Dark Lyrics


1. Dusk Falls Upon The Temple Of The Serpent On The Mount Of Sunrise

[[Music by Karl Sanders]


[This instrumental spawned from some experimental Midi Guitar emulations that resulted from me trying to "catch the vibe" and nick some common Greek Bouzouki phrases for my amusement. Of course, I could not leave well enough alone, and had to go mucking about in search of some cool, dark ambience to compliment it.

What I stumbled upon was just the right evil, "dying flames of sunset" aura to set the piece off and give it tangible atmospheric context. After I finished this piece, and listened to it, it just sounded like an album intro. It definitely was not part of "Cast Down the Heretic", thus, it needed a name of its own. The title is a metaphor for the eventual demise of the entire Egyptian civilization.]

2. Cast Down The Heretic

[Music and lyrics by Karl Sanders]

Blasphemer, Heretic, Defiler of the Sacred Ones.
Thou art Deprived of Your Limbs.
Thy Nose Shall be Split.
Thou art Cast Down and Overthrown.
Ra-Harmakhis Destroyeth Thee.
He Damneth Thee and Driveth Hooks into Thy Body.
Isis Sayeth in Mighty Voice,
"The Number of Thy Days are Cut Short.
Thy Bones are Broken to Splinters Thy Vertebrae are Severed."
Horus Hammereth Thy Head.
The Sons of Heru Smash You with Their Blows.

Thou Art Decimated by Their Violence.
Thou Fallest Backwards as Thou Retreateth Like unto Apep.
The Great Company of Gods Gather in Retribution.
They Hath Passed Judgment upon Thee.
They Cast Down Your Heresy.
They Spit Upon Thee and Thy Rebellion And Turn Their Back upon Thee.
Horus Repulseth Thy Crocodile.
Sut Defileth Thy Tomb.
Nephthys Hacketh Thee in Pieces.
The Sons of Horus Speareth Thee.
The Gods Repulse Thee.
The Flame of Their Fire is Against Thee.
Cursed Art Thou, Impaled Thou Art, Flayed Art Thou.
Heretic Thou Art Cast Down.

Blows are Rained upon Thee.
Dismemberment and Slaughter are on Thee.
Thy Crocodile is Trampled under Foot.
Thy Soul is Wrenched from its Shade.
Thy Name is Erased.
Thy Spells are Impotent.
Nevermore Shalt Thou Emerge from Thy Den.
Thy City Armana Lays in Ruin.
Damned Art Thy Accursed Soul and Shadow.
Die O One, which Art Consumed.
Thy Name is Buried in Oblivion.
Silence Covereth Thee and Thy False One.
Down upon Thy Belly.
Be Drowned, Be Drowned, Be Vomited Upon.

[Guitar solo]

The Gods have Pronounced Thy Doom.
They Scorn Thee and Thy False Aten.
The Ancient Ones Turn Their Backs upon Thee.
Thou Art Cast Down, Overthrown.
Thy Reign of Heresy is Ended.
Those Thou Hast Driven Out Have Risen Against Thee.

Cast down the Heretic.
Cast down the Heretic.
Cast down the Heretic.

Khnemu Draggeth Thy Spawn to the Block of Slaughter.
Sick Shalt Thou be at the Mention of Thine Own Name.
Sekhmet Teareth Out Thy Bowels and Casteth Them into Flames.
She Filleth Thine Orifices with Fire.
Uadjit Shutteth Thee in the Pits of Burning.
Nevermore Shall You Breathe or Procreate.
Neither Thy House or Tomb Exist.
Thou Shalt Drive Thy Teeth into Thine Own Body.
Heretic, Thou Art Cast Down.
Overthrown, Ended, Hacked in Pieces, Slaughtered, Butchered.
Ra Hath Made Thoth to Slay Thee Utterly.

["Cast Down the Heretic" concerns the Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled Egypt from 1379 to 1362 B.C. The son of Amenophis III and Tiye, Amenophis IV changed his name to Akhenaten (which most likely means "Servant of the Aten") in Year 5 of his reign, indicating his allegiance to Aten (a creator god symbolized by the Sun's disc).

Akhenaten's unique contribution to Egypt was to ensure that Aten's cult approached a form fo Monotheism. Akhenaten regarded Aten as unique and omnipotent - a universal, supreme and loving deity symbolized by the life-giving Sun. Akhenaten, as the god's sole earthly representative, became virtually interchangeable with Aten, and spent his days communing with the god. Akhenaten was most likely prompted by political, as well as religious motives, as this may have been an attempt to curb the far-reaching political influence of the priesthood of Amen-Ra.

In Year 6 of his reign, Akhenaten moved the religious and political capital fo Egypt from Thebes to a new site (commonly called Amarna), in large part due to the inability of his monotheistic cult to exist alongside the other long-established and institutionalized hods of Egypt. Akhenaten closed down all the other temples, disbanded their priesthoods and diverted their revenue to the Aten's cult. In additioon, the names of all the old official deities were erased - Aten became the exclusive royal god.

Akhenaten's reign was not to last. His rule was weak, and with his exclusive devotion to his religious/mystical interests, internal political strife and rebellion ran unchecked.

Akhenaten has been blamed for allowing Egypt's empire in Syria to disintegrate while he pursued his religous reforms, as well as Egypt's decline in overall influence in the region. Not only that, but the military became weak, and the borders unstable. (In the Amarna Letters, the diplomatic correspondence found in the ruins at El Amarna, vassal Princes begged in vain for Egyptian aid against the predatory ambitions of the region's other great powers. At home, internal organizaion had begun to crumble, and the counter-revolutionary insurgencies - incited by the old deposed priesthoods - sought to restore the old order.)

Akhenaten was soon overthrown, proclaimed a heretic and a disastrous ruler. Every effort was amde to expunge his name from the records and return Egypt to religious orthodoxy.

For several years, many people have suggested that I write a Nile song concerning Akhenaten, but I have stayed away from it, not only because of the much-vaunted Philip Glass Opera concerning Akhenaten, but also because I was unsure of how to treat the subject matter given the usual Nile lyrical stance, and how to interpret Akhenaten's vain and ill-fated attempt to reform the old ways to a new Monotheism. It was not until a friend, Deni of Anubis Records, made the suggestion to me in such a way as to fire my imagination.

Although exact details of Akhenaten's overthrow, deposition and execution are scarce, it does not take a genius to figure out that his demise at the ghands of the old priesthood of Amen-Ra was certainly long-awaited and most likely gruesome. Akhenaten had, after all, thrown out an entire country's priest class - men who enjoyed wealth and political influence. To my thinking, Akhenaten's demise would have been, aside from a certain grand revenge satisfaction for Amen-Ra's priesthood, a political necessity - not merely for the stability of the country, but also for the future survival of the priest class of the entire "Old Order". Akhenaten's death would need to be so grisly as to ensure that no Pharaoh would ever again be foolish enough to politically chalenge the priesthood of Amen-Ra. It is quite easy to imagine Akhenaten's execition done in as legendary a fashion as would be any of the great enemies of Ra (perhaps similar to the ceremonial destruction of evil enacted in the stylized ritual found in "The Book of Overthrowing Apep).

I belive thah history somewhat bears out this lesson, as later conquerors/rulers of Egypt - Alexander, Ptolemy, Caesar - did not interfere whatsoever with the old established religious ways. They allowed the people to practice their relgious beliefs (even aligning themselved with the Egyptian gods), thus avoiding extraneous political turmoil and unrest.]

3. Sacrifice Unto Sebek

[Music and lyrics by Karl Sanders]

Sebek, Sochet, Suchos.
Dread Lord of the Marsh.
He Who Crawleth Amongst the Sacred Waters.
And Devoureth the Flesh of That Which is Sacrificed unto Him.

Tua Ashemu. Tua Ashemu.
Rekhes Au Sebek. Rekhes Au Sebek.
Tua Ashemu. Tua Ashemu.

Sebek, Neter, Ashemu.
Whose Teeth Rendeth and Teareth With Terrible Violence.
Restore the Eyes of the Dead.
Collect Their Skulls.
Join Their Bones Together Again.

Lord of the Temple of the Mount of Sunrise.
Open the Way unto the Underworld.
Cause the Dead to Rise to New Life.
Bring the Child Horus upon the Throne of Osiris.

[Guitar solo]

[Sebek was the principal crocodile god in Ancient Egypt. In primitive, pre-dynastic times, during seasons when the canals dried op, the crocodile wandered the fields at will, killing and eating whatever or whoever crossed its path.

The Egyptians came to regard the crocodile as a personification of the powers of evil and death, and they associated it with the demonic aspect of the got Set. I was unaware until researching this song that the species known as the Nile crocodile is one of the very few animals on our planet that actively hunts and preys upon humans with specific (as opposed to incidental) intent.

In later times, according to Herodotus in his "History (Book 2)", crocodiles became sacred in parts of Egypt such as at Shedet (called "Crocodiliopolis" by the Greeks) where a crocodile was kept in a sanctuary lake alongside Sebek's Temple. The sacred crocodile (adorned with crystal and gold earrings and bracelets on its forepaws) was said to be Sebek incarnate. Temple visitors brought food offerings, which the priests of Sebek fed to the sacred crocodile. If Sir Waalis Budge is to be believed, this also included on special religious occasiona infansa and small children. Upon teh dacred crocodile's death, it was embalmed and entombed in a sacred vault.

The crocodile plays an important part in Egyptian mythology as both friend and enemy of the dead god Osiris. He was also a protector and helper of the newly dead, playing a role in Horus' ascension to new life. In later Egyptian mythology, the crocodile came to be regarded as a symbol of the Sun, and was associated with the sun-god, Ra, forming the composite god Sebek-Ra.

In Egyptian art, Sebek is portrayed as a crocodile-headed man waring either a solar disk encircles with the uraeus or a pair of ram's horns surmounted by a disk and a pair of plumes. A small pair of horms is sometimes shown above the large horns. Variants of the name are Sebeq, Suchos and Sobek.]

4. User-Maat-Re

[Lyrics by Karl Sanders, Music by Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade]

O Seti, Great One, My Father.
I Hath Finished for Thee Thy Temple at Abydos.
And Made Known the Lineage of the Blessed.
Those Who Came Before.
I Hath Exalted Mine Ancestors.
I Hath Honoured with the Blood and Sweat of Many.
The Legacy of Thy Conquests.

T Hath Glorified Thy Temple of Set in Avaris.
In Karnak, Hath I Raised the Great Hall.
In Thebes, Sublime Monuments, Grand Pylons, Obelisks
And Colossal Statues Are Inscribed With My Name.
By Divine Right I Hath Usurped the Monuments of My Predecessors.
I Hath Created Imposing Rock Hewn Temples.
Monumental Colossi in Mine Own Image.
Like as unto the Images of Amun, Re, Ptah.
I Hath Caused to Rise a Formidable Legacy Carved in Stone.
In the Mountain of Meha.
Intended to Endure a Million Years.

In the Violence of Sekhem.
I am Become Montu,
God of War in the Two Lands.
I Hath Suppressed the Rebellious.
I Hath Driven Back Chaos and Disorder.
The Conquered Chiefs of All Foreign Lands are Beneath My Sandals.
I Hath Emblazoned My Countless Victories in Immortality.
Carved in Rocks as Living Images of the Ritual Massacre of Mine Enemies.

I am User-Maat-Re Setepene-re,
Sovereign of Sovereigns,
Beloved of Amun,
Chosen of Re,
I Hath Made Manifest the Grandeur of My Empire.
To be Worthy of Thy Legacy.
O Seti, Great One.

User-Maat-Re, Thou Hast Done Nothing.
User-Maat-Re, Thou Hast Done Nothing.

[Guitar solo]

User-Maat-Re, Thou Hast Done Nothing.
User-Maat-Re, Thou Hast Done Nothing.


[User-Maat-Re Setep-en-Re was the throne name of Ramesses II, and means "The Justice of Re is Powerful, Chosen of Re". He is often referred to as "Ramesses the great", because so many of his cultural contributions were measured on the grandest of scales.

Ramesses II had the longest reign of any Pharaoh in New Kingdom Egypt. He celebrated an amazing 14 Sed Festivals, and also managed to father more than 90 children. He constructed more temples, colossal statues and obelisks than any other New Kingdom Pharaoh, and established a magnificent new capital city at Pi-Ramesse in the delta.

When Ramesses ascended to the throne at the age of 25, he was determined to follow in the footsteps of his father, Seti I. (Seti had embarked on an ambitious policy of renewal in an attempt to return to the great days of the 18th Dynasty when Egypt's wealth and empire had been at its peak. Seti destroyed many monuments of earlier kings, was worshipped as a god during his long life, and built sanctuaries in his own honor.)

Ramesses modeled himself on two successful 18th Dynasty kings: Thutmose III, the famous New Kingdom "Warrior Pharaoh", who had been largely responsible for the creation of the new Egyptian empire, and Amenhotep III, ruler of Egypt at the height of its prosperity.

Amenhotep III was the first Pharaoh to operate according to the "big is beautiful" policy - enormous temples and colossal statues were constructed at his bidding. Amenhotep III's monuments were also famous for the beauty of their delicate raised-relief decoration. Ramesses surpassed Amenhotep III in sheer number of temples and monuments he erected, but quality was often sacrificed in the name of quantity and speed. Unlike Amenhotep III's raised-relief decorations, Ramesses' builders crafted cruder, sunken-relief carvings.

In the "grandest" of ironies, Ramesses II was not always careful about keeping to the truth. Although the Battle of Kadesh against the Hittites in Year 5 was declared a stalemate, Ramesses publicized it as a great victory! His highly exaggerated account of this battle was featured on no less than eight temples.

After what would be the longest reign in the New Kingdom, Ramesses II died at the extreme old age of 90. He outlived many of his children, many of whom held important administrative positions in Egypt. Of his many wives, Nefertari is best-known, not least through her magnificent tomb.

I have often wondered what drove Ramesses to go to such megalominiacal length to accomplish so much in his lifetime - to be Pharaoh par excellence on the grandest possible scale. I like to think that it has something to do with a son's desire to live up to his father's and predecessors' legacy. Of course, with Ramesses, this was caried to lengths never equaled before or since. When I wrote the lyrics to this song, I envisioned a man hearing voices in his head. For each accomplishment he would hear his father's voice telling him, "you have done nothing", which in turn drives the man's obsession to live up to his father's seemingly impossible expectations.

Musically, this was an interesting collaboration between Dallas and me. I had been working on the song, and one night when Dallas and I were getting together to play guitar, I showed him what I had, and he immediately came up with several guitar riffs that fit perfectly together with the material I had already composed.

Ironically, some fans on the Nile web forum have been clamoring for another "Unas Slayer of the Gods" or "To Dream of Ur" epic. I had blatantly refused, saying that we had no intention of repeating any epic-length songs for the mere sake of having epic-length songs - we would write whatever we wanted, and that was that. So, when Dallas and I timed this new song (new riffs worked in, acoustic intro, guitar solos, breakdowns, "outro", et cetera), it came out to be in the eight-and-a-half minute range. I realized I was going to have to eat my words since we had unintentionally written another monumental Nile song. Little could I guess that there were two more unwritten, even longer epic Nile songs to follow on this album?]

5. The Burning Pits Of The Duat

[Lyrics by Karl Sanders, Music by Dallas Toler-Wade]

I Hath Been Immersed Head Down.
In that, Which Floweth In Abundance from the Slaughtered Ones.
I Hath Been Made to Eat Feces and Drink Urine.
I Lay in Chains before the Undying Flames.
I am Helpless in the Presence of He Who is Master of the Pits of Fire.
I am Humbled and Broken in the Presence of Those Who Shall Consume My Shade in the Pits of Burning.

[Guitar solo]

I Didst Bow in Homage to the Spawn of Set.
I Hath Kneeled in Homage to the Servants of Shesses.
In Rebellion, I Did Recite the Formulae of Rites in Glorification of the Lords of Filth.
I Hath Recited the Formulae of Rites in Glorification of the Lords of Wickedness.
He Who Hath Dominion of Khenti-Amenti Hath Uttered,

"Hack in Pieces and Cut Asunder the Bodies of Mine Enemies and the Members of the Dead Who Hath been Turned Upside Down.
Scatter in Pieces Their Shades.
They Shall be Cast Down Headlong into the Pits of Fire.
They Shall not Escape nor be able to Flee From the Flames Which Art in the Serpent Set-Heh."
I burn.

[Guitar solo]

My Heart Desires to Burn in the Pit of Fire.
Allow My Ka to Blaze in Flames and be Utterly Consumed.
I Stand in Submission Before the Living Uraei of Flame Who Hurls Forth Burning Heat Against The Tongues of Those Who Hath Spoken Evil.
Incinerate Me in the Pits of Burning.
Sear Me in the Pits of the Damned.
Immolate Me in the Pits of Torment.
I Seek only the Charnel Bliss and the Blackened Caress of the Burning Pits of the Duat.

[Guitar solo]

I Burn.
I Burn.
I Burn.
I Burn in this Tomb of Fire.
I Burn in this Tomb of Fire.
I Burn in this Tomb of Fire.
I Burn in this Tomb of Fire.

["The Burning Pits of the Duat" features further collaboration with Dallas. I worked on the lyrics and Dallas set the to music. Dallas really felt that the lyrics and title unquestionably called for utter underworld socery - riffs so fast, chopping and iniquitous as to muscally capture the sensation of being consumed in pits of fire.

So Dallas went to work, and the infernal riffing he conjured was so overwhelming in its brutality and hellish in its technicality that for the rest of us to play the material correctly required weeks of intense rehearsal; not only to play the riffs clean and in time (and to legitimately nail the tricky changes), but for the drums to maintain the overwhelming 256 BPM blasting, constant quick beat changing and crazy fills.

This was the impossible song at Nile rehearsals - not only challenging but excruciatingly painful. I would return home every night with my wrist in so much pain that I begun to wonder if the song would end my career. After weeks of work, when we finally got the song rehearsed to the point of being able to consistently nail it, I breathed a thankful sigh of relief. I was reminded of the time when John McEntree (Incantation guitarist) toured with Immolation, and spent the whole tour with his wrists in agony, wearing wrist braces, because he was unaccustomed to the strain of using completely differing groups of wrist muscles neded to play Bob Vigny's unusual riffing style. Dallas had "Vigny'ized" me. The song is undeniably deliciously malevolent, yet fun to play, even if it fucking hurts like a bitch.

Lyrically, the inspiration for this song comes from the book "Am-Duat (Division XI)", which shows that after the enemies of Orisis were beheaded and mutilated, the remains were disposed of by burning. The body was cut into pieces, the spirit severed, the shadow driven away, the skull battered in, and the pieces cast down into a pit, or pits, of fire. The pictures which accompany the texts leave no doubt on this point, for in them, the pits are clearly shown, and we see the bodies, souls, shadows and heads being consumed. Each pit is overseen by a fire-vomiting goddess, who dilligently ensures that the all-consuming flames are renewed. Each goddess wields a knife, which was used to stab, cut and hack the body into "such a way that ye shall never again see those who are living upon the Earth". The entire horrible scene is related in detail from the aforementioned text courtesy of renowned Egyptologist Sir E. A. Wallis Budge:

"The Majesty of this God uttereth the decree: Hack in pieces and cut asunder the bodies of mine enemies and the members of the Dead who have been turned upside down, O my Father Osiris. My Father having been helpless hath smitten you, he hath cut up your bodies, he hath hacked in pieces your spirits and your souls, and hath scattered in pieces your shadows, and hath cut in pieces your heads. Ye shall nevermore exist, ye shall be overtheown, and ye shall be cast headlong into the pits of fire, and ye shall not escape therefrom, and ye shall not be able to flee from the flames which art in the Serpent Set-Heh. The fire of Hert-Khettut-S is against you, the flames of Hert-Hatu-S are against you, the blazing heat of Hert-Nemmat-S is against you. Het-Sefu-S is against you, and she stabs at you and hacks you in pieces, and cuts you up in such a way that ye shall never again see those who are living upon the Earth. As for those who are in this picture in the Tuat, it is for the Majesty of Heru-Tuati who giveth the order for their slaughter each day. Those who are in this picture, who are depicted with the enemies of Osiris of the Duat, and with Her-Utu-D, who is the guardian of this circle, live by means of the voice of the enemies, and by the cries of entreaty of the souls and shadows which have been placed in their pits of fire."

I chose to write the lyrics from the doomed enemy's viewpoint. The character in the lyrics is not only resigned to his ultimate doom, but actively years for it - perhaps as a means to a quicker end to his torment, or maybe just the finality of glorious culmination of his chosen, infernal path.]

6. Chapter Of Obeisance Before Giving Breath To The Inert One In The Presence Of The Cresent Shaped Horns

[Music and lyrics by Karl Sanders]

Khensu Neter Hetef.
Who Possesseth Absolute Dominion over the Evil Spirits that Infest the Earth and Sky.
He of the Silence of the Moon.
Giver of Oracles.
He that Must Forever Wax and Wane.
Thou Art in Union with Thoth.
The Excellent Tehuti of Truth and Time.
Keeper of the Lunar Cycle.
Whose Hands are Able.
Whose Tongue is Mighty in Speech.
Author of the Works of Knowledge.
Writer of the Ancient Wisdom.
Master of the Words of Power.

Obeisance before giving breath to the Inert One
In the presence of the Crescent-Shaped Horns.

Lord of the Two Horns.
God of the Full Moon.
Aah Tehuti.

As it Was for Thoth So Shall it Be for Me.
As it Was for Thoth So Shall it Be for Me.

[Guitar solo]

As it Was for Thoth So Shall it Be for Me.
As it Was for Thoth So Shall it Be for Me.

I am He Who Sendeth Forth Terror into the Domain of Rain and Thunder.
I have Made My Knife to Flourish along with the Knife Which is in the Hand of Thoth.

Lord of the Two Horns,
God of the Full Moon.

I am He Who Calleth Down Curses and Commandeth the Elements unto Darkness.
I Hath Uttered the Hidden Words.
Even unto the Divine Words which Art Written in the Book of Thoth.

Written in the Book of Thoth.
[Repeat and fade]

[This song combines several chapters found within the deep recesses of the Egyptian "Book of the Dead". The chapter titles are so ridiculously long that tofully quote them here would be out of the question.

The chapters coincide because they each deal with the necessary formulae and recitations and ritual actions needed to breathe new life into the deceased. The powers of two distinct Egyptian gods of the Moon, Thoth and Khensu, are invoked with the common stylized formulae that the god is first venerated and their attributes and mythical deeds listed ad nauseam, followed usually by phrases and words of power that give voice to the entreaty: "As it was for the god -----, so shall it be for me."

Musically, I had thoroughly worked on the riffs (even jamming on them with Dallas on drums), but when I made the demo to send to George (Kollias - our new drummer) in Greece (the drums that Dallas and I had recorded were hasty rehearsal room recordings) it was hard to hear the cool things that Dallas was actually doing with the drums.

So, I sent George the demo with no drums at all - just an impossible, confusing click track. Many of this song's guitar riffs are "odd time polyrhythmic" (syncopations that go against what would normally be straight-time), and when heard with only a simple click, make absolutely no sense on their own. I figured if this guy [George] is as good as we believe him to be then this would sure as Hell act as a true test of will power and musicality, because he would not only be required to decipher the crazy jazz/death fusion timing of the riffs, but also create drum parts appropriate from a rhythmic standpoint, and meaningful in a Death Metal context.

Upon his arrival for rehearsals in America, George played his contributions flawlessly. Not only had he managed all the odd time syncopations, but they were so seamlessly integrated in a Death Metal frenzy that it tied all the pieces together better than we had originally envisioned.]

7. Lashed To The Slave Stick

[Lyrics by Karl Sanders, Music by Dallas Toler-Wade]


Fiends, Criminals, Slaves, Blasphemers.
The Word of Ra is Against Ye.
Ye are Fettered and Bound with Leather Straps.
Helpless, Doomed, Wailing in Unendurable Torment.
Lashed to the Forked Slave Stick By the Neck.

Lashed to the Slave Stick.
Abata Ankh t Khet.
Neba t Steb Tcha.
Lashed to the Slave Stick.

Ra Pronounceth the Formulae Against Thee.
The Eye of Horus is Prepared to Attack Thee.
Sekhmet Uttereth Words of Flame Against Thee and Pierceth Thy Breast.

Your Evil Deeds Have Turned Against You.
Your Plottings Have Come upon You.
Your Abominable Acts
You shall be lashed to the Slave Stick.

Abui, The Gods Who Burns the Dead.
Shall Leave You Smoldering in Exile from the Netherworld.
The Gorer.
Causes You to Howl like a Jackal in Anguish.

Your Doom Hath been Decreed by Ra.
Your Unjust and Perverse Judgments are upon Yourselves.
The Wickedness of Your Words of Cursing are upon You.
It is You Who Hath Committed the Unutterable and Wrought Iniquity in the Great Hall.

Your Corruptible Bodies Shall be Cut to Pieces.
Your Souls Shall have No Existence.
Ye Shall Never Again See Ra as He Journeyeth in the Hidden Land.
The Doom of Ra is upon You.

Lashed to the Slave Stick.
Abata Ankh t Khet.
Neba t Steb Tcha.

Lashed to the Slave Stick.
Abata Ankh t Khet.
Neba t Steb Tcha.

[Dallas and I collaborated once again to create "Lashed to the Slave Stick". Dallas wrote the music, building it into an amazing piece. This piece started from a riff Dallas and I had played backstage on the "Darkened Shrines" tours. Dallas took that riff, and came up with the melody and a doom-laden chord section, building upon the rest of the riffs, which brought the essence of the words to musical realization.

Within the lyrics are the (surprise!) torture and various torments applied to one of the damned and doomed enemies of Osiris, lashed to a "Slave Stick". This song was jointly inspired by several pages in the "Book of Gates", as well as from a passage in the book "Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection" by Sir Wallis Budge, in which he describes an instrument of torture employed by the Ancient Egyptians. To paraphrase Sir Budge:

"Whilst various batches of the enemies of Osiris were awaiting their turn at the block of Slaughter, they were kept tightly fettered and bound. One Terrible instrument of Torture was the Y (a hieroglyph in a shape of a forked tree branch is pictured); the modern equivalent of which is the "Goree Stick".

The "Slave Stick" is a tree branch, forked at one end, by which, with the help of a strip of leather, it is fastered around a man's neck. It hangs down in front of the wretched creature doomed to carry it. If the branch is thick, the weight is considerable, and if to the end a block of stone or so be fastened, its effectiveness as an instrument of torture can be well imagined. In some cases the hands were also fastened to the stick. Prussian archaeologist Richard Lespius, who saw them in use, wrote:

"Each captive carried before him the stem of a tree as thick as a man's arm, about 5 or 6 feet long, which terminated in a fork, into which the neck was fixed. The prongs of this fork were bound together by a cross piece of wood, fastened with a strap. Some of their hands, also, were tied fast to the handle of the fork, and in this condition they remained day and night - it can be driven into the ground firmly, and then the prisoner is tied to it, with the arms tied in this position to the stick the pain is said to be unbearable."

"The hieroglyphs also cast light on the use of the stick", continues Budge. "We see a captive with his arms tied behind him to the stick. In another glyph we see a captive tied to the stick by the neck, and his arms tied behind his back; in this attitude the head was cut off, as we see from the next hieroglyph."]

8. Spawn Of Uamenti

[Music by Karl Sanders]


[This instrumental came about in one of those completely impossible-to-plan ways. I had been monkeying [sic] around with detuning some French Horns, Tympani and implausibly overblown subterranean reverb, trying to create something "underworldish", maybe to use as an intro for "Annihilation of the Wicked". When I put that down to work on the lyrics to "Sacrifice Unto Sebek", I decided to search the Internet and see if I could find something relevant revelant on some of the historical type web pages.

I stumbled across a web page that had actual recordings (amongst many reptiles) of several varieties of crocodiles, Nile Monitors and Komodo Dragons, each with labels such as "Nile Monitor - aggressive territorial warning", "Bull Crocodile - mating roar", "African Monitor - slithering sounds", et cetera. So, of course, I grabbed as many as I could, probably about 20 assorted WAV files. I thought, well, now what? Where am I going to use these sounds? With the blast beats and wall of guitars in "Sacrifice Unto Sebek", these sounds would neer be heard if used in that song. Then it dawned on me, why not use them for the other piece I had put aside?

After experimenting with juxtaposing these various reptillian sounds - slithering, crawling, fighting, mating and what-not - against more orchestral-type sounds, the mix featured this evil quality that effectively built tension in such a creepy, eerie way. This reminded me of "The Terrible Monster Reptiles", referred to in the descriptions of the domain of Seker, that crawled around in the mists of the underworld. These horrific, demonic giant lizards and serpents are kept in chains, enslaved to the servants of the god Seker - the name of one of which is "Uamenti".

"Spawn of Uamenti" was not complete until I found some rattling chains sound, which provided a nice compliment to the piece's preternatural atmosphere. I mixed the rattling sounds in, and took the resulting monstrosity to band practice the same evening. Once again, I played it for the guys who gave it a collective horns up!]

9. Annihilation Of The Wicked

[Music and lyrics by Karl Sanders.]

The Dominion of Seker.
Barren Desert of Eternal Night.
Shunned by Ra.
Behind the Gate Aha-Neteru.
The Wastelands of Seker.
Eldest Lord of Impenetrable Blackness.
Death God of Memphis.
He of the Darkness and Decay of the Tomb.
He of Rosetau.
The Mouth of the Passage to the Underworld.
Closely Guarded by Terrible Serpents.
Who Careth Not for His Own Cult of Worshippers.

Ancient and Dead.
Primeval Master of the World Below.
Remaineth Unwitnessed, Unseen, Hidden in His Secret Chamber.
His Primitive Graven Image like as a Hawk-headed Man.
Shrouded and Swathed in Tomb Wrappings.
Standing Between a Pair of Wings which Issue Forth from the Back of a Monstrous Serpent.
Having Two Heads.
Having Two Necks and Whose Tail Terminates in a Human Skull.

In Thick Darkness.
Amid Violent Tempests of Unendurable Cacophony.
His Serpents Make Offerings unto His Image and Live upon Their Own Fire.
His Servants.
Hideous Reptiles of Terrifying Aspect.
Whose Work is Nothing Less than the Annihilation of the Wicked.
Consume the Bodies of the Damned by Flames of Liquid Fire They Emit from Their Mouths.
And the Goddess Quetet Tent which Liveth on the Blood of the Dead.

On Their Blocks.
They Cut into Pieces the Flesh of the Dead.
Singing Hymns of Torture and Mutilation to Their Master.
Accompanied by the Wailings and Anguish of the Damned.
They Wreak Destruction upon the Wicked.
Those Who Hath Not Recited the Formulae.
Nor Made the Sacrifices or Who Know Not the Words of Power.

[Guitar solo]

["Annihilation of the Wicked" combines Chapters 7 and 8 of the book "Am-Tuat", which describe the Fouth and Fifth Hours of Night. The Fouth and Fifth Hours of Night harbor Seker's kingdom. Seker is probably the oldest of all the gods of the dead in Egypt.

The dominions of Seker were supposedly situated in the ever-shifting sands around Memphis, and covered a vast expanse of territory. Their theology and doctrines were older than any other Egyptian underworld depiction - these parts of the Duat were completely different from those rules over by Khenti-Amenti near Abydos, or those from Osiris' kingdom. The domain of Seker was shrouded in thick darkness. Unlike the places of the underworld wherin dwelled the blessed (where fertile plains and fields were fed by flowing streams of water), the place of Seker was formed of barren, endless desert wherein lived monster serpents of terrifying aspect. Some of these monster serpents were depicted with two, and sometimes three, heads, and others had wings. This region offered so many difficulties to the passahe of Afu-Ra's boat that Ra did not attempt to journey through Seker's realm. Instead, he navigated completely around it.

Some of the horrible reptiles in the kingdom of Seker were manifestly the servants of Seker, and their duties were to guard his kingdom and his image. Seker did not actually even live in his own kingdom, but was entombed, hidden deep within his chambers. There was little inducement for any of his cult to aspire to reside in the blackness that enveloped his realm. The dead referred to in these particular passages are those who have succeeded in entering the realm of Seker, but who are doomed for lack of influence of the gods there.

There is also a company of eight gods, and the goddess Quetet-Tent. The work of these servant-gods in Seker's realm was nothing less than the "Annihilation of the Wicked" (quotations are Budge's) - verily, the consummate and final eternal destruction of the dead in the Duat. The eight gods consumed the bodies of the damned by means of liquid fire they emitted from their mouths, while Quetetent lived partly on the blood of the dead, and whatever the other gods gave her. The eight gods would cut the dead in pieces on ensanguined blocks, and when they were not thus employed, they sang hymns to their master - the dread Seker.

To Sir Budge, there is little doubt that this was the earliest of the many pits of fiery torment in the Egyptian underworld, and that the torture, mutilation and destruction by fire were believed to be reserved for the wicked. It seems as if the scheme of the Seker's realm made no provision of the rewards of the beautified dead.

Sir Budge relates that the cult of Seker is one of the oldest in Egypt - and in its earliest form - representative of the belief as to the future life of some of the most primitive inhabitants of Egypt. In fact, it originated when the pre-dynastic priests taught that death was the end of all things.

The oldest surviving presentment of the land of Seker is not older than the 17th Dynasty. It should be noted that it is the work of the priests of Thebes (whose doctrines were at odds with much of the earlier cult of Seker's theology), thus introducing many confusing aspects to the plethora of belief systems already existing in the region. The priests of Thebes removed the texts, figures or details that they found incongruous with their ways.

Budge believed that it was tolerably certain that their version is much shorter than that which originally existed a millennium or so before, and that the attributes may have been altered somewhat to suit the needs of the later cults of Osiris and Ra. The priests of Amen-Ra likely found it impossible to completely ignore the ancient beliefs in Seker and his realm of impenetrable blackness. (Underworld depictions from this time show Ra's path "over" and not through Seker's kingdom.)

On the other hand, great importance was attached to the knowledge of the pictures of the Fourth and Fifth Divisions of Night, which they believed would enable a man's body to rejoin his soul, which in turn prevented the goddess Khenti-Amenti from hacking it to pieces. Lastly, for the believer, this would secure share of the offerings made to Seker.]

10. Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten

[Music and lyrics by Karl Sanders]

I Hath Dreamed Black and Grim, Desolate Visions
Of the Pre-Human Serpent Folk and Communed with Long-dead Reptiles.
Silently Watching Through the Ages in Cold, Curious Apathy.
The Unending Sorrows and Suffering of an Abysmal Humankind.

I Dare Not Again Surrender to the Deep Sleep Which Ever Beckons Me.
Lest I in Dread.
Shudder at the Nameless Things.
That May at this Very Moment.
Be Crawling and Lurking.
At the Slimy Edges of My Conciousness.
Slithering Forth from the Bowels of Their Infernal Pits.
Worshipping Their Ancient Stone Idols and Carving Their Own Detestable Likenesses On Subterranean Obelisks of Blood-soaked Granite.

[Guitar solo]

I Await the Day When the Claws of Doom Shall Rise.
To Drag Down in Their Reeking Talons the Weary and Hopeless Remnants of a Jaded, Decayed, War-despairing Mankind.
Of a Day When the Earth Shall Open Wide and the Black, Bottomless, Yawning Abyss Engulfs the Arrogant Civilizations of Man.
Chthonic Retribution Shall Ascend.
Amidst Universal Pandemonium and Those Who Slither and Crawl Shall Rise Again Once More to Inherit the Earth.

[H.P. Lovecraft was one of the most influential authors or horror stories of the last century. The last few decades have seen Lovecraft's rise from a forgotten author of phantasmagoric pulp magazine fiction to a subject of serious academic study. (A second major biography has recently appeared.)

Lovecraft's influence on other writers in the horror genre has been significant. His writing is considered to be seminal, and it still exerts a powerful influence on artists and film makers. A distinctive feature of Lovecraft's ficton that sets it apart from that of many writers in the genre is his construction, as he wrote, of a "background of consistent and elaborate pseudo-myth". Thus, his invention of the ultimate grimoire - the Necronomicon - was an important part of his fictional modus operandi.

Lovecraft first referred to the Necronomicon in 1922 in his short story "The Hound". ("The Hound" was later collected in the volume Dagon and Other Macabre Tales, which was published by Arkham House in 1965.) He would refer to the Necronomicon in several other stories. A circle of writers who were friends and correspondents with Lovecraft also started referring to the Necronomicon in their horror tales, which in turn solidified its "existence". The fact that they would refer to the Necronomicon along with actual books dealing with witchcraft and demonology helped to sell the illusion. Inspired by Lovecraft's lead, this literary "circle" also invented arcane and "forbidden" texts: Clark Ashton Smith's The Book of Eibon, Robert E. Howard's Unaussprechlichen Kulten and Robert Bloch's Cultes de Goules and De Vermis Mysteriis were all forbidden books invented to add further depth to their spine-tingling tales of horror. The "Lovecraft Circle's" practice of inventing "forbidden books" is very well documented. Not only did they "invent" such books, they even went to great lengths to create bogus histories, which only added to the illusion of their existence.

Robert E. Howard first introduced Nameless Cults through his story "The Children of the Night" (1931). In 1932, Lovecraft came up with a German title for it - Ungenennte Heidenthume. Several of Lovecraft's correspondents balked at this unwieldy title. August Derleth came up with the title Unaussprechlichen Kulten, which stuck, despite the fact that this more literally means "Unpronounceable Cults": "Die Unaussprechlichen Kulten" or "Unaussprechliche Kulten" would be more correct. The reason for this debate amongst the circle of authors is clear - the German is technically incorrect. The adjective would end in -e for the indefinite plural, not an -n, to with: Unaussprechliche Kulte... If we wish to accept "Nameless Cults" as being the correct wording for an English translation, we would have to accept "Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten" as being the realm German title of the work. The addition of the "Von" also allows us to keep the -n ending (perhaps even more appropriate would have been "Die Namenlosen Kulte"). In any case, although Lovecraft doesn't mention this forbidden text any more than he does others, but he does give its publication "history" in the story "Out of the Aeons":

"... a glance at the hieroglyphs by any reader of von Junzt's horrible Nameless Cults would have established a linkage of unmistakable significance. At this period, however, the readers of that monstrous blasphemy were exceedingly few; copies having been incredible scarce in the interval between the suppression of the original Düsseldorf edition (1839) and of the Bridewell translation (1845) and the publication of the expurgates reprint by the Golden Goblin Press in 1909."

According to surviving correspondence from Robert Howard to Lovecraft:

"1839: Unaussprechlichen Kulten was published in Düsseldorf. Written by Friedrich von Junzt [read Necronomicon in Greek translation]. Von Junzt dies six months after returning from trip to Mongolia while working on second book. Less than a dozen copies exist of this edition. Von Junzt relates many stories of the survivals of cults worshipping pre-human entities or prehistoric gods, such as Ghatanothoa, Bran, and others. The principle obscurity of this book is in Von Junzt's use of the term "keys" - phrase used many times by him, in various relations, such as descriptions of the infamous Black Stone in Hungary and the legendary Temple of the Toad in Honduras."

Now, where all this dusty old literary shenanigans takes a more Nile-relevant turn of events... As I was working on this song "Unaussprechlichen Kulten" and driving myself nuts trying to figure out whether to stick with the original Lovecraft variant of the title or the more correct linguistic one, I got a call from Orion Landau (Relapse's resident graphics genius).

Orion, at the time was working on the cover for my "Saurian Meditation" side project. He contacted me for a quote that he could use for the CD layout relating to the album's theme. I was compelled to reply, "Oh, yeah sure" (as if there was some book on my shelf ready-made with authentic quotes concerning reptilian meditative states), but on the other end of the phone sat stark silence. In that pregnant moment of silence, a thunderbolt struck me, as I had, of course, been working on the Nile song gathering as much information that I could find on the much-vaunted "Unaussprechlichen Kulten". I laughed, and said, "What the heck. Sure, I'll send a quote over. No problem." So, with Lovecraftian invention, I fashioned a fictitious quote (from the fictitious Von Junzt) from his fictitious Unaussprechlichen Kulten.

It worked so well that I went ahead and blew it up into a full-blown song. After "Saurian Meditation" came out, I got a rash of e-mails wanting to know where they could obtain a copy of Unaussprechlichen Kulten, as they had, of course, been unable to locate any of the supposedly existing copies. Try as I might to convince these insistent folks of the truth, they were steadfast in the conviction that the quotes were indeed authentic. Although I denied owning any such book, in their minds I was merely lying to them. They thought I was keeping the dreaded, "legendary" tome to myself. One of them, an obviously bright and thoroughly versed literary student from East Germany (who I will respectfully name here only as "Torsten"), was adamant on the subject, as he had managed to find an empty catalog reference (with the volume long missing from a library shelf in Prague) to an unrelated work by a German author of the same period (Hamburg, 1837) with a very similar name, Frederick von Juntz. In my mind, this coincidence only underscores the incredible, timeless power of H.P. Lovecraft's works, and the ingenious way his fantastic stories continue to exert their mysterious, otherworldly power.]

11. SSS Haa Set Yoth

[Japanese bonustrack]

Lurking Among Us Hidden in Obscurity,
Descended from the Dawn of the Ages,
The Children of Yig And Set,
Serpent Volk.
Whose Civilaztions were Ancient,
Long Dead And Forgotten
Before The Eldest Pyramids were Built.
Man Was Not the First
To Walk Upright Upon the Earth.

Cruel, Pitiless, of a Cunning Mind.
Unwilling to Relinguish Dominion of the Earth.
They Are Cold, Knowing No Remorse.
They hath Made UnWitted Slaves of a Blinded Humanity.

They walk amongst us Unseen,
Possessing Empty Human Shells.
Consumed by a Reptile Mind,
Reveling in Sodomy and Rape
And Unspeakable Horrors Exacted Nightly Through
Astral Dreamscape Manipulation.

They Feed on Human Suffering.
They crave the Despairing of Man.
They Prey upon Those who are weak,
The Young whose minds are Innocent,
And those grown Weary and Exhausted
In a Decadent Civilization.

Cruel, Pitiless, of a Cunning Mind.
Unwilling to Relinguish Dominion of the Earth.
They Are Cold, Knowing No Remorse.
They hath Made UnWitted Slaves of a Blinded Humanity.

Seemingly Lost in Meditation,
Their Cold Eyes
Stare Sightlessly into Nothingness.
But they are not there.
Nay, they hath Left their slithering forms,
Lurking, Skulking, Crawling on the Astral Plane,
Stealthily Defiling Forever the unwary minds
Of those who Sleep Unguarded.
Committing Perverse Acts of Torment,
Violent Sexual Atrocities
Of Which None Dare Speak,
Once they Have Been Awakened.

And thus they keep us Ever Subjugated,
Hopeless, Fearful
And despairing in the Deep Hidden Abysses of our Souls.
Helpless, Unable to Escape the Unending Quiet Desperation.
We have Been Broken down
Conditioned to Accept Unconscious Slavery.

[Guitar solo]

SSS Haa Set Yoth.
[Repeat 8x]

Nile - Annihilation of the Wicked
2005, Relapse Records
Total playing time: 52:00
With "SSS Haa Set Yoth": 57:15.

NILE are:
Karl Sanders - guitars, vocals, baglama saz, keyboards.
Dallas Toler-Wade - guitars, vocals.
Jon Vesano - bass, vocals.
George Kollias - drums.

Guest musician:
Mike Breazeale - Exorcism chants and Pazuzu bowl on
"Chapter of Obeisance Before Giving Breath to the Inert One in the Presence of the Crescent Shaped Horns"

Recorded, mixed and produced by Neil Kernon.
Recording engineer: Bob Moore.
Recorded at the Soundlab in Columbia, SC.
Mixed at Rax Trax in Chicago.

Artwork and layout by Orion Landau.
Management by Gunter Ford for WORLD management

Thanks to Achris99, spectrumdt for sending these lyrics.

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