anger I returned and slayed the king

The repulsive scent in my lungs
Inhuman humiliation

6. Birds of Hate

Heading North to cross the Corinthian border
To the sweet Lake of Stymphalia
Her marshes infested by the pets of the Goddess
"Artemis, Agrotera, Potnia Theron"

Birds of hate
Bronze beaked and feathers of metal arrows
Birds of hate
With toxic excrements and sacred to Ares

Breeding quickly and swarming all over the lands
Destroying the harvest of men, shooting arrows through hearts
I went down to the marshes, sinking knee-deep down
The ground could not support my weight

(Sinking knee-deep down)

Athena, watching me from the sky
Noticing my struggles to get through the marshes
Gave the order to Hephaestus, the God of Craftsmen
To make me bronze krotalas

Light-speeding arrows
Kill them all
Light-speeding arrows
All shall fall

The rattling krotalas made them flee
With arrows in hand dipped in Hydra's blood
Shooting them one by one out of the sky
Some flew far away never to plague this lake again

Light-speeding arrows
Kill them all
Light-speeding arrows
All shall fall

With this heroic endeavor I safeguarded the lands
And returned to the wretched king
As proof of my success I brought him the slain beasts
The king hid in this pithos dug in the ground

Birds of hate
Bronze beaked and feathers of metal arrows
Birds of hate
With toxic excrements and sacred to Ares

7. Savior of Crete

Lifting the sails of my trireme
Setting course to King Minos' land
Pray to the ancient God of the Seas
To cross his domain

Mountain-high waves crashing the bow
Asking all strength of my slaves
Rowing the seas, domain of the gods
Getting us save to the island of Crete
Created by Him, the God of the Seas
The God of all Earthquakes and Horses
Setting foot on this island
To capture this snow-white bull

A gift from Poseidon
To be sacrificed to the gods

Given permission by the mighty King
To take this beast away
Wreaking havoc and uprooting crops
And levelling orchard walls
Killing a dozen of King Minos' guards
In trying to capture this beast
Leaving this monstrosity
For me to take to Tiryns

A gift for King Eurystheus

Poseidon enraged
For the sacrificion of another bull
Made the Queen of Crete
To fall in love with "The White One"
After nine full moons
She gave birth to a monster
Half man, half bull
Known as the Minotaur

As revenge for his misbehavior

Lifting the sails of my trireme
Setting course back to Tiryns
Blessed by King Minos
For being the savior of Crete

Sneaked from behind
Barehanded I throttled this beast
Brought it back, back alive
So not needed to be slaughtered
Eurystheus, servant of Hera
Wanted to sacrifice in Her name
She refused this sacrificion
As it would reflect my glory

8. Tyrannical Blood

"King Diomedes, the tyrannical King of Bistonia
Keeper of the flesh-eating mares
Kept tethered to a bronze manger
Wild of madness being attributed to an unnatural diet of human flesh
In revenge for eating my companion Abderus
I fed Diomedes to his own horses
The evil you create will ultimately destroy you..."

9. Seeds of Distrust

As a gift for his daughter Admete
A priestess for Hera in Argolis
Eurystheus, my mortal nemesis
Sent me off to the shores of the Black Sea

"Get me the magical girdle from the waist of the Amazon Queen
Once given by the God of War, the father of this fearless tribe"

Setting foot on the island of Paros
Killing two of the Princes of Crete
Defended by the son of Titius
And finally arrived in Themiscyra

"Son of Zeus, o faithful friend
Welcome to the Thermodon border
I will handle you over the girdle
As a token of our truce"

As is as not Hera
Spreading the art of fraud
Disguised as an Amazon warrior
Sowing seeds of distrust

"He mislead us, hurdle of Ares
He spread this rumour amongst
He abducted our beloved Hippolyta
Follow me in a raging war
Kill this stranger and his companions
For this act of betrayal and treason
My sisters, get on your horses
Follow me to the battleground"

What kind of treachery I see before me
She never meant to hand over her belt
My friends, my companions in battle
Kill all 'til there's no one... left

Us confronted with numerous warriors
All on horses with arrows and bows
Supported by their founding father
Screaming: "Death to them all!"

"Death to this so called son of Zeus
With this art of profanity"

Wearing my invincible armour
Shooting arrows and swinging my club
I will end this bloody warfare
And take the girdle home with us

[The Amazon Tribe:]
"In honour of our mighty father
Ares, o mighty God of War
Fight by our side as companions
Let our swords cleave their souls"

Killing the most of His descendants
In this ephemeral battle
The Amazons fled to the forests
Leaving their Queen for dead
I slaughtered her like a beast
Leaving her corpse for the eagles
Taking the belt from her waist
Setting back home to Tiryns

10. Tripled Anger

Westwards I set my sails
To the land of Tartessos
The land of a fearsome giant
A monster with three human faces

One body, three heads and three sets of limbs
On the island of Erytheia
This herder of magnificent cattle
Guarded by a snake-tailed two-headed dog

Together with Eurytion
Mortal son of "The Red One"
Son of the Daughters and Nymphs
Slave of this monstrosity

Mislead by Poseidon, God of the Oceans
Setting foot on the southern wastelands
No food, no water in this dehydrated land
I shot an arrow at the golden sun

Helios, God of Sun
Lend to me your chariot of gold
I will fly it to Geryon
To obtain his cattle
And bring it to Tiryns
To my archfiend Eurystheus
Hiding for my arrival
Deep down in the ground

As soon as I reached Erytheia
I was confronted with the two-headed dog
Sibling of the guard of Tartarus
I put it down with one single blow

The herdsman of the cattle of Geryon came to Orthrus' assistance
This Hesperid-mother's son, killed by my strength
Wearing his triple armour suit with shields, spears and helmets
Geryon sprang into action, awoken from their screams and deadly cries...

Geryon chased me... throughout his domain
To the river of Anthemus
I ambushed this monstrosity... this three-headed giant
And shot an arrow between his eyes

Arrow with the blood of the Hydra
Forcefully shot, I pierced his mortal skull

Traveling back
Passing the Aventine Hill
Cattle stolen by the fire-breathing son
Betrayed by his sister
Killed with my club
Getting back safe with the cattle
In my beloved homeland

11. Hera's Orchard

After these 10 completed labours I thought I did all that was necessary to end this blood guilt of mine
But Iolaes helped me to slay the Hydra and the rivers cleansed the stables of King Augeas
Therefore I was condemned to fulfill additional labours in the favour of King Eurystheus and my stepmother Hera
These would be by far the most endangered labours, far beyond known borders as traveled by mortal men

In my travels to the West
I caught the father of Thesis
This old shape-shifting God
The Old Man of the Sea
Showing me the direction
To Hera's orchard in the West
To steal the apples of the Hesperides
Which lead to immortality

"Twined and twisted 'round the tree
I'm here to guard the fruits which lead to immortality
Due to Hera I'll never sleep
With one hundred heads I'll see it all..."

As I entered this blissful garden
To honour the Daughters and Nymphs
At the foot of the Atlas Mountains
At the end of Oceanus' reach
I spotted this hideous monster
This one hundred-headed serpent-like beast
This brother of the Nemean Lion
I remembered his words as the battle commenced:

"Coiled and twisted 'round the tree
Thou shall not steal the fruits of immortality
I, guardian of the gold
Your dead corpse is my reward"

One hundred heads to slay
I strangled all to death

Finally I picked the tree which leads to immortality


12. Hound of Hell

"Here I stand before the gates of Tartarus
The gates of oblivion, the entrance to Hell
To get to Hades and take His servant Cerberus
The three-headed guardian hound

To break the cycle of life and death
And bring Cerberus back to earth
Now with this labour, my guilt comes to an end
No more pain, anguish or grief

Death is my defeat, my surrender
I'll put myself up on this funeral pile
With my death I will be redeemed of all
I will join my father at Mount Olympus

Finally... I am immortal..."

Bleeding Gods:
Mark Huisman – Vocals.
Ramon Ploeg – Guitars.
Rutger van Noordenburg – Guitars.
Daan Klemann – Drums.
Gea Mulder – Bass and backing vocals.

Guest vocals on "Hera's Orchard" by George Oosthoek.
Keyboards on all tracks by Martin Powell.
Greek recite on "Tyrannical Blood" by George Archon Countown.

All tracks are composed by Bleeding Gods.

The album title "Dodekathlon" refers to the Greek myth of the twelve labours of Hercules, a series of episodes concerning a penance carried out by Hercules, the greatest of the ancient Greek heroes.
Driven mad by Hera (queen of the gods), Hercules slew his son, daughter and wife Megara.
After recovering his sanity, Hercules deeply regretted his actions. He was purified by king Thespius, then traveled to Delphi to inquire how he could atone for his actions. Pythia, the oracle of Delphi, advised him to go to Tiryns and serve his cousin king Eurystheus for twelve years, performing whatever labors Eurystheus might set him. In return, he would be rewarded with immortality.
During these twelve years, Hercules is sent to perform twelve difficult labors, which resulted in twelve album tracks: Every labor is a track, so the complete album tells the whole ancient story.

Thanks to technotomy for sending these lyrics.

Submits, comments, corrections are welcomed at webmaster@darklyrics.com


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