I’ve spent the last month at home, constructing and teaching my classes online, catching up on hobbies, house cleaning, and listening to some of my favorite music. In some of my more brooding moments I’ve turned to the gothic-metal symphonics of Schwarzer Engel.

If you like Rammstein, you’ll probably like Schwarzer Engel. While nothing can quite compare to Rammstein’s Till Lindemann growling his vocals, Schwarzer Engel’s Dave Jason dresses up like a crow or dark angel and croons about the Apocalypse.

In 2007, Dave Jason dreamed of a dark angel flying over desolate battlefield. His formed Schwarzer Engel soon afterward and released his first album Apokalypse in 2010. This vision seems to appear in the song Der Schwarze Engel (Herr Der Krähen).

Im Tal der Krähen,
Siehst du den schwarzen Engel steh’n,
Inmitten dieser, seiner Diener,
Wirst du dein Leben neu versteh’n.

Der schwarze Engel, dein schwarzer Engel.

Rough translation:

In the valley of Crows, do you see the dark Angel standing? Amidst of this, of his servants, will you understand your new life?

The dark Angel. Your dark Angel.

The lyrics remind me of Revelation 19: 17-19, where the armies of the Beast and the false prophet have been struck down, and an angel in the sun calls for the birds to feast on the dead: all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. This comes from the New International Version of the Bible. Maybe other translations mention a valley and crows, but not this translation.

Or is this more reminiscent of the Valley of Hamon-Gog, mentioned in Ezekiel 39, where the people of Israel buried the armies of Gog? Here there’s another call for birds and other wild animals to eat the flesh and blood of the dead as one massive sacrifice.

Theologians, preachers, and prophets have been predicting the End of the of the World since the beginning. In the United States its been a popular topic starting (as far as I can tell) with the Second Great Awakening with religious leaders coming up with the notion of the Rapture.

While others speculate that COVID-19 might be sign of the Apocalypse, I’m optimistic about what’s now being called The Great Pause. Since reading the works of R. Buckminster Fuller all those years ago, I believe that most people should be paid to stay at home. And here we are. I just wish people didn’t have to get sick and die in the hundreds of thousands to make this a possibility.

And yet I hope this gives millions of people time to serious think about where they want to take human civilization and society in the future. Those pandemic and zombie apocalypse films were wrong, for the most part, people come together in a time crisis. I hope this spirit of togetherness continues.

In the meantime, here at milrel.com, we’ll dive into the Apocalypse in the context of the Military History of Religion, starting Monday, May 4.

See you then.