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Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Brutally Strong Metal
C.S. Lewis once observed that, in the 1500's, it was every poet's responsibility to make his work as edifying as it is pleasing. At the beginning of the 21st Century, Cooper and Marlette have created a heavy metal masterpiece that is clearly both.
Marlette's music has that strong sharp edge characteristic of only the finest heavy metal. Listening to these compositions is like admiring a piece of art that is made only of the highest quality steel. As lead singer, Cooper sings with the fortitude that is so characteristic of his high standards, and the band, including Marlette and renowned guitarist Ryan Roxie and drummer Eric Singer, is par excellence. Anyone who loves heavy metal ought to be spellbound by this great album.
Cooper's lyrics, while maintaining their high quality and macabre overtones, are among the most edifying I have ever heard. For example, in the title song "Brutal Planet", Cooper mentions the "ugly cross" of the Crucifixion and the ovens in the Holocaust within the same line, placing them on the same level and in tragic perspective with each other. Interestingly, last Sunday, my priest mentioned in his sermon the importance of a Christian's need to reflect upon the Cross before even considering to display, or wear, it in any way. I believe Cooper's lyrics enforce this important concept in the Christian listener's mind. In that same song, Cooper also refers to "Christian Flesh and Christian blood" being fed to the lions. While I assume Cooper may be referring to the atrocities that occurred in ancient Rome, whenever I hear these lyrics, I also take pause to think about the needless fighting between Christian denominations throughout history and around the world in places such as Northern Ireland.
In "Eat Some More" and "Gimme," Cooper attacks the global moral crises of both greed and waste. Lastly, in his satiric "Cold Machines", Cooper observes how "we walk past each other every single day. We're cold machines," which I take as an admonishment to abstain from behaving like "cold machines" and to pay attention to, and care about, the people around us every single day.
From a purely artistic perspective, I find Brutal Planet perfect for all times whenever I need to be awakened and energized by some fierce heavy metal. From a Christian perspective, I find it particularly appropriate for Lent, due to the edifying nature of the lyrics, although, by all means, for ultimate enjoyment, any time is a good time to listen to this masterpiece!