Alms & Avarice

by Blacksoul Seraphim

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credits

released 25 August 2012

Recorded at Black Coffee Sound by Clay Neely in the Spring and Summer of 2012.

All songs and lyrics written by Joshua Carrig (Morte McAdaver).

All guitars written and performed by Joshua Carrig.

All bass organs performed by Joshua Carrig. Bass guitar on Dust Merchant also performed by Joshua Carrig.

Plague of Pawns guest vocals and lead guitar solos by Matt Smith of Faces of Bayon.

Keyboards written and performed by Thomas Cyranowski, except for Madness of Beggars, Revelations of the Fallen, and Plague of Pawns, written and performed by Joshua Carrig.

Drums performed by Clay Neely of Black Pyramid and Black Coffee Sound.

"Song on the Times" was originally an English rebel song written between the years of 1845 and 1850, author unknown. The melody used in the cover was taken from Chumbawamba's version of the song from "English Rebel Songs 1381-1914." Credit goes to the original author of the lyrics (whomever that may have been), and to Chumbawamba for the melody. Cover arrangement by Joshua Carrig.

Special Thanks:

Joshua Carrig (Morte McAdaver): I would like to thank Thomas Cyranowski for being such a great musical companion over the years. Thank you to Clay Neely for producing this album, and for the excellent drum work (and for putting up with me). I am most grateful to all that listen to and enjoy this music; I hope it inspires you in some way.

Thomas Cyranowski: I am thankful to have the chance to work again and again with a stellar group of musicians, and would like to personally thank those who have supported me and have had faith in my efforts.

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Track Name: Alms and Avarice
Herein lies the crown
Jagged to the touch –brimstone forged
Vaulted within the illusions
Clergy of kings, vermillion and engorged.

These are the times
Of the peasants’ pestilence
Resilient and the pious
Praying to be cleansed

Herein they crowned the lies
Gilded swords cross the throats of the sick and the blind
Halberds arch the path
Devils scrutinize as the millstone grinds.

Tyranny is the pox
This citadel, sick with material bliss
Spines will shatter upon the rocks
This earthly divide: Alms and Avarice.

In this great city, charity is the leash upon the destitute, ensuring their survival and containment. Salvation, a commodity, is bought and sold in writs of parchment. The benevolent prophecies most palatable by forked tongues have been engraved into man’s law, and liars and lechers enjoy sanctified immunity in the name of an aberrant crown. Alms are given to quell the rage of hunger, and Avarice has built this earthly layer of the underworld to pay homage to an unseen malefactor.
Track Name: Conspiracy of Exarchs
Gateways span the diocese
Where the patriarchs nest
Under the veils of rosaries
And the aegis of the blessed

Where the exarchs patrol
Consuls of contracts and vice
In search of weary souls
Desperate to pay their price.

These are the things called forth by the rectors
To make feasts of the meek
Sowing debt as seeds to an orchard
For the corruption they bespeak.

Such opulent shadows
Give pause to the valorous
Their silence is the wish of the blackguard
Benighted, admonished to trust.
The caitiffs will settle for servitude
The sick will give of their flesh
Desponding minds are prospective possessions
For malefactors to divest.

Talons grip the treasures and troves
Sharp tongues harvest the hatred of the poor

The clout of despots and demagogues lives on
Through the power of this conspiracy, forevermore.
Track Name: Madness of Beggars
Poverty’s chosen have no place
They hide their own faces beneath the waste and leave no trace.
Friends of the flies
Trembling pariahs and husks sentenced to be forever scorned and chastised

Madness…or so they say
No asylum can be found in this place.
The vows of the Crown can only betray;
Delirium and disgrace.

Beggars they fear, and beggars they breed
Through the misled years and forgotten tears they all will bleed
Such is the doctrine
Through the mad eyes of beggars, see abyssal serpents slithering within.

Oh, see them turn their heads
Couldn’t spare two coins for eyes of the dead
No stones to be thrown from a sack of gems
Lest they succumb to the madness and become like them.
Track Name: Virtue and Vermin
These towers serve to mark the lower mass graves
Each pillar of stone, a nail through the necks of slaves
Beneath the shadows of the Crown; in the streets they lay
Sewer-bound, unified by virtues and decay.

The rats reap the bitter fruits of the wasteful lords
How great the mercy of the famished hordes
Larvae of parasites teem beneath the throne
Monarchs may one day choke upon their bones

A vermin congregation – a beggar’s battalion
Pariah population – the corpse of a stallion
Sermons sung to decimate the cancer of greed
Shepherds come to infest the estates…to let the starving souls feed.


Thus would the vilest of men don the gilded flesh of devils and appoint themselves among the righteous. And with pernicious prudence, craft the inversion – the illusion of virtue that would be the plinth under which the vermin are crushed, living in filth as crippled worms coiled about the oppressive monolith. Starve as they will, the keepers offer mere scraps to the imprisoned rabble. But look past the stone despot’s glory, for you my yet see the jaws of the Jagged Crown. Move swiftly and united with the blessed swarm, lest you hang helplessly as a solitary morsel in the fingers of a gluttonous lower god.
Track Name: Dust Merchant
(Instrumental)
Track Name: Plague of Pawns
A populace torn into factions, all fractured, broken and hewn
Numb and unaware of the infected, festering wounds
Maggots line the lips that spit those aspersions
Archdevils devise and conquer with oligarchic coercions.

The Jagged King presides over this chessboard
To the prosperous priests, he is lord.
They must create this contagion for you
For the dark accolades they are due.

Defiled corpses of commoners compose the tattered trail
Dark peddlers strive to sell the will to prevail.
A coin for each contract, and a stitch for each soul
Threaded to a grin for the madmen to behold.
Lies will soothe and feed this disease
Who could stand against a legion that dwells upon its knees?

Flagellants lay sores upon the backs
Leeches feast upon the cracks
A plague of hatred and vehement pawns
They fight, while devils steal the dawn.


No greater affliction hath been wrought than the plague of pawns. The most devoted slaves are possessed of euphoric zealotry to their own inner darkness, for that would aspire to achieve the comforts of uncompromising deviltry. They are the pawns walking amongst their fellow paupers, praising kings and killers alike for their triumphs, even as they break beneath the scaled hooves at which they worship. Shackled to the chessboard, these pawns ensure an army for the wicked, to clash against itself in perpetual injustice. To the pawn, even blood is fit to be retained within coffers, and victims are their own, sole destroyers.
Track Name: Revelations of the Fallen
Anointed by a vermillion rain
I rip the veil, shifting planes
Baptized at last in this polluted storm
And the promised Hell finally takes form

Plunge this place into the pit of everlasting pain
Let them see all that awaits
For the judgment of the slain.

I bear the sacred flames of truth
From their souls, all distortion I will purge.
With ardor and sword, I cleave despotic flesh
Unmask the tyrants and sing the devils’ dirge.

Gaze now upon the forms of your foes
Do you deny them of their control?
All comforts they have bestowed?
[Or] do you remain a slave to your woes?

This place is for the fallen, and so it falls to thee
It was my judgment that you allow your eyes to see
Now, the choice is yours and I have sacrificed my wings
May you find release from the reign of the Jagged King.
Track Name: Tarnishing of the Crown
(Instrumental)
Track Name: Psalm of Insurrection
As fevers rise with the snowfall
And wrath swells within us all
Celestial wingspans banish the darkness of doubt.
There is nothing left here to praise
No hope to be found from the magistrates
We set hearts ablaze to warm the hands of the devout.

Processions carve through the finest armor
An armistice dirge is sung
A ragged man march through the city streets, in tattered shoes and blackened lungs.

No more must they trade in contagion
No more must children subsist on waste
Disgorged are the coins that the fiends forced them to taste.

Gluttons are the demons’ thralls
They host the vilest spirits’ spawn
By empyrean flames, let them perish by the dawn.

The power that once was held
By monarchs, cowards, and thieves
Cannot stand against the righteous might of the many that still believe.

Your lies can never heal the wounded ones
Daggers through the eyes – an accursed face
No heroes can there be under gilded chains
In the jagged crown’s embrace
See the fires of insurrection ignite new joy
This elysian doom
The Heavens echo the funeral rites
As we lay to rest our gloom.
Track Name: Song On the Times
You working men of England one moment now attend
While I unfold the treatment of the poor upon this land
For nowadays the factory lords have brought the labour low
And daily are contriving plans to prove our overthrow

So arouse! You sons of freedom! The world seems upside down
They scorn the poor man as a thief in country and in town

There's different parts in Ireland, it's true what I do state
There's hundreds that are starving for they can't get food to eat
And if they go unto the rich to ask them for relief
They bang their door all in their face as if they were a thief

So arouse! You sons of freedom! The world seems upside down
They scorn the poor man as a thief in country and in town

Alas how altered are the times, rich men despise the poor
And pay them off without remorse, quite scornful at their door
And if a man is out of work his Parish pay is small
Enough to starve himself and wife, his children and all

So arouse! You sons of freedom! The world seems upside down
They scorn the poor man as a thief in country and in town

So to conclude and finish these few verses I have made
I hope to see before it's long men for their labour paid
Then we'll rejoice with heart and voice and banish all our woes
Before we do old England must pay us what she owes

So arouse! You sons of freedom! The world seems upside down
They scorn the poor man as a thief in country and in town