Music: Food For The Gods

Food for the Gods is the fourth album by the Californian Metal band Fireaxe, released in 2003. And it is epic. Not epic in the sense that it's really cool, but epic in the proper sense of the word. The full album is 4 hours long, comes on 3 discs, and spans ancient Assyria and their war with Babylon, Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ankhenaten's brutally enforced switch to monotheism, and Israel's conquest of Canaan under Joshua. And that's just disc 1.

The first two thirds of the album explores the role of religion in human history and the wars we have fought in the name of our gods all the way up to the modern era, including a few story arcs that take place twenty minutes into the future which continue with this theme. These culminate with all life on earth being exterminated by some unnamed superweapon at the end of the second act. The third act follows the devil himself leading an army of damned souls to heaven storming the pearly gates, laying waste to the angelic host, and trying to kill God himself.

The album is available online for free by the creator, who encourages you to pirate it. It can be found here.

Tracklist

CD 1

  1. "Gods of War I - The Wrath of Silence" (11:57)
  2. "Gods of War II - Written in Blood" (06:00)
  3. "Gods of War III - Praise to Isthar" (04:37)
  4. "Gods of War IV - Chariot" (09:32)
  5. "The Heretic Pharaoh I - Tribute" (01:24)
  6. "The Heretic Pharaoh II - Heresy" (02:58)
  7. "The Heretic Pharaoh III - Hymn to Aten" (02:31)
  8. "The Heretic Pharaoh IV - Nefertiti" (03:43)
  9. "The Heretic Pharaoh V - Stricken" (01:26)
  10. "Woe Is Israel I - Covenant" (04:16)
  11. "Woe Is Israel II - My Name Is Joshua" (03:38)
  12. "Woe Is Israel III - Divine Punishment" (04:05)
  13. "The Servant of Pain I - Food for the Gods" 03:04)
  14. "The Servant of Pain II - Malediction" 02:42)
  15. "The Servant of Pain III - The Citadel Must Fall" (05:08)
  16. "The Servant of Pain IV - Cut or Be Cut" (04:11)
  17. "The Servant of Pain V - Atrocity" (08:14)

CD 2

  1. "The Prophet I - In the Desert" (02:55)
  2. "The Prophet II - The Tower of Pain" (05:13)
  3. "The Prophet III - The Lesson Learned" (04:59)
  4. "Them I - The Great Crusade" (05:22)
  5. "Them II - The Purge" (05:21)
  6. "Them III - Evil Is Everywhere" (05:31)
  7. "Guardian of the Realm I - Where Eagles Fly" (05:27)
  8. "Guardian of the Realm II - The Insatiable Dream" (05:37)
  9. "Guardian of the Realm III - The Siren's Song" (02:12)
  10. "Raise the Black Flag I - Betrayed" (03:16)
  11. "Raise the Black Flag II - Revolution" (02:36)
  12. "Raise the Black Flag III - A New World Order" (06:43)
  13. "Raise the Black Flag IV - The Cycle Continues" (03:00)
  14. "River of Madness" (10:48)
  15. "The Soul Doctors I - Lay Thee Down" (02:30)
  16. "The Soul Doctors II - A Single Voice" (04:16)
  17. "The Soul Doctors III - Fear the Priest" (03:44)

Disc 3
  1. "Black Knight I - I Live in Silence" (05:07)
  2. "Black Knight II - Catastrophe" (02:24)
  3. "Black Knight III - Tapestry of Pain" (06:14)
  4. "Black Knight IV - Hatred Revenge and Death" (05:26)
  5. "Black Knight V - I Am Not a Killer" (02:34)
  6. "Waiting for Tomorrow" (15:05)
  7. "On Earth as It Is in Hell I - Failure of the Fathers" (04:17)
  8. "On Earth as It Is in Hell II - Living Death" (06:06)
  9. "On Earth as It Is in Hell III - The Last Man" (05:39)
  10. "The Flame Extinguished I - Welcome to My Realm" (04:03)
  11. "The Flame Extinguished II - Storm the Walls" (04:46)
  12. "The Flame Extinguished III - Aflame" (03:17)
  13. "The Flame Extinguished IV - The Sum of All Fears" (04:02)
  14. "The Flame Extinguished V - The Rape of Heaven" (04:10)
  15. "The Flame Extinguished VI - Cold and Dark Infinity" (05:05)

Personnel

The Troper of Pain

  • Alliterative Title: "Cut Or Be Cut", "Evil Is Everywhere", "The Cycle Conti".
  • The Aloner / Alone in a Crowd: "I Live in Silence" conveys this masterfully.
    I live in silence, where no one knows my name
    I live in silence, where no one speaks my name
    I love my silence, I love my peace within the void
    I love my silence, far away from every voice
  • Angry Mob Song: "Raise the Black Flag".
    We have been betrayed.
    The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
    The king feasts while his soldiers keep order.
    The priests pacify and build great churches.
    And tell the rest of us it’s good to suffer.
  • As the Good Book Says: The album draws a lot of inspiration from Holy Scriptures.
  • The Berserker: Several characters fit this explanation, including the Black Knight.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Ultimately God is defeated by the devil's army. This has the unfortunate side effect of the complete and utter destruction of all of creation.
  • Corrupt Church: A major theme all throughout the album.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: "The Soul Doctors".
    Lay thee down thy weary soul.
    Give to us complete control.
    Upon the alter thy heart and mind.
    A sacrifice of the truest kind.
    Empty vessel you shall be filled.
    With sterile thoughts and happy pills.
    Enter now the veil of sleep.
    Join the flock of human sheep.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: "Food For The Gods"
    This life, this life I'm leading, where does it go, where does it go?
  • Distinct Double Album: This is even a triple album!
  • Do Not Go Gentle: It turns out the the revolutionary leader from "The Servant of Pain" never actually expected to survive the coup. But he left behind one hell of a legacy.
  • Doomsday Device: In "On Earth as it is in Hell", this finally kills all humanity. Then it gets worse.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Happens twice. The first time around it's a class 3a, 4, 5, 6, X, or X-2 (it's not explicitly stated) at the end of On Earth as it is in Hell. Then in Cold and Dark Infinity, God completely loses it, and obliterates all of creation in an angry rage, resulting in a Class Z.
  • The Epic: A history of religion spanning three albums.
  • Epic Rocking: Spans three discs, and is just a few minutes under 4 hours long.
  • Ethereal Choir: "Welcome To My Realm" is sung by the devil, and uses an ethereal choir provided by the screams of the damned.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Atrocity"
    No atrocity is complete without a witness to my crime.
  • The French Revolution: Parts of "Raise the Black Flag".
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: "The Soul Doctors" does this to a tee.
    Empty vessel you shall be filled.
    With sterile thoughts and happy pills.
    Enter now the veil of sleep.
    Join the flock of human sheep.
  • Gladiator Games: "Guardian of the Realm".
    Two Kings. Two rivals. Fighting for supremacy.
    Each sends into the arena their finest champion.
    Their champion strides towards me, a grizzled veteran, winner of a hundred duels and I only one.
    “Hey kid let’s stop this madness. Are we just high priced slaves?
    Both kings are tyrants. They should fight in our place.”
    “Only your king is a tyrant.”, I answer filled with pride.
    “That is why he will lose. That is why you shall die.”
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: It's implied that this is why the black knight went on a rampage.
  • God Is Evil: He is not a pleasant character on this album. His influence on the world creates numerous wars and atrocities which culminates with Satan leading the demons of hell (and humans who were condemned there) to storming and destroying heaven. There Satan puts it best when Jesus proclaims how he suffered for Humanity's sins.
    You may have suffered for the sins of man, but I have suffered for the sins of God.
  • Grief Song: "Nefertiti"
    My queen, Nefertiti, please don’t leave me now.
    I pray to Aten to give you life anew.
    My queen, Nefertiti, you’re all I’m living for.
    Aten, why did you take her from me?
  • The Grim Reaper: A bit of a late arrival, but he shows up about of a third of the way through "Cold and Dark Infinity"
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: "The Insatiable Dream (The Guardian of the Realm II)" follows one soldiers progression from a young wide-eyed idealist to a cynical, embittered man.
  • "I Am" Song: "My Name is Joshua" and "Tapestry of Pain".
  • I Am the Band: All the instruments and vocals were done by one guy (and a computer doing the drums). This is most impressive when you have multiple characters being sung simultaneously.
  • Kill the God: The third act centers around Satan leading an army of demons and damned in a full-on assault of Heaven with this goal. And it works! Sort of.
  • Knight Templar: Much of the album is an examination of this mindset throughout history.
  • The Legions of Hell: Featuring both demons and damned.
  • Meaningful Name: "Food for the Gods" refers to how humanity is ultimately just, well, food for the gods.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: "The Last Man". The narrator laments the nature of man and how all we ever do is suffer. He then uses an unnamed Doomsday Device to destroy the entire human race and all life on Earth. Then things start going bad.
  • The Nothing After Death: "Cold and Dark Infinity", which is actually sung by the nothing after death.
    Take my hand, walk with me,
    (Cold and dark infinity)
    through the place we’ll forever be.
    (Cold and dark infinity)
    In my arms rest peacefully.
    (Cold and dark infinity)
    Breath your last breath into me.
    (Cold and dark infinity)
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The narrator of "The Last Man (On Earth as it is in Hell Part III)".
  • One-Man Army: "The Black Knight" in which the black knight tries to go off to fight by himself.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: God goes nuts and destroys the army invading Heaven, devil and all. Unfortunately this leaves him in a desolate void of nothingness without the strength left to rebuild.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: The entire third act. It culminates in Satan leading an army of the demons and damned alike into a war on heaven in which they storm the pearly gates and lay waste to paradise in an attempt to kill God himself. And it works. Sort of.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: "My Name Is Joshua" and "The Servant of Pain" features such atrocities.
  • Religion Rant Song: Pick a song, any song.
  • Revenge Through Corruption: The end of "The Servant of Pain" is the revolutionary leader promising this.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: In "The Servant of Pain", the revolutionaries at first seems to be well-intentioned extremists fighting against The Empire. Then you find out what they do when they breach the Citadel...
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Too many to count.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: While the devil sings several tracks, you can't beat "Welcome to my Realm", in which he sings about his motivations to the new arrivals in Hell, using the screams of the damned as his not-so-ethereal choir.
  • Rock Opera: Every track tells a chapter in the history of humanity and the way our beliefs in various gods shape it. As deities come and go people fight and battle eachother, pay tribute and devote their lives to their glory. The whole thing culminates with a Rage Against the Heavens of such epic porportions that no other form of media has ever matched it.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Tapestry of Pain", Hatred Revenge and Death, and above all "River of Madness".
  • Self-Destructive Charge: In "The Citadel Must Fall", one soldier scales the wall, and manages to open the gate while increasing numbers arrows are sticking through him. Eventually he goes down, but the revolutionaries capture the city.
  • The Song Before The Storm: "Welcome to my Realm" Sung by the Devil, right before he and his army of demons and damned souls storm the walls of Heaven.
  • Soulsaving Crusader: The Emperor:
    And in the end the lesson was learned,
    The Emperor knew you must suffer to be saved,
    And he set out to save the world.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: The album revolves around one of these being thrown by literally every being in creation that didn't get into heaven.
  • The Nothing After Death: Initially subverted, then played straight in the very end with "Cold and Dark Infinity".
  • Villain Recruitment Song: "Welcome to my Realm", depending on whether you consider the devil a villain.
  • The Villain Sucks Song: "Welcome to my Realm'", depending on whether you consider God a villain.
  • Welcome to Hell: "Welcome To My Realm". Interesting in that it is actually sung by the devil as he is literally welcoming people into Hell. And using the screams of the damned as backup vocals.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The Black Knight, the unnamed narrator of "The Last Man" and, by the end of the album, every single being ever sent to Hell.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: Occurs in "The Sum Of All Fears" killing Archangels Micheal and Gabriel