The Poison Skies

by Albion-Tharotia

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about

A concept album based on the novel "The Afflicted" by Kjorteo Kalante - kjorteo.net/view/works

An unknown airborne pathogen has spread throughout the atmosphere. Entire countries are devastated, leaving only isolated pockets of life.

After all attempts at quarantine fail, the outside world is declared a lost cause. The tyrant mayor King orders the construction of a massive dome to seal what’s left of his city, conceding everything else to the unstoppable disease. He establishes a group of Hunters who are authorized to explore the wilderness and cull the afflicted, starving out the virus by executing its carriers.

Uninfected civilians live in constant oppression beneath a cold metal sky, while those outside face death in the wilds.

credits

released July 11, 2016

Music and lyrics by @Kjorteo and @DavidXNewton
Produced by David Newton
Booklet artwork by C. M. Hoskins: @Sparkyopteryx

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Track Name: Life Before Death
[Edward:]
Beneath an iron sky
My people live in poverty and crime
Existing underneath a tyrant ruler's hand
And through the longest night
I raise their spirits, guide them to a light
And give what little hope I can

We are lost - in an endless night
The sun drained from our eyes
Gone - when we sold our lives
To the plague that stole the sky

Where no one dares to go
Yet there's a world outside, we know
To leave the city is to throw your life away
Yet there's a dream I hide
To breathe the pure and poison sky
At any moment I could
Walk out and never return

Outside the city walls
The victims of infection haunt my thoughts
The worst affliction ever known
Condemned to waste away
Or die by hunters stalking them as prey
Abandoned, helpless and alone

I could leave - and be vital
To the ones in dire need
If I stay - I'd be nothing more
My choice is surely made

And so I'm leaving all
Leave the city far behind
Cause there is nothing
That I can do here for the world
Now I'm leaving all
Leave this short life far behind
I know I'll never come back

Do you still believe in life hereafter
Even with the suffering of the living ones
And do you feel that the will to heal
Is subservient to God above
I don't know if faith alone can help them
That is why I venture out to give
My own life so I and the afflicted ones can live
Life before death
Life before death

Alone I make my way
No more empty promises this time
This is the precipice
The point of no return
The world of the afflicted
Clear and calm before my eyes
I only have to take one step
To breathe the air at last
And I have joined them
And I have joined them

I won't give my life for nothing
If I can say I made a change
To be remembered is the only thing I ask
And leaving all behind
I'll live so I may also find
A place in life before my death

In the wilds, all our pasts will be forgotten
No matter who, we can all be redeemed one last time
To respect all life, whether friend or enemy
To bring the cycle of hurt to an end

Do you still believe in life hereafter
Even with the suffering of the living ones
And do you feel that the will to heal
Is subservient to God above
I don't know if faith alone can help them
That is why I venture out to give
My own life so I and the afflicted ones can live
Life before death
Life before death
Life before death
Track Name: The Tribe
[Celine:]
Now he is gone
Our leader was stolen
The first of the angels to fall
He left the city to live among us
And shared the fate of us all

[Everyone:]
Though he is gone
His story won't end here
He knew that he had to die
But he gave his life
So that others might live
For a day - one more day

Each one of our souls has a story
That deserves to be known
Out here, our lives can never be saved
But in time, perhaps we'll live on

Now to honour his memory
[Girard:] And the sake of revenge
Keeping hope and pride
We follow our guide
We move on to the north
And we live by the law of the tribe
Track Name: Out in the Wilds
[Girard:]
Alone
I find myself in this land
How did I get here, why am I in this place?
Unknown
No clues, no signs, no guidance
Nothing but horror as I realize my fate

And on this twisted morning
Trapped outside, alone, afflicted
Frightened and confused, rejected
I was cast out without any warning
How could I of all end up here
What went on, what is the reason
I'm left to die

Outside
There's no way back to living
Get out of sight, I've got to get far away
To run away
Survive
I'm on my own, I'm stranded
No one to save me from the horror of fate

And on this twisted morning
Trapped outside, alone, afflicted
Frightened and confused, rejected
I was cast out without any warning
How could I of all end up here
What went on, what is the reason
I'm left to die

I wander
I struggle and starve
With no explanation why
There's no way home, no way to try
I suffer
I cry out in pain
Am I really meant to die

Out in the wilds
My life was taken away
Out in the wilds
Lost in fear and dismay
In the land of sickness, starvation, pain, and death
Here I am, betrayed and forsaken, left to die
To wither beneath the poison sky
What I need is a savior
Out in the wilds

[Edward:]
I found him by the river, naked and alone
I gave him food and shelter, everything he had to know
Day by day his strength returned
Till he'd survive on what he'd learned
And time had come for me to take my leave

[Girard:]
No, this miracle can't walk out of my life
Can't throw me back to face the silence of the poisoned wilds
You found me in my distress
The height of pain and hopelessness
If you won't stay with me, I'll walk with you

[Both:] And he became
[Girard:] My keeper
[Edward:] The first of the tribe
[Girard:] My savior and friend
I was lost without you here

Out in the wilds
My life was taken away
Out in the wilds
Lost in fear and dismay
In the land of sickness, starvation, pain, and death
Here I am, betrayed and cast out, but saved at last
You helped me to overcome my past
I live on with my savior
Out in the wilds

Erased and they don't care
But you would still be here
If only you'd stayed
Been mine, only mine
It's so unfair to leave me
The tribe I formed deceived me
But now I'll fight in your name

[Voice of madness:]
There's no way to hide from their stare
I still feel their eyes everywhere
And the hatred that clouds all their minds
It hides the truth of it all

The savior has gone from this world
He left us behind, we are cursed
To live outcast, forsaken and desolate

[Girard:]
Out in the wilds
My life was taken away
Out in the wilds
Lost in fear and dismay
In the land of sickness, starvation, pain, and death
Here I am, betrayed and I'm once again alone
Lost the only hope I've ever known
They murdered my savior
Out in the wilds

My keeper
My savior and friend
He is lost, and left me here
Out in the wilds
Track Name: Run
[Marcus:]
Born to success, to stand apart
My life was planned out from the start
With no permission to be free
The one to keep the noble name
To carry all their hopes and dreams
A future severed
When one night became forever

Now on the boundary I stand
This is my one and only chance
To make a difference
Just by being alive
And suddenly I see it clear
This is the reason why I'm here
To take one last chance
To be out there and free

I will run
And I'm invincible
A blur that can't be found
I'm faster than sound
And I'll run
Here I'm unstoppable
Far from the hunters' eyes
I'll run, cause to stop is to die

Our pasts don't matter any more
Where we're from or who we are
It makes no difference in the wilds
He trusted me, I realize
To guide and unify the tribe
I'll justify his faith
Live up to my name

And for a moment I am free
Their future now depends on me
I'll make a difference
Just by being alive
To fall now is unthinkable
To disappear impossible
Don't need to put my faith
In life after death

I will run
And I'm invincible
A blur that can't be found
I'm faster than sound
And I'll run
Here I'm unstoppable
Far from the hunters' eyes
I'll run, cause to stop is to die

Noble my name
And noble my deed
My curse turns to blessing
Unnatural speed
Don't look behind
And I promise you'll see me again
For all of our lives

I will run
And I'm invincible
A blur that can't be found
I'm faster than sound
I will run
And I'm unstoppable
Far from the hunters' eyes
I'll run, cause to stop is to die

And I'm running
Got to run for my life
Run for the future
As I run from my death
Dangers unseen and unheard
I'll run to the end of the world
And still I'm going
Too fast for the eye
Never stop till I die
Track Name: What Kind of God
When I was young they told me
You were everything, that you were all
The source of good and bad
An everlasting light
So we believed in you
In wisdom, bravery, knowledge or the truth
So we might see your face at last
In some eternal life

How could I follow you
Believed you cared about me
As shades of hope disappear
Hell has no meaning, we're already here

What kind of god would abandon his world
What kind of god lives behind such a lie
Questioning faith that I've held all my life
And it hurts
What kind of god

I've seen the ones I knew cast out of here
Existences erased
You take the lives you made
And proudly watch them die
Beneath the dome we crawl
The artificial stars and soulless light
In day or night, and life or death
It's all the same inside

Where is your mercy now
How could I never have seen
When hope is lost to our fear
Hell has no meaning, we're already here

What kind of god would abandon his world
What kind of god lives behind such a lie
Questioning faith that I've held all my life
What kind of god would leave us here to die

What kind of god would abandon his world
What kind of god lives behind such a lie
Questioning faith that I've held all my life
And it hurts
What kind of god

What kind of god would abandon his world
What kind of god lives behind such a lie
Questioning faith that I've held all my life
What kind of god would leave us here to die
Track Name: The Poison Skies
[Scout:]
The silent paths in wilderness
I’ve walked so many times
Familiar roads are fading
As the poison consumes my mind

[Jonathan:]
Everything I'm fighting for
Is gone and far behind
Murdered by the tyrant king’s design

With every day a fight to live on
We'll fade away
But can we still be something more
So give us all a chance to live on
Before the virus takes us all

Ahead of the hunters
We hide from their stare
We're lost, we're weak
And we're helpless
Their eyes everywhere
They're closing in
As far as we wander
We're reaching the end of our lives
We walk beneath the poison skies

[Cameron:]
Fever crawls in all of us
And I can only wait
Writing down the warnings
Of affliction as we decay

[Celine:]
Living out as best we can
Our final days of life
Holding back the poison in the tribe

With every day a fight to live on
After the virus takes us all

Ahead of the hunters
We hide from their stare
We're lost, we're weak
And we're helpless
Their eyes everywhere
They're closing in
As far as we wander
We're reaching the end of our lives
We walk beneath the poison skies

[Girard:]
Can't let the traitor in our midst
Destroy my chance to be remembered
A murderer is standing tall
And all the rest refuse to see

Come with me
And we'll be free
From all the laws
That drag us down
Come with me
And we'll leave the weak behind
Come with me
And your lives are going
To matter in the end

[Cameron:]
I have to follow on
To honour her name
Perhaps for the world

[Jonathan:]
For duty, so there can be hope
My life and my daughter must wait

[All:]
And so we tear the tribe
We say goodbye
[Celine:] Find the city for me
Before regret has time to rise
Our roads divide

Push ahead
Waste no time
Prove that we were once alive
And leave them all behind

[Cameron:] And so I walk on for the future
[Jonathan:] So she can live at least for now
[Rook:] The hunters coming from behind
[Girard:] We must win out our race with death
[Celine:] And every day I'm fading further
[Scout:] With fog encroaching on my mind
[Everyone:] And so in time, it takes us all

Ahead of the hunters
We hide from their stare
We're lost, we're weak
And we're helpless
Their eyes everywhere
They're closing in
As far as we wander
We're reaching the end of our lives
We live and breathe the poison

Ahead of the hunters
We hide from their stare
We're lost, we're weak
And we're helpless
Their eyes everywhere
They're closing in
And now, at the ending
We split up and say our goodbyes
Walk on beneath the poison skies
Track Name: Death March
Dead men walking
Between the cities with no name
Close to falling
With every inch bringing new pain
Strength in numbers
Means nothing if we cannot stay alive
Encumbered
With weight upon our backs and in our minds

[Jonathan:]
Don’t know if I’m already out of time
I turned my back and said goodbye
And told myself I chose this for the world

Over the wasted land
With no reprieve in sight
Losing hope and losing time
With death one step behind
Under the brutal sun
That lights the poison sky
Desperate and desolate
We march until we die

Tyrant leader
Relentless marching on to conquer time
Fighting fever
To hold our heads up, let him lead us
Unforgiving
At last we stop and shelter in the
Barren city
Reminder of the world that we have lost

[Cameron:]
Deliver all we can to them and pray
That they might find a cure some day
And so the world will come to life again

Over the wasted land
With no reprieve in sight
Losing hope and losing time
With death one step behind
Under the brutal sun
That lights the poison sky
Desperate and desolate
We march until we die

[Girard:]
Walk without a fight
You’ll do what I decide
Cause you’ve made your choice
And now you follow me

Over the wasted land
With no reprieve in sight
Losing hope and losing time
With death one step behind
Under the brutal sun
That lights the poison sky
Desperate and desolate
We march until we die
Track Name: Disappear
[Rook:]
I've seen reason destroyed by violence
Through maltreatment and abuse
I've seen strength become twisted power
And the strong rewriting the truth

I made a promise in pain and fear
To never use my strength for harm
Every time I have raised my hand
I know I've failed, betrayed who I am

It's not enough to regret
I must be punished in the end

I am buried in the shadows of my past
Of the ones that died by my own hand
Traded conscience for a chance at better life
Now I can't live with what I am
And so it's time
To disappear

In this heart made of steel I'll live
I'll hide my pain, become a wall
Stop resisting the fate
That's meant for me
I'll walk, and fall where I fall

No escape from my past
This worthless weapon
Symbolizes who I am
Remaining silent
Offer no resistance
And I become the iron mask

I am buried in the shadows of my past
Of the ones that died by my own hand
Traded conscience for a chance at better life
Now I can't live with what I am
And so it's time
To disappear

I'm no longer the one that they knew
And my old name has no place in the truth
Now my future is loathsome but deserved
Accepting the fate I've earned

I am buried in the shadows of my past
Of the ones that died by my own hand
Traded conscience for a chance at better life
Now I can't live with what I am
And so it's time
To disappear

I won't be found where you can never follow me
I'll take the burden now that no one sees
Out to the wilds where the weak are sent to die
I'll share their fate
Repent for all that made my life
And disappear
Track Name: Stand Our Ground
[Jonathan:]
I fought the war of cities
And saw a despot steal the throne
His cruelty suppressing how we live

Accepting fear means we survive
But finally there comes a time
When we have nothing more to give

There is a virus
That's crawling through society
It lives on fear
Where no good men will fight
Against the madness
The wickedness and tyranny
As hopeless as it seems
We have to try

When the world is falling under
Are we to die
Or stand up and fight
In the end
We won’t surrender
Standing strong
Our hope will survive
We’ll stand our ground

And now I walk the wasteland
Beneath another tyrant’s hand
But still the war is not yet lost
Oh no

Oppression may outlast one life
But dreams of freedom never die
Intimidation falls
And then we fight

There is a virus
That's crawling through society
It lives on fear
Where no good men will fight
Against the madness
The wickedness and tyranny
As hopeless as it seems
We have to try

When the world is falling under
Are we to die
Or stand up and fight
In the end
We won’t surrender
Standing strong
Our hope will survive
We’ll stand our ground

Stand with me
Together we’ll be strong
And still I dream
Of a life without the dome
Strength and hope
The will to carry on
For life and light
Someone must stand up and fight

When the world is falling under
Are we to die
Or stand up and fight
In the end
We won’t surrender
Standing strong
I’ll fight to the last
And stand our ground

When the world is falling down
I’ll stand on my ground
For the future of us all
I’ll never surrender
I’ll fight to the last
And stand our ground
Track Name: Perfect Hatred
[Scout:]
Reaching a city once warm and alive
Now the silence is endless
As we stare at the cold empty streets
A creature strikes out from the tempest

Skeletal, haggard, and barely alive
Corrupted and feral but still he survives
Lost so much, but there’s still one thing left
That’s precious to me and I must defend

Here at the end of a dream
Here in the silence we scream

[Girard:]
I was the one to find you
And I let us walk beside you
But you and the tribe have taken
My savior and life
All of your hate I’ve seen
Now it’s down to just you and me
And so fuelled by perfect hatred
One of us leaves standing tonight

[Voice of madness:]
All alone and surrounded by spies
People who laughed and who shamed me
Lost so much but there’s time to strike back
And now you will see who is crazy

Here at the end of a dream
Here in the silence we scream

[Scout:]
I learned to fear and hate you
As I saw the madness take you
Now you and the plague have taken
My hope and their lives
Fear now gives way to anger
And I want to see you suffer
Now soaked in perfect hatred
One of us leaves standing tonight

[Both:]
Here at the end of the tribe
[Scout:]
What could I have done
To protect them from you
[Both:]
Here you will pay with your life
[Girard:]
Suffer as I have and know my revenge

[Both:]
Now blood and tears are rising
As here in the cold we’re fighting
To win over hate and madness
The last of the tribe
After the pain and bleeding
My struggle will have a meaning
And from this perfect hatred
One of us will leave here alive

Blood and tears are rising
As here in the cold we’re fighting
To win over hate and madness
The last of the tribe
After the pain and bleeding
My struggle will have a meaning
And from this perfect hatred
One of us
One of us
One of us leaves standing tonight
Track Name: Snow
[Scout:]
As the winter closes in
And the frost and ice descend
Will nobody know who we were
Our lives forgotten in the end

The snow will cover every trace
And make our footsteps disappear
And once it fades, life will return
As if we never were here

Can you remember what we used to be
We grew into a world taught to fear by all they said
Far from the front lines of an endless war
Just children scared of life and where it led

It's a lie - there was no way we could live on
And in time, our memories grow cold
So we die - here the journey ends forever
With a grave on blood red snow

Struggling to remember why I’m here
Finding words for countless names unknown
Crumbling images of walking with the tribe
But now I’m lost, unbearably alone
Nowhere left to go

Now this is all that I can give to you
These memories and words that go unheard

It's a lie - there was no way we could live on
And in time, our memories grow cold
So we die - here the journey ends forever
With a grave on blood red snow

[Girard:]
Why don’t you kill me
After all I have done
Just one more wound
Will take my life from your hands
And end it all
Take your revenge now
For your pain and his life
Don’t turn your back
And leave me in the cold

[Scout:]
Cold... how long has he remained
Memento of a life
For no one to recall
His name and all that we have fought for
Will fade into time, forgotten by all

But still there’s hope for remembrance
As my memory fades
Keep holding on to one thing
And leave this barren place
Survive the last stretch
Through the wind and the cold
We can’t change our stories
But they still can be told

To tell of the journey
To tell of the tribe
To tell of the final days
Of eight poisoned lives

So they know who we were
So they know what we saw
So the story has meaning
Now I’m heading north

I feel the Keeper watching over us
Beyond this fading world
He sees what we’ve become
Forgetting what we used to be
Our lives, our journey and the tribe

It's a lie - there was no way we could live on
And the cold kills everything we know
So we die - here the journey ends forever
With a grave on blood red snow

It’s a lie - there is no way I can live on
Now I’ve lost my precious cat and crow
When I die, maybe then we'll be united
Underneath the blood red snow
We’ll be gone

Lost to time
We’ll sleep beneath the snow
Track Name: Life After Death
[Scout:]
Under the light of a new dawn
I’m running on towards the north
To escape the place of death
Take the notes and make my way
As my memory falls away
They're all I have left

Words and pictures of a tribe
That I barely recognize
Scattered thoughts of those
Who lived here and died in the wilds
Now that I’m the only one
Determination makes me run
Push to reach the end
With all of my strength

Stay out of sight
And reach for the daylight
My name forgotten
My will standing strong
Strive for the city
Lives that run with me
Speak from somewhere beyond

All our stories
All our histories
All joined together, bound here as one
We have carried
All our memories of life
After the end, we'll walk together
Far from the dust where we rest
And as long as we're never forgotten
We've life after death

Now the future’s in their hands
And I pray they’ll understand
As my mind gives way
It’s my time to leave
Reaching out and holding on
To my last reminder
Silent and sealed
Now a symbol of peace

Over the skies
As I leave my mind
I see a vision of hope
Cities rising out of
Torment and suffering
Dethrone the false king
Tear his empire apart

All our stories
All our histories
All joined together, bound here as one
We have carried
All our memories of life
After the end, we'll walk together
Far from the dust where we rest
And as long as we're never forgotten
We've life after death

In the wilds, all our pasts will be remembered
With every remnant that our actions leave behind
To respect all life, carry those who came before us
With memories that keep them alive

All our stories
All our histories
All joined together, bound here as one
We have carried
All our memories of life
After the end, we'll walk together
Far from dust where we rest
And as long as we're never forgotten
We've life after death

As long as we're never forgotten
We've life after death
Track Name: The Afflicted
Now we are gone
And our journey is over
As our bodies return to the ground
Though our lives may have ended
The story goes on
As the world keeps turning around

All of our lives only last for a moment
Our destiny always to die
But through our own words
We can carry our names beyond life
Beyond life

Each one of their souls has a story
And a life, and a name
Now their bodies lie under the wasteland
But their memory will always remain

[Jonathan:] Of the march of the tribe
[Cameron:] Of the strength to change lives
[Celine:] Of the will of the young
[Marcus:] Of the courage to run
[Rook:] Of the punished and blind
[Scout:] Of the hope that survived
[Girard:] Of the fear that divides
[Edward:] Of the lives in the wilds

The afflicted
Til our names are last spoken
We’ll all be alive
In life beyond death
The afflicted
And the silence is broken
Our echoes reach forward in time

So your body may die
But in the world’s mind
Your story will never be truly gone
The waves of your life
Transcending through time
Your name and your memory live on