Monday, May 15, 2006

Sin After Sin . . .

Judas Priest's 1976 album, Sad Wings of Destiny, moves me in almost spiritual ways. Singer Rob Halford aptly captures the spirit of surrender in the hard-hitting cut "Genocide." His solemn intonation in the middle of the song -- "Sin after sin/ I have endured/ Yet the wounds I bear/ Are the wounds of love" -- evokes both Old Testament psalms and Shakespearean sonnet. I've often thought Gianlorenzo Bernini's sculpture The Ecstasy of St. Teresa pairs up nicely with the breakdown in "Genocide" and can really help to visualize the meaning of that particular lyric.

If you look closely at the work, you'll see the angel ready to pierce St. Teresa's heart as she writhes in ecstasy. Of course, there's a lot of erotic and sexual overtones to the image -- the same sort that can be imagined in Halford's vocals.

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