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Blackened (song)

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Blackened (1988, ...And Justice For All) is a song on Metallica's 1988 studio album "...And Justice For All". The eerie/strange sounding intro is a reversed riff, followed by fast, heavy guitars. During the middle section of the song, it slows down into a heavy, rhythmic part with dual guitars, and a slow solo by Kirk Hammett, then it kicks back into a fast paced song with Kirk Hammett's faster solo. The song follows Metallica's pattern of having a Thrash song as the first track on the album.

ThemeEdit

The song talks about Nuclear War, eradication of humanity, and complete destruction of the earth.

Song StyleEdit

"Blackened" has the key signature E phrygian. Phrygian is a mode, neither of the more common Major (ionian mode) or minor (aolian mode).

The BPM of the intro is about 72, the fast-paced parts are 192, and the slow bridge/solo is 128.

"Blackened" has perhaps the most changing time signatures of any Metallica song. The intro is in 4/4, then 3/4, 4/4 again, and then followed by a 5/4 measure, leading into the 7/4 riff. Then, the verse is in 6/4, going into the 7/4 riff again, then a 2/4 measure leading into the chorus, which is in 4/4. The 7/4 riff kicks in again, then the 6/4 verse, another 7/4 riff, and another 2/4 measure leading into the 2nd 4/4 chorus. Then the slow bridge starts with a 7/4 measure, then 4/4 for the rest until the dual-guitar build-up section, in which every other measure is 4/4, and the other measures alternate 2/4 and 3/4, in that order, but starting with a 4/4 measure. Some find it easier to alternate counting 6/4 and 7/4 measures, or even counting one pattern as a whole: a 13/4 measure repeating over and over until the slow solo, which is entirely in 4/4. Then there is a short 4/4 break, ending with a 2/4 measure that leads into the fast solo, which is entirely 4/4 except one measure before the last part of the solo that's in 5/8. Then the riff starts again, in 7/4. Then one final verse in 6/4, then a 2/4 measure leading into the final chorus, which is in 4/4. The last chorus repeats itself, with different words. This repeat is tied to the previous chorus by a 5/4 measure. Finally, the outro is in 7/4. It is somewhat difficult for inexperienced musicians to count the beat properly during the riff, because of the odd time signature and the accented notes for the melody, as well as the snare, are played on the up-beat.

The demo for Blackened is the same, but for the original song, the intro was supposed to go backwards, then go into the fast guitars.

LiveEdit

  • Blackened was first performed live on September 11, 1988, in Budapest, Hungary.
  • The song has been played as an opener on the Damaged Justice tour, and as the mainsett closer in 1990. After that period, the song was put apart until 28th December 1999 when it returned for just 2 weeks on the setlist. Blackened was played frequently during Madly in Anger with the World Tour and Death Magnetic tour.
  • As of the Beginning of 2012 Blackened has been performed 427 times live.

LyricsEdit

Verse 1

Blackened is the end, Winter it will send,

Throwing all you see, Into Obscurity,

Death of Mother Earth, Never a Rebirth,

Evolution's End, Never will it Mend


Chorus

Never!

Fire

To begin Whipping Dance of the Dead,

Blackened is the End,

To begin Whipping Dance of the Dead,

Color our world Blackened,

====Verse 2 ====

Blistering of Earth, Terminate is Worth,

Deadly nicotine, Kills what might have Been,

Callous Frigid Chill, Nothing left to Kill,

Never seen Before, Breathing Nevemore

====Chorus ====

Never!

Fire

To begin Whipping Dance of the Dead,

Blackened is the End,

To begin Whipping Dance of the Dead,

Color our world Blackened,

====Verse 3 ====

Opposition... Contradiction... Premonition... Compromise

Agitation... Violation... Mutilation... Planet Dies

Darkest Color, Blistered Earth, True Death of Life

Termination... Expiration... Cancellation... Human Race

Expectation.. Liberation... Population.. Lay to Waste

See our Mother, Put to Death, See our Mother Die

====Verse 4 ====

Smouldering Decay, Take Her Breath Away,

Millions of our Years, In minutes Disappears,

Darkening in Vain, Decadence Remains,

All is said and Done, Never is the Sun


Chorus

Never!

Fire,

To begin Whipping Dance of the Dead,

Blackened is the End,

To begin Whipping Dance of the Dead,

Fire,

Is the outcome of Hypocrisy,

Darkest Potency,

In the exit of Humanity,

Color our world Blackened,

Blackened!

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