Track Premiere: Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – “What Awaits Us (A Void Is But An Open Mouth)”

There is a long and proud history of protest music in the United States that stretches back at least as far as the Great Depression, if not further. In fact, there are few images in the annals of American popular music as iconic or enduring as the one of Woody Guthrie and the guitar upon which he painted the slogan “This Machine Kills Fascists.” There’s a definite through line from Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” to Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” and “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and beyond.

Of course, things have changed a lot in the last 70+ years. The fascists that Guthrie was fighting were easily identifiable by name and face: Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin. Dylan was concerned about the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. Gaye’s What’s Going On is a concept album dealing with racial hatred and injustice told from the perspective of a soldier returning from the Vietnam War. In 2019, the sources of hatred and injustice aren’t always as easy to identify or name. In some ways, it’s like Hegel’s concept of history as a series of dialectical conflicts writ large and amplified to terrifying degree. Instead of known individuals, faceless institutions and extreme ideologies hold sway over entirely too many aspects of people’s daily lives.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean that protest music has gone the way of disco. There are still countless bands doing their part to educate, resist, and fight back against the economic, political, and social forces that act in concert to hold people down. Case in point, Rocky Mountan-based Occult Ritual Black Metal band Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze, whose first single “What Awaits Us (A Void Is But An Open Mouth)” we have the honor of premiering here today at Clandestine Sounds. Their name comes from two sources. The first is the Ancient Egyptian deity Apis, who signified the strength, courage and fighting spirit of the king. The second is a hollow, bull-shaped bronze torture device allegedly used in Ancient Greece – criminals were locked inside it and then a fire was lit underneath, slowly roasting them to death.

However, my first thought upon seeing their name was a different bronze bull entirely: Charging Bull, the well-known bronze statue on Wall Street. And then I thought of Fearless Girl, hands on hips and facing down one of the world’s most recognizable symbols of capitalism. Of course, the fact that Fearless Girl was actually part of an advertising campaign complicates my analogy here somewhat, but there is something about that particular juxtaposition of images that seems particularly apt when contemplating the role that bands like Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze in the current sociopolitical musical landscape. Simply put, they’re one of the few lines of defense against those who would trample the world into dust in order to achieve their ends.

Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze provided a wealth of material to accompany this track premiere, including lyrics and a full ‘Statement of Intent’ about the project. I’m going to save most of that for after I drop in the embed, though. I realize not everyone is interested in extended contemplations on the subject of socioeconomic inequality and just want to hear some kickass black metal, which is precisely what you’ll find when pressing play on “What Awaits Us (A Void Is But An Open Mouth).” The track is absolutely stunning, and even though it’s 10+ minutes long, I still listened to it three times straight through when it landed in my inbox.

When asked for a few words specifically about the song, vocalist/lyricist/synth player Achaierai replied:

“What Awaits Us (A Void Is But An Open Mouth)” is the moment of self actualization before transformative action can be taken. Realizations that existing systems will never work to benefit those of us who form the foundation of society. In that moment, we recognize that in order to effect actual change we leave ourselves behind. Renouncing this flesh and embracing this purpose.

The digital single for “What Awaits Us (A Void Is But An Open Mouth)” will be available on the Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze Bandcamp page this Friday, May 10. Watch for it here, as well as for further information about the release of their debut full-length Offerings of Flesh and Gold. Until then, you can hear “What Awaits Us (A Void Is But An Open Mouth)” in all its ritualistic blackened glory exclusively at Clandestine Sounds.

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“What Awaits Us (A Void Is But An Open Mouth)”

At the end of all things is a mouth made of light,
teeth dripping like stars,
sharp as the edges of our perception.
We cannot see behind us nor behind the doors
but we still know what goes on in the deep dark places.
The offerings of gold and flesh no longer concern me,
I have drank enough blood and bile to have grown my eyes on the inside.
I see through the veil and I see through the dream.
I have dug into myself, ripping out sinews and black fibrous waste and dirt and bark
leaving only what remains, here and now.
We cannot transcend while still chained to this feeble carbon.
Rip it away, rip it away.
At the end of all things is a mouth made of light,
Teeth dripping like stars,
Sharp as the edges of our perception.
At the end she will be waiting,
To devour the shimmering bits that make up our aether
Our forms will become her shining maw,
Our lack, the space between her gleaming fangs
Our muscles, her snapping jaws and the universal viscera that drips from them forever

I renounce my flesh
And I embrace my purpose
I renounce my flesh
And I embrace my purpose

It was writ upon my soul as I was molded in the nothing.
We were born to be devoured by the infinite.

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Statement of Intent:

“The only thing higher than our spirits are the flames.”

Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze is a collective against hierarchies, and the power structures that divide and separate humanity. The power that you feel inside you should be focused as a knife point into the hearts of those that only know how to consume, and those that live off the backs of the downtrodden.

With Offerings of Flesh and Gold, we seek to bring light to they who exploit, corrupt, extort, and murder struggling worker. The single mother who holds down multiple jobs and and can’t afford health insurance. The student who takes a career solely to pay off the loans that got them there. The farmer who loses their government subsidies to factory farmers and clearcutters. The person of color who cannot walk down the street without fearing for their lives because the people who are supposed to protect them and the people that directly wish them harm are often one and the same.

The systems that keep these people living in fear and preventing them from bettering themselves are the enemy.

We aim to use the frustration, anger, and horror of our time to pursue meaningful change. Black metal is about power. That fire in your belly can be harnessed. It can be pointed in a direction that moves us forward. That is what we hope to accomplish.

“We will melt the thrones to cast bowls and spears.
So man may know the true god, themselves.
And none shall ever go hungry again.”

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Credits:

Achaierai: Lyrics, Vocals, Synthesizers
Athshean: Guitars, Bass, Percussion
Yaeth: Drums
Recorded amongst mountains and maws in Colorado and Washington
Mixed and Mastered at Big Name Recording Studio

1 thought on “Track Premiere: Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – “What Awaits Us (A Void Is But An Open Mouth)”

  1. THIS FUCKING RIPS! And the message behind it is beautiful and important. While I listen to it I can only think of the exact opposite of the ridiculous idea of trying to separate the art from the artist beacuse of reasons that we encounter so often in black metal. I want to snuggle with these guys!

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