Death is Their Shepherd

by Physick

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EJ Olsen
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EJ Olsen There's more to say about this phenomenal album than what would be seemly for a Bandcamp comment. Read my full review here: wp.me/p1KLf0-gP Favorite track: Goodspeed God’s Fire.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Includes a .pdf download of the illustrated narrative companion—lyrics, pictures, and a short story—an integral part of the Death is Their Shepherd experience.

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  • A large-format (DVD-sized) 2-disc digipak containing the music for Death is Their Shepherd AND an 80-page illustrated paperback narrative companion which includes the lyrics, credits, and the Death is Their Shepherd narrative short story. It’s a thrilling multimedia experience that will store quite attractively on your favorite book shelf.

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  • Poster/Print + Digital Album

    The Death is Their Shepherd poster featuring the narrative cover image by Derrick Otis and Rusty Hein and including the source verse that inspired the title.

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 4 Physick releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Death is Their Shepherd: Sketches and Relics, Death is Their Shepherd: Choir, Death is Their Shepherd, and Songs for Friends. , and , .

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credits

released October 31, 2015

Album Credits:

Produced and mixed by Michael Minkoff, Jr. at
Cubed Root Sound for

The Nehemiah Foundation for Cultural Renewal, Inc.
980 Riverside Road
Sugar Hill, GA

Mastered by Patrick Anderson

Cover painting by Linda Maphet

Cover layout by Michael Minkoff, Jr.

Baby grand piano recorded at Dr. Dewey Hodges’ house
Solo soprano recorded at Hope Presbyterian Church, Marietta, GA
Strings recorded at Christian Fine Arts of Forsyth, Cumming, GA
Choir recorded at The Schwartz Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Narrative Companion Credits:

Narrative by Michael Minkoff, Jr.

Cover Image by Derrick Otis and Rusty Hein

Interior Illustrations by Derrick Otis, Rusty Hein,
Charity Goodwin, and Vanessa Minkoff

Suite initials by Vanessa Minkoff

Cover Layout and Typesetting by Michael Minkoff, Jr.

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about

Physick Sugar Hill, Georgia

Physick consists of composer and multi-instrumentalist Phil Hodges and lyricist producer Michael Minkoff.
Difficult to label, Physick's music richly rewards those who are willing to hear it on its own terms.

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Track Name: Hi-Fruktose Noize Sserp
[Lucien]: Fill every day with fun.
I don’t wanna waste one hour feeling glum.
What’s it all about? I don’t care.
I just wanna have a good run.

I’ll take everything in life
like a catcher in the rye,
so hard times will pass me by.
Now I don’t have time for silent reverie.
Give me some noise!

No, I just can’t let myself stop.
’Cause I know that if I do all I’ve held back
will come flooding in.

[Mother]: But son, you don’t know what you will find
in the recess of your mind
when barred doors open wide.
While you cover up your eyes,
ten thousand demons multiply in the dark.

[Zak]: Well, you can keep your judgments to yourself.
Not gonna live my life, like you, on a shelf.
I’m sure I’ll have the time to make up later,
so get out of my face!

No, I just can’t let myself stop.
’Cause I know that if I do all I’ve held back
will come flooding in. . . .
Track Name: Memento Mori
As I sit behind a back porch screen
waiting for the dawn to sing,“Hallelujah,”
the sun’ll beam like a bridegroom’s face,
light stretchin’ like a strong man for the race.
Hallelujah.

But in the twilight pink,
my heart begins to sink.

Since the first time I worried,
there’s been a space in my brain
called memento mori.
Oh, I’ve always known I would die,
but it was just philosophizing
memento mori.

But in this twilight pink,
my heart begins to sink.

I think about the friends I’ve lost.
I think about sin and what it’s cost.
I feel the same fear of forever
that I felt as a kid
when I comforted myself that all things come to an end.

But all the years roll out before me
like a giant run-on sentence
with no periods or commas.
I feel so insignificant . . .
a mere vapor in the wind,
a cloud castle in the sky.

It’s not death so much that scares me,
but what will happen when I die.

As I sit behind a back porch screen,
waiting for the dawn to sing . . .
Track Name: Death is Their Shepherd
———
Track Name: What You Will Find
———
Track Name: Fall Story
[Serpent]: Beautiful Eve,
listen to me.
Let me tell you the truth
God is hiding from you.
Your eyes will open.
You’ll be like Him.

[Woman]: God told my husband
to leave it alone, but
it seems so enticing,
I want to be like Him.

[Chorus]: The woman she ate then,
and gave to her husband.
Track Name: Living Dead
[Chorus]: Cursed is the serpent.
Cursed is your labor.
Cursed is the earth . . .
It will render thorns.
Tears and anguish.
Dust and ashes.

[Woman]: Slipped from the Garden;
it feels like we’re falling,
so maybe there’s time while
we sink to the grave to

[Chorus, with Woman]: Remember the promise!

[Woman]: that’s stirring inside me.

[Chorus]: Memento mori! . . .
Track Name: Cain’s Lullaby
———
Track Name: We’ve Been Misled
[Man]: We’ve been misled
by the first lie:
“Dying, you shall not die.”
So living, we’re all dead.

Look at your son.
Blow him a kiss.

[Sons]: “You’ve had so much to give to me.
I look just like you, Dad.”

[Woman]: Children all look just like their fathers
who look just like their fathers . . .
who act like children
who act just like their fathers
who act just like their fathers . . .
on down to Adam.

[Chorus with Woman]: Adam, in him, we all died.
In him, none are justified.
All of creation cries out in futility.
Children all die just like their fathers
who die just like their fathers
who died and like their fathers
turn into dust to dust to dust to dust . . .

[Man to Zak]: So close your eyes.
Drift off to sleep.
You taste your daily little death.
It lingers on your lips.
Track Name: All I’ve Held Back
———
Track Name: DRONES
[Zak]: Mates for the Queen—
life short, simple, and mean—
meet one purpose and expire.

Rise high as they can fly,
propagate the species,
then they all spend their strength
and die.

Day to day to day.

Work of my hands—
dune of digital sand—
all your grains have met before.

Cycle starts again.
They will rearrange you,
puzzled that their dust
adds nothing more.
Track Name: Before the Silver Tether Breaks
[Mother]: Son, no. Just wait. Just stop here.

[Wisdom]: Please. You can’t, you won’t, hear me.

[Mother/Wisdom]: Before the silver tether breaks,
before the golden bowl is crushed . . .
The nightingale keeps you awake,
and your daughter’s song is hushed.
The doors to the street are closed,
and dim are all your windows.

[Zak]: I’ve got time.
There’s no rush,
I’m young. In my prime.
Before I die, I’ll remember.

[Mother/Wisdom]: Oh, no don’t wait.

[Zak]: I’ll remember.

[Mother/Wisdom]: Before the grinding ones are still,
because their numbers are so few . . .
They stand idle by the mill.
All the mighty shoulders stoop.
They all fear the high place
and the terrors on the road.

[Zak]: What now?
Save your sermon.
I’m doing fine.
You have my word.
I’ll remember.

[Mother/Wisdom]: You don’t have time to lose!

[Zak]: Let me be! I’ll stop then, but I can’t now.

[Mother]: Son, no. Just wait. Just stop here.

[Wisdom]: Please. You can’t, you won’t, hear me.

[Mother/Wisdom]: Son, please, no. You just can’t wait. You just won’t stop here. Hear me!

[Zak]: I choose to live before I’ll remember.

[Mother]: Recall the roots that speak truths.

[Wisdom]: Turn from black of night to God.

[Mother/Wisdom]: Re-turn. Call from the black roots of that night. Speak to truth’s God.
Track Name: The Wrong Man
[Zak]: Tell me. Do you have the time?

[Clock Keeper]: Let’s see. I can tell you don’t.

[Zak]: Why not?

[Clock Keeper]: Only time will tell.

[Zak]: Tell what?

[Clock Keeper]: Tell what time you have.

[Zak]: But I am, I am not ready to go yet.
I am the wrong man.
You can’t.
… Oh, damn.
But I am, I am not ready to die.

[The Wrong Man]: So, I have this dream. I try to hide, but he finds me. The Law. The Law Man. He comes around and I’m like, “I swear you’ve got the wrong man.” And he says, “Yes, you are the wrong man.” And I’m like, “Oh, damn.” And he says, “He says, ‘Yes. Damn.’ And what he says will stand.”
Track Name: What It’s Cost
———
Track Name: Precious in the Sight
[Preacher]: Precious in the sight of God is
the death of righteous men, but
we will still miss them.

[Zak]: When we die,
who knows what happens then …
Will we rise? Or will we just descend
down, down to the grave,
to the place
from whence no praise escapes.

[Preacher]: No, but I know my Redeemer lives.
I will see him with my eyes.
And in this flesh, now so clothed in death,
I will rise. Yes, we will rise.
Track Name: Requiem Shark
[Zak, for remainder of album]: I had a question for you.
I know I haven’t prayed since my youth.
And I don’t know if you’re there, but
I had a question I had intended
to ask you. Where was I? I lost it.

Thoughts, like blood that sinks in water,
pull apart.
Come together. Pull apart.

Please. Talk to me.
Are you there? [testing … testing … testing …]

Tried this once before. Came up to your door.
I rang. But you didn’t come.
Now I’m here again. Speak if you are in.
It’s late. Don’t make me wait.
I wanna know… Where was I? I lost it.

Thoughts, like blood that sinks in water, pull apart.
Come together. Pull apart.
Please. Talk to me!
Are you there? Are you there? [testing … ]
Track Name: Anamnesia
———
Track Name: Answer Me
Answer me when I call.
Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous, my righteous God.

Give me relief from my distress,
my righteous God.

Answer me when I call.
Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous, my righteous God.

Give me relief from my distress.
Have mercy on me.
Hear my prayer,
my righteous God.
Track Name: Death’s Hand
———
Track Name: Goodspeed God’s Fire
We all have little time
to live our lives.
We have barely enough
to say our goodbyes.

And so we’ll try before the night
to fight the fight and make it right
and stay the day. Oh, the day!
But it all slips away.

One dawn, we’ll greet the light
with failing eyes.
We’ll be so tired and gray,
so slow to realize.

And so we’ll try before the night
to fight the fight and make it right
and stay the day. Oh, the day!
But it all slips away.

And is it all part of a plan?
If that’s so, I feel irrelevant.
A spare piece stuck in a great machine
that pays no attention as it counts the time
I’m keeping.

I want to be safe in his hand—
he whose eye is on the sparrow.
When everything passing will be alive,
and the groaning world will see
the sign and seal,
the grave will yield
the sons revealed.

He’ll roll it up when it’s done—
when history is threadbare and worn.
Goodspeed God’s fire.
Pale sin withers, blisters in the pure desire
making everything new. . . .
Track Name: Reflections
———
Track Name: Waltzing with Woland
Bloodstain on the horizon,
morning pink in the sky.
Light, rise from your coffin,
new as you’ve ever been.
You live to live again,
constant but free, as I long to be.
I’ll take you in, under my skin,

for I have been
waltzing with Woland tonight.
He gave me a fright.
I feel the chill even still.
He told me I’d lost the fight.
Part of me died tonight.
I’m undone.
Out of time.
Here he comes now.

I’m nothing, nothing but vapor—
driftwood gathered for burning.
But what will come after?
I will be raised again.
Death, you’ll kill naught but sin.

Then Death turned around
and looked down at me.
He lifted his cloak and then,
he spoke:

“I too have been
waltzing with Woland tonight.
He gave me a fright.
I feel the chill even still.
He told me we’d lost the fight.
Part of me died that night.
I’m undone.
Out of time.
Here he comes now.”

Death is swallowed up in victory. . . .