Tau Cross – “Killing the King”

Tau Cross premiered a new properly seizure-inducing music video on Youtube this week to promote their upcoming second album, Pillar of Fire, which comes out July 21st on Relapse Records . “Killing the King” shows the group’s anti-authoritarian bent which Relapse is trying to turn political to appeal to their scenester sludge rock and metalcore audience’s hatred of everything Donald Trump despite the band’s obvious intent and medievalisms in the published lyrics.

Lyrics:

Silence, upon the land
As winter eats into the soul
No fire, within the hall
To cleanse this land of wickedness and blood

Crow calls within the wood
On black sands, the plague ships burn
As for the law, what law there is has failed
Your savior is never to come

There’s a man in the sky for the faithful
There’s a face in the moon for the child
But we are the knights of the wasteland
In a mad world we’re for killing the king

The evil, the arrogant
Have risen, upon the piled up bodies of our dead
And the stones crack and the mountains crumble down into the sea
And who will stand with me

There’s a law of the land to condemn us
And the law of the just makes us strong
For we are the knights of the wasteland
And justice is burning, we’re killing the king

Those who would divide and conquer
Our scaffold shall greet them well
The oak of our fathers take the task
The fall to Hell

Rise up in the Eastland, Arise! In the north
For we are the knights of the wasteland
And when a dark sun rises
We’re killing the king

As is plainly obvious, “Killing the King” is an apolitical anti-authoritarian celebration of the power of bringing order through entropy and destruction that is part of the traditional spirit of metal. The lyrics are steeped in medieval mysticism and tell of the grisly fall of a traditional society, making reference to both Arthurian legend and the violent end of the Middle Ages.

The European population had been slowly increasing since the fall of the Roman Empire due to new agricultural technology and techniques despite the lawlessness and constant low-level conflict. When the Medieval Warm Period ended at the end of the 13th century causing crop yields declined, a one-two punch of mass famine and the Black Death halved the population, plunging the continent into a frenzy of warfare and rebellion that destroyed the feudal culture and society of western Europe. Usually the divinely-ordained monarch supposed-in charge, whose dynasty was handed a crown by the fist of God coming out of the sky, met a morbid end.

King Arthur himself went out this way when Camelot became a grey-skied, barren wasteland. This weather phenomena was corroborated by the contemporary Procopius who noted how the sun resembled an eclipse, a serious portend in almost all pre-modern cultures. As you probably know, Arthur supposedly sought the Grail to heal the land from whatever cosmic ill or human sin robbed his kingdom of fecundity but his nephew/son Mordred rebelled with many of Arthur’s knights and they both perished at the Battle of Camlann in 537. This is the mythological source behind T.S. Elliot’s The Waste Land, which Rob “The Baron” Miller (Amebix) has referenced in the promotional material for the album, which is especially pertinent to the present when the third world is about to subject itself to a Malthusian holocaust.

“Killing the King” is a big improvement over “Deep State”, the first preview track from Pillar of Fire. The track sounds like Killing Joke, if instead of selling out in the mid eighties, they spent all of 1986 entranced by Metallica‘s Master of Puppets and decided to write heavy metal directly inspired by Metallica’s last hurrah. Hopefully the rest of the compositions on Pillar of Fire take after this and not the Sonic Mass type radio rock pandering heard on “Deep State”.

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