Son of the Morning, by Oh, Sleeper

January 23, 2016 - Leave a Response

This is one of those tracks that epitomizes how lyrical meaning can be radically extended by the medium in which it is delivered.  While I think the lyrics on their own merits are pretty profound, their execution against the shrill guitars and angst of the vocal performance infuse them with a level of intensity and meaning that could not be captured otherwise.  This is definitely one of my favorite songs.

Synopsis

As I interpret it, this song is ultimately a conversation between Satan and the crucified Christ, or rather a monologue from two radically different perspectives.

Throughout the song, the devil exults in his apparent victory over the “weak forgiver,” the supposed savior who has been vanquished by the devil’s hand in the grave.  Satan continues by mocking the dead Christ, intimating that he should have used his power to save himself, rather than “wasting power on grace.”  And having triumphed over Christ in death, the devil promises that the same end which now enfolds the body of the redeemer will be that toward which he will lure all those Christ came to save.

But his boast does not end, for though his rise has at times been thwarted, surely this victory in the cross is his vindication.  It is Satan’s crowning achievement, the final necessity for fully claiming the world as his throne, using the very ones Christ failed to save as the backs upon which his rule will be built.  This is a glorious new reality, a “dawn which will last forever.”

Yet in the midst of the violence and provocation, against the boasting of victory and the relishing of death and decay, the words of the crucified break through simply, yet clearly:

“If you could see like me you’d see, you haven’t won anything”

Though the death of the savior appears to be a victory for the powers of sin and death, they see things from a false perspective.  Rather than a loss, through death Christ will be shown as the ultimate victor, triumphing over the power of sinfulness and death through the very means by which they sought to destroy him. Though Satan dons the crown of the “son of the morning” and the “lord of the air” and the “ruler of the world,” Christ will inevitably triumph.  By the newness of life granted to him by the Father, Christ’s resurrection has shown the powers of sin and death to be ultimately bankrupt and vacuous.  Unable to hold Christ in death, the chains of sin and violence are broken, and the rule of the devil and the darkness are shattered forever.

Surely, from a perspective of blindness, it seems obvious that Satan has the upper hand and has triumphed.  But if he could see things from the eyes of the resurrected Christ, he’d see the truth that his power has been broken; his victory is really an everlasting defeat.

I hope you enjoy the song, and if you do, please lend a few dollars and support the band.

Son of the Morning

I am the rival. I am the one who speaks in whisper.

Hear me now, dear, weak forgiver.

Hear me now, weak forgiver. Hear me now…

Don’t send an angel to face the devil.

You’re wasting power on grace. A maggot will always seek to feed from the grave,

where I’ll lead them and teach them to feast on the skin that defeats them, the skin they crave.

If you could see like me you’d see you haven’t won anything.

If you could see like me you’d see, it’s by my grace you’re breathing.

If you could see like me you’d see you haven’t won anything.

If you could see like me you’d see.

Every night I start my rise, climbing high into the morning sky,

but soon after I lose your bride and I damn your son for stealing my light.

This world is mine…

They call me the son of the morning. They call me the son of the morning.

I can mound all your fallen past the clouds as they roll in,

and when I do I will claim your throne through all these cowards you call your sons.

I am the lord of air and my dawn will last forever.

Go on pouring out because in the end I will have them.

If you could see like me you’d see you haven’t won anything.

If you could see like me you’d see, it’s by my grace that you’re breathing.

If you could see like me you’d see you haven’t won anything.

If you could see like me you’d see, your precious light is fading.

Your light is fading.

The Video

Quick note: There is a LOT of screaming in this song.  If that’s not your cup of tea, you’ve been warned 🙂

An Open Fire, Day 25 (Finale): O Come, O Come Emmanuel

December 25, 2015 - Leave a Response

Metal

Well, it’s finally here…the very last entry in this list of awesome metal (and some not-really-metal-but-still-really-cool) Christmas songs. To finish off the list, I wanted to end with my favorite Christmas carol, O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Not only is this my favorite carol, but the version by For Today that I’ve included is one of the sickest versions of this (or any) Christmas song I think I’ve ever heard.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the last 25 days of Christmas metal…I know I have! Merry Christmas to all–enjoy the holiday season!

An Open Fire, Day 25 (Part 1): Pellek & Erock

December 25, 2015 - Leave a Response

Metal

It’s Christmas! Such an awesome day is too big to be constrained to just one metal Christmas song, so here’s a freshly-pressed mashup from Pellek and Erock to get your Christmas off to a thrashing start!

Later today, I’ll post the final entry in this epic countdown. Enjoy!

An Open Fire, Day 24: Joy to the World

December 24, 2015 - Leave a Response

Metal

Hope you are enjoying this Christmas’ Eve! Here’s another (and final) entry from the ever-awe-inspiring August Burns Red, with their satisfying version of the classic hymn, Joy to the World.

Enjoy!

An Open Fire, Day 23: The King

December 23, 2015 - Leave a Response

Metal

The temperature in KC is starting to drop, but today’s offering–an awesome original from Wolves at the Gate–will warm your heart and melt your face (funny how that ties in with the theme of this list!).

Hope you enjoy!

An Open Fire, Day 22: Bethlehem

December 22, 2015 - Leave a Response

Metal

Today’s entry is a really cool song from Theocracy, simply entitled “Bethlehem”. Lyrically, this song is a play on the Nunc dimittis and is quite appropriate during this musical celebration of Christmas. Instrumentally, this song is great, classic power metal, oscillating between super-silky acoustic breakdowns and soaring, epic solos.

An absolutely perfect way to draw the day to an end…enjoy!

An Open Fire, Day 21: O Holy Night

December 21, 2015 - Leave a Response

Metal

Do you hear what I hear? More power metal!

Today’s offering is another soaring performance from the incomparable, 4-octave-traversing Pellek. As often occurs with the classic O Holy Night, opportunities present for big vocal finishes, and Pellek, as expected, does not disappoint!

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, and enjoy the tune!

An Open Fire, Day 20: Angels We Have Heard on High

December 20, 2015 - Leave a Response

Metal

Tick tock, tick tock! Only a few more days left until Christmas!

If you still have some last-minute shopping to get done, take along Archer’s version of Angels We Have Heard on High. It should get you worked up and keep you motivated to fight through the throngs.

Enjoy!

An Open Fire, Day 19: Viking Christmas

December 19, 2015 - Leave a Response

Metal

Christmastime is a magical season. It enraptures the senses and ensnares the mind. No one is immune, not even Vikings!

Or so Amon Amarth tell us in their original and fun Viking Christmas. I dare you, just try to avoid screaming along with them, “Nobody can escape the magic of Christmas”!

An Open Fire, Day 18: You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

December 18, 2015 - Leave a Response

Metal

We’re getting closer and closer to Christmas, and it’s not right to have this list go another day without a version of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch“.

There have been innumerable versions of this song over the years. I like a lot of the various takes on it, but I have special spot in my heart for this version from Kansas City’s own Queens Club. It has a great, easy-going flow, but at the same time is eerily fractured throughout. The classic melody is in place, but Queens Club’s approach is so original that it makes it feel like it’s not a cover at all…which is always a tell-tale mark of a GREAT cover!

Enjoy!