Black Magic – Deciphering the Dark Anthems of Thrash Metal


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Slayer's Black Magic at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Summoning the Night: The Heralds of Demonic Ferocity
  5. In the Clutches of Darkness: The Struggle Against Corruption
  6. The Hidden Meaning: A Duologue With Destiny and Freewill
  7. Immortal Lines: The Echoes of ‘Black Magic’ Through Time
  8. The Legacy of an Unholy Rite: ‘Black Magic’ and Its Influence

Lyrics

Cursed
Black magic night
We’ve been struck down
Down in this Hell
Spells surround me day and night
Stricken by the force of evil light
The force of evil light

Cast
Under his spell
Blinding my eyes
Twisting my mind
Fight to resist the evil inside
Captive of a force of Satan’s might
A force of Satan’s might

Fighting the curse
Break it I must
Laughing in sorrow
Crying in lust

My strength slips away
Soon I must fall
Victim of fortune
My sources grow small
Life slips away
As demons come forth
Death takes my hand
And captures my soul

Full Lyrics

Delving into the occult-charged depths of Slayer’s ‘Black Magic,’ one finds more than a mere headbanging anthem of thrash metal’s glory days. The song, which comes from their groundbreaking 1983 album ‘Show No Mercy,’ encapsulates the band’s reputation for weaving narratives draped in darkness and aggressive defiance. With its foreboding riff and breakneck pace, ‘Black Magic’ casts a long shadow across metal’s landscape.

Through the years, ‘Black Magic’ has captivated listeners, becoming a touchstone for fans of the genre and a formidable example of Slayer’s musical prowess. Yet, beneath its vicious exterior lies a labyrinth of themes that delve into human struggle, the ingeniously layered metaphors, and an examination of the power dynamics inherent in the concept of forbidden knowledge.

Summoning the Night: The Heralds of Demonic Ferocity

From the opening lines, ‘Black Magic’ thrusts you into a ceremonial soundscape wrought with doom. ‘Cursed, black magic night, we’ve been struck down,’ the song begins, announcing its malevolent intentions unapologetically. Slayer doesn’t just play music; they perform incantations, invoking images of otherworldly spirits and supernatural agonies. Each chord played is a ritualistic summoning, each drumbeat a heartbeat of something sinister.

The atmosphere conjured by ‘Black Magic’ is intentionally grim, a home to not just evil, but the seductive qualities of the forbidden. It’s a celebration of the darkness that often lies dormant in the human psyche, musical proof that sometimes the most compelling narratives come from the unraveling of one’s own moral fibers under the heavy weight of an unseen, malefic hand.

In the Clutches of Darkness: The Struggle Against Corruption

The protagonist in ‘Black Magic’ is ‘Stricken by the force of evil light,’ a gripping portrayal of the human battle with corruption. It’s a timeless narrative of resistance against malevolent forces beyond one’s control, yet persistently vying for dominion over the soul. The song is a voyage through this internal conflict, as the character is ‘blinding by eyes, twisting [their] mind’, showcasing how external malevolence can manifest within oneself.

Slayer uses this audio ordeal to comment on the broader human condition. The metaphor of being ‘Cast under his spell’ is not merely a nod to the devil but can be extended to any form of perceived control or manipulation. They explore the erosion of autonomy, an individual’s futile attempts to repel the encroaching shadows of influence, whether spiritual, societal, or psychological.

The Hidden Meaning: A Duologue With Destiny and Freewill

On the surface, ‘Black Magic’ is a dark tale of satanic might and mystical forces. Yet, beyond its visceral facade, the song incites a profound reflection on destiny and freewill. Lines such as ‘Fighting the curse, break it I must,’ illustrate a human caught in the tangle of predetermined fate and the personal agency to overcome it. The grim acceptance of an almost Sisyphean plight attributes a philosophical edge to the song.

The lyrics, charged with the torment of ‘Laughing in sorrow, crying in lust,’ encapsulate the dual nature of human beings—their propensity for deep despair and unbridled desire. Slayer’s ‘Black Magic’ becomes not just a track but a canvas where the nuances of human morality and the inherent contradictions in one’s pursuit of autonomy are daubed in broad, aggressive strokes of thrash metal.

Immortal Lines: The Echoes of ‘Black Magic’ Through Time

‘Life slips away, as demons come forth,’ captures the inexorable march towards the end that all humans face. With its eternally memorable lines, ‘Black Magic’ transcends the era of its creation and resonates with the timeless notion of mortality. It’s a statement about the inevitability of death, the greatest equalizer, interwoven with the fabric of dark fantasy.

The phrase ‘Death takes my hand and captures my soul’ stands as an epitaph for the living, serving both as a cautionary tale and a poetic resignation to the great unknown. These lines continue to haunt the listener, reminding them of the thin line between our world and the abstract darkness that Slayer so effectively brings to life through their unrelenting sound.

The Legacy of an Unholy Rite: ‘Black Magic’ and Its Influence

Slayer’s ‘Black Magic’ is not just a song; it’s a significant cultural artifact that has influenced countless bands and artists within the metal genre and beyond. Its impact is corporeal, like the pounding pulse of thrash metal that refuses to be silenced. The song’s composition—an alchemy of breakneck riffs, grim lyrics, and ballistic drumming—coalesced to form a blueprint for generations of heavy music artisans.

As a pioneering work, the song’s themes of struggle against supernatural forces of darkness reflect the broader artistic exploration of light and shadow in the human condition. It’s a screaming echo in the canon of metal, a reminder that within the cacophony of chords and cries, there are profound truths about life, death, and the darkness that dances in between.

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