Hitchhiking to Byzantium

by Anubis

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about

Awakening new chances, as the moonlight fades to sun...

"This record, if I'm to be honest", says keyboard player David Eaton of Anubis' long awaited third album, "is the record we'd have made back in 2006, if we'd been good enough". And let's face it, he should really know. It's been ten long years since the idea to write a concept album about a lost friend spurred him and vocalist Robert James Moulding into forming what would evolve into Anubis.

This third album, 'Hitchhiking to Byzantium' is the first Anubis album not to have a plot or narrative. It's more of a thematic work, based on modern life. "It's about growing older and trying to do better at things", says guitarist Dean Bennison, "and about the excuses we make for ourselves, all the crutches and braces that we find for ourselves along the way, and how good and bad they are for us". "It's perhaps a little more esoteric than the last two albums", say guitarist Douglas Skene, "although I think at core they all touch upon the same theme - which is what is and isn't important to people in their lives". "You do still get the sense that it's someone" says drummer Steven Eaton, "Someone who is on a journey. And the hope is that when they get there, they're happy with what they've found".

However, the journey to find Byzantium hasn't been easy. Nearly three years, and a new line-up later, the band find themselves under pressure to deliver a record that matches up to the expectations left by it's predecessors. "We've had a lot of motivation because there is so much to live up to" says Moulding, candidly. But that pressure has already yielded rewards. Most importantly, the addition of new bassist Anthony Stewart. "Anton's just fantastic" says Dave, "and although he didn't arrive in time to play on this record, he knew exactly what did need to be done and has done it brilliantly, really adding to our chemistry". "He's just a phenomenal player" says Robert Moulding, who did play the bass on Byzantium, "absolutely, definitely the standout when it came to looking to people to work with".

Whilst it doesn't have the narrative cinematic approach, Hitchhiking to Byzantium does have an emotional punch quite unlike anything before on an Anubis record. "Whilst we hid all our very real emotions behind conceits before - haunted workhouses and lost friends - this record is about the things that happen every day" says David. "I feel that there's more of us in there - the hurdles that life throws at us and the only way to feel true inner peace - by examining the love around you. It's certainly an introspective record - but it's real life. It's about you, it's about me, it's about all of us. Hitchhiking to Byzantium. That journey is life."

Hitchhiking to Byzantium is out on Bird's Robe Records, 30th May 2014.

The band play the 'Prog the Castle' festival in Germany and tour Europe for the first time in May 2015.

credits

released 30 May 2014

Robert James Moulding - Vocals, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Percussion, Additional keyboards
David Eaton - Keyboards, Guitars, Vocals
Douglas Skene - Guitars and Vocals
Dean Bennison - Guitars, Slide and Vocals
Steven Eaton - Drums and Vocals

Martyn Cook - Saxophone, Flute and Trumpets
Rebecca Bennison - Vocals
Katrina Shaw - Vocals
Sarah Schols - Vocals

Late Arrival
Anthony Stewart - Bass and Vocals

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Track Name: Fadeout
As we take to the skies
In the storm of tales and lies
We're a part that's played
In our yesterdays

And catch the rain
Like droplets of fire and pain
Life’s memories
In the palm of our hands

As we watch our lives
With all the wrongs and rights
Hoping that they'd fade
So we could turn away

And we'd question where
We’d find a sky that’s clear
Where we can let go
Of all that we own
Track Name: A King with no Crown
It's all superiority;
Your wildest dreams,
A yearning notoriety;
Knife in back, end justifies the means

Live atop the highest peak,
Plated in gold,
The altitude will make you weak;
As you fall you'll see your name dissolve.

A fantasy that will not hide
The casualty that lives inside
Reality will always be
A lingering memory

It's all so very saleable;
With a lie on your face,
The taste you bring is unbearable -
But taste can be so easily erased.

Ambition lies in distant dreams;
You're a king with no crown -
As you're left to walk the same old streets,
With the pain that haunts you in your cold hometown

A fantasy that will not hide
The casualty that lives inside
Reality will always be
A lingering memory

(Keys Solo)

A fantasy that will not hide
The casualty that lives inside
Reality will always be
A lingering memory

The time will come and you will know -
The demons come to overthrow;
When all of this will cease to be;
A memory to you and me.
Track Name: Dead Trees
Is it too late to break away?
This is the bed we made.
We stand here in disarray,
A screaming serenade.

Night after night
I could never see the answers in your eyes, that's when I sold my soul again.
Time after time
I could never see the answers in my lies, that's when I sold my soul again.

You push me to jealousy
You're hungry for my pain
I break you down relentlessly
Your passion has been drained

Night after night
I could never see the answers in your eyes, that's when I sold my soul again.
Time after time
I could never see the answers in my lies, that's when I sold my soul again.

Night after night
I could never see the answers in your eyes, that's when I sold my soul again.
Time after time
I could never see the answers in my lies, that's when I sold my soul again.

I'm tired and weak and I cannot see
The blackened forest among dead trees. It's scary.
We broke the rules in the games we played,
And wore out the fire to question each day together.
Slowly but surely driving me to the bottle,
I'm drowning in guilt, a failed role model to everyone.

In time we will know whether we can grow apart.

It would be hard for me to go and believe
that by the end we'd be enemies forever.
Giving up now, it's explained to me,
That I don't love you and you don't love me. I'm sorry.
I'm packing my bag and I'm hitting the road,
I'm starting anew with my dreams to sew and prosper.

In time we will know if we can grow apart.
Track Name: Hitchhiking to Byzantium
Standing, frozen, lonely, in the dead of night;
But further down the road is something bright;
A place that fuels my need for warmth and light.

Can you pull yourself together,
When there’s no pieces left?
And can you crawl your way towards a home,
Pretending it's your own?

Waiting for the daybreak so we can turn and run,
Awakening new chances when moonlight fades to sun.

As life became too hard for me to explain,
It seemed that I was strong enough to remain,
But I was just too weak to make that change.

On the other side, lie all my hopes;
That cannot be denied.
The promise that will help me re-define,
And leave the doubt behind.

Waiting for the daybreak so I can turn and run,
Awakening new chances when the moonlight fades to sun.

I’ll crawl from east to west,
Forgetting all the promises I kept,
And tell myself that on the other side,
I’ll no longer need to hide.

Waiting for the daybreak so I can turn and run,
Awakening new chances when the moonlight fades to sun.

Living life in circles like a devil's carousel,
The last of my life’s chances to find heaven in this hell.

I’ve had to understand that I cannot hide;
I’ve had to torture myself and swallow my pride;
I’ve only got myself to blame as I hitchhike.
Track Name: Blood is Thicker than Common Sense
It's a grim realisation when sowing the seed
The fortune of legacy is not guaranteed
The drastic corrections that you execute
Will cost you in progress of your favoured roots
The selfish corruption in your history
A deadly black poison that flows through the tree
Counting the blessings you think you can see
But you can't change your legacy

You'll make amends
Orchestrate to change your fate
Try outlast, deny the past  
At your expense
Feel the consequence

The footprints you walk upon belong to you
Your ancestors comfortably wore the same shoes 
The torch that is handed down causes you pain
Backlash that burns as you blow out the flame
Changing your life while the ripples remain
The ends that you're seeking are hard to obtain
Finally painting the picture you seek,
But you can't change your legacy

You'll make amends
Orchestrate to change your fate
Try outlast, deny the past  
At your expense
Feel the consequence

In the end 
Follow the road
Try and find
Where it began
And that is where
You realise...

(Everyday is moving forward)
All you do is stagger-
(Clutching at your back)
You'll never reach the silent dagger.
(Digesting all the secrets)
Your mind keeps swallowing
(But the humble pie is open)
and the birds begin to sing
(The words I hear you saying)
They're never making sense,
(The meanings in your actions)
They are so much more intense
(Look upon the landscape)
Your horizon's widening 
(You lost your destination)
Because of all your questioning.

(A family bitterness)
Just a puncture from within,
(If you cant stop the blood flow)
Then you'd better learn to swim,
(History just repeats itself)
You'd better intervene
(But the tiny, damaged details)
They are always overseen
(The way in which you build yourself)
It's scarcely ethical,
(The damage that you cause each day)
It's hardly minimal,
(As you look inside yourself)
You hope to break tradition,
(But the hand that fed you all these fears)
It had the same ambition

(Believing in the ties that bind)
You'll rush to their defence,
(Pretend it never happened)
Blood is thicker than common sense.
(Forging your foundations)
In what was never there,
(Trying to avoid the trap)
Of being so unfair,
(To make up for your impotence)
You try to educate
(The truth is staring back at you)
It's hard to motivate.
(Bang your head against the wall)
You fail in your creation
(To live in someone else's dream)
You sense your heart's deflation.

In the end
You'll hold yourself

In the light
On the edge of time

To be judged
Against yourself

Can you change
Who you are?
Or who you may have wanted to become?

You'll make amends
Orchestrate to change your fate
Try outlast, deny the past  
And at your expense
Feel the consequence
Track Name: Tightening of the Screws
Where are you as we live these separate lives
Where are you as I try to recognise
Our forgotten days that live silently
Distant memories taunt me

When did you begin
To think that this over
and lie in to my eyes?
When will I begin to let this die?

How can you break these old familiar ties?
How can you be here and not realise
All these homesick dreams that you cant see
Future fantasies haunt me

How could you begin
To say that this over
Tell me to my eyes
How can I begin to let this die?

Wiser men would say
A future can't be made
By tightening of the screws
In people you can use

Years have passed since then. In a different place.
I feel nothing now when I see your face
Too much time has passed to lay the blame
Yet seems to me you're running just the same

When will you begin
To see again it's over
I see in it your eyes
When will you begin to let it die?
Track Name: Partitionists
Endless craving to be rich
With their hearts as black as pitch
Have the power to evolve
As their human side dissolves
Poor are there to undermine
Cannibals prefer no spines
All their words will condescend
This means nothing in the end

You preyed on their countless lives
Watched them as they burned alive
You increase in equity
Show off your vulgarity
Climb your way up to the top
There's nowhere for you to stop
You don't care who you offend
This means nothing in the end

And in your soul
Misfortune grows
Out of control
A deep black hole

Plastic hearts will grow so cold
At least your class is shining gold
Pinstripes pressed to bring acclaim
Of boardroom reptiles once again
Asking me to hush my mouth
As your growth cant be announced
You'll continue to ascend
This means nothing in the end

Dead upon the boardroom floor
Combination sport and war
Hidden shadows of a snake
Reeling in who takes the bait
Trap them with your quick white lies
A coward masks his yellow eyes
Forces paper to your pen
This means nothing in the end

And in your soul
Misfortune grows
Out of control
A deep black hole

----

The ice is cracking underfoot
The water calls your name
It's waiting here to take you
And drag you down again.

You place your faith in remedies
And hide from your nightmares
The silent ghosts that haunt your dreams
They drive you to despair

The pain within begins to burn
You're suffering inside
If you had the will to wish away
The thoughts of suicide

And then you find you've lost it all
It's driving you insane
The well has dried up long ago
Can't wash away the stains

And in your soul
Misfortune grows
Out of control
A deep black hole

----

With knowledge you can seize the world
With fear you can control
But 'lesser men' will always see
Your world unfold

You walk blank corridors
Of hopes and dreams
Your heart will always follow
Where greedy minds lead

Your coins can't take away
They can't postpone
The cold reality
Of your own headstone.
Track Name: Crimson Stained Romance
Eternal light that shone so bright, so rapidly can fade
The darkness of a soul inside, a faithless renegade
Before the will we're forced a side
These colours showing through the lies

Given means to a wish upon a star.

To walk along celestial shores
Create eternal troubled storms
To fill the hole inside once more
And help the heart and mind restore.

Asking for forgiveness so this guilt can fall asleep
Display the word so proudly there upon the mantelpiece
Maybe you'll denounce the crown
Until your life is at sundown

With fingers firmly crossed behind your back.

To walk along celestial shores
Create eternal troubled storms
To fill the hole inside once more
And help the heart and mind restore.

But when the words are spoken out realities can change,
With stories of distant time to stone the heart that's chained
Will my wings tear through my skin
And aim toward some hallowed king?

Soaring up into eternal sunlight?

To walk along celestial shores
They start eternal troubled storms
To fill the hole inside once more
And help the heart and mind restore.

The absence of a soul, a God-shaped hole,
You become the very thing you hate,
In trying to decide if you were wrong or you were right,
You gambled and you lost the fight
To bet against the howling pack,
You laid it all on black.

And on reflection, one single voice
Can't undo two-thousand ages past,
Through all your days, you'll not find the way
To break this crimson stained romance.
To place your faith in fortune
You'll find you're just a man.
Track Name: A Room with a View
I

When you are finally removed
Still clinging to your youth
Even in death, You'll still be scared of the truth
Locked inside a room with a view

III

Laying down upon the mattress of this empty room
The distant highway sings slow and solemn empty tune
I need to find some sleep within this dusty hiding place
i couldn't handle living in the rat race

The cracks upon the walls look down on me as I descend
The shame within me means the darkness has become a friend
In my dreams I earned what I accomplished
But it was impossible to win

It's a blanket for my mind
(Blanket for my mind)
As I tiptoe back in time
(Tiptoe back in time)
I open up these wounds
(Open up these wounds)
And take a good look inside
(Take a look inside)

The mirror's shattered into pieces on the dirty floor
A mute reminder of the shame that I had worn before
I look upon my self as I no longer recognise
I've lost the parts that help me socialise

I stagger to my feet and look upon the dresser draw
The phone keeps ringing even though I cannot take the call
Even if i wanted, I could never answer
My pride still lives within

It's a blanket for my mind
(Blanket for my mind)
As I tiptoe back in time
(Tiptoe back in time)
I open up these wounds
(Open up these wounds)
Can it bring me back to life?
(Take a look inside)

IV

The haze grows
The feeling slows
Without control
His world unfolds
He's breaking away
From life's decay

He leaves behind
A poisoned mind
The only way
The numbness stays
To medicate
His loneliness again

VI

We'd heard it all before
It's a world we never saw
We live to justify
But fail to recognise

We live inside these dreams
Trapped, or so it seems,
Never honest to ourselves
And no-one asks for help

(We do not believe)
In your memory
(You will ever know)
theres nothing left theres nowhere left to go
(You just hide yourself)
A product of your faded wealth
(Until you disappear)
Everything you ever feared.

The more we learn
The less we know
The more you own
The less there is of your soul

VII

Our battles left us with these scars
Paths defining what we are
Even in death, You're still scared of the dark
As the fears define who we are
We'll find we never had a clue
As little we know is really true
When we are finally removed
From this room with a view.