Crossing the Divide

by The Benzene Ring

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about

Reviews of Crossing the Divide:

• “A true masterpiece that true connoisseurs of "progressive rock" just have to hear! Highly recommended!" Igor Gorely, Recyclable Sounds, recyclablesounds.blogspot.ru/2015/12/the-benzene-ring-crossing-divide-2015.html

• 9.5/10 "Enormous, truly enormous prog-epic!" Björn Backles, Power Metal, powermetal.de/review/review-Benzene_Ring__The/Crossing_The_Divide,28049.html

• "4.5/5 (Amazing)... this needs to be up in my 2016 list in the top five." Callum Doig, Supernovadose, supernovadose.com/2016/03/04/album-review-crossing-the-divide-the-benzene-ring/

• A "gorgeous piece of experimental rock/metal." Progarchy, progarchy.com/2016/02/26/review-the-benzene-ring-crossing-the-divide/

credits

released November 13, 2015

Jeff Aldrich - vocals, drums, guitars
Eric Hertenstein - keyboards, piano, guitars, vocals
Hwarg - guitars
Daniel Gunnard Beamish Gibson - bass

Mastered by Joe Lambert

Artwork by Adam Rokhsar and The Benzene Ring

Special thanks to Eric B and Erin Barlow for their contributions

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about

The Benzene Ring New York

The Benzene Ring is a Brooklyn prog-rock band. They explore lush textures and intricate, ambitious compositions. Their music appeals to fans of Yes, Sunny Day Real Estate, Hum, The Mars Volta, Porcupine Tree, and Kayo Dot. Crossing the Divide, called “a true masterpiece,” and an "enormous, truly enormous prog-epic!", features Jeff Aldrich, Eric Hertenstein, Hwarg, and Daniel Gibson. ... more

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Track Name: And We Are Become As Strangers
A tap at the window
But no one was there
Again at the other window
But no one is there either
S U R P R I S E , S U R P R I S E . . . .
Track Name: Jerks In The Obsolaire
Strangers, what are you doing here?
Why don’t you just go home?
I don’t want you here
Because you will break things, upturn furniture, burn the curtains down

What of me would remain if I pursue what I entertain?
Get out of my house!

The incessant babble
The cloying prattle
Packed like a crowded elevator, cable severed, careening into the ground
Run the bath until nothing but dust and rattled rusty barks and groans escape
Return to a dying cold world
(SOMETHING SOMETHING) LONG GONE CANYON WALL
I need a trap, a ruse, a cleaning cataclysm, wind and sound to smoke you out

Your welcome has been overstayed
You can’t understand what I’m trying to say
Demons, no more holiday
The waiting room in the Obsolaire, where all the faceless stay

What of me would remain if I pursue what I entertain?

My sleep is troubled by dark voices
That I can’t believe begin within my own mind

PIED PIPER PLAN
LEAD THEM ON LEASHES
LAZY LITTLE ANIMALS
LURE THEM INTO A CAVE
MY UNSPEAKABLE MILITARY CAMPAIGN
Track Name: Descension
Detached or severed
My tongue looks so small
On the dust-covered floor
Separated from my thoughts

Down in the basement
This pulse fades away
Like marching claws
Match their steps and chase what you’ve lost
Track Name: Miles Past The Mark
I try to to talk to myself as I fall asleep
I try to escape the confusion of my old friends
They don’t understand a word I say
Well you think you know, but you don’t
You think my mind has come unglued
But it all makes sense in my head
I just can’t seem to get through to you
Unless I scream it
So I’ll scream it

I open the door
But no one comes in

This rabble forces a rout, besieges, and quickly proves
That a mind encircled by doubt
It freezes and can barely move
Like an ocean shelf in the dark
You can’t feel it ‘til it falls away
You’ve shot miles past the mark
Don’t believe them when they try to say there’s nothing left to lose
‘Cause I’m losing it

I open the door
But no one comes in
I read out the words
But no one listens

Weighed down by everything
Break out in a smothered scream
Spaced out and sundering
Laid down but never seen

[unintelligible]

I open the door
But no one comes in
I read out the words
But no one listens

I’ve lost it now
It’s forever gone
Forever gone
And I find that I
I can’t go on
I can’t go on
Track Name: Alarms
i. Alarms (Panic)
Escape into the darkening day
Where shadowed voices congregate
Wander by the beating drum
Where echoed sadness mocks you from

Running and running and running from
The frothing, foaming commotion
Barking at the helping hand
Fearful of the gypsy band

Run into the darkness
Disappear into the woods
Don’t look back
You won’t see what you think you should
What is before me?
What do I fantasize?
Is this real? It can’t be real.
I just need to rest my eyes

ii. The Clearing and the Old Man
“I’m glad you found me here
(In my broken air balloon)
It’s been a thousand years
(A hundred thousand times I’ve played this game)

“I can explain myself
Stay with me, play with me
I have the answers here
Stay with me, please stay with me

“I can explain myself
Stay with me, have a drink
Oh God, it’s my last birthday here

“‘Ooh ooh ooooooooh!’”

iii. Alarms (Escape)
Spinning, spinning, can’t stand still
If the man won’t die, the fire will

Running down the path, the bend
And wondering where the road will end…

iv. The Path Ends
Run into the darkness
Disappear into the woods
Don’t look back
You won’t see what you think you should
Whoa — fate
No way back, no way back
Running downhill
Track Name: Voiceless In The Dim
Could I be gone?
This must be how it ends
And yet the scratch draws blood
And my breath fogs in the dim

I can’t recall what I was running from
Did it catch me and leave me in the dark?

Hard cold stone
How far am I beneath my star-lit home?
Will someone come for me?

Broad spaces expand beyond my sight
Should I follow the stream
Running voiceless through the night?

The dim light grows in size
Doorway comes into sight
I hear a ghostly noise inside
Under this stone I’ll hide
Track Name: Wraiths and Spectres
The sky is as grey as the pavement
Meaningless ugly and vacant
I don’t know if I can take it
I don’t know if I will survive

All of my wasted devotion
Emptied out over the ocean
No one will recover it
It’s gone, it’s gone, it’s gone

No one can help me
I’m far too confused
So isolated, lost, and refused
A priest in the marriage of fear and despair

I thought that I could trust those words
That they wouldn’t let me down
Now that I am caught adrift
They will watch me drown, drown…

Scream into the mouthpiece
But I’ve severed the cord
Uselessly railing against and toward
A foregone conclusion
A dead-bolted door

I tried to navigate this fog
I thought I could find my way
Chasing every unshaped wraith
Lured and led astray

I thought that I could trust these words
They wouldn’t let me down
Now that I am caught adrift
They will watch me drown

All of my words sputter out into dust now that it’s gone

I can’t even make sense of page one
It may as well be written in an ancient tongue
That no one can decipher and no one can remember and no one even wants to figure out
So take a deep breath if it helps to
But no one’s coming back to explain it all to you
You will die a hapless mess
Nothing will make any sense
It won’t add up to anything at all

No one can help me
I’m too confused
So isolated, lost, and refused

Blinded by this endless fog
Never to reach the shore
Spectres of this long-gone world
Wait for me on the ocean floor
Track Name: The Grand Rat Procession
i) Vermin (Revealing)
Waking up is hard to do when they’ve covered you with dirt...

ii) Forward to the Great Hall!
Lay low
Follow the animal tracks
I will sit still
I won’t make a sound
Every single muscle relaxed
In the stillness of my mind I will perceive what I cannot see
Dark shapes on the wall
Something lurking behind me

Where did it go?
Where did it come from?
Where did it go?
Where did it come from?

Footsteps, echoes, the smell of moist earth

Become one with the mold and the flowers of the rotting soil
Must lay ready to strike
Like an asp, in the alley, coiled
Must learn to follow the signs and learn how the others behave
Follow the earthen path through the valleys of the curving cave

Where does it go?
Where did it come from?
Where does it go?
Where did it come from?

Whispers, magic, animal fur
Pathways, dark caves
Open the door

iii) Window to the Night Sky
Straight up
Like a drill dug into the earth
Window on high out to the night sky
The rope to climb, the lever to pull
So fucking beautiful

Moonlight, starlight
Moonlight, starlight

iv) Vermin (Reveling)
Become one with the mold and the flowers of the rotting soil
Must lay ready to strike
Like an asp in the alley, coiled
Must find a way inside to the throne room of the king
Must find a way to show that I don’t know anything

Where am I now?
Where did I come from?
Where am I now?
Where did I come from?

Footsteps, echoes, the smell of moist earth
Whispers, magic
Open the door
Track Name: And We Are Become As Rats
i. Story of the Rats
“Thousands gathered there
The last remaining plain
Fractious and weak and gnashing our teeth
Choosing to leave or remain

“I was one that ascended then
The poisoned air thinned as we flew
The strange man refused to show methods he’d use to vanish us into the blue

“We were twisted by the distance
Our skeletons all rearranged
Our frantic escape altered our shape
While the storm dissolved all that remained
Can we change what we’ve become?
Should I have stayed in the fire?

“We were fools to believe in him
Trust blindly his strange device
He talked a lot, said we’d turn back the clock
Were we men or were we mice?
Our friends remained below
Consumed by angry storms
Horrified shrieks faded into the deep
Hazy and translucent forms

“We were twisted by the distance
Our skeletons all rearranged
Our frantic escape altered our shape
While the storm dissolved all that remained
Can we change what we’ve become?
Should I have stayed in the fire?
The pathway back has crumbled to ash
Am I trapped in here until I die?

“The machine comes to life
Screaming with sparks and fire
Blinding shafts of rain
Levers and dials, arcs of electricity
We’re crossing the divide

“The machine comes to life
Screaming with sparks and fire
Blinding shafts of rain
Levers and dials, arcs of electricity
We’re crossing the divide

ii. Reflection in the Darkened Pool
“Whose paws are these?
Whose claws, whose teeth?
What strange disease infects us?
Crawl up to the darkened pool
What twisted form is reflected?

“Fragmented voices cry
Confessed from lowly vantage
Our storied shrives
Our pasts, our lives
By paths above they vanished

iii. Crossing the Divide
“You must have seen him where you’re from
It must be why you came to tell us what you know
He said he would come back, return, save us, change us
Bring us back to where you must have come from
Tell us why you came to save us
Did you know?
He said he would come back, return, change us, bring us home

“Can we change what we’ve become?
Should I have stayed in the fire?
The pathway back has crumbled to ash
Am I trapped in here until I die?
The ground, shaking, collapses into the boiling sea
The poisoned air thins as we rise
How can we say our goodbyes?”

Lift my head up to the ceiling
Thoughts start crawling through my mind
Like rats scratching at the threshold
I’m crossing the divide

Lift my head up to the ceiling
Thoughts start crawling through my mind
Like rats scratching at the threshold
I’m crossing the divide

Story of the rats!
Rats! Rats! Rats!
Track Name: Ascension
Walls tower above me
They’re bearing in
The snarling rabble’s patience is wearing thin
Rusted rivets groan
Spiral into the blackness to my way home

Scratch and claw up against the wall
Like a cornered animal with one unlikely escape route
With twice the strength of an anguished choir
Splice the length of language wire
Complete the circuit, speak the words true

Parallels of past and present tense
I know it’s not coincidence
It has to make sense
Now I know how to escape
Yeah! Yeah!
Back in a game we played, he gave away the path he had laid

Scratch and claw up against the wall
Like a cornered animal with one unlikely escape route
With twice the strength of an anguished choir
Splice the length of language wire
Complete the circuit
Speak the words true

I finally hold my hands against the roof!
Hold out, hoping, screaming, opening
Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh
Aaaahhhhh

Blistered hands scratch rust from words inscribed in thick metal
Rumble and groans from above
As the door opens

No one here to help me
But I’m breaking through
Clawing through the dust and dirt
I’m breaking through

Maybe
Flashes of light
Could I see the sky?
Track Name: (...)
How can we say our goodbyes?