Ok, so we’re back at Rock & Soul for a Halloween inspired encore. I cut my guitar chops on records like Master of Puppets, …And Justice For All, and the Black Album. If you don’t know these titles than you don’t know one of the biggest, highest record selling bands of history: Metallica.
I can’t say I was a huge fan of Loaded and Re-Loaded, which I bought but never really bought into. However, James and the boys are back in a vengeance with this latest single release “Now That We’re Dead” off their latest record, “Hardwired…To Self Destruct”. This single reached #2 on the Mainstream Rock billboard.
If you’re rolling your eyes at the titles, good for you: welcome to heavy metal drama at its finest!
When I first heard this song, I immediately connected biblical stories. It’s rife with religious imagery. If you surf Reddit very much, even on a website that is traditionally very secular and anti-religious, people were curious.
It’s fascinating to note that while lots of people aren’t part of a church or think of living their faith as an intentional choice both personally and communally, the impact of the bible on our culture is still loud and clear.
So What! interviewed James Hetfield on the lyrics:
“NOW THAT WE’RE DEAD”
JH: Yeah, at the end of the day we’re all the same. Having something to believe in, maybe there’s an afterlife. Maybe it started out as wanting to be more of a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. We’re in this together.
Helping each other through life. And you know, “now that we’re dead,” I mean that could mean lots of things. Actually, you are dead. You’re onto the next life. Or you’ve gone through something horrible as a couple. Now you’re [both] on the other side of it. So, trusting in another person.
And at the end of the day, your behaviors, whatever you’ve done, they’re just behaviors. You can amend them, you can make up for them, and together, move on with a clean conscience. There’s [also] an exploration feel of, like, “I don’t know what’s next – come on, let’s try it. Let’s go. Let’s do it.”
Ummm…ok. Let’s recap:
1) Humanity is equal.
2) We’re in this life together. There’s more to life than we know or imagine.
3) We have to help each other.
4) In order to find resurrection (“new life”) we need to let some things go (“die”)
5) Your behaviours don’t define you. There is hope. It’s never too late to find reconciliation and new life.
6) We don’t know what happens around the next turn, so let’s go there together, trusting we aren’t alone.
So who knew the lead singer of one of the world’s greatest heavy metal bands can preach the gospel of Jesus and hit number 2 on a billboard with none the wiser? Ok, that’s a bit of a stretch, but only just.
We all know that’s what baptism is about right? At least in part, it’s a ritualized way of demonstrating we have to let some things go in order for something new to begin. For God, death isn’t the end. God is never finished creating, and baptism is always a sign that even with death, behold, God is making all things new. Even me and you.
It’s a kinda well established theme in scripture eh?
So, put on your Halloween best, crank those laptop speakers and enjoy some serious skull candy by listening to the audio below. The official video has more than 14.4 million hits.
Below is a road trip through each verse that connects the bible with the song. As always, what it means is up to you, but here’s how I hear it…
When darkness falls
May it be
That we should see the light
[John 1:1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
“The light” in John’s gospel is the life of God’s Word of creation in Jesus. In the original language of the gospel, it’s translated as “Logos”. You know that word because you see it in Psych-ology , Bi-ology, Physi-ology, etc.
It’s a principle around and through whi