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    Tuesday, August 10, 2021

    Theme Song Tuesday: (Black) Mass Is in Session

    Editor's note: #ThemeSongTuesday returns this week with guest columnist and occasional Smark Henry graphic designer Aaron Silao tagging in for Stan Sy. This week, he gets into Malakai Black's entrance theme in AEW.

    (Black) Mass is currently in session, with our Dark Father, Malakai Black, presiding. On the August 4th edition of Dynamite, Black followed up the most surprising debut so far in 2021 with a squash match against Cody Rhodes. In just three minutes, he picked up his first win in AEW. But before that, we also got to experience his new entrance, which featured the track "Ogentroost" by Amenra, and that track is just fitting as Malakai's theme.


    The man formerly known as Aleister Black already had one of the greatest themes ever with Incendiary's "Root of All Evil." A lot of fans were disappointed when WWE changed it to "No Man's Land" by Brutality Will Prevail after his heel turn, which he only used once before his release. In a Twitch stream earlier this year, he presented a remix that was never used. He also revealed that at one point, Polish metal band Behemoth was supposed to do his theme. Both "Root of All Evil" and "No Man's Land" were written to be tailored to fit his character, however, I argue that "Ogentroost" by Amenra, fits him way better than his previous themes—even though this song wasn't even written for him.

    Amenra is a Belgian metal band formed in 1999 whose style has been described as post-metal, sludge, post-hardcore, and doom metal. If you're new to their music, their sound is ethereal and ambient, with low and heavy droning guitars, slow drums, and shouting vocals. The band is known for its spiritual live performances, often accompanied by vivid visuals, with The Independent having described their performances as "entrancing communions" in a 2017 feature. They've released seven LPs, with the first six being entitled Mass I-VI—notice the connection to Malakai Black's finisher? The band's religious themes are also very apt to the cult leader-like presentation of Malakai Black.


    "Ogentroost" on its own is a 10-minute journey starting with ambient sounds, while layers of guitars, vocals, and drums are slowly introduced. A stark contrast to the first half, the second half features guest vocals by Oathbreaker’s Caro Tanghe, accompanied by frontman Colin H. Van Eeckhout's screaming vocals, and the rest of the band following suit.  

    It's the first track in their 2021 album, De Doorn, their first release under heavy metal label Relapse Records, and their first album entirely in Flemish, a southern Dutch dialect. It shows parallels to Holland-born Black debuting for the first time in a different company. The name "Ogentroost" is Dutch for Eyebright, a plant used in treating eye infections and a reference to Malakai's injured eye. The lyrics tell of "the dark hand affecting a new country" (de donkere hand / aangetast / het nieuwe land) and a "father that resigns and reasurres a good night" (de vader berust en / stelt hen wel gerust / en welterust). Both allude to his current character and possibly point to the future of his story as the Dark Father.


    The lyrics about "a dark hand affecting a new country" are a perfect representation of Malakai Black in AEW, as the man who took out Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes. The familial themes of the song might be a sign that the Dark Father storyline from WWE could be continued by Black, and quite possibly him taking the title of the Dark Father himself, leading the House of Black. Now that the Dark Order are just really close friends, is it time for a new cult to start in AEW? All of this seems very promising, and it just shows that all the effort that Malakai Black has put into his presentation has always been worth it.

    Header image from AEW

    *****

    Aaron Silao (@weird_adult) is a graphic designer who occasionally contributes to Smark Henry and is a weird adult overall. He does not own a shirt that is not merch for something. He is also a huge music nerd, with tastes ranging from hyperpop to black metal. You can check out his design work on his website.

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    Item Reviewed: Theme Song Tuesday: (Black) Mass Is in Session Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Aaron Silao
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