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A Refreshing Heavy Metal Album for Mind and Soul
Posted by: Galadrielle from: Southern California on
Last Temptation reminds me of a heavy metal version of Ray Bradbury's delightfully eerie novels. "Sideshow" captures the sinister carnival atmosphere of the album, which is reminiscent of the Bradbury classic Something Wicked This Way Comes. As it progresses, however, we become more and more aware of the fiercely intense spirituality of Cooper's lyrics.
In "Nothing's Free," in his line "30 Pieces of Silver and a deal is a deal," Cooper alludes to Judas Iscariot's fateful betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, and we are reminded that, indeed, nothing, not even wicked hedonistic pleasure, is free.
In "Unholy War," Cooper implies that the unconditional love of Jesus takes away the shame of sin. The title "Unholy War" is of particular significance to me personally as both a Christian and professionally as a historian because, in the course of my research, I am constantly dealing with, and am saddened by Christians needlessly fighting other Christians, most notably in the tragic Spanish Armada of the 1500's and the turmoil between the denominations that continues to occur in Northern Ireland, even, to my knowledge, in the early 21st Century. Indeed, whenever I hear Cooper's fiercely intense song, I am reminded to pray for Northern Ireland.
Cleansed by Fire is perhaps one of the best written rock lyrics from a Christian perspective. Cooper alludes to the joy of heaven by mentioning the "party going on and on - and on!" This reminds me of C.S. Lewis' similar end to the Narnian series in The Last Battle, in which Aslan declares "The term is over, the holidays have begun!" "Cleansed by Fire" is both somber and uplifting at the same time, as Cooper asks "What about truth, what about light, what about light, what about glory, what about Christ?" as the background vocalists continue to sing their joyous refrain about that ongoing party.
While this album is a good example of heavy metal at its finest, at the same time, I found it very spiritually enriching, as perhaps all great music ought to be. Music is bread for the soul! I enjoy playing Last Temptation during the sacred seasons of Christmas, Lent, and Easter, but whenever I need that extra dose of inspiration in my daily music, the first place for me to go is "Last Temptation!"
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