Keep Close the Watchfires

by Gloaming

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No one knows whence it came Swift spirit of the old country Beast come up from the depths of hell Foul spawn of the ancient ones On leathery wings it tears through the night Taloned claws and a gazing eye Beak of steel filled with stabbing teeth 'Round which wriggles arms of seething slime Howling and screeching in the light of the moon Swooping down like an arrow keen and true Nails like meathooks rip its prey from the ground Carried unseen into the shadows of the mountains The hunting party wanders through wooded hills Following broken branches and vile filth Coming to the place where the demon did the deed Poor soul emptied of life and blood Terror spreads through the mountain towns "Our doom is nigh, 'tis the coming of the beast" Sign of the hex with its seven pointed star Futily striving to keep the demon at bay The Snallygaster knows no law Abides not hexes nor prayers of men Death is coming on leathery wings Ruin roars in the Blue Ridge
Stalker of night terrors A shadow lurking in the corner Darkened figure of the forest A hushed rumor clad in black A family dog gone missing The search led to the woods Its head was severed cleanly The body nowhere to be found There could only be one culprit Distant brayings made that clear A chill emanating from Zug Road So began the reign of the Goat-Man The avatar of Satan Or merely hubris made flesh A product of ambition, Arrogance and knowledge-lust Or something far, far older Summoned by dark ritual Sent forth from the deepest hells Left hand of the Lord of Lies Seven feet tall Standing on cloven hooves Horned, bearded, bedraggled Brandishing a headsman's axe Pets were just the beginning The goat had larger prey in mind Lovers' lanes ripe for harvest Lust met with violent demise The corpse-count kept on rising Fourteen in as many years Dare not stray into the forest The Goat-Man lives, indeed Still it haunts the backwoods Feasting below a rusted bridge Slumbering in musty caves Nourished by the darkness Again will come the terror Visions of a blood-soaked axe Wielded by clawed, inhuman hands Curved horns back-lit by the moon A champion of ruin With no passion but for death An engine of destruction Forever stalking forests Howling winds carry its call
Ugly old crone on the outskirts of town Kept to herself in her ramshackle hut Living off of alms Pennies for herbs, potions and poultices Maybe arcane arts fueled her talents But she never harmed a soul Nobody paid much mind to Ol' Moll Dyer But then fortunes turned to ash A plague of flu on funeral winds Livestock met the reaper in droves Then one February night Lightning rent snow-driven clouds A heap of empty beer mugs Littered the alms-house tables " 'Tis that old witch's fault, this" The storm had finally burst the dam Torches, pitchforks, axes and rope There'd soon be hell to pay Hut went up in a blaze of righteousness Ol' Moll fled the flames, into the frozen wood Trudging through the snow, she collapsed upon a stone As the icy grip of death wrapped its fingers 'round her heart She held one hand aloft, fist raised to the sky in rage Calling up old black magicks that she'd learned but never used Miasma of misfortune swept through the cursed town Still Moll Dyer's rock holds the image of her frozen, dying hand
Monument of grief carven in eternal stone Wordless image of all-consuming despair Angel of sadness robed in folded wings Suicide immortalized in hewn granite Vain, proud Frenchman, hero of countless wars Came over the sea, a hunter of the alps Took twelve bullets for the army of the north Swaggered with a rattle of accumulated lead The years carried ever on and on General Agnus found himself a loving wife Decades of prosperity at a newspaper's helm The time had come to see to the family plot A good patch of land in Druid Ridge Restful bed for weary bones No plain stone would do for a legacy like his In his search, he found the embodiment of grief Dead-eyed stare draped in the shadow of anguish Face of the grief angel haunted every waking thought Felix had himself a copy made Clandestine casting in the black of night Fought tooth and nail to keep his ill-got prize Carved in dismal grey, spartan to the bone An inscription below bore the name "Agnus" The grave site reeked of a mind fixed on death Annie passed in '22 Death took Agnus in '25 Buried at the feet Of that dead-eyed effigy of gloom Inoccuous grey under the brightness of the sun Under the light of the moon, an impenetrable black As the bells chime midnight, its eyes glow red Calling for the spirits of the madness-stricken dead Pilgrims gathered 'round, but were blinded by her eyes No living thing could grow where Black Aggie cast her gaze The stare of death took life unborn and life mature alike Boundless wellspring of mania, delirium and death Long years passed and the legends grew She was defiled, defaced and disfigured Finally moved to where she could do no harm Until grief's gaze lands on another hapless soul
An ill-fated location Doomed to be forever cursed Tavern in the backwater Empty chairs and empty rooms Ol' George couldn't sell the damned thing There was no profit to be made This was no place to start a business But the isolation soon proved a boon Brothers of the Most Holy Redeemer Humble Italian order of the church Drawn there by its solitude Made Ol' George an offer One he sure could not refuse Old stone house became a chapel Brick on brick and stone on stone Built a palace of worship and study At least that's what they told us What waxes must surely wane Ilchester, after all, was cursed After a century of prosperity Enrollment slowly fell to naught After the decline came abandonment Neglect, decay and buildings fallen to ruin The power of the image of the son on the cross Proved to be powerless indeed From the bowels of the earth deep below The very foundations of Ilchester's church The fiery fingers of the dark lord Spread like some malignant disease Cultists and acolytes of Satan Had long prepared for this dark day Reveling in the destruction they had sown Offering sacrifice of flesh and blood The house of god had become a house of hell Where no man of christ dare set his foot Black hoods and bloodshot eyes Swirling dance around the altar Chanting ancient incantations Praise the victory of the curse The isolation has prevailed A place of a darker sort of prayer Though the Hell House is but a ruin The tingle of dread unseen lingers still
Caught in the headlights Out on pitch-black country roads A momentary glimpse Of a beast not wolf nor man Coarse fur as black as night Long, strongly muscled legs Long, sharp claws and fangs Low growl from drooling lupine jowls Bone chilling howl of the Dwayyo The beast instilled heart-stopping fear Horror spread like wildfire Hide the livestock, lock the doors Surely soon the wolf would kill Yet people remained unscathed Even through their fruitless hunts Not a single solitary soul Ever met an untimely death You see, the Dwayyo did not thirst For the blood of mortal man It hungered for far larger prey The winged demon of the Blue Ridge itself! Iron fangs ached To sink into serpentine neck Summoned by the Sigil of Ameth The wolf-man hunted far and wide It came upon the demon's lair Snallygaster bloated from its feasts The Dwayyo lunged from the shadows Its fangs found fleshy purchase Black blood spilled upon the ground The Snallygaster lay dead and limp The howl of victory Echoed across the mountains Bone-white hunter's moon Deepened to crimson, satisfied


The debut album by international death/doom outfit Gloaming, featuring seven tales from the Mid-Atlantic's dark, forgotten legends.


released March 16, 2015


A.H. - Drums
J.C. - Guitars
J.K. - Vocals
R.B. - Bass

Gutiar solo in "Ilchester" by E.B.

Lyrics by J.C.
Music by J.C. with Gloaming

Recorded at the Four Corners of the Earth
Winter 2014 - 2015

Mixed and Mastered by J.C.

Art by Mildred Bryant Brooks

Logo by Nicholas Stepaniak


all rights reserved



Gloaming Cheonan Si, South Korea

Crawling death/doom.

For fans of Asphyx, Cianide, Runemagick, Hooded Menace, Autopsy, Winter, Divine Eve, Coffins, Innsmouth, Necros Christos, Candlemass, etc.

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