December 15, 2017

The Judas Kiss by Metallica

Known for an aggressive death-metal style, Metallica has reigned for decades as one of the world’s most popular heavy rock bands. Fronted by charismatic blond singer James Hetfield, Metallica’s current lineup also features guitarist Kurt Hammett, drummer Lars Ulrich, and bassist Robert Trujillo.

In 2008, these American thrash-metal masters released their ninth studio album, Death Magnetic; the eighth track on this Rick Rubin-produced effort was The Judas Kiss. If you’re interested in learning more about The Judas Kiss lyrics and what they mean, you’ll enjoy this…

metallica posterThe Metallica Judas Kiss song, like many of the band’s tracks, is a journey into the heart of darkness. Themes such as frustration, alienation, and the abuse of power are explored. These concepts are woven into a Biblical allegory, where Christ’s betrayer, Judas, lies in wait, searching for new victims.

In the Metallica Judas Kiss lyrics, Hetfield sings from the point of view of a destroyer. One whose sole purpose is to inspire perpetual unrest, corruption, and unhappiness:  

Followed you from dawn of time
Whispered thoughts into your mind
Watched your towers hit the ground
Lured your children never found
Helped your kings abuse their crown

The first line of this Judas Kiss Metallica verse draws listeners back to Biblical times, telling the story of a dark spirit who encourages sin, destruction, hubris and death. This Satanic or Judas-like figure may also be a metaphor for all of the dark urges of mankind. The lyrics paint a picture of an evil creature that feels real disdain for the weaknesses and foibles of human beings:

In the heart of feeble man
Plant the seeds of my own plan
The strong and powerful will fall
Find a piece of me in all
Inside you all

When Hetfield sings “find a piece of me in all, inside you all”, he is reinforcing the idea that sin, weakness, and corruption are innate. In a sense, this Judas-like figure is trying to convince listeners that they too are doomed:

You don’t exist.
Cannot resist,
The Judas kiss.

The central theme of The Judas Kiss is that every man or woman will eventually fall prey to some temptation that will lead him or her into sin or disaster. In the lyrics, politics, monarchy, and the story of Jesus and Judas are all used to illustrate different types of power. Corruption through the “Judas kiss” can be spiritual or tangible – it comes down to “selling out”.

In fact, Metallica themselves have been accused of this very sin.

Most notably, their brash drummer, Lars Ulrich, waged a war against fans that pirated the band’s music. In the eyes of many of his critics, he had become what Metallica had always professed to despise…a corporate elitist who was now out of touch with the everyday lives of his listeners.

“It was a very odd time for me. I’m sitting there reading, Lars Ulrich is pro-record company, and I’m thinking, What Lars Ulrich is that? I’d just spent 20 years fighting against the f—in’ music industry! Metallica is anti-bootlegs.”
 
Metallica have weathered the storms; they’ve created a legacy despite tragedies (such as the death of former bassist Cliff Burton, and their guitarist’s battles with alcoholism). It’s possible that James Hetfield perceives himself as someone who has been tempted, defiled, and redeemed. He sings:

So bow down
Sell your soul to me
I will set you free
Pacify your demons
 
This verse may serve as a warning to listeners. If you don’t preserve your sense of self and stay on a higher path, you may be consumed by psychological demons.

When this happens, you will be lost…this self-destruction is the essence of the “Judas kiss”.

History of Lady Gaga’s Hit Songs

Lady Gaga on Stage

StephenCarlile/flickr

Wild and irreverent, Lady Gaga enjoys pushing the envelope with her outrageous costumes, offbeat stage antics, and unique song lyrics. This talented performer, who began life as Stefani Germanotta (b. 1986), has spent her adulthood reinventing herself; in the process, she’s also revitalized the dance music genre with her driving beats, infectious pop melodies, and deep, distinctive singing voice. If you’re a fan of lady gaga songs, you’ll enjoy learning more about the history of Lady Gaga and her hottest tunes… 

Inspired by the flamboyant style of Queen’s late front man, Freddie Mercury, Lady Gaga had this to say about her idol: “He was not only a singer but also a fantastic performer, a man of the theatre and someone who constantly transformed himself. In short: a genius”.

Like Mercury, she has always offered her fans dramatic vocal performances and a bold songwriting style. She began her musical career by recording her first studio album, The Fame, in 2008.

A quick glance at the Lady Gaga song list from this record reveals gems like Poker Face and Paparazzi. These popular songs are sexy, hypnotic tracks that inspire endless fanfare and critical acclaim. Every hit song from The Fame is accompanied by lady gaga music videos that feature the singer in masks, wigs, and a series of body-conscious, shocking outfits.

Lady Gaga videos offer fans a taste of the pop diva’s biggest hits, as well as access to her impressive acting talent – scenes with background dancers and handsome male love interests evoke a postmodern, yet theatrical, sensibility.  Lady Gaga is a powerful female role model who always takes the lead and gets what she wants. This is one of the reasons why her hit songs have become iconic for today’s listeners – her strong image is always a factor in her overall success.

The Fame triggered a dizzying array of “monster” hits, including, Just Dance and Lovegame. The success of this groundbreaking album led to a special deluxe edition of the record titled, The Fame Monster (2009). A trio of popular singles came from this new EP; the first was Bad Romance… shortly afterwards, Telephone and Alejandro were also destined to become massive hits.

In 2011, the list of lady gaga albums grew longer as the singer revealed a sneak preview of her forthcoming record, Born This Way (due for release in late May of 2011). Heavily hyped on Twitter and other social media sites (yes, lady gaga is on Twitter as @LadyGaga), fans waited in frenzied anticipation for the next chapter in Stefani Germanotta’s musical journey.  

The first single from her upcoming record (also titled Born This Way), was derided for its similarities to Madonna’s 80’s dance hit, Express Yourself. However, Lady Gaga’s anthem of individuality and equality still receives lots of airplay and fan support. Gay rights activists are pleased with the song’s inclusive message, which surely supports the idea of acceptance for all types of people and all sorts of relationships. The new hit features bright, crisp synthesizers and a sultry, spoken-word introduction.

A second preview single, Judas, is currently creating great controversy all over the world. The biblical references in this song are myriad, and they are woven into a story about loving a man who reciprocates with endless cruelty and betrayal:

I wanna love you,
But something’s pulling me away from you.
Jesus is my virtue,
Judas is the demon I cling to (I cling to).

These intense lyrics shock some religious listeners, because they reference Jesus and his betrayer, Judas Iscariot, while also featuring strong romantic or sexual overtones. While the true meaning of Lady Gaga’s Judas lyrics are something only she knows, it’s a safe bet that this clever songstress knew her hot new single would go down in history due to its subject matter alone.

The fascinating history of Lady Gaga and her hit singles is a work in progress – after all, she’s young, energetic, and so ambitious. This dynamic performer is guaranteed to have a few tricks up her sleeve.

Time will tell if the singer manages to hang on to “The Fame” she worked so hard to achieve.