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Metalhead1995
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:34 pm
Posts: 50
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:45 pm 
 

I don't know if there's already a topic about this, but yeah. The title pretty much speaks for itself. Who is the best lyricist in metal? Feel free to provide examples of their genius penmanship.

Mine would be Martin Walkyier. I think if you've heard of him, you'd agree. He's funny, witty, creative and very passionate about his lyrics. I honestly can't think of a more creative lyricist than Walkyier.

Quote:
Her sweetmeats are the souls of men - she'll gorge herself to bursting
And for yours her heart is thirsting - as a spider craves a fly
No mortal man could ever hope to suit her as a suitor
Sh'll rewrite the Kama Sutra if you'd care to watch her try.


- Spinning Jenny by Skyclad
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"Life's just a process of delamination,
Stripping your hopes - dissecting them gently.
I've opened my heart - and to my consternation
when I peered inside it was small, dark and empty."
-Martin Walkyier 'Building a Ruin'

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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
Posts: 4997
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:51 pm 
 

This thread comes up constantly. Here's the answers that are bound to come up: Dax Riggs, JR Hayes, and Lord Worm. Why? Darkly evocative and imagery filled amazingness.
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Cloud0129
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:04 pm
Posts: 167
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:25 pm 
 

Suffocation had some of the most grim lyrics.

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Subrick
Metal freak

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:27 pm
Posts: 5855
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:36 pm 
 

Dani Filth. Regardless of whether or not you like Cradle's music, you hafta admit that he is a master lyricist.
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AmberSilkAmbiguity
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:43 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Where Man Meet Themselves
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:49 pm 
 

Immolation immediately comes to mind. Will think of more later.

Deathspell Omega's lyrical content is nothing short spectacular. A Master's or Doctorate in Theology is needed to decipher their lyrical content.
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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 474
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:14 am 
 

Byron of Bal-Sagoth. Although simply calling him a lyricist doesn't really do him justice.

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Einzige
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:04 am
Posts: 54
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:15 am 
 

I've always thought Jerry Cantrell was a pretty excellent lyricist.

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Von Jugel
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:49 am
Posts: 227
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:16 am 
 

Metalhead1995 wrote:
I don't know if there's already a topic about this, but yeah. The title pretty much speaks for itself. Who is the best lyricist in metal? Feel free to provide examples of their genius penmanship.

Mine would be Martin Walkyier. I think if you've heard of him, you'd agree. He's funny, witty, creative and very passionate about his lyrics. I honestly can't think of a more creative lyricist than Walkyier.

Quote:
Her sweetmeats are the souls of men - she'll gorge herself to bursting
And for yours her heart is thirsting - as a spider craves a fly
No mortal man could ever hope to suit her as a suitor
Sh'll rewrite the Kama Sutra if you'd care to watch her try.


- Spinning Jenny by Skyclad


He gets my vote too.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 5014
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:24 am 
 

John Arch is one of the great storytellers of metal. His soaring, operatic vocal style is an odyssey of its own, and his lyrics are vivid and concise, telling a different fantasy story in each song on "The Spectre Within" and more heavily referencing other fantasy and folklore on "Awaken the Guardian". His vocals and storytelling style are a perfect match for the progressive and explorative style of heavy/power metal that Fates Warning played at the time, pairing great dynamics and exceptional composition with these epic tales. The band was (and still is) incredibly talented in both performance and composition, putting so much into the flowing and flying stories told by their songs. More details on that after a brief paragraph on his works for those who don't know him.

His performances graced the first three Fates Warning albums ('84, '85, '86), a solo EP that features former FW bandmates and Mike Portnoy ('03), and a reunion with FW mainman Jim Matheos under the name Arch/Matheos ('11). While they are all good, the second and third Fates Warning albums, "The Spectre Within" and "Awaken the Guardian" are absolutely revered and rarely a negative word is spoken about them - even UltraBoris couldn't give them less than stellar reviews!
http://www.metal-archives.com/artists/John_Arch/60


The stories found on The Spectre Within are self-contained, seven stories that draw from the lore of seven subjects, drawing influence and borrowing some conventions, singing prose where a knowledge of the background of the subjects enhances the experience and allows the stories to draw on your experiences with subjects to fill out part of the story. These stories are enjoyable on their own, rooted in common concepts that everyone has heard stories of - time travel, gypsies, escape, pirates, a search for the treasure of myth and legend, absolution and temptation, and finally death.

The lyrics tell stories, but they rarely focus on descriptions, rather they allow the listener to complete the story through one's own experiences with these common fantasy themes. Arch's writing uses an incredible amount of detail, but he is very creative in leaving certain ideas and images open to interpretation. There is rarely a mention or suggestion of time period - "Traveler in Time" can conjure the thoughts of an ancient of medieval wise man if you embrace that, or you may think of a certain modern film from the line "the clock strikes the hour, he climbs to the belfry."

One song requires a bit of arcane knowledge. The pre-chorus of "Kyrie Eleison" begins with "The lady in black asks what do you see" and the chorus of "Kyrie Eleison, Christie Eleison" sounds like it could be ladies names. "Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison" means "Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy."


Awaken the Guardian adapts several tales and explores some general concepts of literature and lore while authoring new stories. This one can be difficult to follow and contains many esoteric references, easier to follow with a lyric sheet and willingness to research and read into things that Arch hints at. The stories are vivid and poetic, enjoyable on any level, but very rewarding to interpret and explore.

Clues to the concepts that Arch wove into this album are spread throughout. One theme is the idea of arcane or esoteric knowledge, the interpretation of which is left open to the listener. The last song, "Exodus", provides a bit of closure to the album, blending the general concept of the biblical exodus with the journey to "Arcana", which seems to be the fantasy land of the album. The unification of all of these fantasies and folklores of different origins is very mindful, as Arch brings together all of the stories through the shared concepts. The extent to which these concepts are woven together through Arch's works is fascinating, with certain recurring references and phrases.

-"The Sorceress" and "Fata Morgana" directly mention Morrigan, of Irish mythology, as well as the shore of Kildare. In addition to Morrigan, Morgana (Morgan le Fay), and Arthurian legend is blended into the the same story line, with Merlin being mentioned as well.
-"Valley of the Dolls" refers to the story of the novel by the same name, noted as the first highly successful Roman à clef by a female author in America.
-"Guardian" features less specifics, rather it focuses on a story with the concept of the guardian. The concept of a guardian angel is central to "Prelude to Ruin".
-"Giant's Lore (Heart of Winter)" tells the tale of a sleeping giant in the hills of Leland (Norway). This is another fantasy tale of a guardian of children.
-"Exodus" wraps up the album by addressing the overarching concepts of the album (no pun intended). One section puts together the concepts quite well:

"False guardian I will compel false as the fear of heaven and hell
I should have known its all a mirage just as well
The power of good will not be shown by conquering fear"

The final two lines in "Exodus" provide an excellent description of the nature of these entire concepts:

"Traject the esoteric sisters they are mythical
Arcana awaits you"

Rather than focusing on who the esoteric sisters are and why they are mythical, the words speak here. Arcane. Esoteric. Mystical. The idea of arcane, esoteric, [also, occult] knowledge - that which is unknown and understood by few, mysterious, secret, and obscure. These stories can not be explained by a series of concurrent references, nor can a certain meaning be fairly attributes. Overarching themes and interwoven references paint unique stories that can be endlessly explored through a search for old knowledge of the mythos which Arch drew from and new tales of these ageless themes.


Some thoughts to leave you with:

-"Night on Bröcken" was followed by "The Spectre Within", and the first track of the third album, "The Sorceress", mentions the Bröcken Spectre. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brocken_spectre

-Another mirage mentioned on another song that is partially drawn from the same story as "The Sorceress" is Fata Morgana. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fata_Morgana_(mirage)

-"Exodus" refers to Arcana, which seems to be a world of the arcane. The tarot deck is made up of the major arcana and the minor arcana. "Kyrie Eleison" mentions tarot:
"The lady in black said your lifeline is damned.
The tarot of death card she held in her hand."

-"Valley of the Dolls" has a line using the title of another song, "Pirates of the Underground". While on the surface, the stories are different, the themes and implications are similar in parts. The latter mentions another story that might remind you of something in the story of the former - "follow the yellow brick road".

There are many more links between songs, direct and indirect, shared concepts, linked stories, and suggestions. The arcane can be explored, and the reward is understanding.

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Space_alligator
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 49
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:50 am 
 

The Curator...

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HorrorMetal
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:14 pm
Posts: 86
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:05 am 
 

I think that, though this may be an extremely obvious choice, Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath is one of the best lyricists as he could write about pretty much anything and paint a very vivid picture with his words. Most of the songs he has written are very dark and meaningful, dealing with such subjects as the occult, witchcraft, war, and religion. I also really like Ronnie James Dio's fantasy themed metaphorical lyrics and King Diamond's awesomely grim storytelling.
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PhilosophicalFrog
The Hypercube

Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 7:08 pm
Posts: 6072
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:10 am 
 

Necroticism174 wrote:
This thread comes up constantly. Here's the answers that are bound to come up: Dax Riggs, JR Hayes, and Lord Worm. Why? Darkly evocative and imagery filled amazingness.


This. End of fucking thread.

Most lyricist in metal are too blunt or reek of purple prose, because they are, for more or less, amateurs when it comes to writing. I would throw into the hat Jute Gyte and Ash Pool, both bands display a PHENOMENAL sense of pacing and subtlety, in spite of the provocative nature of their music.
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ENKC
Veteran

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:28 pm
Posts: 2731
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:40 am 
 

Whoever is doing Be'lakor's deserves some kind of medal. I'll go and look that up in their liner notes.

Seriously though, it's just the right mix of the epic and abstract to fit the tone of their music.
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kalervon
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:43 pm
Posts: 298
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:54 am 
 

I liked the lyrics ln Pestilence's Spheres

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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 2450
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:14 am 
 

Markus Stock from Empyrium has written very meaningful lyrics, just check the entire Songs of Moors and Misty Fields album. Weiland is also excellent in that department, but it's in german.

Tear/Corvus from Desire (prt). The guy has some Pessoa influence that makes him stand out.

Alan from Primordial; while I'm not a fan of the band, the lyrics are mostly great.

Aaron Stainthorpe comes often with good lyric offerings. Few MDB songs/albums are average in that department.

Mick Moss from Antimatter wrote some very deep lyrics in both Planetary Confinement and Leaving Eden. Related is Anathema, which is generally well done music and lyrics.

Whoever writes the lyrics in Saturnus is a genius.

Some other bands with great lyrics: Forest of Shadows, Shape of Despair, Novembre, Opeth,
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STORMM
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:27 am
Posts: 2900
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:20 am 
 

When these threads come up I always think of only one, the already mentioned Martin Walkyier. Unlike above though I find his best to be Sabbat's concept album "Dreamweaver". The lyrics here must be some of the best in metal imo, they are a great read and very technical if you know what I mean when heard along with music, the speed he delivers them at and the sheer amount of words per song is intense.

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ancientorder
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:38 am
Posts: 259
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:45 am 
 

Keith of D666.

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MalignantTyrant
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:27 pm
Posts: 1184
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:23 am 
 

Whoever writes Akercocke's lyrics (presumably David Gray)
Lord Worm
Ross Dolan
Whoever writes Alice in Chains' lyrics
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bladesOFawesomeness
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:06 am
Posts: 58
Location: India
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:31 am 
 

I'd say Mikeal (of Opeth/Bloodbath). His lyrics are honest, deep, profound and quite simply, impressive. I also think that Tomas Haake is bloody good at what he writes.

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Von Jugel
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:49 am
Posts: 227
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:26 am 
 

Forgot about Jon Arch. I'd probably put him at a tie him with Walkyier.

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Lightsbane
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:17 am
Posts: 233
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:44 am 
 

Dani Filth is definitely one of the few who's lyrics can stand on their own.

Also regardless of what you think of their music Scott from Carnifex writes some great lyrics.

Jeff Walker deserves a mention too for Carcass's medical/slightly sarcastic lyrics.

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Syntek
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 620
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:47 am 
 

Tomas Haake of Meshuggah, for sure.
If Escher was a nihilist, this would be his poetry.

Spoiler: show
I
I - this fractal illusion burning away all structure toward the obscene
I - to cleanse, to purge, to breach eternity and smother all life
Blind - these mortal men of clay, divine and dying in their harnessed form
I - this furnace of limitless hate. Bestial, pure

The pendulum swings semi-attached to the centre of all
I drug these minds into ruin and contempt - the acid smoke of burning souls

This is an anomaly. Disabled. What is true?
Not destined for incarceration. I crave my nothingness

This illness that they whisper of, is that what makes me fail?
I see through the eyes of the blind
Not clear what it is to be this self I dread, the immense, the rabid I am
The cogs turn, grinding away at ceaselessness - willing it to dust

Re-disintegration. Confulse. A dead universe - Impales this twilight
Fear aligns. Sadistic me. Meant to devour. Despair
Sickened by the fact that immortality is not mine to have

A snail along a straight razor - dividing itself through motion
I charge this feeble product of god
Laughing, drenched in the bile of millions
Chewing on the stinking flesh of the crown of creation

Solitude in splendor has been rivalled
Shrouds stained with tarblack vomit
Veiling the rotting eyes of the masses
The strain of armageddon evolves

Shifting through worlds from chaos, to chaos, to chaos
I devour this manure of existence - infertile, barren, whole
Rancid redeemer. Virulent deterioration of faith

Sacrilege in persona. In truth, fundamentally twisted
A witness to this savage carnage. A frenzy of animosity
The will to mutilate. Dominant deviation
The worship of the sick and degenerate will spread

Conception derived from misconceptions
The dimensionless features of truth
Silence in the core of undoing
Untie its knots and set it loose

The inertia of my existence is clear
Premutations of slaughtered worlds
I alone will behold the dying sky
A servant of eternity

Progress finally, emergence of doom complete
Here only to reverse the flow of life
I

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Folkemon_
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:43 pm
Posts: 2143
Location: England
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:25 am 
 

First that came to mind was Walkyier, especially his Sabbat stuff.

I like Tuomas Holopainen's lyrics on the first 3 Nightwish albums too
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IanThrash
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:56 pm
Posts: 918
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:37 am 
 

The guys from Cormorant have pulled some awesome poetry on their albums. I really dig their style.

Spoiler: show
The teeth of lions sown by the wind,
Spurned by the salt of the
Earth’s fallow and barren skin,
Find fertile ground in me.

Rains of red poppies
Burst from the blue.
Fireflies and harpies
Beat their wings anew.
The wine from man’s fountains
Imparts courage to implore:
“Gods, step down from your mountains.
Fish, rise up from the shore.”

For kings are few and we are legion,
Flood the borders between all regions.
No blood spills blue torn from its vein.
All dissolves into the grain.



Im a sort of fan boy for this band but whatever...Carach Angren lyrics are AWESOME!

Spoiler: show
The identity of warfare on the East Front is lugubrious.
There's one soldier incapable of committing sin.
Kept alive by his comrades thanks to his heavenly gift with a violin.

His brilliant music so beautiful and pure
Shining warmth upon every soldier
It helps them to endure.
Breath-taking melodies consuming all hate, sorrow and fear
These magnificent tunes are like silk for their ears
And for a moment their pain disappears.

But this moment will not last when they are baffled by another blast.
The enemy is near.
Rain of bullets killing soldiers there and here.
And so the instrument of peace is being silenced by the one of war
It plays the music of the dead; music made of lead
"I've had enough of this sickening war and it's murderous puppets!
They don't understand the language of music cannot be spoken in death
I never took a life! Maybe now is the time to take mine
In the name of music
shall I cut my wrists or hang myself high by a violin string?
A symphonic suicide is what I shall bring!"

The enemy lies on the other side of the field
He decides to walk straight into the fire fight
playing this dreamlike masterpiece
Every soldier stops, holds his breath
Not a single shot is being heard
during an intro for his own death.

And when the violin bow is being lowered at the end
both sides simultaneously open fire
There's the corpse of the violinist
lying in mud and barbed wire.




I agree with Lord Worm and Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth, i would also add Daniel G. from Pain of Salvation.
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DeathfareDevil
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:30 am
Posts: 575
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:41 am 
 

Agreed on the Arch, Hayes, and Worm. Mention of Riggs has been another reminder that I need to try out Acid Bath.

I recently posted something about Scholomance in the "Unique/Interesting Bands" thread, and I feel like adding the lyrics of Scott Crinklaw to this one. They don't read like verse at all, more like random excerpts from a Victorian opium addict's dream journal, and as such do indeed get mired in the purple, but hey, some of us like overblown and almost impenetrable verbiage.

For the record I have no idea what any of these passages mean or imply, but judging from an interview where Crinklaw said that the secondary lyricist, Jimmy Pitts, drew inspiration from biographies of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, I'm guessing any sort of decoding would take more effort than I've been willing to give. But they're interesting to read.

Anyway, as I said, these are Crinklaw's, not Pitts'. Prepare for wall of what-the-fuck.

Spoiler: show
"Childless One/The Body as Sulphur Stench"

...and if I am as beautiful as your words portray, then journey through their hell. Journey through the crooked caverns and youth devouring thorns. Journey as the flesh flays and the joyful expressions are lifted from your face. Wish me in hell. Is this hell to you? "Blessed o' ye Childless One, bleed forth so that we may drink of your ambrosial pain." Lack the desire to breed yet desire the act, the act of advancing and staining silk and cotton. As if I were beautiful, no more than a frightening image to intimidate the Uninitiated, the Sheltered and the Lacking. You... as my encouragement to proceed with trials and tribulations. Cliches and contradictions and the overbearing desire to lash you, lash you to your pearly gates.

Succulent, the copper taste. The shadows of eternal dusk. The pits covered anew and the visitations. Bodies everywhere... how many decayed corpses do I walk upon and how many innocents have been stolen from us? Would they themselves have learned to kill? Dismemberment, a grimace-vision along with the disinterred, in a cage, a Freudian reasoning for confinement, for sexual ambiguity, Easter colored by a lunar needle and surgical steel grin. When she peers over the edge, looking, looking...

(Succulent, the copper taste. The shadows of eternal dusk. The pits covered anew and the visitations. Bodies everywhere...)

...expecting fly-fed death to lie stinking and festering below. "It is not uncommon. It happens all the time." Maggots anchor themselves, thriving opaque glares, emptiness, pain save me, the Child of the Childless One.


"Matriarch"

Covered blanketed face, Holy Mother, cowering bedside hide. I stood with uncalloused palm on the sweat of her skin, my breath chilling in the air, everything a shade of earthen brown, termite wooden walls and uprooted flooring, an iron post bed, brick paint chipped, one frosted window with florescent light outside. I did not know it was her... beneath gray wool and blue mortified eyes. Recurrence of the spectre beforehand, previous to placement. "I will gut her. You will witness my miracle." I thought the expanding red spots on the lily-white bed clothes to be cherry stains... or I wanted them to be such. That would have saved me from the hooked tip of the hunting knife, forcing through the sternum from the back. Oh shrouded Death, nary even a salvitating smirk to be seen, brandishing a convenient modern scythe. And yet we were dead before the lungs were even punctured, before the ribs cracked and the vertebrae twisted and split.

...forcing through the sternum from the back. Oh shrouded Death, nary even a salvitating smirk to be seen, brandishing a convenient modern scythe. And yet we were dead before the lungs were even punctured, before the ribs cracked and the vertebrae twisted and split.

...an iron post bed, brick paint chipped, one frosted window with florescent light outside. I did not know it was her... beneath gray wool and blue mortified eyes. Recurrence of the spectre beforehand...

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enigmatech
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:57 pm
Posts: 321
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:42 am 
 

It's a tough question. I'd say that David Gray from Akercocke is the master of "occult" lyrics, but that's just my opinion.

Spoiler: show
And the dark lord shall wipe all tears from her eyes
For he said unto me- it is done
I am Alpha and Omega
The beginning and the end
I will give freely unto him
That is athirst of the fountain of the water of life
Le Messe Noir- To sleep without waking
From the dream of brief life
To become as one with the
Harbinger of truth and balance
Purity and sensuality
In the palace of perversity
To call the names
Of the gods of the abyss
Without fear
To be one with the father
Offered thrice to Baphomet
Spirit of unholy progress
I am compelled to obey the beast inside
And the faces in the scrying glass
Gazing back- Choronzon
The guardian of the pit
The sentinel of the abyss
And the nameless- formless
They wait- great wings furled
Eager to be summoned
Invisible we stalk the night
Only through divine angles
Impossible angles
Are we seen among you
Revered devils of enlightenment
Deathless ones
I will become as one with them
I will look into your eyes
Angel


And Barney Greenway is easily the master of the more political side of metal. It's hard to pick one specific instance, because just about all of his lyrics are amazing, but here is one:

Spoiler: show
Now that the time has passed,
We look back in angst at the past
Now that the dust has cleared,
The ugly head of fear has reared

Was there ever a guiding truth -
A light to silence the cries?
Suspicion is building a case to coutner-attack the lies

Now that time has moved on,
Can we look to the future with hope?
Now that the dawn has returned,
Forget not the sense of pain
Is the world still a masquerade - a deja vu of trauma?
Hidden plans and corrupt ideals
Molest the true spirit to live

We cannot fight what we cannot see
Larceny of the heart
We can't take back
What we didn't know was taken
Larceny of the heart

Now that the time has passed,
We look back in angst at the past
Now that the dust has cleared,
The ugly head of fear has reared
Now that time has moved on,
Can we look to the future with hope?
Now that the dawn has returned,
Forget not the sense of pain

We cannot fight what we cannot see
Larceny of the heart, we can't take back
What we didn't know was taken
Larceny of the heart

Stripped to the nerve we obey
A shadow empire lies in wait
Stripped to the nerve we obey
The pounding pulse of deceit

We cannot fight what we cannot see
Larceny of the heart
We can't take back
What we didn't know was taken
Larceny of the heart


And finally, Dan Swano's lyrics on "Moontower" are some of my favorites ever. I have never read lyrics which were so emotional or meaningful, in any genre of music:

Spoiler: show
Sometimes when I think about it, it doesn't make any sense
I mean I'm alive and plan to be for yet another seventy years
Time waits for no one
Not even for god
We're only immortal for a limited time
Someone said we were only born to die
Someone said there is a meaning with it all
I love the world and I barely believe that I will leave it for good one day
Someone said my religion is the way
Someone said don't try to say that you are not afraid
No!
I refuse to let the angels take me away
I have already learned what heaven and hell is about
The big sleep is the only thing that is for sure and we're all gonna face it
It’s something we have to endure

Dreamers say that time will come with a way to stay alive
They mean science will finally reach its goal and offer everlasting life

I love my life and it's so hard to hear that one day all I am will disappear
I have seen grief and what it does to you
The day will come when I will lose what I was made of
I try to imagine what that would be like but the thought is so unreal so it is filtered out
I'm so afraid that I won't have the chance to tell the ones I love how I really feel inside
I hide my emotions for far too long
I am so afraid to lose you all that's the essence of this song

Am I the only one to think that hell is to be left alone
To live without that special someone
To feel like the king that lost his throne
Have you ever seen the dying
Touched the fading one
The last time I saw the Queen of nostalgia she was basically already gone
Time waits for no one
Not even for heroes
Life will have its way and we have to follow
Someone said it might be true what they say
Someone said I will be able to freeze the frame of what you are today
I have no wish to be young forever
I just don't wanna die
Someone said our souls will live again
I say the only one that I wanna be is me

No!

I refuse to let the angels take me away
I have already learned what heaven and hell is about
The big sleep is the only thing that is for sure and we're all gonna face it

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Aeonblade
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:11 pm
Posts: 1449
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:56 am 
 

DeathfareDevil wrote:
Agreed on the Arch, Hayes, and Worm. Mention of Riggs has been another reminder that I need to try out Acid Bath.


Don't bother.

I'm more into lyrics that tell a story. King Diamond, Dwayne from The Ziggurat. John Arch is always awesome. Great imagery there. Howie Bentley writes some really cool stuff too. He definitely did a good job nailing the gothic imagery on For Mircalla.

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Headless420
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 345
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:19 pm 
 

Just wanted to second Deathspell Omega. I feel as though they're lyrics aren't as appreciated as they're riffs, but should be.

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CF_Mono
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:21 pm
Posts: 1539
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:24 pm 
 

Necroticism174 wrote:
This thread comes up constantly. Here's the answers that are bound to come up: Dax Riggs

Bam. Was just listening to his latest LP when I read this.
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Vintersorrow
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:59 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Slovenia
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:06 pm 
 

See Filth, Dani:

"Mistress let the mists descend
Thy tears cannot thaw Death's cold heart
His sombre gaze defies legend
More so than thine, else thy dew-lidded eyes
Art for the Banshees song
Or our souls entwined like vein upon
The haunted shores of Avalon" (Haunted Shores)

"But soon,
Her tarot proved
Hybrid rumours spread like tumours
Would accrue
And blight Her stars
However scarred
To better bitter truths
Of cold bloodbaths" (Bathory Aria)

Again, say what you will about music, but those are some top-notch lyrics.

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Thiestru
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:18 am
Posts: 1185
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:13 pm 
 

Buddy Lackey! His lyrics on 'A Social Grace' are amazing, and some of the most meaningful I've ever read. Let's take a verse from 'I of the Storm', for example.

I've seen the towers
lying crumbled at my feet
and I've seen the cities
and the wastelands that remain
and I've seen the victory
and the prize that none shall keep
and the short time
that the glory hides the pain


That's just a wonderful way of describing the vanity and pointlessness of building up material wealth, when in the end it turns to dust and you're left with nothing. I don't feel like writing a huge post and analyzing his lyrics, but they're worth reading. I'll leave you with one verse from the song 'A Psychotic Waltz' that really speaks to me. It's like he read my mind... in the future. @_@

Sometimes I wonder what will ever become of me
And if life's worth its living at all
Sometimes I smile at the ones who think they've got life down
And they say that I'm living it wrong

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Stromness7
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:49 pm
Posts: 11
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:53 pm 
 

Sorrow and Desolate from Austere -
A longing sense...
To fulfil my days of empty slumber.
The remnants of life,
Like ashes, scattered across the ground.
It all seems worthless...

From the window pane,
I gaze upon the autumn tress.
Raining leaves and gnarling mists,
Like my very essence, grey...
Travelling through nothingness.

My life is fucking empty.
To exist in fragile light...

Silence...
Cold...
Alone...

Death, with no redemption,
We're all heading towards the end.
It is with us, from the dawn,
The dawn of our miserable lives.

We all live in a delusion,
As life holds nothing but death...

and Azgorh from Drowning The Light - Not going to give an example, but he is an incredible lyricist and has many great quotes.

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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
Posts: 4997
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:58 pm 
 

Aeonblade wrote:
DeathfareDevil wrote:
Agreed on the Arch, Hayes, and Worm. Mention of Riggs has been another reminder that I need to try out Acid Bath.


Don't bother.


You have made an enemy this day.
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Temple Of Blood
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:16 am
Posts: 452
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:45 pm 
 

Doug Keyser
Gene Hoglan
Spike Xavier
John Arch
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Xlxlx
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 5615
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:29 am 
 

Aeonblade wrote:
DeathfareDevil wrote:
Agreed on the Arch, Hayes, and Worm. Mention of Riggs has been another reminder that I need to try out Acid Bath.

Don't bother.

Necroticism174 wrote:
You have made an enemy this day.

Two, to be precise.

To add to the discussion; I'll agree with any mention of Dio, Arch, Worm, Walkyier, and Riggs, plus I'll throw Mike Howe in the mix for good measure. His lyrics were always direct, yet powerful and memorable in their imagery, and his delivery brought them to life in an uncanny way. Here are the lyrics to Metal Church's Waiting for a Savior, to get my point across:

Spoiler: show
"Night time, see the castles burning
Smoke in the skies and tears in their eyes
As the world keeps turning
Sleep now, hear a distant thunder
It's far away, at least for today
Close your eyes and wonder

Spring turns so quickly to summer
Summer so quickly to fall
It seemed far away, or it was yesterday
When time didn't matter at all
And then you met your winter
While dancing with her daughters
Till tired and cold
Were much wiser than bold
You wait for tomorrow to call

All of your life you have waited alone for a savior
He's not coming
A carousel horse, who is constantly lost
Standing still but always running
And all of those things that you needed so bad
You have found they mean nothing
Oh Lord, I'm coming home

I'm searching through the haze that's drifting through my mind
Stare in the looking glass and wonder who I'll find
No one would listen to a man upon the water
Until they were old and their mountains of gold couldn't buy any more time

All of your life you have waited alone for a savior
He's not coming
A carousel horse, who is constantly lost
Standing still but always running
And all of those things that you needed so bad
You have found they mean nothing
Oh Lord, I'm coming home "

This is a rather interesting reflection on the futility of material gain, the bitterness that comes with age, and ultimately, fear of death. It's quite curious (and accurate), really, the way in which he paints religion as a mean to keep the existential horror that is eternal nothingness at bay.
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Last edited by Xlxlx on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 19332
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:35 am 
 

Matt Johnsen from Pharaoh is one of my favorites. The way he strings together words is phenomenal and the stories and messages he tells, wrapped up tight in metaphor and rich prose, are just exquisite. A true metal poet.

Spoiler: show
Waning strength feels always more eminent
To those it fails
The mighty, still falling, so muster their armies
And set the sails

In the burning twilight glow
Can’t you see your sun goes down for you?

Look with pity on people less powerful
See them cowered in fear
Say you’ve come to redeem them, but still they don’t know
Just why you’re here

In the empty starless black
Don’t you know your sun is never coming back

The graveyard of empires is calling you
Calling you, it’s calling you
It’s calling you to conquer
The graveyard of empires is calling you
But will you live to see it through?

Over mountains,
Over deserts and over the fields
Crossed the oceans
Crossed the heavens and still no one yields to you

Days and months and years turn to decades
What power you had left is rapidly fading
Alive in the tomb are you laid

“Save us! Save us!
The savage betrayed us!
Save us! Save us!
We’re too great to die,” you pray
For the red of the day

Topple mountains
Clear the deserts
Burn the fields
They still won’t bow to you

Grab your chest, and clutch at the gaping wound
Your bloody shame
Your body will rot with the others before you
It ends the same

At the blinding break of dawn
In the foreign sun you pass forever on

The graveyard of empires is calling you
Calling you, it’s calling you
It’s calling you to conquer
The graveyard of empires is calling you
But no one lives to see it through


Or, even better...

Spoiler: show
I remember a time when I climbed every day
But those years disappeared and the light went away
Still we crawled through it all and saw skeletons pray
But the ghosts hovered close and rattled these carbon cages

Here I lay me down
Silence, lift this crown of sorrow now

In my heart I did know I must go to be free
And I've found that it's now that my exist shall be
Gone with the sun, everyone fades in echoes of time
And the silence of my life a chapter in all white pages

Here I lay me down
Silence, lift this crown of sorrow now

I'll go on being gone and missing these dark new ages

Here I leave alone
Silence, take these bones of burden home
Here I say goodbye
Darkness, take these eyes of sadness high
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FrizzySkernip
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:11 pm
Posts: 133
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:21 pm 
 

Necroticism174 wrote:
This thread comes up constantly. Here's the answers that are bound to come up: Dax Riggs, JR Hayes, and Lord Worm. Why? Darkly evocative and imagery filled amazingness.


Gonna have to agree with this one. Also, I find that TBDM can have some great lyrics. Very good stuff in my opinion.

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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
Posts: 4997
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:38 pm 
 

They really do, Trevor has really been improving over the years and developped a pretty distinctive style. Starting from Nocturnal (especially the Chthulhu horror of Everything Went Black.)
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lord_ghengis about Vomitory splitting up wrote:
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http://www.last.fm/user/TheEndTimeRiff
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FrizzySkernip
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:11 pm
Posts: 133
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:46 pm 
 

Necroticism174 wrote:
They really do, Trevor has really been improving over the years and developped a pretty distinctive style. Starting from Nocturnal (especially the Chthulhu horror of Everything Went Black.)


Yeah, Nocturnal will remain my favourite album of theirs. Ritual coming in at a close second. The Grave Robber's Work and On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood have some of my favourite lyrics of all time.

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Oblarg
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 2379
Location: The second sea
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:49 pm 
 

John Arch is pretty much as good as it gets, in my estimation.

Distant vision, tempting waters
Fall to my knees, I'm going to drink it dry
Blazing desert sun reflection
On the water, he caught my eye
Up in a tree, laughing at me
Vulture of fear why don't you go away?
"You're mine one day
Spit out the sand
Be on your way"
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