Castles Conquered and Reclaimed

by MYSTRAS

/
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1.
Through the deep starry night they march Common people turned into brethen of war Unmounted and armorless With bleeding feet and aching hands Carrying the tools of their work That by coercion and deceit they gave away For their whole lifetime to others Scorned, ignored and vilified for generations Same story in different times and realms These scythes will not crop grain any more Tonight the shadows of the forest are our allies By surprise we charge like wolves into their prey Aim the guards! Climb the Walls! Strike them down! By tomorrow our flag shall be raised high into the sky May the ravens spread everywhere the word That our rebellion has begun
2.
3.
To those that have been degraded Written off the books that chronicle The passing of time and the greatness of mankind Yet gave all their blood and bone Wat Tyler represents them One generation after the Black Death Swept the world with his Scythe Man and woman saw there was more in life Than servitude and misery To the old winners of wars I am not my father nor my mother Then with what right do you inherit The earth that blossoms and the steel that shines bright What makes you worthy of them? So said the people throughout all England And Wat Tyler, the roof tiler from Kent Put cold steel in he who thought himself to be so powerful To assault his daughter's innocence in front of his eyes Thus the people of Kent marched to London While Essex, Suffolk and Northfolk fought their own battles Fires burned across the city Broken gems, silver plate and gold filled the streets "With King Richard and the true Commons of England" So the people said to show they loved their King They hated not him, but serfdom and rotten gentry And the King trusted them and gave them charters To Smithfield then he rode to meet them all And Tyler came, he who with his mighty bow in France Fell countless men for the King Now He called him among the crowd History is always written by victors They said that he was rude when he asked for water But the threads had been already spun before he walked And Wat Tyler was cut down by the treacherous leaders of men The people had freedom in their grasp of their bow And every right to strike down the killers of Wat Tyler But the King rode and appeased them with his golden tongue Promises and more charters he handed over And thus they all came back to their homes To be slaughtered like cattle For the charters meant not freedom but their death Thus the people all over the world learned That what is best and what is most pure in this beast called man The trust, the faith, the love Is not to be given to those that want to stand above all men The brave peasants of England did not die for nothing For the Crown started to crack and crumble And their memory will live on.
4.
5.
Traversing the mists of Arcadia While the wind carries the far away Whispers of the Neiads The mighty walls of Mystas Begin to emerge from the horizon Built by William of Villehardouin Great Frankish Prince who was hiding in a barrel Conquered by the Palaiontologoi Worthless schemers into each other's throat Poverty, hunger and imminent invasion The hallowed gift of every Godsend King I, pagan son of the forest, Join my Albanian brothers and sisters With whom we share no language But the shackles that we must break Storm the Walls of Mystras! These giant halls, these mighty Keeps The treasures and knowledge they hold Built with our toil and sweat By us will be reclaimed! All Empires Fall The end of Byzantium is near
6.
O Tsakitzis 01:39
7.
Thessaloniki, Great City, envied and sought after Liberated from the hands of Saracens, Francs and Normans Now caught up inbetween civil war Conquered by a pretender that favours the wealthy Fifty noble families hold land and every position of authority Enslaving common people with chains of debt Siding with the pretender to the throne While famine and misery reap In the worker's unions, the whisper of rebellion spreads Old dusty books are opened, new ideas fervently discussed To give power back to the people, to create an ideal Poleitia Many congregate at the teachings of Barlaam of Calabria Historians will call them Zealots Democracy, separation of church and state Social and philosophical ideas enshrouded in religious debate Under immense danger we rouse the people Motivate the passionless, appease the fearful Confront the reactionaries Τhe time for swords to sing has come Avenge the murderers of the people Hurl them from the walls of the citadel! "Α servant dragged his master Τhere a slave his purchaser While the peasant struck the strategos Αnd the labourer beat the soldier" We have risen, a beacon of light in a tyrannic world We shall endure proud and free until the end Until our story is heard to all downtrodden in the world Long live the commune of Thessaloniki!
8.
"Here, we toil laboriously all the year To earn some coins, And after one month, I saw the wolf, the fox and the hare, We have nothing left"
9.
Who said there's no beauty in the mighty sword that cuts In the song that fills our hearts with wrath And makes us lift our fists to roar like boars Who said that honour is meaningless For humanity is lost and doomed That there's no glory in our struggle That our eyes see red and that our spirit is black Who weeped that the fight is futile When death is certain From the Jacquerie to the Spanish Irmandades From Flanders to the Swabian highlands to Kinai The fight against injustice is eternal And Eternal we shall become

about

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12"LP VINYL
(incl. Bandcamp Digital Download and Streaming)
• Ltd 250: 100 Blue, 150 Black
• 140gr. vinyl
• 350gr. sleeve, 3mm spine
• 12"x12" insert
• Black inner sleeve
• Outer plastic sleeve

DIGIPACK CD
(incl. Bandcamp Digital Download and Streaming)
• Limited to 300 copies
• 4-Panel Digipack
• 12-Page Booklet with Lyrics
_________________________

As if the monumental “Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine“ split album with MARE COGNITUM released earlier this year wasn't enough, the tireless Ayloss of SPECTRAL LORE is back with a new and fascinating black metal entity called MYSTRAS, today at the debut with “Castles Conquered and Reclaimed, a work destined to cement the already legendary halo surrounding the Greek musician.

The album consists of 9 numbers, equally divided between black metal epics like “The Murder Of Wat Tyler” and “Storm The Walls of Mystras”, and a handful of covers from the Medieval folklore and the Ars Nova repertoire, used as atmospheric interludes and masterfully interpreted with the help of illustrious guest musicians from LÜÜP, ART OF SIMPLICITY, NEDA and SPIDER OF PNYX.
Slightly rawer than Ayloss' other project, yet equally imaginative and progressive, “Castles Conquered and Reclaimed” mixes some of the aggressiveness from SPECTRAL LORE's “Sentinel” with the folk melodies of “Gnosis”, but there's no doubt that MYSTRAS take on a life of their own thanks to a vibrant and convincing songwriting built on fast, savage riffs, strong melodies and majestic atmospheres perfectly married to a unique concept.

In fact, in Ayloss' intentions MYSTRAS' music is meant to shed some light on unsung acts of valour and bravery from the Middle Ages, but subverting the tropes by focusing on common folks instead of kings and nobility. “The album tells the stories of those downtrodden under the shiny heels of knights and lords,” he explains; “those who chose to rise up for freedom against innumerable odds and that most often perished, sacrificing themselves for the well-being of the next generations. MYSTRAS is Medieval Black Metal against Empire and Aristocracy.”

credits

released July 17, 2020

"Storm The Walls of Mystras" Lyric Video:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTmfDnQTRf8

Ayloss: guitars, drums, vocals, synths, all music except noted otherwise
Stelios Romaliadis: flute (tracks 4), tin whistle (track 8)
Matthew Dakoutros: violin (track 2)
Viktoria Taskou: yayli tanbur (track 6)
Dimitris Corax Augoustinos: frame drum, percussion (track 8)

Recorded, mixed and mastered at the Stellar Auditorium by Ayloss, 2019-2020
Vinyl mastering by Colin Marston

Cover art by Loukas Kalliantasis
Mystras coat of arms by Hagiophobic
Art direction and layout by Francesco Gemelli
______________
Cat. Nr. IVR136

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