A long time ago John dumped a bunch of his id into book format, and brought us Mike Harmon, the Paladin of Shadows, and origin of the “Oh John Ringo, No” meme (an absolutely hysterical read, btw). One of the things prominent even in the earliest publicly available snippets were references to a song by the Crüxshadows, a darkwave/goth band, called “Winterborn”.

So I checked it out. Heavy on opening synths. A danceable beat. Meh voice. Absolutely driven in it’s delivery, and while dark, not nihilistic.
Now – I have a varied musical past – rooted in a weird mishmash of symphonic and broadway, Laurence Whelk, european folk, the Kiss Halloween special, radio country (and western, both types of music) and classic rock, metal, then new wave, and later grunge/goth/industrial and electronica. So I liked it.
I’ll even forgive the macspeech synthesized voices.
The song refers to a rough translation from the Iliad: *For the warriors of Illium were those most powerful and fell, They were those born of winter*.They are used to hardship. They are used to pain, and did not have a soft childhood or origins. They are ready and willing to sacrifice and suffer in order to survive, to ensure others – their friends, their families do. Winter is cold, bleak, but that which endures it springs to life. It also is unforgiving. In a world of whiny emo bands that can’t see anything more important than their own personal issues, it was a fucking breath of fresh air.

Dry your eyes
And quietly bear this pain with pride,
For heaven shall remember the silent and the brave.
And promise me, they will never see
The fear within our eyes. (my eyes are closed)
For we will give strength to those who still remain.

Touching on stoicism instead of the emotional hypersensitivity of much of today’s generation, as well as how panic and fear are contagious – by comporting ourselves, we set expectations for those around us, keep those with us calm.


Hold your head up high
For there is no greater love
Think of the faces of the people you defend
And promise me, they will never see
The tears within our eyes (My eyes are closed)
Although we are men with mortal sins,
Angels never cry

Echoing the classic line of poetry, and the need, desire, at least in those with honor, to try and live up to our ideals, and embody the image of them.

And in the fury of this darkest hour
We will be your light
You’ve asked me for my sacrifice
And I am Winter born
Without denying, a faith in God
That I have never known
I hear the angels call my name
And I am Winter born

And in the fury of this darkest hour
I will be your light
A lifetime for this destiny
For I am winter born
And in this moment…
I will not run, it is my place to stand
We few shall carry hope
Within our bloodied hands

Without denying, a faith in God That I have never known – in a way this embodies my own sometimes shaky relationship with the divine. The Creator. God. I have known, and more solidly now know, faith, but there are always periods of doubt.

And in this moment… I will not run, it is my place to stand – We constantly choose. To do, or not. To stand, or give in. He is winterborn – a soldier, and protecting his people. He will do his utmost to save them, and not give in to fear, to panic. He will not run – he has chosen his place.

I started checking out the album it came from, *Ethernaut*. The theme of the entire album is the Trojan war. Citadel refers to Troy. This was my first inkling that a) they could be godawful pretentious at times, and b) they often enough pulled it off well enough that I could listen to my favorites repeatedly, while ignoring the rest. That said, the band has certain themes. Where Sabaton’s last few albums have been about war and warriors, the Crüxshadows tend to deal in myth and history, especially greek. While some of there songs can be hopelessly pedastalizing, others deal in standing and fighting for ideals, for civilization. They’re uneven, but in a goth/emo world awash with pointless and nihilistic navel gazing, a band that looks out, that looks to myth, that looks to divinity, to nobility, is a breath of fresh air.Also – they put on one fun concert – while I’ll be posting it when discussing the song, the video for Birthday is a live show of theirs, I believe at some music festival, with a good size crowd.

I welcome any comments on these – as I’m just trying to put down what I get out of these songs, what they speak of to me, and not a full – blown literary critique.