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.
- In Shadow of The Sky Ladder
- War Lung
- Planetoid’s Dying
- Cerebral Bore
- Terror Spheres
- Iron Slug Runner
- The Viking Chorus
^ Click to stream “Iron Slug Runner”. Photo by Cigognes: http://cigognes.deviantart.com/