Vengeance

by Lyceum

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1.
05:02
2.
03:48
3.
04:12
4.
05:29
5.
03:45
6.
05:23
7.
04:43
8.
05:08
9.
06:00
10.
05:09

about

Vengeance is the story of a hero from his youth to his death. He begins as an orphan who rises from poverty to become the general of an invasion force sent to conquer the lands of a malevolent king. His army is destroyed and he is enslaved, but he escapes and seeks to murder the king on his own. Despite his unwavering bravery and skill he is captured and executed; his true nature, his dedication, and his courage are only known to himself in the end.

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released May 9, 2017

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about

Lyceum California

Lyceum was founded in early 2010 by the former members of three Bay Area metal bands. The songs written since the 2010 demo have followed a single narrative written by the band.
The name Lyceum refers to the academy of Aristotle, the teacher of Alexander the Great, dedicated to Apollo Lyceus, pivotal in the history of western aesthetics, education, and philosophy.
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Track Name: Empire
Silent came into the world with a steady hand
Cursed by brothers, and by blood disavowed
He ran beneath the desert sun past stalls and stands
From roof to wall he leapt - fleet shadow upon the sands
The Governor’s pearl dagger clutched in his hand
Out of sight from the King’s Guard searching, running for his life

Yet they caught him in the market
Brought before the judge
Fatherless, motherless, jailed, under providence
Unheard of

Three years sentenced, he was near its end
When fortune offered his life back to him
Forced into the fighter’s pit countering blood for blood
He trained with diligence, and found new strength within

Patronage of the officers granted him position to serve
And he was freed by the violence of his sword
His locks were shorn
Brought to his knees, carved into a killer
Reborn, a scout and soldier of the King

Far beyond the vanguard rode, the owl and the hawk
Who bears the word and tides of war
Now the commander of most fearsome men, and loved by them
Returning knighted, guardian of the ark
High general, bearer of first flame in the dark

He mustered the legions of the east to the courts of the capital
- Breathe deep the dawn of war -
And as he rose between the colonnades before the gathering arms
Silence fell

“My soldiers,
The light of the Emperor shines bright upon us all
But he will need us now.
It is a time of darkness
Amidst a sea of foes we stand alone, they break upon our shore
Make haste across frozen seas, shadowed wastes, and doom.
To the shore
And to the greatest deeds our lives will ever know.”
Track Name: Armada
“In battles of the east we’ve earned our names
Victorious their towers wreathed in flames
The walls of the world will bear the lion’s mark
Empires rise and fall to dust with the passing of our march

We are the golden horde, the shield of iron, mask of the beast, ride far
Who led by him, stalk the plains
Engulfed in the fire of the dark

We go beyond my brothers, far beyond
But I promise you that soon we shall return
From deep horizons to seas unknown
Our enemies of the dark
So set your scarlet sails a flight with hatred in your hearts
Like the arrow from emerald bow
We will strike them from this world
And the tyrants will fear our names.”

And with brave words the ship set sail carving through the silver bays
Beneath the wheeling gulls and cormorants that day
Following the northern star, where ice like dragons teeth
Had long guarded the ancient strongholds of the enemy

Bound to the mast, a sailor, a traitor, will guide
But on each shuddering night the shadows returned as he closed his eyes
Their lives were only his to lose, his lantern was their comfort in the night.

“We go beyond my brothers, far beyond
But I promise you that soon we shall return
From deep horizons to seas unknown
Our enemies of the dark
So set you scarlet sails a flight with hatred in your hearts
Like the arrow from emerald bow
We will strike them from this world
And the tyrants will fear our names.”
Track Name: Storm
Deep within the shrouded mists
A lantern dims as the bow sways
A figure walks beneath the sails, cold falls the gathering rain
As the armada rolls through the dark waves

”The winds whisper, the clouds conspire in the shade
Heed not their poisons, deny their treachery
We sail deep into the ice flows as we round the cape
By dawn we may yet sail into the west”

Lightning flashed as the black hulls dipped and rolled like bulls among the waves
”Hold” he screamed “lower the sails,
We have come too far to fail.”

Terror, thunder
From the lashing rains and wrath of the howling winds
Flames spread through the fleet
And as men screamed and died he was smote from the bow, cast into the sea.
Track Name: Dominion
Riding quick upon the grey fields, hooves beat down upon scarred earth
Steam arises from rider and horse as they thunder down the watchers road
Gates open before him as he passes under the arch of the Victor
The crowds parted before his path, on the mount the tower looms

In darkness he awakened to cracking whips and oaken oars
Gaunt faces stare through the gloom
As callous hands pulled him from the black
Worn and enslaved he was taken from the waves

From high above the northern wastes
The overseer gazes upon her dominion
The wind cries through the night as flames guide their blades

One thousand slaves from foreign lands clear the forest with axe and chain
Backs bent while wheels turned, and machines roared
From the towers she gazed, enshrouded and malign
Beheld the shadow of the queen in the fading light.

The messenger strides up the marble stairs, footsteps echoing down the hall
Advisors and guards line the throne, weary with somber voice he spoke
“My lord, at the towers of the northern channel
the Mark of the Lion was seen off our shores”

The advisors warred, the crowd in uproar, one hand raised in silence
The hall was suffocated and all eyes followed the king rising to the crowd
“One does not cross one’s enemy without declaration of war.
If the East has risen beyond their barren confines we will restore balance with rivers of blood.”

“Send out the riders of the throne, they will seek the lions crest throughout our lands
And I shall await their word”
Track Name: Vengeance
Cold dawn greets the toiling crew
In the heart of winter’s reign
A guard’s dagger close to the hand of one chained

Sudden violence, blood upon the path
Alarms piercing rang, the maelstrom swept through the barracks
As one by one sentries fell

Black smoke rising above the fortress walls
Frenzied slaves gather at the tower’s base
The Queen’s Guard emerge through the searing flames

High upon the tower she turned from the sight, ordering swift retribution
As the battle raged he crept through the doors, blade running red,
Ascending the stairs to her

In a darkened room she waited, sheltered
He tore into the entrance way, dragging the Queen down into the bloodshed below
Engulfed by the ravenous crowd
Her screams of terror rose above the cries of rebellion

The city burned brightly behind him, the blackened gates in ruin
From the harbor of the fallen Queen, setting sail upon the cold waves
Track Name: Conquest
A tribe of unwanted, cast into the deserts of scorn
Cruel and unwilling to die in shame
The destitute footfalls of a lineage reviled
Bloodied and weary they first saw the seas
Amongst the rocks they made their homes
Born into violence, carved by the waves
A new Empire
By their swords the lesser and weak were enslaved
Led by the God Emperor, whose will was enshrined in the Ark.

They grew in power, raising great citadels
Might far from the distant horizons
Conquering all
Vengeance was wrought upon the ancient lands
Led from their homes unto the farthest holds
And from across the streaming tide
Sails threatened from the unknown
They turned their wrath to the King beyond the Sea.
Track Name: Exiled
As night fell, wandering far
A light off the trail
Fire and voices within, welcoming in the dark

Over him the white sun rose
As he departed for the mountain pass
Many days he traveled into the windswept heights

On the seventh day as the sun passed the northernmost peak
He descended unto the forsaken city

Between boulders of rock and rubble he strode
A black shape appeared above
Sword drawn an assassin fell upon him, crushing him to the ground
Entangled in cloak and flashing blades,
Two men struggled in the shadow of the crags

The gravel below them shifting
As they rolled towards the ledge
Sword ringing down the abyss

Suspended over the precipice
A dagger rose and fell
The defeated foe cast down
Broken upon the rocks

“Keeper of the Golden Crown, Warden of the Gate
Guardian of the Heaven Door, Enemy of Hate
Mountain guard, O’ blackened loam
Forests still and silent home
Keep your knowledge long untold, guard it as the gold.
Man is but a breathless runner,
A deer fleeing from the sound,
Stay still and calm, O’ Faithless Wonder
In your silence, song resounds.”

With swift winds at his back
Landing on the kingdom’s shores
He drew shelter along the outer paths
Alone in the realms of the enemy, exiled
Track Name: Sentinel
On a perilous hillside steep
Blackened rock upon the sea
A wolves den, enshrouded keep
By the waning of a lantern’s light
By the glow of a silver moon
He threaded his way through the watchful and darkening avenues

Disappearing into the endless crowds
A new name and a new past, a thief once more he became
Endlessly plotting his path to the crown
Preparing to fulfill the will of his emperor

Vigilant, through the streets, dark eyes followed him
As he passed beneath the bright tavern lights
A hooded figure rose
A shadowed watcher hidden by the night

Endlessly the forest reached before him
Unceasingly he rode, leagues from the throne
He rarely slept, sensing a presence in the gloom

At last the trees parted, dark and foreboding the lands opened
Long walls and palisades in the distance
Banners and pillars casting far shadow
Regal and calm in the night

Emerging from the trees an arrow flew past
Gaining quickly, sounds of hooves rising, riders closing
The towers grew slowly, too far to ride

He wheeled his mount to them, four riders storming from the forest
He charged with sudden rage at the nearest
Who raising his shield in haste, lashed out as he fell
Casting the warrior to the ground

One remained with bow drawn as two dismounted
Circling as he rose
As his guard wore down, an arrow pierced his side
Collapsing in pain yet defiant
Seized, taken to the capital to face judgment
Track Name: Judgment
Led to the darkness
A deeper shadow in the night
An ignoble end in silence
Forgotten to all but the blade

In the midst of council the King sat on oaken throne
The riders swept into the hall, faces hidden in shadow
They released the warrior at the foot of the stairs
“We have found a conspirator against the throne”

“I have been watching the movements of the East
Ships were sighted in the northern seas
A shield bearing the Lion’s Mark was brought to me
Our northern fortress consumed in flames and the Queen has not sent word
One of my riders was found dead in the mountains
You are captured bearing his dagger

And now you are disguised before me
Reveal yourself and receive judgment.”

“I am the shield of iron, the mask of the beast, the fire of the dark
I am a general of the east, loyal to my emperor in life and in death.”

“Know that you will await him in the afterlife
From the abyss of death you will watch
As your empire crumbles before my legions
Convene the council of war. Lead this soldier to his doom.”

Led to the darkness
A deeper shadow in the night
An ignoble end in silence
Forgotten to all but the blade