Death Metal

I was traveling through the Valley
When first I saw the Band.
The Stranger from the alley
Put the ticket in my hand.
It appeared a smoky black,
Its only mark a flame
That jumped up off the paper:
The Band That Had No Name.
I wondered why he’d give away 
An admission pass for free–
‘They must be something awful. 
How terrible they must be!’
I thought to leave the show behind
And journey onward when
A morbid curiosity
Compelled me to join in.
“I could use some time to rest.
I’ve covered ground today.
I’ll eat, be merry, stay the night,
Then I’ll be on my way.”
As I approached the entrance
I stumbled back in awe.
The gates were forty feet across
And standing just as tall.
The fiery metal burned bright red,
And I could feel the heat
Emanating from the bars
And pulsing to the beat.
The sound was faint until I stepped
Across a crimson line,
Then suddenly grew deafening
Upon the other side.
I walked along a darkened path
Where I could only see
A doorway in the distance
And my feet in front of me.
The first soul I encountered
Since I’d crossed into this place
Sent a chill along my spine
With the smile on his face.
The crooked teeth were pointed
And stained a wicked hue.
The hand that reached out for the pass
Was a pale and ghastly blue.
Above the bass that shook my chest,
A startling decree:
‘Come inside! We’re waiting for you!’
The Keeper said to me.
I laid the ticket in his palm
And he began to laugh,
With spittle oozing from his lips,
And tore it clean in half.
He pointed me toward a curtain, 
Spilling dark wine from his cup,
But feeling no partition
I slowly lifted up.
As soon as I crossed over,
My lungs filled up with dust,
And it took more than a moment
For my senses to adjust.
I remember hearing first
The same music as before,
But this time every measure
Wrapped itself around my core.
It began to shred my insides,
The metal hard as steel,
Til blood and lust and decadence
Was all that I could feel.
And then I saw the spectacle
With unfamiliar sight,
The vision passing through me as
A thousand points of light.
 Countless souls were gathered here.
All eyes were on the stage.
The masses moved in unison
To every note they played.
No member’s face was visible.
Their bodies masked in shroud.
The drums beat out a secret oath
No words were sung aloud.
A fine red film had filled the air,
And blanketed in mist
The frenzied population
As they fought and fucked and kissed.
I scanned the stage to find the source
And spied an odd guitar
Projecting like a tentacle,
Which flung it near and far.
The mist’s effect was instant,
And as the minions bowed,
The band played War and Pestilence
Upon the eager crowd.
And though I felt its power
Gripping tighter in my chest,
A voice cut through its wicked haze
And started to protest.
“You never should have come here
To look upon the flame.
And when it takes a hold of you,
Then nothing will remain.”
Now I felt it certain,
How grave was my mistake!
I scurried to the curtain
To fashion an escape.
But when I breached the barrier,
Attempting to return,
My last hope turned to terror
As my flesh began to burn.
My tortured cries were amplified
In black cacophony.
Death: the chorus of the Damned 
Devoid of sympathy.
And when the final chord was struck
There came a fiery flash
That tore apart the blood-red sky.
Our bodies turned to ash.
And now the show is over.
Their audience is gone.
The time will come to find 
Another town to play upon.
Beware, my friend, the Stranger
And the pass he gives away!
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t come
Without a price to pay.
Beware, my friend, the danger
Of looking on the flame!
For when it gets a hold of you
Then nothing will remain.
Beware, my friend, the danger
Of looking on the flame
That burns away all others but
The Band That Has No Name