Of Empires Forlorn

by While Heaven Wept

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  • Limited Edition 2LP Black Vinyl, 180g, Gatefold Cover with Booklet, 1st Pressing LAST COPIES
    Record/Vinyl

    HRR097/IK015, limited to 500 copies, gatefold cover, 180g black vinyl, 12 page booklet, 2nd pressing: special coloured vinyl (PMS) lim. 500. GERMAN IMPORT

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about

Upon the completion of "Sorrow Of The Angels" in June 1998, Jon Paquin and I set out to assemble yet another new line-up with the intention of supporting the release of that album; Danny Ingerson by this time was living in Philadelphia attending music school and it simply wasn't conducive to for any of us to commute between 4 states! Enter Jim Hunter (bassist extraordinaire), Michelle Loose on keyboards, and her brother Scott Loose on guitar (who had jammed with WHW in a previous incarnation) Apart from Jon Paquin, who departed after nine years behind the drumkit in the Spring of 2001, this new configuration of While Heaven Wept has remained intact since (although we've had a few other individuals pass through the ranks additionally) aside from the drum position that is; we spent a good amount of time jamming with both Trevor Schrotz and Phil Bloxam on the "Of Empires Forlorn" material before my then-roommate Jason Gray stepped in at the last minute to help us complete the recording. We spent most of 2002 and the first half of 2003 working on "Empires" with Kevin 131 at Assembly Line Studios - a time that all of us still recall with great fondness. Kevin really helped us to take things to another level sonically, brought the best out of us as musicians, and managed to effortlessly diffuse any conflicts during the process. "Empires" was the first time (out of some 10+ recordings) that I left the studio feeling content with the results of our work, primarily due to the fact that the material was very accurately realized and captured in comparison to what we envisioned to begin with (of course, the music itself really gave us the direction more than anything, and it did very much take on a life of its own). Whereas "Sorrow Of The Angels" established While Heaven Wept as a strong entity within the underground five years prior, "Of Empires Forlorn" kicked open many doors in the "overground" of the industry for us. We literally watched a tidal wave of accolades build from the UK and plunge onward through the whole of the EU metal scene, which was both shocking and inspiring simultaneously. However, only recently have we become aware of just how much of an impact "Of Empires Forlorn" really made, and I cannot even begin to articulate how much it means to us to know so many people cherish this album so dearly to this day. Being that the album has been out of circulation for several years now, and in response to outrageous eBay prices we've seen it command, we present this new edition to you now - both in commemoration of our 20th Anniversary and in gratitude for your support through all these years. Thank you so much for believing in us...we hope to see all of you on the road very soon in support of "Vast Oceans Lachrymose."

Tom Phillips,
November 2009

credits

released February 14, 2003

Of Empires Forlorn was:

Composed By: Tom Phillips, except “Voice In The Wind” - original composition by Klaus Hess with new material by Tom Phillips, and “Epistle No.81” – traditional Swedish hymn by Carl Michael Bellman. “Soulsadness” includes a piano elaboration based upon Jake Bodnar’s “Forever”

Arranged By: Tom Phillips

Co-arranged By: Jim Hunter

Performed By: Jason Gray – Drums
Jim Hunter – Bass
Scott Loose – Guitars
Tom Phillips – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards

with contributions from:

Kevin “131” Gutierrez – Samples, Editing, and Effects
Michelle Loose – Additional Keyboards
Jake Bodnar – Additional Keyboards

Recorded By: Kevin 131 at Assembly Line Studios in Vienna, Virginia between February 2002 and June 2003

Produced By: Kevin 131, Tom Phillips, and Jim Hunter

Mastered By: Bill Wolf at Wolf Productions Inc., Falls Church, Virginia in December 2002 and July 2003

Band Photography: Ben Kelly, Jason Gray, Jessica Hunter

Original Cover Art: The Enigma, Gustave Doré (1832-1883), Musee D’Orsay, Paris, France. Out of copyright.

Art Concept By: Jim Hunter and Tom Phillips

Band Logo by: Tamara Abarzua

Graphics, Digital Treatments, and Layout By: Jim Hunter

Website Design and Maintenance: Stergiani Motsiou

Published By: Vast Music Lachrymose, LLC

All Songs Copyright 2002, 2010, 2015 Vast Music Lachrymose, except “Voice In The Wind” copyright 1977 Jane, arrangement 2002, 2010, 2015 Vast Music Lachrymose, “Epistle No.81,” traditional, arrangement copyright 2002, 2010, 2015 Vast Music Lachrymose, and “Sorrow Of The Angels” copyright 1994, 2002, 2010, 2015 Vast Music Lachrymose

Band Websites: www.whileheavenwept.com, www.facebook.com/whileheavenwept

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While Heaven Wept Woodbridge, Virginia

While Heaven Wept has existed in various forms since 1989 and co-founding guitarist/composer Tom Phillips has been the one constant for the past 25 years. Since the beginning, there has been a wide range of influences, transcending forms, styles, and genres from epic metal to kosmiche musik, prog to neo-romanticism. While Heaven Wept is currently signed to Nuclear Blast Records. ... more

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Track Name: The Drowning Years
These empty years, in sadness repose
What once were joys now have become sorrows

I drank them all away

Once, I held hopes, loves, and dreams…now they’ve sunken into the sea
And I’ve no one left to save me from drowning eternally

I drank them all away
I drank myself away
Track Name: Of Empires Forlorn
Damned, I crawled valleys silenced with death
Through the seas of carnage, over mountains of regret
Reaching summits only to behold barren wastes endless

Just when I needed you the most
You had forsaken me
To this kingdom of ghosts

Bleak are the skies above this ruin
I’ve found no solace in cathedrals fallen
I am so far from the light and warmth of Heaven

To the hell of myself
Alone I am damned
To weep for you

Now, above this vast ruin alone I stand
All light and hope has fled my kingdom and land
Betrayed by bride and brethren, my heart burst in your hands

Forlorn empires
My kingdoms damned
Forlorn empires
I am damned
Track Name: Voice In The Wind
I hear your voice in the wind
Haunting me once again

Maybe our dream IS over
But, the sorrow never ends

I hear your voice in the wind
Haunting me once again
I knew someday, you would leave
And abandon me to forever grieve

Maybe our dream IS over
But, the sorrow never ends

I hear your voice in the wind
Haunting me once again

Maybe our dream IS over
But, the sorrow never ends

It NEVER ends...
Track Name: In Aeternum
Tearstained are the halls of my empty soul
Melancholia’s haunting call is the only one I have known
Innocence has lead me into this void
While years eroded a youth I never enjoyed
Through childhood I slept unsheltered from the scorn
Now I’ve awakened with age to love ever lorn
Forever and ever I’ll search for the solace
Which can only be found in an embrace

In throes of desolation I prayed unto divinity
I endured the emptiness and frigid pain but even god had forsaken me
I prayed to find a solace for my heart bereaved
Only to be forgotten by the god I once believed
Now I serve this punishment under the ice condemned
For my loss of faith to hell I was damned
Downfallen in iniquity, desolate I’ll be
My somber stare traverses sepulchers lonely

Eternally, my limbs sealed in place
Livid, and dead I bow my face
The only shelter from the cold
Of the ninth circle of hell

To see what awaits in forever
A lifeless gaze, my final endeavor
I looked through the blackened skies
And beheld the radiance of paradise
My eyes have frozen in false sanctity
Eternally bound, my tears have turned to ice
Track Name: Soulsadness
Sunk into the corner
Where the forlorn drift to die
A broken man stares into his glass
With weeping eyes

Drinking away this empty life
I’m bleeding to death inside
Torn apart by bladed words
In sorrow capsized

I gave myself completely and deeply
But that was never enough for you
More alone than ever,
Your knives have finally pierced on through (my heart)

Drinking away this lonely life
I’m bleeding to death inside
Torn apart by bladed words
In sorrow capsized

Now, I know I will die alone
Cold and broken…
Now, I know Hell is my destiny
You took everything from me…everything…

I am the desolate one
Bleeding
You took everything from me…everything…

Drinking away this waste of life
I’m bleeding to death inside
Torn apart by bladed words
In sorrow capsized
I gave my heart up to your knives
I’m bleeding to death inside
Track Name: Epistle No.81
Mark how our shadow, Mark Movits mom frere
One small darkness encloses
How gold and purple that shovel there
To rags and rubbish disposes

Charon beckons from tumultuous waves
Then trice this ancient digger of graves
For thee ne’er grapeskin shall glister
Wherefore my Movits come help me to raise
A gravestone over our sister

Even desirous and modest abode
Under the sighing branches
Where time and death, a marriage forebode
Twixt beauty and ugliness ashes

To thee ne’er jealousy findeth her way
Nor happiness footstep, swift to stray
Flitteth amid these barrows
E’en enmity armed, as thous seest this day
Piously breaketh her arrow

The little bell echoes the great bells groan
Robed in the door the precentor
Noisome with quirsters prayerful moan
Blesses those, who enter

The way to this templed city of tombs
Climbs amid roses yellowing blooms
Fragments of mouldering biers
Till black-clad each mourner his station assumes
Bows there deeply in tears
Track Name: Sorrow Of The Angels
Heaven weeps with my sorrow
Through the clouds’ veil of black lace
An infinity of angels
Share the tearstreams I pour away
Within the storms of sadness
I’ll eternally remain
Love is lost forever
You are mourned by this rain

Forever weeping