Farewell Cosmonaut

Artists of War will be retiring at the end of this year. I have grown tired  of numerous useless attempts at making connection through the internet. This place is simply too large and all encompassing for something truly meaningful to come out of it. It’s been an interesting experiment to be sure, and I’ve learned plenty, but the time has come to hang up the cowl. Future musical excursions will be linked to from my Twitter. 

Our final document is the conclusion to our “Harbinger”-saga we began a year ago. This easily could have developed into four independent albums, but I found that to be masturbatory. Harbinger II: Acolyte’s Revenge is the result of many months reprogramming drums, remixing and remastering a set of songs which I believe will stand the test of time and do justice tot eh Artists of War discography as a fitting coda.  Not only is the album a coda to the band, but ti is also a coda on a certain part of my life. In releasing this album I hope to achieve freedom from the artistic constraints of middle class servitude.

Again, the cover was illustrated by my collaborator and friend Ari Bach. I met Ari through Deviant Art in 2012 and immediately recognized the Giger and Moebius influences in his work. His style beautifully contrasts with the music here in as it conveys both a cosmic mysticism and a truly terrifying realism that to me is unmatched in the annals of Deviant Art. Here, the art is meant to convey a sense of humanity’s insignificance in a greater universe of secrets. A procession of reptilian warlords leads a funeral march into the lizard mausoleum as a titan prepares for battle in the distance. The twisting hedge mazes convey a sense of confusion and bewilderment in the face of doom. The sketch was conceived from a rough idea I had while sitting on my couch. Some layout design cues were borrowed from Chunklet designer/writer Henry Owings.

Like our recent releases, this one will be offered as a free download on Bandcamp with the option to pay if you want. 

The release date is set for March 25, 2014 to coincide with the three-year anniversary of the release of our first album. 

Also, the label Tricalibur will be dissolved and if you follow my personal blog at tricalibur.blogspot.com, it has moved to thothmammatus.blogspot.com

I am alive. Fear not cosmonaut. 

Harbinger cometh

For nearly a year Artists of War has worked on a three album suite titled Harbinger. Locked away in the recording space, we’ve constructed this as a way of communicating to the world our distaste for unnecessary repetition, religion, and above all else, ignorance. Harbinger is the enemy of dogma. It is the ally of free thought. 

Harbinger I: No Children In Heaven will be released on November 15 in this, the 2,013th year of our false lord. 

Stream “Harbinger II” exclusively on SoundCloud: 

Surprise: Lord and Slave album out now for FREE

After we wrote the double album “The Black and The Grey” in 2012 we intended to make it a trilogy of sorts by capping off the two records with an album called “The White” which would be a single song. The writing process for this album was very trying and after it became clear that it was simply too different from everything else in our discography the album was canned. Over time, however, it became clear that this musical excursion was still a vital part of the evolution of AoW into what it is currently and it would be a shame to leave it undocumented. The album is comprised of two songs each clocking in at over 20 minutes. There are no vocals or lyrics and much of the content was improvised. They represent AoW at its most experimental and unapologetic. Resemblances to “The Black and The Grey” may be obvious in the drum sound and overall tone of the album. 

Lord and Slave is available as a free download on our Bandcamp page.

If you’d like to read more about the creative process behind “The White” and some of AoW’s upcoming music, check out Thunderdome Lives.

Our latest record is out today and is available for stream and download from Bandcamp, Spotify and iTunes. N’Joy my beautiful death horde. 

This is the art for our upcoming album “In Shadow of The Sky Ladder” which will come out on June 18 in this the 2,013th year of our lord on Tricalibur Records. 
http://aribach.deviantart.com/

This is the art for our upcoming album “In Shadow of The Sky Ladder” which will come out on June 18 in this the 2,013th year of our lord on Tricalibur Records. 

http://aribach.deviantart.com/

In Shadow of The Sky Ladder - Coming Soon

We finished Artists of War IV is July of 2012. Being Artists of War, a double album was not enough, though, and we continued on by writing our greatest opus to date. Titled “In Shadow of The Sky Ladder” it is thematically inspired by the current brand of sci-fi comics being put forth by the imprint Image Comics. Specifically, the Prophet comic series as written by Brandon Graham and occasionally Simon Roy. 

Set in the far distant future, the story’s main protagonist is a centuries old eugenically engineered super soldier named John Prophet, or “Old Father Prophet.” After being awakened by an old ally, he learns that the Earth Empire and its clone army of other John Prophets he fought to overthrow many years ago is back on the rise. He gathers a team that includes a cyborg named Diehard, a lizard assassin, Rein East, a “root being” called Hyonhoigan, and a man-sized robot named Jaxon. 

The story itself is simple enough (good vs. evil where the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance), but how the comic really shines is through its execution. Written in the style of an old epic poem from norse legends, Father Prophet is formed into a mythic being not by the actions we witness, but by the aura of impending doom in the aftermath of galactic war that surrounds him in every panel. 

Dark and poetic, prophetic and visionary, this comic was the perfect jumping off point for a concept album about man’s place int eh universe. We’ve grown increasingly disillusioned with the modern music scene, underground or not, and with the world at large. As we again face the threat of nuclear war, this time with North Korea, we have to assess why we are here on this Earth. Are we a random occurrence brought about by a very unique but replicable series of evolutionary events? Or are we the last survivors of a space faring race that lost its way many millenia ago and planted its seeds on this planet in hopes of securing its own legacy? 

Furthermore, what purpose have we if our creators are unwilling or unable to show their face and give guidance? The only plausible conclusion is that we must find our own meaning and purpose in life, regardless of what society or religion or even science tells us. “In Shadow of The Sky Ladder” represents this band starting anew in its quest to create a religion. A religion of the mind and heart with all intangibles erased. Through music we will become a step closer to enlightenment and purpose in life, or at least pass the time until annihilation a little bit more at peace with the world around us. 

Artwork and a release date for our fifth album are still being finalized, but for now you can enjoy the tracklisting and stream the single “Iron Slug Runner” below.

Tracklist:

  1. In Shadow of The Sky Ladder
  2. War Lung
  3. Exo-Planetoid
  4. Planetoid’s Dying
  5. Cerebral Bore
  6. Terror Spheres
  7. Iron Slug Runner
  8. Doppelganger
  9. The Viking Chorus

^ Click to stream “Iron Slug Runner”. Photo by Cigognes: http://cigognes.deviantart.com/

  1. [Intro/Altar]
  2. Exalted (The Grey Behemon)
  3. [Decay]
  4. The Neural Transit
  5. [Era]
  6. Crown Theme
  7. [Ore]
  8. Long Bow
  9. [Century]
  10. Hellenic Glory
  11. [Dynasty]
  12. Walls of Eternity

Video for “Exalted” coming soon.

Peace and metal \m/

This month’s free download is the first track off our upcoming album, “Artists of War IV: The Grey,” set for release on February 13. “Exalted (The Grey Behemon)” is pure Transcendental Black Metal in the vein of Liturgy and Krallice. It will blow your mind open and replace it with that of a space-faring turkey from the seventh dimension. Download it FREE today. 

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Artists of War IV: The Grey - Coming February 13; Tracklisting and Artwork Reveal

The second volume of our two-part album, Artists of War IV, will be released on February 13 in honor of Black Metal History Month (BMHM). Inspired by such progressive black metal acts as Liturgy, Krallice and Enslaved, this 39-minute dirge represents a first for AoW; the album was completely written and recorded in just one week. 

After the completion of The Black we set out to do something that was completely different, yet still rooted in our original motive of deeply emotional concept metal. The Grey came about as a desire to create explosive, improvisational soundscapes that would present simple ideas in an extremely complex package. Like all our music, duality and dynamism played a strong role in shaping the end product. If you’ve ever listened to Sunn, Earth, or Boris, you know that drone music can be very tiring and rewarding. It’s loosely designed so as to allow the listener to input his or her own interpretations, whilst remaining rooted in traditional guitar rock, allowing a familiar listener to listen on intrigue alone. Like drone metal, black metal can be very demanding on the listener. With tempos in the mid-200’s (beats-per-minute), so much happens so fast that it is difficult to hear everything in one listen. What results is a soundscape not unlike a drone. The repetition from the blast beats and the attack of the tremolo guitar picking causes a hypnotic effect that contrasts with what we as listeners expect from highly complex music. We believe this is the primary draw for black metal listener, whether they realize it or not. 

But this is only one aspect of what makes The Grey. Like all our other albums, we strive to infuse all our influences from 80s thrash to today’s alt-rock artists. A midst the chaotic hypnosis of this record you will also find instances of these other influences, arising to provide a breath of fresh air, or transition an already intense song into another stage of being. Despite the backlash from fans and critics that the band Liturgy has received for labeling themselves “Transcendental,” we too hope that this album transcends genres and even music, meaning something different to each person that listens to it. After all, should all music hope to transcend the confines of the medium to be appreciated at its most base level; as art?

We hope you enjoy this record as much as we enjoyed making it. Peace.

The Grey Tracklist:

  1. [Intro/Altar]
  2. Exalted (The Grey Behemon)
  3. [Decay]
  4. The Neural Transit
  5. [Era]
  6. Crown Theme
  7. [Ore]
  8. Long Bow
  9. [Century]
  10. Hellenic Glory
  11. [Dynasty]
  12. Walls of Eternity

"Exalted" video coming soon. \m/