DREAM OF ASCENSION

Released May 21, 2021 on LP/CD/Digital by Good Fight Music (worldwide)

Tooth and Claw: Cameron Joplin, Scott Crouse, Daniel Austin, James Chang

Guitars, bass, keys, and synth recorded by Scott Crouse

Vocals on “Dream of Ascension”, “Time’s Desire”, “Seventy Times Seven”, “Kiss of Night”, and “Arrival” recorded by Alan Burcham at ABR (Memphis, TN)

Vocals on “Your Crucifixion”, “Torn in Half”, “Spiritual Lust”, and “Ravage” recorded by Allan Davis for Nerve Audio (Houston, TX)

Drums recorded by Jeremy White at White Noise Studios (Winston Salem, NC)

Mixed and mastered by Scott Crouse

Cover artwork by Jeremy Hush (jeremyhush.com)
Band photos by Reid Haithcock (reidhaithcock.com)
Layout by Daniel Austin

Tooth and Claw lives and endorses the Vegan Straightedge lifestyle



Dream of Ascension
 
Echo of an aeon 
The falconer’s desperate call 
A plea for atonement 
Lost in a dream 
 
In every age, the end has been upon us 
Like the sun’s blank and soulless gaze 
It sears through you in this new Pax Romana 
This precious gift from which we crave escape 
 
But what comes next? 
Exalt or renounce your spoiling flesh 
You know what comes next 
It must be something better than this test 
 
Nihilistic violence 
Endless claims to the throne 
All that’s real is power 
Fevered dreams of ascension 
 
Calling! 
Echo of an aeon gone unheard 
 
Destined to rise above the Earth 
To reap the dream of a world that’s true 
Ordained to rise above the filth 
Entitled to the tyrant’s due 
Ascension! 

_____


Your Crucifixion 
 
Days like nails are hammered in 
Human filth crawls beneath your skin 
This is life, this is love 
Eternal circles that we’re spinning in 
 
Are you prepared to “suffer with”? 
That’s the lot that you’re going to get 
Born upon a crucifix 
Time is nails, lest we forget 
 
“To the stars” 
There is a price for what you wish 
Down in flames – 
The fated flight of wings of wax 
 
Those who disregard 
The wisdom of the past: 
You will be judged 
You will be judged 
 
All shall kneel before 
Generations who surpass 
You will be judged 
You will be judged 
– Judged if not forgot! 
 
Are you prepared to “suffer with”?  
‘Cause that’s the best that you’re going to get 
Now, go with grace to your crucifix 
And bear love’s nails as you transcend 


_____


Time's Desire 
 
An endless quest for fulfillment 
For deathless peace 
The future whispers to you of permanence 
Your throne atop the peak 
From there you’ll gleam in attainment 
A legacy riddled with fear,  
Shadows encroaching 
The sun, indifferent, 
Recedes 
 
Like stone that can’t be moved (unmoved) 
Like the past that will not change (unchanged) 
Yet suffering renews (Suffering renews) 
Like consciousness yields pain 
 
A wearied pursuit of the infinite 
In mortal chains 
Wretched fiends of orgiastic absolution from  
The burden of a name 
 
Fifteen minutes,  
Thirteen seconds 
Fleeting decades in the sun 
Fame and love fade like empires 
Conquerors,  
Chosen ones 
Too are crushed beneath that stone 
None exempt from time’s desire 
 
Rejoice as it all  
Expires 
 
“All the tragedies which we can imagine 
in the end return to the one and only tragedy:  
the passage of time”
 
     – Simone Weil 


_____ 


Seventy Times Seven 
 
Beneath the skin – layers infinite 
Invite them in 
Seventy times seven 
Behind the lens – caverns without end 
Won’t you come in? 
Seventy times seven 
 
Oh my dearest, breathe in peace 
Next to me, let me believe 
In who you are 
And who you’ll be 
I feel I know you 
Next to me 
 
A mask is shed 
Seething fangs now bared 
You drive them in like nails 
Straight through my hands 
Exhume true fear 
My pain cloaked beneath my bliss 
Through it descend to a realm 
Beyond forgiveness 

Now you’ll bear witness to 
What you’ve summoned forth 
 
My form 
Uncanny 
Rising from the toxic sludge 
Face torn 
Disfigured 
No cheek left to turn 
He’ll break you from within 
And watch you fucking burn 
(like you deserve) 
 
Beneath the skin – layers infinite 
Called to forgive 
Seventy times seven 
 
Behind the lens – caverns without end 
I won’t forgive 
Seventy times seven 
 
I won’t forgive 
I won’t forget 
We shed our skin 
Won’t you come in? 

_____

Kiss of Night 
 
Awaken now 
Fair stolen child 
To the cold uncaring kiss of night 
The world you’ve known 
That warm veil of smiles 
Will not serve you in these passage rites 

See them – withered 
By time and gravity 
Haggard figures 
Plagued by senility 
Hear them – weeping 
So restless in their sleep 
All are shrieking 
Of death’s anxiety 
 
Their voices call you to the service of sleep 
Their vices catch you in the webs they weave 
The form of Mother clings 
Embraces tempt you to never leave 
But Father pulls you through – 
Through the night, unto sacred light 
 
These bonds must break 

Through the cold uncaring night 
The world you’ve known 
That veil of lies 
Will not serve you in these passage rites 
 
You can’t go home again 
You can’t go home 
You can’t go home again 
Now your life begins 

_____ 


Arrival 
 
Shadow screams 
Locked inside 
A darker you that’s been denied 
Shadow screams 
With primal eyes 
Bears witness as you’re victimized 
 
When I arrive 
I erupt from within 
A surge of power 
Indifferent to sin 
When I arrive 
Their eyes will reflect 
The majesty 
That You command 
 
Reality shifting 
The rapture of vengeance  
A storm of teeth gnashing 
For all their trespasses 
They will be repaid 
And nothing will ever be the same 
 
When I arrive 
I bring you the gift 
Their civil lies now 
Reduced to mist 
 
Unleash and release 
Unleash and release 
 
Show them your face, You righteous demon 
Rejoice in pain as You inflict it 
Through silent years, suppressed, unintegrated 
Now We become One 
Behold the arrival of The Mad God 
 
Shadow screams 
Locked inside 
A madness borne of civil lies 
 
Reality shifting 
The rapture of vengeance  
A storm of teeth gnashing 
For all their trespasses 
They will be repaid 

_____

Torn in Half 
 
In the name of Desire 
Go forth into 
Each abyss that beckons 
Like a siren 
Like illusion 
Mirages in a person 
 
The god-shaped womb 
A forlorn tomb 
The grail you seek is empty 
Just like you 
 
Echoes grasping 
At lost and wandering halves 
Aura of ancestral past 
Instinct guiding 
Toward a frayed horizon 
Where all weary souls can rest 
 
In the name of Desire 
Go forth, meet your doom 
To the sirens 
In delusion 
Mirages that subsume 
 
The god-shaped hole 
The cursed poles 
The peace you seek is fleeting 
Just like that 
Torn in half 
 
At your birth, forced 
Into searing light 
Then you were torn in half 
Then, through time, 
Through each loss and divorce 
Then too you were torn in half 
 
Unto the end – lost and wandering halves 
Unto within – warring, wounded halves 
 
_____



Spiritual Lust 
 
I must 
Assert, ascend 
I must 
Conquer and possess (yes, yes!) 
 
Spiritual lust 
Demonic fire of life 
A molten core – deep within 
Yearning for 
Oblivion 
 
Absolve – forget yourself 
Absolve – and become something else 
Absolve – forget this realm 
Absolve – beget a world anew 
 
It’s always darkest before the dawn 
The dawn that brings no light 
Clawing and piercing through your mind 
Indulge the body, escape time 
Puppet 
Plaything 
So assured of better worlds 
And in the end, when your light is spent 
A devil’s laughter can be heard 
 
You can want what you will 
But you cannot will what you want 
This world can never be enough 
For us 
 
I must assert, I must ascend 
I must conquer and possess 
Assert! Ascend! 
As if unbound by the flesh (yes, yes, yes!) 
 
Spiritual lust 
Demonic fire of life 
A molten core – deep within 
Yearning for 
Oblivion 


_____



Ravage
 
Warring halves within 
Fragments of a god 
Voices that betray 
The nature of the law 
 
You know you can’t hide 
From what you are 
 
Stunted, vile creature 
Ill-adapted to the Earth 
Precious sickness rampant 
A plague of consciousness 
 
Ravage to the end 
Ravaged to the end