As the final day of 2014 fades to black the word black reminds me of the ever popular 1980 ACDC album Back in Black. The term “fading to black” reminds me of death which makes me think of hell, which I don’t believe in except in a metaphorical sense or as an idiom such as, “You’re going to hell for that.” The state of “being back in black” makes me think of a badass which is what one could describe the speaker in the song “Hell’s Bells” which is the first track on the ACDC album Back in Black. However, in the case of ACDC, the term “back in black” may be a double entendre referring to the band members still being in mourning for their former lead singer, Bon Scott, who had recently died an untimely and tragic death. Even the album cover art resembles a headstone.
This song, as well as the title of the album is absolutely loaded with gothic elements. Once the gothic tolling of the bells diminish and the kick-ass music begins gothic elements drip from the lyrics like fresh blood from an open vain. Right at the start the lyrics describe an apparent sidekick of Satan as a raging storm. He’s going to kill all and drag them down to hell unless they’re as evil as he is, because he considers other appreciators of evil as friends.
The song describes an overpowering aggressive monster that promises to blow through the world, tear up the sky like a raging storm, gather up all the corpses he creates and spirit them down to hell and ring the bells to let Satan know that all have arrived. Perhaps the speaker in the song refers to the alcohol poisoning that took Bon Scott’s life.