Stratospherical

by Black Fortress of Opium

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    Enhanced CD features 6-panel booklet with lyrics and original artwork by Thom Martin, Tony Savarino, and David Samuel Robbins. Also included is the music video for "Afyonkarahisar Battle Cry."

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about

In the evening we approach the Black Fortress of Opium. It has taken us years though we have always been here. As the light settles into long shadows the dust upon our weary bodies ignites with the last breath of the day. We have arrived together, and alone. Silence hovering between us, a blind fish great and terrible in the heavy air. As we ascend the cliff’s face, sounds begin to materialize in the atmosphere. With every step we approach the Fortress and the sounds become a melody, the melody becomes a song. The song swells and thickens in our blood and threatens to erase us from within. Suddenly a flurry of blossoms erupts from your throat—swarming from your parted lips into the growing darkness. A hurricane of white petals in the waning hour—sweet cacophony of oncoming night. This is the din of our absolute solitude. This is the unraveling. This is the moment where I see you for the first time as you become water and water becomes starlight and starlight becomes the thing I long for but can never hold. I approach and you vanish away. I grasp you, and you are gone. I am a traveler standing at the gate and you are the city of song. - Janaka Stucky

"Both rootsy and ethereal sounding (think Turkey by way of Texas)" - Andrew Wilson, Boston Band Crush

credits

released 06 March 2012

Ajda the Turkish Queen - vocals, mandolin, tenor banjo, acoustic/classical/electric guitars, flute, keyboards, melodica
Tony Savarino - electric guitars, electric sitar, tabla/tambura iPhone sounds
Dave Yanolis - electric & upright bass
Joel Simches - bass, keyboards, percussion
Rich Cortese - bass
Brian Viglione - drums, percussion
Joe Turner - drums

Recorded by Martin Bisi at BC Studio, Rafi Sofer at Q Division, Joel Simches at V8, Danny Gold at NEIA
Mixed by Martin Bisi at BC Studios in Brooklyn NYC & Joel Simches at Sonic Enhancement Specialists, Ltd.
Additional production by Martin Bisi & Joel Simches
"Afyonkarahisar Battle Cry" produced by Joel Simches
Mastered by Fred Kevorkian at Kevorkian Mastering

All songs © 2012 Black Fortress of Opium/Sul Ross (ASCAP)

"Afyonkarahisar Battle Cry" video directed and produced by Noah Blumenson-Cook with additional production by Jake Hamilton

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about

Black Fortress of Opium Cambridge, Massachusetts

New record to be released late 2014/early 2015! Since 2006, Boston's Black Fortress of Opium has specialized in exploring the psychic sub-conscious and creating a mood with music that is "rootsy yet ethereal (think Turkey by way of Texas)," - gothicana. Female vocals and unique instrumentation in addition to a rock lineup. Two albums out to date. ... more

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Track Name: Blood Diamond
I would wear your diamond
So tightly around my neck
I would wear your diamond
For your picture is already there
We could build a family
Nice and slow
The compression of the ages
Turn dirt stone into precious

I would wear your diamond
Anytime anywhere
See it sparkle see it shine
See it cast light on your hair

And in the event of occurrences
Like broken hearts and promises
I won’t complain now baby
‘Cause what we had is what we had

You suck me into your whirlpool
A spiral of fascinating love
Your world and your planet
Ah let me be your sun
To warm your heart forever
Bar nothing bar no one

The sun is burning my ears
Thinking and talking with golden rays
Warm arms that embrace me
I say stay swirl stay

I would wear your diamond
So tightly around my neck
I would wear your diamond
For your picture is already there
We could build a family
Nice and slow
The compression of the ages
Turn dirt stone into precious
Track Name: Afyonkarahisar Battle Cry
Some 700 steps up to the summit
Some 700 steps if you can climb it
Atop, Acröenon
Afyonkarahisar

It’s a testament to reach the summit
You’re a soldier if you can climb it
Stones white, from below
But what can fools who see from afar know

You can build castles in the sky
So lovely on high
Yes you can
So high up and far from ground
So many enemies to crush down
Yes you can

Locked inside is something ecstatic
Instinct bides you to protect
Dark, but I will defend
It to the death

Battle cry, hymn of the solemn
Oh the glory in a flower
Early June, with poppies
In full bloom

You can build castles in the sky
So lovely on high
Yes you can
So high up and far from ground
So many enemies to crush down
Yes you can
Track Name: Blind
Upset in a dream, don’t know how I got here
I hear myself scream, and don’t know who I am
How did I get here, to become so confused
I hand it to you, looking amused

I write in sky blue, had to distance myself
Far away from you, you poison my thoughts
This drug of exhaustion feels good in my blood
Behind tired eyes, mind drifts off in a dream

We are the blind children leading the blind
We are the blind children misleading the blind
We’ll sort it out one day, the noise in our minds
We are the blind children misleading the blind

Have I lost you, are you too beaten down
Have I lost the way to touch you, sensitivity gone
Must I remain a child
Have I lost you, and a way to get through

We are the blind children leading the blind
We are the blind children misleading the blind
We’ll sort it out one day, the noise in our minds
We are the blind children misleading the blind
Track Name: Fata Morgana
When the walls of the Factory went down
When the walls of Berlin went down
When the walls of Warhol went down
Things changed forever

When giants tumble
When giants fall down
When towers crumble
When towers fall down
When Lennon
When Lennon went down
Shot down by a man
With disillusion in his head
Something broken took over in his mind
He acted and he couldn’t rewind

Now it’s always on mind
Every day and all the time
Track Name: Regret & Rue
Black and blue
Beat myself up
A few too many times

Regret and rue
By now he is used
To my abuse

Again
Know how it feels
Feel how it hurts

I suffer through
Limitation
Deprivation
And degradation

Don't you hold
Don't you hold hate
Don't you hold hate in your heart
Don't you hold
Don't you hold hate
Don't you hold hate in your heart

No no no no don't you hold
Don't you hold hate in your heart

Again
Feel how it feels
Feel how it hurts

Carry me through
This miscarriage

I suffer through
Limitation
Deprivation
And degradation
Track Name: Right Around Here
I’ve scored right around here
Tell me what was I doin’
Yeah, you sympathize with him ‘cause you wanna be his victim

Ride up along Spring Hill
See clouds in the distance
There’s a lot of it here
Hiding hidden

The deal is on friendly terms
No waiting, best of service
I know I’m getting cheated but that’s part of how it works
And I’m OK with that
A chip off my rock is a luxury tax

I’ve scored right around here
Tell me what was I doin'
Yeah, you sympathize with him ‘cause you wanna be his victim
I’ve scored right around here
What the Hell was I thinkin’
Yeah, you sympathize with him ‘cause you wanna be his victim

Oh the seeking and the getting
And finally the doing
I couldn’t do it fast enough
I could not save a speck or chunk
Scrape together enough for later

Up along Spring Hill or in the Square
Numerous locations where
Happiness can be purchased
Up for sale

I’ve scored right around here
Tell me what was I doin'
Yeah, you sympathize with him ‘cause you wanna be his victim
I’ve scored right around here
What the Hell was I thinkin’
Yeah, you sympathize with him ‘cause you wanna be his victim
Track Name: Unraveling
We’re okay in the night
With clear strength in our blood
Headstrong

You kneel above me as if in a nest
I pray to you in song
Singing along

You watch over me
Sweet sick bird
I’m cracked through this shell
I let the egg run through your fingers
Through your hair

The others melt away
People fall away and leave
Leaving you and me in the room
Me in the wooden nest you protect
Track Name: Southern Hymnal
Well I wanted to do it for you
So I sat in the birthing chair
But you’re selfish and distracted
I could not think of one reason to stay there
Three sheets to the wind down in Copenhagen
And I’d swear there were ghosts in the room

You hold my hand like some kind of bible
You never really believed
You say my name like some kind of prayer
You only half-remember
You say you love me like some Southern hymnal
You can’t find the page in
And I’m riffing it hard off his bare toothless grin
And I’d swear you deserve to be dead

I wanted to do it for you
So I sat in the birthing chair
But you’re selfish and distracted
I could not think of one reason to stay there
Strange clicks in the room like a ghost and I know I am dead
Track Name: Cherry Blossom
A cherry blossom blooms in spring
Divine wind brushes your hair
This loneliness, will it ever end

A leaf floats from above
The moonlight bathes your face
This loneliness, will it ever end

Will someone ever miss me
I’m afraid I’ll die alone
Will someone ever complete me
A self-fulfilling prophecy

Atop the peak of the mountain
The eagle’s flight so majestic
This loneliness, will it ever end

Engulfed in a blazing inferno
Submerged in a deep blue sea
This loneliness, will it ever end

Will someone ever miss me
I’m afraid I’ll die alone
Will someone ever complete me
A self-fulfilling prophecy
Track Name: Get the Timing
There’s a certain funny way
Your voice cracks
I’ve taken up speakin’
Kind of like that
And though I’m missing you now and the future’s unknown
I’m determined
To hang onto this world
To see if we could become something
Though it makes me weary

I try to be so careful
I try to do it just right
But I’ve got a burning question
How to make you mine
Can I get the timing right
Can I get the timing right
Will I get the timing right now
Will I get the timing right

And yet you sit there in your park
Without a clue
Of what you’ve done to my life
Or that I’m sitting beside you
And as you smoke your sweet cigar
And think things through
Your smoke twirls in the air
And I try to figure out what to do

But will I get the timing right
If I see you there tonight
Will I get timing right now
Will I get the timing right
Track Name: This Dark Clovd
Can we
Commit this
Can we
Get this down

How long
Don’t like the deal
Can we
Get this down

This dark cloud rolling in on me
What do you mean

Don’t answer it
Can’t see him
Keep him out
He’s too broken

This dark cloud rolling in on me
What do you mean