Sparks Unknot the Flesh

by ...But the Shadows Have Foes

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released October 7, 2019

DIY recording.
Written and recorded between May 2018-August 2019.
All songs by BTSHF.

Samples include:
-Dr. Carolin Crawford speaking on galaxies.
-Greta Thunberg addressing a room full of cowards.
-John Sylvester talking about political cults.
-Dr. Harlan Morehouse on profiting off environmental catastrophe.
-Cheryl Johnson of People's Community Recovery testifying.
-An Open Mind radio program.

Apologies to any that were missed.

Thank you for listening.


all rights reserved



...But the Shadows Have Foes Illinois

Illinois hardcore. DIY.

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Track Name: XXII
The imminent wasteland stretches out before you!
Dead earth entombed in a mausoleum of steel, concrete, and glass.

For what are our cities but inevitable ruins to remind future generations of the naked contempt that we held them in, as if to whisper across time “oh, foolish children! How naive of you expect to be left anything but decimated wreckage, barren soil, and genocidal air!”

And they will forage through an ocean of endless refuse, like a shroud over the atrophied earth, a moribund monument to venerate our cavalier disdain for the very air that we scornfully breathe.

For we have cursed them to be born in the shadow of our decay. We have condemned them to endless confinement in the prison of our profligacy.
Track Name: XXIII
Don’t believe them when they look you in the eye and tell you they’ve got your back. You're nothing but prey to them. Your fear, your rage, your insecurity, make you an easy target. They’ll pretend to speak your language, give form and voice to your rage, promise to elevate you over those you hate. Distracting you as they rob you blind. With every hungry glance they size you up, looking for how to control you.

Are you angry? Are you depressed? Do you want for more? Are you desperate? Are you hateful? They're coming for you.

Like callow wolves at the door.
Hungry to devour more.
Hollow eyes searching for easy prey to tear apart.

You never saw it coming. They weaponize your arrogance, make an idol of your hate, commodify your ignorance, and sell you back your rage.
Track Name: XXIV
Were you surprised by the invisible horrors made manifest? Shocked by what lurked beneath? Buried under silent resentment, now raised up from the dead: the hate. The greed. The cynicism. The rage.

Our citadels are built on graves. Our history inked on flayed flesh. And our engines, those engines of sempiternal despair, they perpetually run on blood and petrol. Those twin mercurial gods, demanding worship with quiescent ignorance. Like so many jealous gods, they command us never to speak their names, just marvel at their mysterious workings, even as we quietly pray for their blessings, the miracles they provide.

So don't feign shock when the thousands of daily brutalities that make our gears turn can no longer be hidden from our view. Rather, tear down the gods, the idols we have built, who demanded that we worship them with silent complicity.
Track Name: XXV
I can barely function without swallowing pills to still the noise inside my brain. To quell the anxiety that grows like a weed from living in a world that demands my constant and unwavering attention. My unyielding focus on an endless stream of inhumanity. Death and degradation, pain and isolation, from which we cannot look away.

I tried to steel myself against the tide. I tried to strangle my empathy. But the onslaught overwhelmed, methodical in its ferocity. My only solace? Swallowing each pill in a ritual of perpetual mourning for a life denied by this craven world. For the parts of me that have been destroyed. For the dead future cursed to be stillborn. For how this city colonized my mind.

Tell me? Where can one hide from its panoptic omnipresence? From its systemic malfeasance? Its condemnatory gaze, leering from a million dull screens? Manifest in a web of cameras.

When nothing exists that can’t be quantified and nothing is real if it can’t be bought, can you blame us for trying to wrest back our humanity each and every morning, one pill at a time?
Track Name: XXVI
What is history to those written out but an endless prison of
paper and ink? And what is faith to those who've lost theirs but a poison they’re forced to imbibe? Know there's nothing that you have built that we wouldn't tear down or burn to the ground, because the idols raised in your worship look to us as so many counterfeit gods.

And our church is the streets which we ritually crowd to partake of the eucharist with red bloodied mouths. Baptized by stygian templars on pavement we faithlessly pray for salvation from patriots who, cynically, wrapped in tattered torn flags have built a machine that profits off of our suffering and toil, our fear and dismay. That sells us a sickness then withholds the cure.

So we'll finally rattle the bars of our ever shrinking cages when our righteous anger outweighs all the fear that has kept us trembling
and ashamed, and the apathy that's kept us compliant and cowed

And on that fateful day
when we pull gods down from the sky
we'll burn their sacred relics
may our memory of them die.
Track Name: XXVII
These wicked monsters that surround us, wearing human faces, with endless, gnawing eyes peering from behind masks of pallid skin. Clandestine, they walk among us, mocking our humanity.

They! Who put devils in our wallets and demons in our heads. Our bosses and kings. Our prophets and priests. We are imprisoned in this world with them. Their single minded pursuit: to turn us into them.

Parasitical, they delight in vitiating the very engines of our dignity. Imperiously demanding sacrifice, exhorting us to saw off pieces of ourselves in homage to them, as we futilely chase their generosity and foolishly hope to earn their empathy, the very things they sold to become the creatures that they are.
Track Name: XXVIII
Every tyrant someday falls, every tower someday crumbles, every prison someday empties, every hangman someday dies swinging in his noose.

So our most deadly weapon is the slow poison of time. Our armies, the countless seconds, our castles built of years. Because every cursed cage they construct to imprison us will one day rust, eroded by an ocean of patience.

For there is nothing they can build that we cannot tear down. No story they can tell that we cannot rewrite. No shield they can raise that we cannot splinter. Behind every facade they build, a long concealed reality of ruin and rot. Their empty words and hollow threats made powerless.

Every hero a myth, every king a fraud every ghost a rumor we've been forced to worship as god. Every border a fiction, every flag a lie, every nation a fairy tale for which they demand we die.

But these tools of their control rest upon our ongoing consent, and our consent ever withers as we're forced to confront the fact that there is power in resistance, there is ebullience in fury, there is triumph in refusal, freedom in realizing that our acquiescing to their domination left us poor and depressed.
Track Name: XXIX
Living in your eyes, I was such easy prey. Rent by the gnawing maw of subsistence and dispirited by the perpetual rituals of emptiness and despair that coalesce into a biography.

Stay! Stay! But the terror has struck us!

Desperate to feel anything I would have sawed off every piece of myself for anyone willing to make beautiful promises they had no intention of keeping.

Who saw this cavernous ache? Embraced me with endless vulturine arms? And beheld me with ravenous eyes, greedy as an oil starved engine?

There are monsters in this world, you said, but you’ll be safe with me. There are monsters all around, I repeated, that only we can see.

Yet there are wrecks on that shore and there’s no shelter there.

There are monsters in this world, you said, hunting, concealed beneath the human faces that they wear until they show their teeth.

Sparks unknot the flesh.

(With great apologizes to H.D. for the violence done to her beautiful words by these lyrics.)
Track Name: XXX
The light from a million stars has gone black, and their ghosts haunt our restless sleep. They razed the ground upon which we built our homes, leaving us to live amongst rubble and debris.

They do this to teach us: demand not dignity. Expect despair, darkness, and starvation. Wear these traumas like a leaden crown, addicted to your own endless torment.

Our cars run on blood, and take us to cages where we waste away
our whole lives waiting for respite, deliverance from bondage, from these perpetual rituals of mourning.

Until we, subdued, acquiesce and pass our executioners the knife with which they may slit our throat.

These poisoned memories. These stolen dreams. Merely oil for their damnable engines. Their invisible machines extract from us every drop of blood as we beg them: "Make it stop! Turn it off! How can we be expected to go on as you strip our very souls, systematically, of the very things that make us human?"

Yet as you watch them destroy everything you’ve ever known, hold onto what hope you have as you whisper in their ears:

"We are legion.
Endless in number.
We are everywhere.
We surround you."

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