Odyssey to the West

by Slice The Cake

“So, here we find ourselves again, 
and one might think it such a pity to be standing on the razor’s edge. O’, how Occam would be ashamed.” Or so the dreams appear to say. They tell of numb and wretched men who’ve strayed far from the path, they tell of nameless, faceless men whose every detail shrouds itself in myth and with poeticism, with insight and with tragic glee. O’, what does this speak of me if I look on so curious and unappeased? Would such a thing be read and understood so easily? 
If it was to be, then surely it would be? This surely is a dichotomy so prevalent and irrevocably elegant, so I’ve come to see.

 Then, why does it haunt me so?
 What agency is mine to bring to a union with the pre-ordained?
 What have the fates to gain from a destitute and witless being, long discarded by the way? So is this a treatise or is it a game? 
Is this pleasure or is it pain? 
Or is there something more elusive? 
Perhaps this could be destiny? 
But as long as I draw breath I’ll not let it make a fool of me, 
Lest I wander to the gallows and hang until I’m dead. I’ve seen the mountain in my dreams, and I shall seek it ’til the end.
 So beneath the sight of God shall I forever more retreat into the pines and find my place in the all. In the everything, might I just overcome? 
But what of you, my dear? 
O’, what of you, my love? O’, how I’d hate to see us part. 
But I must deceive you again. I’m sorry but the voice that calls me rings inside my head. It pains me so, the visions torment amidst my fears and sins. But nothing wagered, nothing earned. And for this, a rose I leave beside your head. Our crown of thorns.
What have we done? We’ve raised such towers in our image! Chaos reigns. We shall pay dearly with fires and floods and the weeping. Come sweetly unto me so that all might be cinders. And all things lead to here. And all ways to here; where the pathways terminate and clarity dissipates. And all things lead to here; where the heart lays grey and withered. And all things lead to here; where the fissures stir beneath your feet. And all things lead to here; where the crimson veil descends. What have we done? We've raised such mountains in defiance! Malice reigns. They shall pay dearly with dust and with ash and with terror as the very skies rain fire. It is fear they shall know as it pours upon their figure-headed crowns. Ash to ash, dust to dust. This world shall come to realise its decadence. O’, sins of iron compass! Why do they lead them here? Born and bred of wicked ways where reason dissipates. Posed as shepherds, they lead the lambs to slaughter. Sheared of their innocence, the lambs lie bleating, naked. They speak of rebirth? A pox on their new age! Surely madness reigns? Dis-eased with the remnants of what came before shall they stumble and then fall. Now all that is left is to shovel the shit. So, I pray for peace amidst the madness. “Be free and without pain!” I prayed for your Holy mercy, or so I thought. So hear me now as I’m prostrated upon the floor. I renounce myself, so that the winds might take me westward. “Be free and without pain!” I prayed for your Holy mercy! Or so I felt? So in these fissures I sacrifice a mortal path in favour of thee. I relegate these bones to thee, this mortal frame is yours to keep. Behold this vessel! Do with it as thy will before it all goes to waste. Before it all goes to waste, I’ll live forever in exile.
Why won’t you raze, with me, the Mountains of Man? O’, my love, if only you could see the state of our impiety. It bubbles through the impotence of our rage and of our love. As we make mockeries of union our deviance is consummated. O’, it should be plain to see how we raise our petty banners in defiance of the purity that lies within. If only we were to see that all that we hold dear shall all disintegrate one day. It’s naught but stone and silver. And so I go to travel t’wards the setting sun, the chariot awaits beneath its glow. Sat astride the wings of Icarus, I know no place to go but westward bound to make it so. It’s all over, my dear. I only wish that I could stay, but really, there’s no other way that this could be. Unless you save yourself. But you wouldn’t… Would you? Why won’t you fly with me? Imagine what we’d be if you could only listen to the heartbeat of the trees, and the sigils of the earth, the invisible and endless hum of life from since the Word was spoke. Why won’t you listen to me? Is it so fractal that it lacks a sense a clarity for you? “O’, what are we to do? O’, what are we to do, my love?" O’, see how Babylon has fallen! O’, bear witness to the Mountains of Man! O’, bear witness with impunity as The Tower crumbles and falls! There was a bitterness at heart… "Why won’t you fly?" For what it’s worth, why would one choose to stay amidst the decay? Is it too late for us to change? Or are we bound to the dichotomy? Paradoxically, this is what it means to be between corpus and divinity, discordance and serenity, if only we were to see that all that we hold dear shall all disintegrate as dust unto the winds of change. So take me, sweet release! I’ve found it’s naught but stone and silver.
And so as darkness fell on the first of days and the skyline opened wide. The Heavens in their oblique majesty did speak of an old and holy grove. Enumerate in starlit forms how the trees came to speak in tongues and what it is they say through a conduit of horned form. “O’, lowly Pilgrim! How dare thee have the gall to seek my graven image, stead and swift among the grass and leaves?” 

Know not of malice, 
O’, benefactor!
 Know no pretence at my side!

 “Know not of where it is you came from, Know, Pilgrim, know of these three things: 

The Sword that is not a Sword 
The Sound that is not a Sound
 The Face that is not a Face 

These boons, I give to thee, O’, Pilgrim to light the way home!”
Though the question remains present… Cast in the cold light of day, what is “home” but a place to lay one’s head? Does the Pilgrim’s Way see bliss in a stagnant glimpse or is there something to be said for the comfort of the nest?
 Because it doesn’t seem so clear to me anymore… It feels it’s been so long since I left what I once knew and loved. 
I know it’s but a day but it feels it could be aeons, born to die a thousand times and born to live a thousand more, as stone and silver, I have been here before. 
I have been here before. All that is, is all there was and all that shall become; the language of matter writ large. All that’s written, all that’s heard; all that’s spoken, all that’s word; is known thus inherently through all as papyrus. 
And so it was told, and so I told myself; and in that instant I knew. As above, so below. These papyrus limbs, they teach that these arms, they are my own. Yet, I lay no claim of ownership to this temporary form.
 From thought to pen shall all things be written.
 From void to form shall all things be told. Ordo ab Chao All that is, is all there was and all that shall become; the language of being writ large. Semantic keys buried ‘neath the mechanistic fragments 
 of the workings of the One Thing made manifest. 
So in flesh is all. In all we see ourselves reflected in the hall of sacred mirrors. 
Who are we to proclaim such division in the workings of the One Thing? Who are we to feed the yawning of the fissures with great work to be done? So mote it be. 
I become the Man of Papyrus Limbs
 to do the workings of the one thing. It’s all over, my dear. 
I only wish that I could stay, but really, there’s no other way that this could be. It’s naught but stone and silver.
With time’s passage, though, what worth would such things be without a pen with which to write, nor a voice with which to speak if I found you gazing back at me as the second night descends?
 For time steals us all away one day, does it not? 
It robs us of the things we want to hold onto the most. And believe me when I say that it lies in wait for no man or woman to make their haste. Just as easily, a thousand years would go to waste. 
The work is all the same before the eye of God, 
is it not?

 Perhaps it is the plot I’ve lost? 
Perhaps I’ve lost my Way? 
At this point are they not the same?
 Am I not treading the One and only Pilgrims’ Westward Way to do the workings of the One and only Thing? 
Have I not come this very way in search of higher things at stake? 

I have seen it manifest, I have seen it ache, I have been the squander, and I have been the mirth as their eyes avert from heavens sent to guide them to their birth.
 As they foster their impurity and mock the very Way in which the lurking and the murmuring shall speak from night to day will they choke upon their poison and speak the poison word while not manifesting the purity they sought. O’, what a shame,
 O’, what a tragedy it is for these words to fall upon deaf ears doomed to never reach their subject.
 O’, what a fool am I to have laboured and believed in such petty human things, when it was clear from the beginning; that we are westward souls? 
I pray the night might take me.
 I pray the night might take me westward bound. To confront who we are, to confront the shadow self, I pray the night might take me. If I must die a thousand deaths and die a thousand more 
as nameless, faceless, restless men who nightly reach deaths door
 then pray this lantern lays still lit to adorn my very soul. She told me once… “This is what happens in the mountains where the light can’t reach.” So I go westward, westward bound.
Westward bound, I’ve seen the light of day. The paintings on the walls of inner caves only appear where the light can’t reach. O’, what a blessing that my shadow follows me. I choose. I choose where the light gets in; an image mirroring my very being upon the canvas that is the earth we tread, that is the soil on which we step.
 And would you think me to be wrong as I speak to you? It’s been too long since I have seen your face.
 Would you think me to be wrong as I speak these truths to you? Then stay your tongue, lest I cut it where you stand, O’, vile and sordid lech,
 your tongue so laced with barbs and filth that it could blight the very earth and sicken us all beyond repair. 
O’, Lecherous One! Stay your tongue lest I cut it where you stand. 
Don’t think for a second that you’d be spared! And would you think me to be wrong as I speak to you?
 And would you think me to be wrong as I speak these truths to you?
 O’, how they’ve long laid dormant, so hidden, occult, and buried neath your cinders.
 “And this won’t be the last of it. Heed my words, O’, Pilgrim. This won’t be the last of it.” Silence,
 O’, Lecherous and Vile One! 
I condemn you to a never-ending quiet. 

Silence, O’, Unholy and Perverse One!
 I condemn thee to ageless damnation.

 O’, be silent,
 De-sanctifier, Pillager! 
I condemn thee to speak no more.

O’, Unenviable, Cursed one! 
I must travel westward bound.
Once, I thought I’d found love, hook and tethered to the Siren’s Song. Even though you were near, I was empty. It must have been so pain’d to see. O’, how I injured my love singing westward songs unto the setting sun. Might my suffering be song, if nothing else. 
If nothing else, teardrops fallen from moonlit eyes, they don’t mind or terrorise the way in which we coveted and held our candles lit with one heart beating, one mind leaping. This is the Way, that you can find me near. This is the Way, in which it’s clear. This is the Way that we can use these pieces of ruins. This is the Way to build our Castle in the Sky. My darkened eyes and your stormy skies were born to house our disarray, but why? Our love is a furnace that kills itself, when just as well the embers might be stoked. This is the Way, that you can find me here. This is the Way, in which it’s clear. Transfixed in your eyes, like beacons they guide my way to our special place; our Castle in the Sky. And I don’t mind, no, 
I wouldn’t dare to theorise, no, for dreams recall our future selves awake and aware. I know I’ll see you there tonight, in our Castle in the Sky. Additional lyrics contributed by Stevie Raine
There is a hollowness: shape without form. Hallowed and concentric circles splayed against a canvas
 Deep red, veins in hand with epitomes and documents of what has ceased to be. What was leased to me…? A dying light in fragile arms?
 An art amidst your victory march for me to chase; for me to run? 
 For me to torment you and I until we fall again; 
 Amidst a calm and cooling breeze, amidst our spiritual dis-ease as our shadows stretch across the land?
 This is the twilight of my very oeuvre, or so I fear.
 I fear the end is near, as though time itself were befit by grace to crawl and to walk, to seethe as fit with entropy.
 But, surely this is but a heinous vision? The order is so very apparent, still. Order out of Chaos… I feel as though I’ve fallen short.. 
The myriad of misanthropes I’ve slain and had reborn, the rising tide of shedded skin that by my hands was wrought, the countless names and faces of a destitute and witless being all discarded by the Way. O’, what a pity it may be to balk at one’s mortality for within but a blink all is naught but dust and ash, soil and smoke, oil and water, and the whispering of the winds as they propagate the flames. “Still, a temple stands amidst the smoulders, does it not? Did you not think that the Pilgrim’s Way would be fraught with the trials and the tests of your hopes and fears laid bare upon the rocks? What great cowardice is on display, with your writhing and your self-dismay! Are you a man, are you a mouse? Or are you but a foolish child who’s come to cry out in the middle of the night? Or is it that you’re divine? Born to live and born to die as the waxing and the waning of the tides. Have you come to cry? Have you come to revel in the imposition of your Exile? Tell me, Pilgrim… What is it that you seek? 
Because it’s all so simple. Can’t you see?” 
O’, what are the chances that I would come to see with such great ease? O’, so blind and weary, perspective seems so out of reach. O’, what are the chances that I would come to keep a realisation held so near and deep for more than a day? I might find balance. I might find ecstasy. But I won’t. So as it transpires, I’ll go the only way I know, to the sea, to the song. I shall be lured unto the rocks to fall and to fail, to seek to no avail. This dance, I’ll do no more, of time’s unending waltz. I’ve sought to no avail, I have tried and I have failed. So, this dance I’ll do no more, of time’s unending waltz.
I enter darkened waters. I lose my body beneath the waves, seeing visions of what could’ve been. It’s so strange…
 I see my body floating before me, a strange and empty vessel, tied down but weightless. The tides take me away. Take me away… I have been here before. Yes, I have… Oh, I have been here before. Sewn from void to form. Sewn from shell to shell. I prayed the night might take me 
and so it did.
And just as it does, must the Sun rise in bitterness and mourning of what came before; Luna’s lament still dawning in spite of His song. O’, weary yet strong must the Father’s Sun carry on with his torment like a lamb to the slaughter. And for what? O’, God! Where is your honour? A Son born of Pilgrim blood sent to the Gallows and for what? To teach a lesson born of suffering? 
Is this what comes of surrender to your chaotic order? 
A fool I’ll be no more before your eyes, before your hands! No longer shall I stand idly by, content to live my life as a sculpture in your image. 
As above, so below. As I create, do I destroy,
 I’m reminded of a time 
 there was a bitterness at heart and I enjoyed it.
 And it really shouldn’t come as a surprise, dear Pilgrims. All too long I’ve seethed in the darkness, I’ve bled for the Son in us all. Convinced of my purpose and light, did I smother my sight. O’, what a paradox…
 For I thought I’d seen it all. 

For martyrs one and all before pride, there comes the fall, so would it not seem there is a precedent? If masochism is its own reward then why abhor its very core when only darkness serves to gain something from light? So who am I to mourn the night’s spilling into dawn and the transience beheld within its grasp?
 Oh, when all becomes but Ash and Rust and all collapses into dust can a putrefactive liberty be found. Such is the beauty and the terror of the Dark Carnival. And you see it now, don’t you?
 … Don’t you? 

Pray tell you understand what drives a man to spill his secrets onto a page so bare and meek before his craft. His pen filled with blood and ink to scrawl unto the paper a heaven sent and egotistic diatribe of concepts. This is the alchemy of poetry. From thought to pen to form as was written, as was told by the ageless and ineffable forces. What more will it take for you to comprehend that which was written in the stone? To what end do I defy my own vitality? To what end do I vilify reality? 
Bear witness, dear Pilgrims, for this is what it’s like to be burdened with your honesty. No more. And so this is why I will spill myself romantically as a Pilgrim born of terror and of dignity. Even if only for accountability will I finish speaking my truth. Such is the beauty and the terror of the Dark Carnival.
Now that the thread is torn, a Pilgrim I’ll be no more. I have fallen out of love with this ancient and decrepit construct. Bounds of obligation conspire to keep my hands so firmly tied as I search for growth and I search for life I grow so fucking tired of those spiral tales. Must I repeat myself so many times for my point to be made and my words to be heeded? 
 Perhaps it’s time to lay myself truly bare. But mistake me not for idiot flesh, who would cast his writing unto fools. This was never for you. For in pilgrimage there is an injury. And there is despair that so readily one would see the other dredge up imagery so biblically, flagellating lyrically my sense of self for your petty entertainment. And as the words become more strained, I’ve come to find and appreciate the quality of journey’s end even if only for its own sake.
 I mean, after all, such arduous and fitful ways into the deep would be wasted if I did not summarise and elucidate
this curious circle that began so long ago. It matters not who it’s for, or who it benefits. But once the thread is torn, there can be no going back. May the bridges burnt light the way forwards. Might the thread, once torn, transmute lead into gold. 
For the betterment of my soul, a Pilgrim I’ll be no more.
Pray, let me be free! Pray, let me be free! Pray, by the circle complete! Pray, let me be free!
 Nameless and Faceless! Nameless and Faceless! Now do you see?! For both your sake and mine, I hope you see. Nameless and Faceless!
 Nameless and Faceless!
So tell me what you see. 
Do you see anguish or see ecstasy? It’s worrying, what you might find of me without the poetry to save my face, to save my skin. It’s so delicate… Ripped limb from limb, turned from soil into stone, no more shall I be held in this prison of song. Sewn from void to form, this mask an old home, it is infinite, it is destiny’s fool. A fool am I… A fool have I been. So tell me what you see.
 Do you see a Pilgrim or a human being? Or just another dancing monkey whose songs you want to sing? 
So tell me what you think, what you think my reasoning to be as to why my ego runs so unrestrained and rampant in my verse for all to see. Oh, what have I to gain? 
I’ve grown so tired of these games. My humanity, I’ll reclaim in the end if I just let it be. So tell me what you’d feel if I reclaimed my being.
 Would you feel joy or feel pain if this were all to cease? Just as easily, this story could be you or me. We all travel universally in poetry and art born from our fears and from our mystery. Oh, what have I to gain from writing of my pain when just as well I could write from happiness? Oh, what have I to gain, when here I am again, pouring my shadow into song? It’s been all too fucking long since I wrote for simplicity’s sake. So tell me what you feel, my friend. Tell me how you ache.
 Tell me all the same what you think this could mean, but know it’s going to end. A fool am I. A fool have I been. No more, no more.
There is a weight upon me, still; the quivering stench of the incomplete, looming, terrible. I can barely breathe… This isn’t what I thought this would be… Toil with me, if you will. I’m sorry, O’, God! I’m sorry! I left you there… O’ God, I left you there… Might this be my atonement, might my sacrifice be done. I will die here on this Mountain. I bid thy circle’s closing. I bid Thee end this Pilgrim’s Path. I bid my will be done with blood unto this ink with which I scribe my final words. And so it is done. So mote it be. So I pray for peace amidst the madness. Be free, be without pain, and receive thy Holy Mountain. With all that said and done, here’s the truth of the matter. No masks, no games. Not anymore. See, I brought this upon myself. But let it not be said that this was anything but spurious at its very best. The tides of change have ebbed and flowed between a multitude of ones and zeroes. And was it not clear from the start that this was all to be transient? How does one reconcile the ramifications of a tale that’s no longer relevant? The answer is… You don’t. Because even if it’s no longer relevant to me, it’s still relevant to someone; and a story once told will speak to those still headlong in the storm, still torn asunder and dashed against the rocks. O’ Westward Men!
 O’ Faceless Men!
 O’ Men of Race of Rose! O’ Darkened Souls still yet to come! Walk all you one and all you same to tread your sullen path where the fissures and your sorrow heals before your Holy Mount. But mark my words, the storm will come again. It always comes again. And in its clutches will there lay the madness and the ecstasy of the singular and Holy Tale exploded onto the canvas. Even if it does not come from me there are a thousand men who came before and millions who will yet come after. With that said I refuse to let a human being hang on my every waking word when I cannot extend that same courtesy to myself. To do so would be a fallacy when I recognise the error of my own ways and I, too, am to be held accountable. Aren’t we all? But I digress… See… It wasn’t so clear at the start, but this would all be transient and I got lost along the way, gripped within the murk of my own poetry and beheld by my mistakes. See, the intention was for healing but what I’ve found is not the same. See, this path is fraught with anger and the Way is fraught with rage beheld towards the ignorant and simple minds who’d see us to decay. And I refuse to be a martyr and I refuse to be a saint, but so they say… This is what happens in the mountains. I have come so far from home only to find I must return, and I am sorry, this is what happens in the mountains. I have come so far from home only to find I must return, and I am sorry. I have come so far from home only to find I must return, and I am sorry, this is what happens in the mountains. I have come so far from home only to find I must return, and I am sorry. But I have nothing else to say.


The long awaited full length album "Odyssey to the West" by international progressive metal collective Slice The Cake.
Containing 75 minutes of crushing, atmospheric and dramatic, this album is sure to have something to interest both those in pursuit of the almighty riff, and those who are looking for something a bit more cerebral.


released April 1, 2016

Gareth Mason - Vocals, Words, Concept, Synthesizer, Djembe
Jonas Johansson - Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Programming, Production, Artwork
Jack Magero - Compositions, Orchestrations, Musical Thematics

Jake Lowe - Compositions

© 2015 Slice The Cake


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Slice The Cake

Slice The Cake is an international metal band spanning England, Sweden and Australia.

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