The Last Emperor

by Judicator

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  • The Last Emperor Vinyl LP Edition - Alone Records
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    Alone Records Vinyl LP Edition of "The Last Emperor" -- single LP on 180gram black. Comes with full color lyric insert. Limited edition hand numbered of 250.

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  • The Last Emperor Compact Disc
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    CD edition of 'The Last Emperor' featuring bonus track re-recording of "King of Rome" and full color 8 page lyric booklet. Pressed on silver disc.

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1.
On an auburn hillside, backlit by the dusk Three priests now stand before a horde of somber men Surrounded by the relics of saints now long dead Intimidated by the aura, they obey Blessed are you, you who go to war Blessed are you, you who fight for God The winds are howling, crying out for change The southern winds are baying, crying out for blood Here I find myself, a sinner with luck Never have I had to pay for my sins Weary and weak, yearning for absolution Burn! Feeling the blood course through my veins in a brief moment of respite Now there’s a chance to redeem myself and bring some honor back to my name Kill all who attack the flock Maim all who occupy our lands Burn those who stand in our way Praise all who die for the faith Settle the debt and clear out the past, that I might make it right with God God surely wills it He wills us to free every lamb that’s under the yoke Rise, Knights of Bouillon! Rise to the task! Stand up and fight for those who’ve been faithful and true — an unyielding frame This is truly the ideal resolve There, Jerusalem, a city of light! This is the place where I shall find absolution, mercy divine! This is the place where I shall die Hold back all your tears, steel all your hearts Wave after wave we shall deny Never again we’ll abdicate another yard of Christian soil Kill! All who hold attack the flock Maim! All who devastate our lands Burn! Those who stand in our way Praise! All who die for the cross Guitar Solo: Michael
2.
Set the wheel in motion, unleash the wave This is the wondrous crusade! For the land is bleeding out in the east And we shall wash their wounds of filth Somewhere they suffer, somewhere they cry Somewhere the children are misled, deceived That’s where we’re needed, that’s where we’ll go That’s where the holy light will shine again Steel my shaking heart Bleeding realm Despite the courage I show, it’s fear that’s running strong below No matter what they might say, I still can’t bring myself to cheer Take up your cross, do not fear what’s to come Never you mind all the pain Live for today This hand directs me, that voice commands What choice then only rests with me? On day of judgement, you cannot say “It was my order to do so” Despite my calmness, I toil inside There’s not a beam of light and I’m alone God’s light has left me, I hear a hum Nothing for me to sense but moss and stone Somewhere they suffer, somewhere they cry Somewhere the women are caged, held down That’s where we’re needed, that’s where we’ll go That’s where the holy light will shine again Guitar Solo: Michael
3.
Raining Gold 03:56
The air is thick with moisture on these greener pastures We’ve marched for weeks and now our food’s almost depleted Raining, cleansing waters fall on me Hail! Hail our pageantry, welcome us as friends Please support the march by feeding our men Bring your Baron here to stand before the Count Let the people gather all around He told the Priest where all the Jews did live and frequent And then we sought them out to take from them our payment Raining, screaming, gnashing jaws of anguish Tears! Screaming children weep, sitting in the mud Watch their parents mocked and beaten Help! Crying out for help, yet I still partake Ignoring the pleas from the ancient pariah Raining gold on muddy cobblestone Raining gold I feel ashamed — this ransom burns Raining gold coins, trying to buy themselves some time Girls on the second floor throwing down their gold Trying to distract our comrades Priest of the Hermit’s men now is telling them That they may as well convert or die Guitar Solo: Tony
4.
The Kingdom! The savior will save us The Kingdom! The savior will be our guiding light For weeks now, it seems like we’ve traveled through limbo And at last we see her shine, Constantinople! Sinners and the saintly will kneel! Sinners and the saintly will halt for Alexios The saints reign from heaven The saints! Swear him oaths of fealty and he’ll open up the way Cresting, the waves of crusaders Spilling down from off the hill Resting, the Queen of all Cities Swear Alexios your word and then be on your way Expanses we traversed, starvation The desert, the hunger — it drove us to our breaking point The horses were cut and, little by little, the poor things were drained until one day they collapsed to the ground Sinners and the saintly will march! Sinners and the saintly will go marching to their fate The saints reign from heaven The saints! Spirit and the body unite when pushed to the edge Left behind Constantinople We swore to return what was theirs Blessed be the Queen of all Cities For all the lands and people lost, lost to Seljuk Turks Far off in the distance, I see Nicaea Far off in the distance, perhaps we’ll find relief Fortress in shrouds Shimmers on the lake Head in the clouds Coming down the hill Long did I seek for a path to salvation Never could I wash off the scales from my poor eyes Long did I struggle to free myself from my chains Never could I break off the bindings of my guilt and shame Sinners and the saintly will fall Sinners and the saintly are equals in the great abyss The saints reign from heaven The saints! When I take my last breath, I hope I can laugh and smile But how can I live with this burden? How can I ease my heart before I die? Grace to the ones we have plundered I will never sleep the same Grant me healing rain Rain now I will never be alone Weeping, trembling at the throne Golden eyes stare back at me Guitar Solo 1: Tony Guitar Solo 2: Michael
5.
As you treat the lowest, so you treat The Lamb But suppose it were so, that you were the lowest Would it stand to reason that you should be kindest to yourself above all, as though you yourself were Christ? Deus vult! Crying for reason God’s will! Spiritual treason Deus vult! No room for saints here Gone asunder This is the moment of decision Every day’s a chance to be a righteous man Now is the time for your salvation In the end of it you must own what you do Soft determinism opens up my life to accept what may come, but still allows me to try I accept that I cannot change what is outside me Grant me only the power to improve my perspective This is the moment of creation Belonging where I am, I only take what’s given This is the time for absolution I let the weight of all my shortcomings dissolve Lay your burden down Enter the water without a ripple Sunrise, embrace! Arms outstretched Bless both friends and enemies The walls before me, the walls within Both will be shattered, both will give in Life as machine, so unaware I feel it draining like poisoned, dripping ichor This is the moment of baptism I cannot call my life a meaningless mistake This is the moment of renewal I preach to introduce democracy to heaven Guitar Solo: Tony
6.
Antioch 07:50
Stand alone among the throngs, I blaspheme silently Nobody knows my private crime Walk with me Outside the city of Antioch Crusaders patiently laying siege Until the day came for Raynald Porchet The knight was captured and paraded on the walls “I will not plead or beg” Upon the walls, there on his knees He’s on his way back home No ransom, don’t you pay for my life or lift the siege You must persist Please fight hard, I’ve seen that behind the walls they are weakened Keep your resolve On his knees before the general, who offered anything if he’d apostatize The clever Raynald asked for some time to think about the proposition that he faced For days on end, so piously he prayed unto his God “I won’t apostatize” He used the time to pray and ask for the strength to be prepared for what God willed It wasn’t long before an interpreter found him out and saw he wouldn’t capitulate Just like the Jews who could not sing their song of God on foreign soil These blasphemies kept in my mind could turn into a cross to bear On the walls, Raynald was paraded before us Helplessly, I watched him kneel One last time, a smile he offered to me before he died The headless saint of Antioch Guitar Solo: Tony
7.
Morning dew and beams of the sunrise This is life! I’m one with the landscape We’re on the hunt, just like our ancestors Seal the bond between man and beast alike Such silence, the moment is shattered by a helpless scream Nothing but blood United through the ties of common faunal bloodlines Nothing but blood A line of heritage woven through the fabric of life Out of breath, and now paralyzed by the stunning sight of a brown bear so fearsome Its cornered prey — a scavenging pilgrim Pounding heart, adrenaline starts to course Your moment, your window of opportunity to shine Nothing but blood I step between the two and stare the creature down Nothing but blood My blade is shimmering as the bear begins to charge Flowing, the wounds of myself and the bear flow You can’t tell whose blood belongs to who The soil is steaming It’s drinking deep the blood A heaving, a straining The wall of bones and fur falls down Nothing but blood My sword becomes a cane as I survey the carnage Nothing but blood The pilgrim has his life, but have I still the strength to lead? Antioch — I’m grievously wounded “Rest, lord! Your men will wait for you to recover” Guitar Solo 1: Tony Guitar Solo 2: Michael
8.
On a silent, starless night Bohemond feigned retreat On a silent, starless night Antioch bled from every pore Helpless I watch, useless on this perch My wounds have healed, but still I cannot fight All that it took was one man’s betrayal Open the gates, behold the wrath of God Blessed are you, you who go to war Blessed are you, you who fight for God The winds are howling, crying out for change The southern winds are baying, crying out for love Such carnage, revolting It’s hard to stomach all the gore Mangled, contorted It’s tragic, but alas! They had a chance to surrender, and this is the way it’s always been For hundreds of years we were the targeted Kafir, fighting to hold onto each parcel of land The heart of the Jihad, pumping blood and destruction into the veins of Western nations Bohemond, clever and sly, arranged to steal away command of Antioch You’d break the oath you swore to return what was theirs? I call you coward, to cheat Alexios! Purged of my guilt and yet I feel no peace of mind We share the same blood as the beasts I feel it throb in every wound that I took on — balance me! Jerusalem is where it falls to cut out the rot from humankind Jerusalem is where it falls for us to choose to end the weakness in our hearts Under my leadership we took Jerusalem They offered me it's gold, coveted crown How could I wear a crown of gold in the same city where Christ did wear a crown of thorns? Lead as the King of Kings, and serve your fellow man lovingly Jerusalem is where it falls to cut out the rot from humankind Jerusalem is where it falls for us to choose between forgiveness and the beast Guitar Solo: Tony

about

“The Last Emperor” is a historical power metal concept album covering several events and figures from the first Crusades and the People’s crusades, including Pope Urban II, Godfrey of Bouillon, Alexios I Komnenos, Raynald Porchet, and Bohemond I of Antioch. The album was recorded in 2017 and reamped, edited, and mixed by Carlos Alvarez of Dirty Viking Audio. The album was once again mastered by Brett Caldas-Lima of Tower Studio. Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian appears for additional lead and backing vocals on the song ‘Spiritual Treason’. David Brown of Chaos Frame returns once again for support with choir and backing vocals, as well as featuring on guest lead vocals on “Antioch”, playing the part of the martyred knight Raynald Porchet.

credits

released March 30, 2018

Judicator is...

John Yelland - Vocals
Tony Cordisco - Rhythm, Lead, and Acoustic Guitars
Michael Sanchez - Bass and Lead Guitars
Jordan Elcess - Drums

Featuring...

Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian - Additional Lead Vocals on "Spiritual Treason"
Dave Brown of Chaos Frame - Additional Lead Vocals on "Antioch"

JUDI-CHOIR...
Carlos Alvarez, Dave Brown, and John Yelland

Produced, Mixed, and Edited by Carlos Alvarez of Dirty Viking Audio

Mastered and Sequenced by Brett Caldas-Lima of Tower Studios

Hansi's vocals engineered by Charlie Bauerfeind

Artwork by Marc Whisnant of Brilliant Engine

Judicator Logo and CD Layout by Christopher Horst of Horst Type Foundry

Executive Producers Asher Eliyahu Zaber and David Melanson

Lyrics by John Yelland

Music by Tony Cordisco

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Judicator Tucson, Arizona

Judicator is a Power Metal band formed by Tony Cordisco and John Yelland after the two met at a Blind Guardian concert. They released two historical based albums as a recording project, and then evolved into a full band, signing with Prosthetic Records in 2020! Their 5th album 'Let There Be Nothing' full of historical, epic, and melodic power metal will be released via the label on 7/24/2020! ... more

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