DISCLAIMER: The Zircon staff is an industrious and talented group of people who are sincerely full of #@it. Therefore, take thee not a word uttered or written by this dastardly bunch seriously. The Zircon pages, aside from their obvious humor value, are worth a mere fraction of their printing cost. Happy reading, live long and prosper, may the road rise up to…
The Donz – Staff Writer
As many Dordt students know, The Day Metallica Came to Church talks about the ability to find God in everything, even the music of Metallica. After reading The Day Metallica Came to Church, there is only one sensible conclusion: Metallica is really a deeply intelligent Christian Contemporary band.
Even the football team has found use for Metallica’s self-titled album, also known as The Black Album. But is likely they do not understand the genius and deep meaning of their entrance music, “Enter Sandman.” So why choose that song? Probably cultural appropriation – we’ll investigate.
The Zircon needed to investigate the holding power of the now 27-year-old album, as it seems that Kohl’s efforts to bring back the 90s weren’t completely in vain. Big facts: The Black Album is the fourth LP release to spend 500 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart.
The biggest highlight on The Black Album are its God-glorifying lyrics. While nuanced at first, reading the enlightening The Day Metallica Came to Church will allow one to transcend the subtle writing of James Hetfield. In all fairness, you may need a high IQ to understand Biblical truth buried here.
For example, “Enter Sandman” may appear to simpletons to be a song about nightmares. However, it is about reminding children to say their prayers before bed and the protection God gives. It’s too bad the football team can’t pick up on that theme of protection when taking the field—maybe then we could beat Northwestern.
Another track packed full of layers of good Christian theology is “Sad But True.” Aside from being heavier than the political undertones in chapel, “Sad But True” profoundly shows how God predestines our lives for a greater good. Remember kids, you’re a bad Christian if you don’t believe in predestination.
Contrarily, Metallica can serve up some deep meaning from the perspective of the other side of the table. The menacing “The God That Failed” shows life as a heathen. The following of false gods only leads to demolished expectations, as there is no help from what does not exist. “The God That Failed” is a powerful reminder to put faith in the one true God.
Production-wise, The Black Album has a wall of sound from the big rhythms of layered guitars, thumping bass, pounding drums, and worshipful lyrics. Since this is a metal album, it’s basically just noise and not very musical.
For The Black Album, Metallica took an average song length of 7:17 on their last album, …and Justice For All, and trimmed it to 5:13. Essentially, songs that were way too long are now just long. Nobody has time for songs over three minutes anymore.
Metallica should take notes from Lil Pump, whose “Gucci Gang” is only 2:04 in length, but still carries profound messages that say a lot about our society. I guess the songwriting is strong on The Black Album considering it is old enough to still be in crippling debt from getting a gender studies degree and living in its parent’s basement despite not being covered by their health insurance.
However, it’s easy to forgive Metallica for some speedbumps, as there is philosophy as tasteful as Cranberry Sprite is to LeBron James. The Black Album being over an hour might be a downside, but one could always just read the lyrics to get a majority of the effect.
Even though Christians will get the most out the spiritual lyrics of Metallica, the lyrics are still top notch. While the music is no more essential than turning on the TV to listen to the static, it’s something that really speaks to me as an angry, misguided, and miserable college student. Also, we aren’t mean enough to give a low rating; looking at you, Dordt Diamond.
10/10 – Just like you girl, hit me up 😉
Best Songs: “Sad But True”, “Back in Black”, “Through the Never”, & “Gucci Gang”