The Agent That Shapes The Desert

by Virus

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Ltd. to 300 copies, including a 40 minute instrumental pre-production session as bonus. . Preorder, out late 2019.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Agent That Shapes The Desert via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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The Agent That Shapes The Desert is the third album from Norwegian avantgarde rock maestros VIRUS. Its title and lyrical themes reflect the red desert sands on the cover as well as the shifts of the various lifeforms and elements of a planet headed for extinction. Observing the forces of nature, in contrast to their previous outing The Black Flux, which pictured the end of the world on a more psychological level. Whereas The Black Flux was a dense maelstrom that threatened to pull you under, The Agent... is dry, sharp and refined. It combines the dissonant guitar-washes of mastermind Czral's former band VED BUENS ENDE and The Black Flux with the outlandish nature of the band's Carheart debut, while simultaneously moving in several new directions at once. At the same time, The Agent... is the band's most coherent, catchy and well-produced effort yet, and should appeal to music addicts across a vast spectrum of genres. Czral's trademark sideways riffs are perfectly underscored by the concise, efficient drumming of Einz and Bjeima's adventurous bass lines. The vocals, also courtesy of Czral, are stronger than ever, at times reminiscent of a choir of mad preachers, at others subtle and brooding, giving off an air of desperation.


released February 14, 2011

Produced by Virus and Bård Ingebrigtsen
Recorded at Amper Tone, October ’09 - August ’10
Mastered at Strype Audio by Tom Kvålsvoll
Cover art by Eliran Kantor

Virus are:
Czral Michael - vocals, guitars
Einar ‘Einz’ Sjursø - drums

Bjeima - bass
Kris Rygg - vocals on Call Of The Tuskers
Bård Ingebrigtsen - violin, baritone guitar, piano
Kjartan Kristiansen - slide guitar on Where The Flame Resides


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Virus Oslo, Norway

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Track Name: The Agent That Shapes The Desert
The agent that shapes the desert,
you’re a well of dense fluids
From the basin of time, you have derived
from the lakes you’ve left behind
The boundless celestial season
drags the sands of time
In between your flecks of sparks,
a constellation of departed stars
A day in the life of the agent
One blink of the eye, pre-creation
From the catacombs where our dead rivers run
the constant red glows bright
A thousand arms point to the sun,
the sky picked clean and white
Into the bestial season,
the angry animals are all in sight
Just fiercely rotating, roaring
inbetween their specks of light
A day in the life of the agent
One blink of the eye, pre-creation
Analyzing eyes howl,
you watch the ashes engulf the sky
Known pulses hits the air,
behind a veil, your breath, you sneer
The radiant tunnels stashed,
now grasp the atmosphere
Washed away towards the tides,
and chased down towards the spine
Track Name: Continental Drift
Slow and accurate
over the fields where the first fossils were formed
The pendulum sways like a dead arm

I hear you here,
resonating from your shine
Blazing in the veins of the sun
you are viewing the great world

The visuals of your sounds resound
throughout all our known abysses
And floats around in the magma chambers

Toils with what’s forgotten
as all our craters are formed
The slowest (there is), the continents drifting
underneath the crusts of our deserts
Track Name: Chromium Sun
I’ve shovelled through dust to find you
To the point I heard the sound of your mind
Memories displayed a secret gallery
Cargo on an unmanned freight-train

You tell me the earth is a womb
Forging fake centuries
Plugging the entrance to a new world
Thriving in the realm of your chest

A chromium sun gleams in your eyes
Like a hatched-out horizon it bleaches the skies
The glowing behemoth came back from somewhere
And its chromium chest it breathes

Your skin is a barrier to another world
Centuries gone, just came back
Music in a silent universe
Ancient echoes from pre-historic birds

The desert monument stuttered
“Real and dry, hurt and scrape”
The hollow moment, battered
Is now wiped clean from the sky

The chromium sun gives a strict glare
Sliding on your limbs, overriding your sphere
The hatched-out horizon came back from nowhere
On its chromium hands and knees
Track Name: Red Desert Sand
The wrath of old rocks
placed upon the ridges
Bastions of the universe

Never fully spent
the sediments has taken them
The cold and damp has returned

Hear the thighless mother
in her inverted travail
Her shrieks float in the infinite blue

As the stars treat
how volcanoes are born
in the distorted red

From the slow slopes
and in the early winds
it echoes from all around
Track Name: Dead Cities Of Syria
Dancing on the surface of my eyes
the acoustics of the sands
The swarming song inside the heat
of the breath of dead sleep
That rocks the empty boats
tied up to the barren shores
and pounded by crumbling forts

I’ve found the dead cities of Syria
lost in the sands
The grains of ghosts
and traces of (various) apocalypses
and of men never born
Smouldered, harassed and bothered
where they stood, angelically,
shoulder to shoulder

In solitary landscapes empty men watches
Delicate pigments of gone silhouettes

There was life here
before the sands swept through the waters
and replaced the rapids
and sung and howled in between the houses
Track Name: Where The Flame Resides
The flares of life, the torches
The things to see when you slip into reason
The flares are there, dancing in the corner
Subtle reminders

And you see now that all around you
is dancing silently
as if to be discreet
As if life was all a discreet landscape
just dancing subtly around you
In the flame or where it resides
Next to the spent candle

Little containers, shrubs in your garden
Just light them and see
They have a way of showing you what you were missing
They seem eternal to me

You need a light to see in the dark
Here they come to life
Come to you little flowers of the dark

Little flames in an hourglass
travelling towards death
Like us, they move down
showing their descent
to the eyes they have illuminated
to the eyes they have illuminated
Track Name: Parched Rapids
Prophets call across burnt dunes
your name spells rusted carnival tunes
The sand hides hives of nested wombs
where fossils used to gallop
Watchers of the morning sift
Shifting ripples eye the world
where silence is knowledge
and creation is consumed in infinite truth

What sound would I make here
Would we be us when there is nothing left?
When minerals dry and turn to dust
the grains will form new ancient artworks
and the wind will roll up and down the dawn

Choirs of drifting trials – denials of the great fires
that drew the gravel into his veins
He’s the far away hills that swim into manes of silt

Strap your thoughts to this engine
that rears itself skyward
as the nimbus numbs itself to desire
Can we live with this sadness
that only rots inwards
Old rope that rows against the current
Twisted with the years
Track Name: Call Of The Tuskers
Casual is the presence of the sounds
that trained their ears to shield themselves in the deserts
from the cross-winds
eternally seeking them out
in vacant places and through the clockwork of ancient remains

- that rests on the ocean floor
- pulling the strings from the shadows

On the sites where they flogged
the elephants
and handled their bones…
Those fields are all scarred
Centuries howl in the last gleam in their eyes
Significant dreams reveals despise

- that rests on the ocean floor
- pulling the strings from the shadows

Red currents move their tusks
and their bones
Under the light of the ageing sun
Weaker with every contortion

As they wander through the desert plains
sizing up the universe
from the solar winds to this pleasant breeze
They’re drinking the first waters
as the islands are rising up from the seas

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