Ale Whores of Mercia

by SYMBEL

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about

Drums recorded in a disused fire-station in December 2005. Guitars, vocals and keyboards added throughout 2006-7. Fan only release limited to 100 copies in May 2007 and not reprinted. Based around the concept of Beowulf, this album reflects the journey of an Anglo-Saxon wizard mage during a time of struggle for a band of warriors who are facing the horrors of a supernatural being and doing battle with its orc-like minions.

'Dedicated to lost brothers, and those parts of our souls that we might do well to hold on to, just as was seen fit 1200 years ago, when 'The Wanderer' was probably written'

This download contains scans of the original artwork, and all of the lyrics and story.

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released May 5, 2007

Sceot Acwealde

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SYMBEL Birmingham, UK

Formed in 2001 to release pagan crust black metal. Currently recording fourth album to be released in 2016.

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Track Name: In the Hall of the Elau King
( The monster is killing them. Thane is prompted to call for war that night, but Cedric the poet warns against haste ).

The moon looks down in rage
invokes the spirit of this age
in bad maegen
the scale beasts horde
our gold and our flesh
in the hills
the ground wyrms shriek
their calls through the night.

''It took my children
bit of their heads
and strew their bodies in the bloodied snow''

Too long the wyrm unwinds
we feel it choking us inside
this once proud hall
what will you do?

Cut it into pieces!
Take from it its riches!

(Cedric emerges from the shadows and answers on behalf of the young warrior )

...ne sceal no te hatheort, ne to hraedwyde, ne to wac wiga, ne to wanhydig, ne to forht ne to fægen, ne to feohgifre, ne næfre gielpes to georn, ær he geare cunne. Beorn sceal gebidan, þonne he beot spriceð, oþþæt collenferð, cunne gearwe....

(* a wise man must be patient. He must never be too impulsive, nor too hasty of speech, nor too weak a warrior, nor too reckless, nor too fearful, nor too cheerful, nor too greedy for goods, nor ever too eager for boasts, before he sees clearly. A man must wait when he speaks oaths, until the proud hearted one sees clearly )

(Realising that Cedric has returned from his trip to the eastern Fenland Kingdoms, those assembled chant in honour. The hall erupts into a milling throng of beer soaked men and women. The poet has returned with tales and stories to entertain the King, who is called from his chamber. Cedric explains that the tale of the beast has spread to other lands and that there has was talk of the Mercian Kingdom angering the gods. King Elau roars with disapproval, but then thinks a while. ''Call the Cursed Hag in the Hood!'' )
Track Name: Cursed with Seeress Beauty
Not to haste, and nor to fight
The tall man speaks, he knows the knowing
Thane, resolve your boyish ire - will be your cold death
and of those here.

Take the path to the hole, carve lagu in the moss, part the reeds.
Drink the darkness of those depths.
Taste the wort, of the marsh leaves.

HEED THE SEERESS' WORDS!

Unto the dark lands you will know
your name across mens' tongues, if you will heed.
Trust your fear, see yourself.
Taste the marsh leaves, go to the grove.

SEER REVEAL YOURSELF!

( The room descends into chaos as they see the woman's face - one gaping eye socket swirls with dark waters, a vessel holding more knowledge than another a hundred times its size. Men are both repulsed and humbled. Thane drinks the draught of marsh weed wort as instructed, and soon falls into a dizzy swoon. He retires to his quarters, where he spends the evening in solitude, in an apparent trance state. Echoes of the experience turn over in his mind. )
Track Name: A Journey With Oak Staves
I see ahead of me a bright light through the oak saplings
But my hands are clawing at nothing, I'm falling
Through trees, never ending branches, and earthen root.
Above the burning stave of Lagu - a thread of wyrd.
My shield-skin is scratched and bleeding, my hair is torn.
Knowing is never easy - the road is tough.
Now I'm in the dark of an open cave, with dark deep waters
swirling inside like an enormous eye.
As I bend down closer I am taken in,
on a journey with oaken staves,
I'll drink my fill.

( Newly embodied with a clear vision of his quest, the young man shudders with fear in private counsel with Cedric. The wanderer tells him that he has often felt wretched and sorrowful, bereft of his homeland, far from noble kinsmen, and has to bind in fetters his inner-most thoughts. A leader he must be )
Track Name: Wassel Grove
A line of fire, flickers at mists around their knees.
A line of hoods and torches file, through the dark and twisted trees.

The trees, the forest, the trees in the forest...
...we worshipped in sacred groves...
...effigies on wooden poles...
...talking with dead souls...
...i once did this.

Scuffing through groves, that whisper old songs, and riddles to solve.
We long for the mead hall, the symbel and boast!

To walk, crackling through the soft bracken, I see what this hidden world was for ( hear the chants ) and what it meant to the heathen mind - a gateway to interaction with gods. I acknowledge my bloody past of sacrifice within these trees - it is part of us. So I return here, in modern ways - drink to the evolution, of our new heathen hearts! Woden!

( Thane talks momentarily to Cedric of his previous fears and doubts over the existence of other worlds. He now appears resolute. He must go in search of his darkest fear, and conquer it. A symbel is performed, the mead cup passed around and oaths and intentions are made before those assembled ).
Track Name: Song of the Oar
Row! Our arms like twisted trees. Spears - that hunt the dead sun's scream
Though the road is long, and the night denies
We have strength to set the sky alight

Pull on the oars! Row hard upstream! Follow the scream!

We have put our faith in our hands, and the gods will help you for that.
Watch the swoop of crow, silent sounds of deer
We have strength to bind the night with fire

( The boats glide to a resting place beneath cliffs riddled with cave entrances. This is the source of the screaming. The youngest lad, Barton, reaches for his sword. Thane puts a hand on his arm, and silently bids otherwise )
Track Name: Tonight, We Do Not Drink
Into the tunnels of Gaiia, upon the scent of the beasts that devour our young
See the dark shadows circling us!
Thrust with your spears and slash with your swords 'til they're gone!
We will hunt the Dragon's lair, forcing down the darkness there
Deeper, winding path to the lair
I will go alone in there
I see the most hideous beast, facing me
Shrieking as I hack its flesh, brutally

( Thane and the beast fight. He is wounded, and they both fall into deep water, thrashing violently. For Thane, time slows, as does every movement in his air starved limbs, and the lights of gods flash before his eyes, as if his time has come. Presently he finds himself hauled from the gurgling rock pool, and sees his men finish off the shadow men that have head the beast's gargled screams. Not one of them are spared )

We have killed the monster there, thankfully. Now we must escape this lair, hastily!

( And so Thane and his men scrabble back to the surface, hearing the moans of the dying beast )
Track Name: Gods' Speed
Fast upon the boats we must run, from cold death
A vision on the trembling threads, we don't fight yet

Board the vessel take the oar
Our direction is the breath...
...of gods that speed us on!

Row like you are trying to lose your shadows
Cutting up the wet road like a black filthy crow

See the village, see the hall
our direction is the breath...
...of gods that speed us on!

See the village!
Track Name: The Wall Part I
Stan, Ethelstan, are you ready? Bring your shields now!
You'll take the stakes and hold the left wing
Cedric, Oswiu, are you ready? Bring your shields now!
You'll take the stakes and hold the right wing

This is a wall and no one passes the wall!
This is a wall and no one passes the wall!

This is a day of great omens, light breezes and rain
stroking our cheeks like a maid's sweet eyelash
Black battle corpse in the field, wakes us up from that
daydreaming about Saxon whoring

This is a wall and no one passes it!
Our lives flash before us guarding it!

Come, let us fight, I am ready...to defend my girl
and the seeds of me in her womb
if this is the day, it is perfect...i might die for her
but I'd rather make them die for their girls!

This is a wall and no one crosses the wall!
This is Aengland, no one crosses the wall!


( The battle ensues and many men fall, Thane killing several of the shadow men. Eventually the enemy flee. Some are too injured to run and are to be executed. Barton, the youngest warrior, is given the job. Thane, who has sustained a deep cut in his torso, is taken into his quarters and watched over by his wife and two sons )
Track Name: The Wall Part II
After the fight we count our dead
missing fingers, missing heads
bits of us and bits of them
One lad's crying for his mother
he's had his left arm cut off
I'm told to remove his head

War - Untidyness - War - Challenges!
War - Justify - Death - Justify!

'What's the wait?', asks my Battlelord
'Kill this pig, he's just a pig'
I just close me ears and swing
Our eyes meet, as I cut
at the head his mother struggled with
for hours in a barn of hope and blood

War - Emotion - Woden - Decisions!
War - Justify - Death - Justify!

( As Barton speaks, it appears that mists are coming in. He squints into the grey-green hills. Wiping blood from his father's blade, he hurries back to the hall )
Track Name: The Lament of Cedric
When grief is frozen in spirit-chest
how cruel is sorrow as a friend
whispers cut into ashen flesh
will forge bonds in heathen hearts
Knowing darkness he rode the ways
striding air-roads with raven cries
Our world needs men of worth like Thane
men with honour, light and truth

People will ask of the reasons why?
The rune of gyfu, the sacrifice
No one wants it to be this way
It's so easy, when it's not you

Take solace in raven cries
riding air-roads of those who died
Our world needs men of worth like Thane
men with honour, light and truth

Furthering the cause of gods
Trampling the weak and liars
Scorning at the bitter witch
Marching on with hearts of fire!


(Walking away from the village, Cedric hopes that his words have comforted them in their loss. In times to come, he and those like him will write many poems about heroic times such as these )