In Shadow Of The Sky Ladder

by Artists of War

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Artists of Wars fifth full-length record. A concept album inspired by Brandon Graham's revival of the Prophet comic book series created by Rob Liefeld, "In Shadow" ruminates on the short comings of humanity, the loss of loved ones, and the incredible burden of being the only one capable of seeing the true past.


released June 18, 2013

The Dragon - Guitars, voice, Lament
Skullcrusher - Bass, warg, Ethics
DYnamo - Drums, the Law, terrible jokes

Album art by Ari Bach:


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Artists of War Atlanta, Georgia

A heavy metal concept project inspired by Mastodon, High On Fire, Bach, transcendental meditation and all things heavy.

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Track Name: In Shadow of The Sky Ladder
More blood than I can consume
A half-skull full of it
Light wanes through burned trees
A mirror to the fatalist crimes of our fathers

Fallacy of the new stone-temples
Built to celebrate remembrance day

A whole ship crashed unto our crops
Cargo lends testament unto our hands

Day we scale the sky-ladder
And take on new forms
John was the first to govern
But there were many John's more

In the shadow of the Sky-ladder
It's wicked arc carries scorn
A flock of headless sea-crom
Flies above the Aten's shore

Meticulously crafting a psy-blade
In meditation for hours
Implanting jeweled crystals into my body
To channel the hate into form

Megallanic cloud sweeps dust over our city
For the fourth time today
Mission is given by the electron field emitted
In the Hydrogen's infinite decay

Cross Aten's shore
Find the lands of our fathers
Learn the truth of giving
New purpose to life

Daylight passes through the trees
On the first day of my journey
Joints ache and I use herbs to medicate

Aged 63 – I am too old for this
The red sea breathes salt into my eyes
A clan of worker Centians blocks my path
Trade a Nicene crystal from my arm
My psy-blade is weaker, but my journey lives on

The Tungarian water moths lap at my boat hull
The red cyanide sea laps
I cover my joints to avoid rust
Should've known who I couldn't trust

The sky-ladder is closer now
I meet its rock barrier and its jade encrusted walls
I ascend like an arachlian shorn-lu
until I find the ancient gate at its peak

The mage
who sent the images into my mind
Meditates on a dead skorn carapace
He lifts his eyes and points his single tentacle to the sky
The tip of the ancient star satellite Hondun-Ra
Peeks the lower atmosphere
Track Name: Planetoid's Dying
Climbing walls covered in vines
A spider bites my hand
Spilling nova light over tranquil sea
This was meant to be

Ore of the eagle sits upon my back
I climb the tower where she waits atop
Last of humanity’s creations
The only place free from radiation
I survived digging underground
My hands grew tough and callused
Skin dried up living off of rations
I hope I'm still in fashion baby

Planetoid's Dying
Planetoid's Dying

Raped and left to die

Made to vanish her home

In forgotten tongues

Worthless unless it's heard

Foraging upon the earth
In search of her delights
Pleasing all her waking needs
Has become his life
Savior of the human race
He's its protector
But time is moving far to slow
He takes her life into his hands

Mixing magic potion with blood
He links his soul to hers
Without her guardian she
Will die a lonely death
Making sure to hide the brew
He tucks it in his sash
Climbing up the tower for last
He finds her sleeping so beautiful

Taking in the potion with mouth
He gives her death's kiss
Watching as she swallows the juice
He takes another sip
Today we die together
He won't live alone
But her body is not of Earth
The poison is ejected out her body
The enigma lives on

Fall asleep my
Dear little girl
While I Wake you up
While I Wake you up

The enigma lives on

Planetoid’s dying as the sun explodes
It's a galactic fate of no fault our own
But man left a key to it's forbidden secrets
Atop the tower Rapunzul sits

Underneath stars, our brothers gaze
Upon our blue world caught in a daze
Rapunzul speaks of a new found home
Their spirits are sent to a virtual world
Within her mainframe are thousands of minds
Under her control until it's time
I ask her a question with my dying breath:
Why'd you have to go and make me your bitch?

Planetoid's Dying
Planetoid's Dying
Track Name: Cerebral Bore
Dormancy, vacancy of the mind
Misplaced trust, I'm not your savior
I look like Armageddon, feel like death inside
Becoming one with the death of it all

...That you're okay
That you are sane
In the crystal brain
Controlling the younglings
Mind of the whole
Sends out a signal in vain

to its many limbs
Crystalline flesh of the time lords
quenching their ever-thirst
Miracle of the unborn

Mezzanine overlooks
An audience
of hired con-men

Their evil hooks
Into my veins as I am changed
Into a warlord
Become the thing I hated

Terrorizing Krom-la
Resurrecting memories of once-loved
I am a sentient being of the overlords making

Living with the guilt of a precipice once reached
I ascend Amun-ra to the G.O.D satellite

To a higher form
Of intelligence
Navigate the storm of bending light
Message for the one who creates Earth again

I am the one
I am the one

We seek the one who wields the wilderness
Who takes the wild and makes it tame
Who treks the Earth in search of all that's worthy of understanding
Worthy of learning all its mystical secrets

I'm of another world
I've lost my way and landed in this hell
I've lost my home and there's no turning back
Track Name: Terrorspheres
Falling upwards

Eye of beholding
Hand of controlling
Resurrecting lizard snake

Time of immortal
Traveling diety
lays the land to waste

Incredibly crushed
Under the weight
Of seven atmospheres

Welcome the one who
Cherished us all
Then told us what to do:

Build my monument
A tomb for you
Center of the centipede

Light of my life
An unwanted memory

Thrown through the borg-shaft
To a spinning chasm of death
Multiplied into a perfect disease

Always returning

Hypnotized in the shadow of the sky ladder
Mortified by its dawning rays
Whatever I've seen is soon to be forgotten
Writing down the first thing that comes to mind
before I'm eliminated

To the

Look in the eyes
and see of the wolf
Urinating in its place
Look in the eyes and see of the owl
Spinning head and killing rat
Look in the eyes and see of your flesh
Melting into nothingness
Returning to the birth of all matter

Look in the eyes and see of the field rat
running from the owl
Look in the eyes
and see of the horns glaring back at you
Look in the eyes and see of the worm
Scowling in its dirt
Missing all the pieces that made us once whole

Always running

We have lived
More than most
Hope is a lie
Only truth is you

Touch her hair
Stroke her breast
Cut her neck
Join the dead

See the light
Turn your back
Endure the heat
Follow your beat

Land on planetoid's surface
Rise as sun beams blue rays
Vastness of space opens
A black hole for feelings

Block your thoughts and follow
Into heart of darkness
We can create new world
We are filled with power


Returning to earth
Feeling those pains again
Pounding fist on mirror
Hell spectre surrounds my head
Ghost white horror
Vertical light is all that's left of heaven

Took an oath to protect and serve
Delivered justice though I was no saint
Killed my brother in cold blood and hid his body
Under the bridge where we played

No more miracles, this is insane, hang me up to dry


To the
Track Name: Iron Slug Runner
Iron slug runner burning the concrete
Underneath shoes of blazing fury
Champion meets his eyes with a look of worry
Knows his time is short upon the pedestal of glory

Wait until his mind is awake
Poison in the glass of his comrade
Horde decimates the enemy
Opportunity appears before him
Rearrange the matter into a liquid state
Store him in his pouch - a memory of suffering
Must convince the warlords their stake is floundered
Mustn't compromise the whole

Step into the ring and size up your adversary
Hope is lost for a peaceful outcome
It all comes down to this
Time to show them how we hold
I pull a gun upon my enemy
Referee shouts and police rush the stage
Ex-military they're no match for me
I'm a living weapon

Blow his head off then reload another round
Six shooter is my friend
The match bell rings I'm let out of class
Shooting up all my classmates
They shot needles in their arms at recess
I saw them even though I was hid
Bring holy vengeance upon the Earth
I'm a one man army
I'm the hand that feeds the hungry people
Letting them die is a joy
Never am caught the world is mine alone
Bloody bullets turn me into a God



People hate us
Hate our songs
We coudn't give a shit




Moshing in the pit of a metal show
Poor audience don't know what hit them
Loaded bullet fist from the film by Tarantino
Made a hole in their heads

Iron slug runner burning the concrete
Underneath shoes of blazing fury
Champion meets his eyes with a look of worry
Knows his time is short upon the pedestal of glory
Track Name: Doppelganger
Engorged with the skin of fallen allies
I am one with the horde

Awarded for the deeds I have done
Many medals given for death dealt

Eye of Orion looks upon with knowing
Old John Prophet awakens under silver bask of electro light

My fate again
You want a hero?
I'll give you a hero

Swarm of Calarean pod people drive me from their camp
I'm unwanted and left to wander again
Through Pyron deserts of worthless diamond dust
I scale Mount Horus in search of my father

The creator of All
Eye of All

Mega-lord seeks revenge for the Earth crimes I brought upon it
But that Earth no longer exists -
They are not crimes to me
My empire knife is unique to me
but it is one of a thousand
I seek through the ships correlated crystal and
see the trials of my brothers
Fighting for the earth-empire-brain-mother
Fighting a war of 300 years

Blind to the truth
Blind to the memories only I, the true John Prophet hold
I must tell them

We aren't alone in this world
Never alone

We cannot die, we are cursed with flesh
As the rest are transcended
to the plain of Amnenti

A world of sinners and fascists
300 years ago, they took the ground, and left us the sky
They took the good, they left the bad

I slaughtered them all, as were my orders
Never thinking that my leaders were in disguise
That they were the bad, that we were the good

Waiting for my God to arrive

Order amongst the chaos of human civilization
We are the antibodies that cleanse the universe of the land-dweller
A uniform cloak of unrepentant scourge that brings death to all visitors
We are the good
We are the bad

Living for a millenia
Losing all sight of reality
I am all that's left
I am alone again
Born into war
Living as a warrior
And unable to die a warrior's death
The ultimate penance for my crime of having been born

Never to be born again