Hitchhiking to Byzantium


Released 30th May 2014

Robert James Moulding
Vocal, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Percussion and additional Keyboards, Sound Effects

David Eaton
Keyboards, Guitars, Harmonies, Sound Effects

Steven Eaton
Drums, Percussion, Hamonies

Douglas Skene
Guitar, Harmonies

Dean Bennison
Guitar, Harmonies


Martin Cook
Flute on 'Partitionists' and 'A Room with a View', Tenor Saxophone and Trumpet on 'Blood is Thicker than Common Sense'

Katrina Shaw, Sarah Schols and Becky Bennison
Additional Vocals on 'Hitchhiking to Byzantium' and 'Crimson Stained Romance'

Late Arrival - Anthony Stewart (Bass and Harmonies)

Released 31st May 2014

Produced and Mixed by Dean Bennison
Assisted by Anubis

Mastered by Rick O'Neill

Anubis’ third album, Hitchhiking to Byzantium is a concept album about the changes in life and the way one deals with others as they progress through them. After A Tower of Silence the band went through a period of personal and professional upheaval, with changes to both families and even the band itself. The situation manifested in an album that was more personal and immediate than anything the band had previously done.

Eschewing the long-form narrative for a more thematic approach, the album loosely chronicles a person's escape from a life they no longer feel they belong in. The breaking off of ties and relationships (Dead Trees), of loneliness and isolation (A King with No Crown), the self-examination of one's faliures as a role model (Blood is Thicker than Common Sense), the gradual withdrawal from society (Tightening of the Screws), the influence of money and power and it's corrupting force on the soul (Partitionists), of numbing the pain through alcohol or isolation (A Room with a View), of escape and escapism (Hitchhiking to Byzantium, Fadeout) and the ultimate realisation of the value of the people around you and how they make you stronger for just being there (Silent Wandering Ghosts). It's an emotionally weighty record that owes far more to the modern progressive rock stylings of Steven Wilson, Anathema or Marillion than of the band's more usual comparisons of Pink Floyd or Genesis.

Influenced by the Yeat's poem, 'Sailing to Byzantium', Hitchhiking to Byzantium is a meditation on trying to find inner peace. It was recorded using much of the modern technology available, and as such sounds markedly different to the albums that preceded it and the one that subsequently followed it. With the band reduced to a five-piece until the arrival of bassist Anthony Stewart shortly before the albums's completion, Robert Moulding performs all of the bass guitar, as he'd previously done on the 230503 album. The second single taken from the record, Dead Trees, had significant radio play across Australia and Europe, becoming a stage favourite and a mainstay in the band's live set.

(Douglas Skene/Robert James Moulding/David Eaton)

As we take to the skies
In the storm of tales and lies
We're a part that's played
In our yesterdays

And catch the rain
Like droplets of fire and pain
Life’s memories
In the palm of our hands

As we watch our lives
With all the wrongs and rights
Hoping that they'd fade
So we could turn away

And we'd question where
We’d find a sky that’s clear
Where we can let go
Of all that we own

A King With No Crown
(Robert James Moulding/David Eaton/Douglas Skene/Steven Eaton)

It's all superiority;
Your wildest dreams,
A yearning notoriety;
Knife in back, end justifies the means

Live atop the highest peak,
Plated in gold,
The altitude will make you weak;
As you fall you'll see your name dissolve.

A fantasy that will not hide
The casualty that lives inside
Reality will always be
A lingering memory

It's all so very saleable;
With a lie on your face,
The taste you bring is unbearable -
But taste can be so easily erased.

Aspiration lies in distant dreams;
You're a king with no crown -
As you're left to walk the same old streets,
With the pain that haunts you in your cold hometown 

A fantasy that will not hide
The casualty that lives inside
Reality will always be
A lingering memory

The time will come and you will know -
The demons come to overthrow;
When all of this will cease to be;

A memory to you and me.

Dead Trees
(Robert James Moulding/David Eaton)

Is it too late to break away?
This is the bed we made.
We stand here in disarray,
A screaming serenade.

Night after night 
I could never see the answers in your eyes, that's when I sold my soul again.
Time after time 
I could never see the answers in my lies, that's when I sold my soul again.

You push me to jealousy
You're hungry for my pain
I break you down relentlessly
Your passion has been drained

I'm tired and weak and I cannot see 
The blackened forest among dead trees. It's scary. 
We broke the rules in the games we played,
And wore out the fire to question each day together. 
Slowly but surely driving me to the bottle, 
I'm drowning in guilt, a failed role model to everyone. 

In time we will know whether we can grow apart.

It would be hard for me to go and believe
that by the end we'd be enemies forever.
Giving up now, it's explained to me,
That I don't love you and you don't love me. I'm sorry. 
I'm packing my bag and I'm hitting the road,
I'm starting anew with my dreams to sew and prosper.

In time we will know if we can grow apart.

Hitchhiking to Byzantium
(Dean Bennison/Robert James Moulding/David Eaton)

Standing, frozen, lonely, in the dead of night;
But further down the road is something bright;
A place that fuels my need for warmth and light.

Can you pull yourself together,
When there’s no pieces left?
And can you crawl your way towards a home,
Pretending it's your own?

Waiting for the daybreak so we can turn and run,
Awakening new chances when moonlight fades to sun.

As life became too hard for me to explain,
It seemed that I was strong enough to remain,
But I was just too weak to make that change.

On the other side, lie all my hopes;
That cannot be denied.
The promise that will help me re-define,
And leave the doubt behind.

I’ll crawl from east to west,
Forgetting all the promises I kept,
And tell myself that on the other side,
I’ll no longer need to hide.

Waiting for the daybreak so we can turn and run,
Awakening new chances when moonlight fades to sun.

Living life in circles, like a devil's carosel,
The last of my life's chances to find heaven in this hell.

I’ve had to understand that I cannot hide;
I’ve had to torture myself and swallow my pride;
I’ve only got myself to blame as I hitchhike.

Tightening of the Screws
(Douglas Skene/Robert James Moulding/David Eaton)

Where are you as we live these separate lives
Where are you as I try to recognise
Our forgotten days that live silently
Distant memories taunt me

When did you begin 
To think that this over
and lie in to my eyes?
When will I begin to let this die?

How can you break these old familiar ties?
How can you be here and not realise
All these homesick dreams that you cant see
Future fantasies haunt me

How could you begin 
To say that this over
Tell me to my eyes
How can I begin to let this die?

Wiser men would say
A future can't be made
By tightening of the screws
In people you can use

Years have passed since then. In a different place.
I feel nothing now when I see your face
Too much time has passed to lay the blame
Yet seems to me you're running just the same

When will you begin 
To see again it's over
I see in it your eyes
When will you begin to let it die?

(Robert James Moulding/David Eaton/Douglas Skene)

Endless craving to be rich
With their hearts as black as pitch
Have the power to evolve 
As their human side dissolves
Poor are there to undermine
Cannibals prefer no spines
All their words will condescend 
This means nothing in the end

You preyed on their countless lives
Watched them as they burned alive
You increase in equity
Show off your vulgarity 
Climb your way up to the top
There's nowhere for you to stop
You don't care who you offend
This means nothing in the end

And in your soul
Misfortune grows
Out of control

A deep black hole

Plastic hearts will grow so cold
At least your class is shining gold
Pinstripes pressed to bring acclaim
Of boardroom reptiles once again
Asking me to hush my mouth
As your growth cant be announced
You'll continue to ascend
This means nothing in the end

Dead upon the boardroom floor
Combination sport and war
Hidden shadows of a snake
Reeling in who takes the bait
Trap them with your quick white lies
A coward masks his yellow eyes
Forces paper to your pen
This means nothing in the end


The ice is cracking underfoot
The water calls your name
It's waiting here to take you 
And drag you down again.

You place your faith in remedies 
And hide from your nightmares
The silent ghosts that haunt your dreams
They drive you to despair

The pain within begins to burn
You're suffering inside
If you had the will to wish away
The thoughts of suicide

And then you find you've lost it all
It's driving you insane
The well has dried up long ago
Can't wash away the stains


With knowledge you can seize the world
With fear you can control
But 'lesser men' will always see
Your world unfold

You walk blank corridors
Of hopes and dreams
Your heart will always follow 
Where greedy minds lead

Your coins can't take away
They can't postpone
The cold reality
Of your own headstone.

Crimson Stained Romance
(Dean Bennison/Robert James Moulding/David Eaton)

Eternal light that shone so bright, so rapidly can fade

The darkness of a soul inside, a faithless renegade
Before the will we're forced a side 
These colours showing through the lies
Given means to a wish upon a star.

To walk along celestial shores 
Create eternal troubled storms
To fill the hole inside once more

And help the heart and mind restore.

Asking for forgiveness so this guilt can fall asleep
Display the word so proudly there upon the mantelpiece
Maybe you'll denounce the crown 
Until your life is at sundown
With fingers firmly crossed behind your back.

But when the words are spoken out realities can change,
With stories of distant time to stone the heart that's chained
Will my wings tear through my skin 
And aim toward some hallowed king?
Soaring up into eternal sunlight?

The absence of a soul, a God-shaped hole,
You become the very thing you hate,
In trying to decide if you were wrong or you were right,
You gambled and you lost the fight
To bet against the howling pack,
You laid it all on black.

And on reflection, one single voice
Can't undo two-thousand ages past,
Through all your days, you'll not find the way
To break this crimson stained romance.
To place your faith in fortune
You'll find you're just a man.

A Room With A View
(Robert James Moulding/David Eaton/Douglas Skene/Dean Bennison/Steven Eaton)


When you are finally removed
Still clinging to your youth
Even in death, You'll still be scared of the truth
Locked inside a room with a view


Laying down upon the mattress of this empty room
The distant highway sings slow and solemn empty tune
I need to find some sleep within this dusty hiding place 
i couldn't handle living in the rat race

The cracks upon the walls look down on me as I descend 
The shame within me means the darkness has become a friend
In my dreams I earned what I accomplished
But it was impossible to win

It's a blanket for my mind
(Blanket for my mind)
As I tiptoe back in time
(Tiptoe back in time)
I open up these wounds
(Open up these wounds)
And take a good look inside

(Take a look inside)

The mirror's shattered into pieces on the dirty floor
A mute reminder of the shame that I had worn before
I look upon my self as I no longer recognise
I've lost the parts that help me socialise

I stagger to my feet and look upon the dresser draw
The phone keeps ringing even though I cannot take the call
Even if i wanted, I could never answer
My pride still lives within


The haze grows
The feeling slows
Without control  
His world unfolds
He's breaking away
From life's decay

He leaves behind
A poisoned mind
The only way
The numbness stays 
To medicate 
His loneliness again 


We'd heard it all before 
It's a world we never saw
We live to justify
But fail to recognise

We live inside these dreams
Trapped, or so it seems,
Never honest to ourselves
And no-one asks for help

(We do not believe)
In your memory
(You will ever know)
theres nothing left theres nowhere left to go
(You just hide yourself)
A product of your faded wealth
(Until you disappear)
Everything you ever feared.

The more we learn
The less we know
The more you own
The less there is of your soul


Our battles left us with these scars
Paths defining what we are
Even in death, You're still scared of the dark
As the fears define who we are
We'll find we never had a clue
As little we know is really true
When we are finally removed
From this room with a view.

Silent Wandering Ghosts
(Robert James Moulding/David Eaton/Dean Bennison)

As we attempt to turn the page

On our heartbreak,
On all the weight from our yesterdays
That kept us awake
The wrong path at a fork in the road
It's the same mistake,
And as the memories fade away
The ghosts remain.

Behind our eyes, everything we've left behind
All we find, are relics of different time
We are justified but only when the tears have dried 
Forevermore, We cant ignore
With all these ghosts, what we need the most.

Looking back on all the journeys made
Who takes the blame?
When all the colours have turned to grey
Do you feel the same?
When what we love only causes pain
We fear the change
But like a snowflake on windowpane
It melts away.

You can change what you're thinking, change who you are,
Creating some distance then live from afar,
But when everything's over, you're scared and alone,
It's so cold at the top and there's nobody left at home.

Together we're stronger, together we're kings
In all of our kingdoms, our winters, our springs.
Learning to feel, to live and be one
With what's past, or is passing, or what is still yet to come.
Lyrics (c) 2013 R.J Moulding and D. Eaton

Hitchhiking to Byzantium


Awakening new chances, as the moonlight fades to sun...

"This record, if I'm to be honest", says keyboard player David Eaton of Anubis' long awaited third album, "is the record we'd have made back in 2006, if we'd been good enough". And let's face it, he should really know. It's been ten long years since the idea to write a concept album about a
Awakening new chances, as the moonlight fades to sun...

"This record, if I'm to be honest", says keyboard player David Eaton of Anubis' long awaited third album, "is the record we'd have made back in 2006, if we'd been good enough". And let's face it, he should really know. It's been ten long years since the idea to write a concept album about a lost friend spurred him and vocalist Robert James Moulding into forming what would evolve into Anubis.

This third album, 'Hitchhiking to Byzantium' is the first Anubis album not to have a plot or narrative. It's more of a thematic work, based on modern life. "It's about growing older and trying to do better at things", says guitarist Dean Bennison, "and about the excuses we make for ourselves, all the crutches and braces that we find for ourselves along the way, and how good and bad they are for us". "It's perhaps a little more esoteric than the last two albums", say guitarist Douglas Skene, "although I think at core they all touch upon the same theme - which is what is and isn't important to people in their lives". "You do still get the sense that it's someone" says drummer Steven Eaton, "Someone who is on a journey. And the hope is that when they get there, they're happy with what they've found".

However, the journey to find Byzantium hasn't been easy. Nearly three years, and a new line-up later, the band find themselves under pressure to deliver a record that matches up to the expectations left by it's predecessors. "We've had a lot of motivation because there is so much to live up to" says Moulding, candidly. But that pressure has already yielded rewards. Most importantly, the addition of new bassist Anthony Stewart. "Anton's just fantastic" says Dave, "and although he didn't arrive in time to play on this record, he knew exactly what did need to be done and has done it brilliantly, really adding to our chemistry". "He's just a phenomenal player" says Robert Moulding, who did play the bass on Byzantium, "absolutely, definitely the standout when it came to looking to people to work with".

Whilst it doesn't have the narrative cinematic approach, Hitchhiking to Byzantium does have an emotional punch quite unlike anything before on an Anubis record. "Whilst we hid all our very real emotions behind conceits before - haunted workhouses and lost friends - this record is about the things that happen every day" says David. "I feel that there's more of us in there - the hurdles that life throws at us and the only way to feel true inner peace - by examining the love around you. It's certainly an introspective record - but it's real life. It's about you, it's about me, it's about all of us. Hitchhiking to Byzantium. That journey is life."

Hitchhiking to Byzantium is out on Bird's Robe Records, 30th May 2014.

The band play the 'Prog the Castle' festival in Germany and tour Europe for the first time in May 2015.
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