Horned Is the Hunter

Originally called “The Thirteenth Disciple” when the band performed it on the Friday Rock Show but changed in keeping with Sabbat’s desire to move away from the occult, it builds from a gentle atmospheric intro (complete with woodland noises and a babbling brook) well suited to the grim observations that the song makes, and features some of the best riffing on the whole album.
“Basically it’s the most butchered track on the album,” says Andy. “After we recorded it we sat down and realised that it didn’t sound right. So Roy got the master tape out and cut some riffs out and changed it a bit. Martin was moaning about the lyrics too.”
“I was really dissatisfied with the lyrics,” Martin agrees. “They were really old and I wanted to get into more Pagan imagery rather than the Black Metal stuff. Musically it’s still the same kind of thing but we repeat one riff at the end and shorten another. It was Roy’s idea, but we had to agree that it flowed a lot better.
” The imagery behind ‘Horned Is The Hunter’ is the Lord of Nature. sitting alone in a wood, weeping at the mess of the world that man is living in. There’s loads of names for the character – Lord of the Woods, Lord of the Trees, Robin of Sherwood, The Green Man, Pan or Herne – I just called him the Lord of Nature as it kind of encompasses all his other names

I asked Martin if I was right in thinking that he writes with a cyclical idea of history in mind, something apparent on the first album with a track like ‘Horned is the Hunter’.

Martin: “I think you’re right. I believe everything does eventually turn full circle. You only have to look at history books to see how it happened or take a look at the world around us today and see it actually happening! That track you mentioned was an important stepping stone for me lyrically because the new album is written very much in the same sort of pastoral vein. The track itself is about the Lord of Nature, Pan, ruminating on the future of mankind and realising that everyone has forgotten the old lore and turned to new technology as the way ahead instead of turning to the past and inwards towards themselves.”

APPEARS ON:

  • HISTORY OF A TIME TO COME

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Alone he sits –
a vanquished Lord upon an oaken throne,
presiding o’er this conflict
that chills him to the bone,
for each tarnished blade that festers
is a thorn thrust in His side,
and His pain alone bears witness
to the folly of mankind.

What hope for a king with no kingdom to rule?
now his children desert Him –
regard Him a fool,
and are bonded to progress –
the plough and the scythe –
that lay waste and leave barren
what beauty survives,
though legends of power and glory and suffice –
for these ‘latter-day-heroes’
who live out their lives,
chained by conformity shackled by greed –
and told to believe they don’t want to be freed.

The enemy within us –
is well armed to spoil and rape,
and this mighty heart grows weaker with
each liberty they take,
so come ye from the shadows
do not tremble ‘neath your beds,
at the mention of His name –
hold high your weary heads.

For in each delve and greenwood,
far wiser creatures play,
and in their veins and sinews,
live the Gods of yesterday.

Both wicked and lustful
this God’s horny might,
He plays hide and seek
with the shadows of the night,
enthroned in the high mountains –
nobility crowned with the wisdom of ages –
the forest His gown,
so nimble the fingers that pipe out the tune,
simple and pure is the song of the moon –
that echoes each evening the ritual performed,
a lament for a God to a Devil transformed.

Are there men among us
prepared to face the fight,
who’ll stand by their convictions
‘gainst overwhelming might,
so do not hide like cowards
and await the bitter end,
come take your courage in both hands
and join with me my friend.

For in each delve and greenwood,
far wiser creatures play,
and in their veins and sinews,
live the Gods of yesterday.

A God of many faces
yet none of them are known
existing in all places at all times –
His glory shown in the majesty of nature,
let the Hymn to Pan be sung
for the myth is but a History of a Time to Come.

What hope for a king with no kingdom to rule?
now his children desert Him –
regard Him a fool,
and are bonded to progress –
the plough and the scythe –
that lay waste and leave barren
what beuty survives,
though legends of power and glory and suffice –
for these ‘latter-day-heroes’
who live out their lives,
chained by conformity shackled by greed –
and told to believe they don’t want to be freed.

The enemy within us –
is well armed to spoil and rape,
and this mighty heart grows weaker with
each liberty they take,
so come ye from the shadows
do not tremble ‘neath your beds,
at the mention of His name –
hold high your weary heads.

For in each delve and greenwood,
far wiser creatures play,
and in their veins and sinews,
live the Gods of yesterday.

His name is eternal –
His power unknown,
the ruler paternal –
He watches alone,
as great cities tumble and empires fall,
amidst this confusion the Hunter stands tall.

UNOFFICIAL RELEASE:
Horned Is The Hunter EP cassette