Battalions Of Fear
1988 | Metal
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“With hands full of blood he talks about peace. -- With snake poisoning tongue he's praying. -- El Salvador and Vietnam, you soon fast forget, but you satisfy on Afghanistan.”
- Battalions of Fear is a reference to President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, a missile defense system.
- Battalions Of Fear is the debut album by Blind Guardian, a German metal band.
- This song was written by lead guitarist André Olbrich and vocalist Hansi Kürsch.
THE HOT TAKES
Now look, I have some heresy to put out there, right up front. This is my favorite Blind Guardian album. They're an incredibly interesting band, but the shift from aggressive metal to "The Bards" is a decline in my book. I still enjoy many of their later songs, to be sure. But, if you asked me to conceptualize an alternate timeline superior to this one? I'd pick one where Bling Guardian stuck to metal. No assassinating historical figures, no giving myself lottery numbers. I just want more albums like this. Anyway, on to the music! This is the song of pawns, used and discarded by heads of state. Truly, a classic foray into the brutality of war. "Be by my side or you've to die; Believe what I do is right!" This goes to show, yet again, that war never changes. The leaders who drag their people into grand conflicts are always using the same rhetorical tricks, dividing people into "us" and "them," all to tug at our heartstrings, manipulate our emotions, capitalize on our hormones. If you ever need a cue card for what to say when giving an anti Ronald Reagan speech, just print out these lyrics.
Thrash is the perfect kind of metal for a song like this because that's exactly what I'd like to do to most politicians. This song, released in the 1980s is clearly about Ronald Reagan, his Star Wars program, and general sabre rattling. Being a young child in the 80s I have clear memories of the fear of nuclear war. I also remember the narrative that those evil Russians aren't like us and they only care about power and control, while the good ol’ U.S. of A. Just wanted to make the world free and bring democracy to everyone. It seemed so clear who the good guys and the bad guys were. Fast forward to the current day and I see the world in a much different light. Unfortunately, I now understand that there are no “good guys” where governments are concerned. They have their own agendas and it has little to do with one of their favorite phrases, “the common good.” The mention of Afghanistan is a poignant reminder of the proxy wars we have fought and revisited time and time again. As I write this the US regime is gearing up for a war in Iran. Whether they are able to sell it or not remains to be seen. Just goes to show that no matter who the president is, or what party is in power, war is always on the agenda to maintain the regime and its domination of the world.
It's interesting reading this song clearly written in a broken english or perhaps with the most poetic license imaginable. But weird syntax aside, I'm not gonna complain about another anti-war song. It's odd to look at a song this old and see some of the same countries listed that we are involved with now. We're all pretty aware that its been almost 20 years since we invaded afghanistan after 9/11 but we often forget that it was our meddling in the area before then that precipitated Bin Laden's attack in the first place. I say "we" referencing the state I am held hostage and robbed by, clearly liberrtarians haven't forgotten why it happened, unfortunately the rest of our brothers and sisters out there, well... Songs like this really drive home how old and entrenched the powers we fight against truly are. Are you up to the very daugnting task?