Coroner – “Masked Jackal”
The honeymoon is over for Barack Obama. Many are questioning the effectiveness of a President elected on virtually messianic terms. I believe he is doing the best he can under difficult conditions. A hole eight years deep cannot be fixed in one. But grumbling has begun. Where are the jobs and the change that he promised? This discontent has even bubbled up in metal — see these comments by Devildriver vocalist Dez Fafara. People have stopped wearing Obama t-shirts.
Coroner's "Masked Jackal," from 1988's Punishment for Decadence, is relevant. It describes a leader with false promises and ulterior motives. (See lyrics here.) I don't think Obama fits that bill. But the song expresses a disillusionment with public figures that remains timely. Elected officials have forever disappointed their constituencies. Either constituencies have had poor judgment forever, or power corrupts absolutely. But that is another metal song.
The video for "Masked Jackal" is perhaps the archetypal '80s metal video. Its blue tint instantly dates it. The shadows in blue lights are eerily similar to the cover of the Ramones' Too Tough to Die (which referenced this scene from A Clockwork Orange). Perhaps backlit blue was the color of the '80s; I'm thinking of countless sci-fi and action movies. Coroner may be shadowy, but their shadows are long. "Masked Jackal" will remain relevant for a while.
- Cosmo Lee