Exile Of Shadows

by Murk Rider

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Ranked #1 metal album of June 2019 by Stereogum:

"The core sound is a crashing wave of volcanic black sludge, with frantic leads circling a surging rhythm section…until the clatter breaks apart, as it often does, and pulls back to the ululating drift of a gentle clean guitar ... Whatever this is, it’s far outside the realm of the ordinary; the metal bits are unrelenting and the rest is insane. But it holds together. There’s a unifying vision that slowly takes shape as you listen — like a dome behind the stars, marking out constellations, ascribing order to an absurd universe."


"Massive in scope, duration, and ambition, and manages to actually fulfill those high-aimed goals."

- Metal Blast


"These huge songs are imposing and monolithic, but also welcoming in their blackened grandeur. This is not an album of impenetrable darkness. Rather, it’s black metal played by musicians that are unafraid to violate the core of what some purists may think black metal is all about. This is a very good thing, of course, as it allows the band free rein to explore their musical environment unfettered by convention or unnecessary restraints. This freedom allows them to adopt the black metal aspects that they want from the parent style, using this as the overarching framework into which they skilfully incorporate speed and heavy metal elements alongside stoner and sludge ones."

- Wonderbox Metal



released June 20, 2019

MURK RIDER, for the development & recording of this record album, was:

Ian Thompson:
Lead vocals, Agile AL-2000, Marshall 4100, Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier

Derek Schultz:
Lead vocals, Agile Dauntless, Marshall 2203, Peavey 5150 Mk. I

Ross Major:
Backing vocals, Rickenbacker 4003, Marshall JTM45, Orange OR120, Sunn 1200s

Tom Hoopes:
Tama Starclassic, Sabian cymbals

With a very special thank-you to
Katrena Marie:
Clean vocals on "Journey"

Lyrics written by Ian Thompson and Derek Schultz,
Music composed by Ian Thompson and Derek Schultz,
with contributions numerous and indispensable from:
Ross Major, Tom Hoopes, and Adam Apodaca
2010 - 2012

Brass arrangement on "Journey" by Michael Mull
Trombone performed by Matt Evans
Trumpet performed by Greg Zilboorg
Brass section recorded by Brice Albert & Michael Mull

"Justo Juez" prayer on "Return" read by Matias Sanchez

Produced by Derek Schultz with Ian Thompson
Recorded and mixed at Hidden Fortress by Derek Schultz
2012 - 2018

Mastered by Chris Hanzsek

Our deepest appreciation goes out eternally to our brother
Hank Loiseau
for creating the album artwork you now witness

Burn everything you own


all rights reserved



Murk Rider Baywood Los Osos, California

An animistic seeking through the shadows for the coronation of the spirit.

The hero's journey enacted through thunder-sorcery.

The philosophy of recovery through unconditional love.

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Track Name: Descent
Tooth of earth, guide me
Claw is the torch of the night
On owl's wings I descend
Frigid in terror

Sacrificial lantern embody
Cast bones to unveil
Path sent downward – eclipse
The shivering teeth

Echo shrouded call of tribulation
Harken to the call of ancestral horns
Inhale nightshade smoke through iron tusks
Red in tooth and claw, awaken to terror

Ashen foot crushing tooth and frozen marrow
Through coffins are oaken forests
Raven's wing eclipse moonlight
The tooth of the wolf is cold
Spinal eye awoken through serpent's fangs
Elaborate maze is the will of god
Reveal arcturus, guardian of cavern's light
In funeral pyres

Awoken to darkness is waking to light

Arrow – wing of the gods
Seized by nightward rapture
Lantern – blood of the oaks
Ensconced eyes glare
Sigil – awake speaking stones
Mankind summon the eye of fear
Chalice – purifier of poisons
To be destroyed
Fear – annihilate

Prometheus lion-fire
Speak pathward division to stray

The soil is sacred
The soil seeds path

Mirrored awakening through blood and bone
Skin of serpents
The circle unborn, inborn
Through flesh of ancient stones
Traverse the labyrinth mineral waveform
Enflame the psychic formic shield
You are the shield

Shadow mirror labyrinth of a thousand eyes
Myriad cries of a nameless fear
Callous roots of frozen sentience
Ancient skulls are seeds of the sun

Impervious wasteland
Humanity deafened to the will of god
Unmanifest destiny
Beyond the tyrant's symmetry
Herohood beyond
Devouring jaws of fearful ignorance
Backbone of night
Project fire seeds of immortality

Spiral inward ghost dance of shadow spirits
Inward spiral ghost dance of shadow spirits

Completion warrior sorcerer send eclipse
Spiral inward through blood and flesh
Completion warrior sorcerer send eclipse
Spiral inward cracks the shell of time

The spiral leads down to caverns
Of crystalline glory
Magmatic demons arise
Only to be conquered

Hour of the wolf tribe
Incarnate soul's freedom

Through darkest earth I crawl
Ensnared by thorns
Embattled by ghosts

In the crystal sphere
My victory I perceive

Hour of the wolf tribe
Incarnate soul's freedom

Pyre sphere illuminate
Serpent's den of clarity
Pyre sphere illuminate
Serpent's den of misery
Pyre sphere illuminate
Serpent's den of ecstasy
Pyre sphere illuminate
Serpent's den of clarity

Cast down golden hood of mortality
Guide I to the edge
Scythe blade wheel
Destroy crystallization of time
Reveal to I the key
Eye of truth
Project supercosm in the forests of the night
Open doors
Feed upon rotted flesh of humanity

Depth of darkness, enter my eye

Scythe blade wheel
Amulet of lightning warrior's animist spirit
Riding horse
Shaman's drum upon the edge of annihilation
Annihilate self through tongue of flames
Drilling skull
Through stone burrow
To the kingdom of the dead
Track Name: Journey
Scythe of waves crash down
Inbehold black door
Far beneath mortar of time and space
Grip of oceanic terror
Awaken to underworld realm
Fell black serpent, watery domain
Herein labyrinth sleeps fate’s well
Enshrouded in vapors; distorted
For he who would seek wisdom or death
Echoing voices of ancient gods ring

From cyclopean stone shell
Spiral galaxies
Chalice of spineless ones
Fluid in ancient form
Drinking serpent's blood
Fasting beneath the blackening sky
Devouring father, initiatory rebirth

Grasping oaken peregrine staff
Chasms of water towering down
As lineage veins through blood
Frozen halls, the hand
Becoming a silent temple of flesh
Sacred mistress deliver the sword

Transverse desolate realm
Beyond labyrinth forests
Warp sword eye see the journey
Conjure shadow through a circle of flames
Task to be undertaken
Voyage beyond the land of soil and stone
Glimmering in the distance

Diving down through obsidian waves
Deliver the sword
Riding tidal vortex of endless deep
Do not falter
Shapeshift back to hydrospheric form
Deliver the sword
To the altar

The mast ascends upon sea
Of hallowedness
Osprey guide
My soul through tormenting waves
To yonder shores
Zodiac eyes of distant suns
Charter this vessel
Of a wandering sage
Solitary exile
Homeland but a memory
To the night sea wanderer

My horse
I guide to seek the path unknown
My tomb
Adrift, lit with fire
Across the ancient sea I crawl
Toward the lair of the challenge

I am the edge ascending from the sea
Through blood and stone I split the earth

Beyond waters of death
Awaits the rose and thorns
Shrouded in ancient seas
Reclaim the line of kings
Through redemptive sword
Jewel of the lady of the waters

Warrior, ride on
Through stars and shores
Of cosmic storms
Seek the path
Bear forth the chalice of truth

Shattering is the raven's cry
Enter belly of the beast
Swallowed through jaws of leviathan
Self annihilate I have become
Threshold beyond threshold
Seeking golden light of dragons
Slaughtering tyrant gods of hoarded wisdom
Disperse eternal flame of retribution

Prometheus rising

Nameless wanderer
Body pierced by one thousand arrows
Mortal initiate
Mind swaying on the blade of twilight
Seek my pale radiance
Reflecting in the brume of sunless waters
My eyes have seen the world
Splintered galaxies of crystal
Mirroring the volcans of your genesis
Quicksilver is my voice
A tongue of lightning whips
My embrace an azure flame
Melting your armor, spent
Come to me as water
Cascading through dark earth
Down beyond the frozen grottoes
Crypts of herculean stone
See now through my gaze of shadows
The path you seek
The gilded soil of my flesh
In the ever flowing stream
Leading down
Ever down
Come to me

From the shadows: glaring eyes
Glistening teeth of a black maw
The septangle of flames ensconce the trove
Beyond the hidden door, encandled in blood
Enchanted with venom; the poison must be let
Blood must be spilled
Behold: the face of absolute horror

Writhing scales of hydra
Surrounding frozen flesh
Carnal eyes, glistening lust of blood
Vampirous demons siphoning blood from skull
Lecherous forms shadow the horizon sea
Impaling the hollow shells of souls
Burning in flames of depravity
Devouring insides of saurian flesh
Torn apart through mercyful blade
Torn apart by mercyful flames
Grasping scalp of severed heads
Laughing baptized beneath moonlight

You are the enemy
The enemy is I manifest

Beyond cherubim
Shattering walls of eden
Paradise regained
Through undivided circles
Unify spirit with queen of perfected form
Becoming cosmic wheel
In innocence I rest in blackened flesh
Of goddess Kali, destroyer creator
Ecstasy of muscle and flesh
Dance of fire well within primal sea
Two becoming one

Hammerheart echo
Temple drums of the deep

Warrior bear down
With the hand of Thor

Prepare thyself to be crucified
Upon the sacred tree of knowledge

Lightning swords
Splinter Osirian casket
Upon sunlight
Track Name: Return
Return warrior king
Return shaman king

I wean that I hung on the windy tree
Hung there for nights full nine
With the spear I was wounded
And offered I was to Odin
Myself to myself
On the tree that none may ever know
What root beneath it runs

Vision of dawn
Aloft in grace
Strangled by ancient vines in offering
Circle of ten thousand moons and suns
Burnt by waves
Snake tongue sigil
Breathe new life

Arisen from fermescent swells
Choked with doom
Arisen raw flesh
Transfused with aeons
Drinker of aegis blood
Morph into form aquiline
Arise, spread serpent wings
Hung skyward by weightless stones

Hero undivided
Shapeshifting warrior
Through golden waves of light
Levitate the solar crucifix
The arrow shot through fire and ice

Behold the crystal tree of life
Beyond the hall of sun
Skyward I ascend
Stellar caverns of cosmic clarity

The sharpened blade of the spiraling pelican
Hydran aerial sentinel of deliverance
Immovable I am in fluidity
Eternal lightning waves I ride to golden shores

Rooster of empowerment
Thunder wheel of hammers
Proclaiming the call of dawn
Spark of knowledge aflame
Beyond the fortress of time
Shattering force of circle's realignment
Iron fist of machina at end
Cleaving the fetters of time

Red raven rising
Smoldering carcass of tyrant fallen
The cloak of ancestral flames
Before the formless weapons of truth
The circle calls forth completion
Inhale the smoke of righteousness
World's shattering at hand
Victory of unity over manifestation

Praise the goddess of water
Gnashing teeth of lions
Praise the father of fire
In lightning fire
Praise the death of ignorance
Eradicate form, chaff lofts as ash
Enthroned beyond space and time
Upon the winds of creation

Soars from infinite ocean
To the sun's first eastern visage
Serpent spirals outward
Returns the eye of light

Vortex through shadow realms
Wheel of fire-theft ignite
Ecstasy of experience
The crown of life dismembering
Hammers of Saturn
Forging golden rings of light
Resurrect through sacrifice
The blood in chalice fills high

Bringing forth celestial warrior
Willing flesh of Gaian sacrifice
Initiate of a thousand thundering gateways
Tales woven through seed and beast through time
Cast forth the spines of fear guardians
The severed black bones of Inanna

Amongst the glistening flowers of eternity
Atop the fiery mountain of blood and gold
King of oaken valor returns
Warrior sorcerer shaman

Archangel venom exorcist
The song through fire of love is sung
Unconditional is the path
Self annihilate through love

And the phoenix she does fly
Enflaming stratospheric shores
Behold the radiant jewel of Gaia
Life undending

Fire eagle serpent the king
To whom I hold my sword to sky
Disillusion of suffering
Victorious laughter of enlightenment

With the blade of sky-forged stone
Molten air in warrior veins
Shattered at grasp of holy demon's nails
Ascendant, burn through mountains of shadow
Eagle awing, perceive limitless battlefield
Littered with ruin of thought and form
Attain to highest heart of purity
Glimmering gate at the bastion of the sky

Lightning raptor wings of prophecy
Collapsing ivory towers of the fearful eye
Shrouded walls of saurian ignorance
Behold, the savage lands are calling home
Necrosynthesizing dragon
A thousand aged guardian of phantom light
Taste the molten blade of Prometheus
Steel through scales, the cosmos realign

Thunder wheel of hammers
Spark of knowledge aflame
Shattering force of circle's realignment
Cleaving the fetters of time

Smoldering carcass of tyrant fallen
Before the formless weapons of truth
Inhale the smoke of righteousness
Victory of unity over manifestation

Crucifix of fire dissolve
Radiate love, annihilate fear
Attain to no form
To the temple in the sky

To the temple in the sky

The circle is life
The circle is death


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