death song

The Black Angel's Death Song

"The Black Angel's Death Song" is a song by The Velvet Underground, from their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground and Nico. It was written by Lou Reed and John Cale.


Recorded April 1966 at Scepter Studios, New York City, the music is dominated by the piercing sound of John Cale's electric viola, creating dissonance throughout the song. Also throughout the song are loud bursts of audio feedback, primarily from Cale hissing into the microphone. The guitars in the song are downtuned a whole step (as is common with a handful of other songs on The Velvet Underground and Nico).

The song is a good example of the avant-garde nature of The Velvet Underground. Lou Reed's intense, ranting, nasal delivery — in the manner of a preacher's hellfire-and-damnation sermon — and the deliberately fragmented, often nonsensical lyrics — full of cryptic and forbidding imagery — are particularly unorthodox for the time that they were written and recorded. Some have suggested that the song is a parody of/homage to the vocal and lyrical style of Bob Dylan.



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