Twisted Into Form (album)

Your Morning Metal (Future Tense)

Detail of cover art for 'Into the Mirror Black' by Sanctuary (Epic Records, 1990)

The caricatures of the past have a way of haunting reality in the present. This is, of course, a familiar point we have considered before, and even in a metallic context. But, really, take a moment to appreciate that the song is over a quarter-century old. Yeah, really.

What do you see on the news when you watch TV? War in the name of God, or a playground killing spree. Politicians promise you the world, and a preacher cries; all he ever wanted was your money, and a bitch on the side. What went wrong? Did society twist him?” What do you see in the center of the public eye? Rock stars on smack, and a serial killer fries. Radicals blame suicide and murder on our form of art; brainwash the youth, you know they claim we all play a part. What a shame that they can’t think for themselves. Past tense to future tense, let history unfold. So ends a decade, now, what will the nineties hold? You know we’re verging on the edge of an age; then another century will turn the page. What do you think they will say when they look back on this? Were the eighties just a time of spoiled innocence? We leave our legacy like dust in the sands of time. Let us hope the seeds we plant can carry the weight of our crimes. Past tense to future tense, let history unfold. And when we’re old and gray, these stories will be told. You know we’re verging on the edge of an age; then another century will turn the page. We sail on an ocean, a sea of doubt. Skeptics make no sense, can’t work things out. I’ll choose optimism, scream its name; look to the future, a burning flame. Past tense to future tense, let history unfold. So ends a decade, now, what will the nineties hold? You know we’re verging on the edge of an age; then another century will turn the page. Turn the page.

Sanctuary, “Future Tense” (1989)

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Your Morning Metal (One Foot in Hell)

Detail of front cover art for 'Twisted into Form' by Forbidden, 1990, by Kent Mathieu.

In a strange way, the caricatures driving rebellion in metal-laden explorations of conscience do not seem so exaggerated today. Once upon a time, we argued about listening to the music. And it feels both strange and familiar, perhaps the one for the other. That is to say, the shape of these arguments going on today, about boys wearing skirts and girls having babies really does feel like nothing more than the heavy metal wars all over again, and this time for higher stakes. It isn’t fair, I don’t think, to say that we got it, understood the mere fact of caricaturization, but they didn’t. Still, that’s how it feels. We built monstrous, shadowy legends to represent the hatred we feared. They really do seem to be dressing up in it. Or, at least, that’s how it feels.

Regression! Progressive downfall! Grabbing what’s there and still wanting it all! On words they fall. Obsession! Religioius belief! Worshipped on Sunday, forgotten all week! One foot in Hell. Taking the truth from “The Book” and then twisting it, feeling they’re touched by the Lord. Loving their neighbor, yet tasting the flavor of sin but seeing no wrong. Cramming the wisdom that righteously flows in them, walking the crooked straight line. Closing of minds to these innocent crimes, now they’re deaf, dumb, and blind! One foot in Hell! Wretches! This pitiful man, preaching and teaching with Cross in hand. On words he falls. Into his final mistake; this fool was fooled, it was all give and take. One foot in hell. I look to the Heavens and call the Lord’s name. Praying on my knees, with much faith, and little doubt. I have a yearning for the answers to my calling in life. Am I wasting away on spirits of myth? Am I questioning the Lord’s prayer? Is this unholy temptation or my final realization? Please, God, if you’re there for me, give me wisdom for faith. Help me, Lord! God help me! Show me the way; point to the light. Is there a Heaven after I die? What is a truth, where does it lie? Give me the answer! Bare my soul, naked and cold! End confusion, shed my last tear! Take me, Lord! Open your Gates! End my deep sorrow! One foot in Hell. Who’s answering the bell?

Forbidden, “One Foot in Hell” (1990)

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