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Brighter Than A Thousand Suns

Discussion in 'A Matter Of Life And Death' started by Anonymous, Aug 30, 2006.

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How good is Brighter Than A Thousand Suns on a scale of 1-10?

  1. 10

    69.2%
  2. 9

    11.5%
  3. 8

    11.5%
  4. 7

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  5. 6

    7.7%
  6. 5

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  7. 4

    0 vote(s)
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  8. 3

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  9. 2

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  10. 1

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  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

          We are not the sons of God
          We are not his chosen people now
          We have crossed the path he trod
          We will feel the pain of his beginning

          Shadow fingers rise above
          Iron fingers stab the desert sky
          Oh behold the power of man
          On its tower, ready for the fall

          Knocking heads together well
          Raze a city, build a living hell
          Join the race to suicide
          Listen for the tolling of the bell

                Out of the universe, a strange love is born
                Unholy union, trinity reformed

          Yellow sun its evil twin
          In the black the wings deliver him
          We will split our souls within
          Atom seed to nuclear dust is riven

                Out of the universe, a strange love is born
                Unholy union, trinity reformed

                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns
                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns
                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns
                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns

                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns
                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns

          (3:33 – Solo: Adrian Smith)

          Bury your morals and bury your dead
          Bury your head in the sand
          E=mc2 you can relate
          How we made God with our hands

          Whatever would Robert have said to his God
          About how he made war with the sun
          E=mc2 you can relate
          How we made God with our hands

          All nations are rising through acid veils of love and hate
          Chain letters of Satan, uncertainty leads us all to this
          All nations are rising through acid veils of love and hate
          Cold fusion and fury

          (5:25 – Solo: Janick Gers)

          Divide and conquer while ye may
          Others preach and others fall and pray
          In the bunkers where we'll die
          There the executioners they lie

          Bombers launch with no recall
          Minute-warning of the missile fall
          Take a look at your last sky
          Guessing you won't have the time to cry

                Out of the universe, a strange love is born
                Unholy union, trinity reformed

                Out of the darkness
                Out of the darkness
                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns
                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns
                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns
                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns
                Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns

          Holy Father we have sinned


    Discuss...
     
  2. ABandOn

    ABandOn .:The Final Frontier:.

    These Colours Don

    "Whatever would Robert have said to his God about how he made war with the sun":
    'On July 16, 1945, at 5:29:45 AM, a light "brighter than a thousand suns," filled the valley. As the now familiar mushroom cloud rose in to the sky, Oppenheimer quoted from Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-gita, "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." The world had entered the nuclear age.'
    (source)

    "Brighter than a thousand suns" is also a book of Robert Jungk

    "Raze a city, build a living hell": maybe Nagasaki? Because only the bomb dropped on that city had a previous test, at the "Trinity" site
     
  3. Cosmiceddie

    Cosmiceddie Back From The Edge

    These Colours Don

    In fact, this fucker called Oppenheimer had become Satan.May he burn in the Lake of Fire until the end of all times together with all other scientists involved.
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    These Colours Don

    Easy, mate! There's been much worse people throughout history, you know.

    Oppenheimer, Einstein, Bohr, and the rest are not responsible for what the government did with their "gadget". Besides, it was also a race. Would have preferred to see Hitler get this deadly toy first and throw it on London?
     
  5. Raven

    Raven Ancient Mariner

    These Colours Don

    But you have to remember that the war in Europe was over by the time America got around to using the bomb.  Which leads to the obvious question; was America justified in dropping the two bombs over Japan to force them to submit?  It certainly saved Allied lives, and quite probably the lives of Japanese soldiers that would have been lost in the Island Hopping operations that would have continued otherwise, but was such destruction, on such a collosal scale, on innocents, a gross breach of the rules of engagement?  The tactician in me says it was necessary and not used lightly (many warnings had been given to the Japanese before the use of the A bomb)...the humanitarian in me says it was one of the worst catastrophes we ever could have inflicted on ourselves, even if it did make most politicians unwilling to use any form of nuclear weaponry in the future (I say most, because President Eisenhower believed that 'nuclear weaponry is like any other conventional weapon...you should use it just like a bullet'...thank God Kennedy had taken over by the Cuban Missile Crisis...that was 4 minutes away from disaster as it was!)
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    These Colours Don

    The 'justification' of the bombing of Hiroshima was that it was the only way to stop the war without having Japan lose face. I don't know whether it's true or not, but it was also a show of force of the USA to the USSR. Like the (unnecessary) bombing of Dresden.

    Nagasaki wasn't necessary either, but the two nukes had a different detonation device and it is likely that they were 'curious' to see which one was the most effective.

    In any case, it is always innocent civilian victims who pay for the game their governments play for power...  :down:
     
  7. Raven

    Raven Ancient Mariner

    These Colours Don

    Well, when we look at the fact that before the war was over, the Allies were already planning what they were going to do with Germany.  While their action may have prevented anarchy in the nation, their conflicting interests definitely lead to the paranoia that spawned the Cold War.  Unfortunately, by this stage, the traditional balance of power turned into an unstable dual-superpower conflict...and now, we have many factions, emerging after the USSR dissolved, wishing to bring war to the US and the West..what goes around, comes around, I guess...and mankind will never choose to live in peace when there is some profit to be had by war and deception.
     
  8. Cosmiceddie

    Cosmiceddie Back From The Edge

    These Colours Don

    Without them there mighn't have been the bomb and I hold that every single scientist working on it was in charge of what they were doing.They'd better had commited suicide if they had had any conscience but they were weak and eager to have their names immortalized in false fame.Thus there's no point in putting the blame away from them.Each and every single person is responsible for their own deeds.There's no need to glorify them just because they happened to be so called brainy.They were brainy, yet not wise and that's a big difference in my book.
     
  9. SneakySneaky

    SneakySneaky Trooper

    These Colours Don

    First of all I agree with Mav that they were not responsible about the awful way in which their invetions were used.  If they had any knowledge of the government's intentions they might not have proceeded.  But let's not forget that nuclear physics has a lot of benefits too.  It all depends on how it's used.  Just like fire.  It can warm you,  or it could kill you.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    These Colours Don

    The ultimate question behind the bomb was any general's favourite: Would you kill a hundred thousand people to save millions of lives?

    It is a fact that the Americans were planning an invasion of Japan, and they were convinced that the Japanese would fight to their death, so they counted with several million deaths. The bombs -along with a bombing raid over Tokyo- were a demonstration of power, aimed to show the Japanese leaders what they were going to mess with. So, 'only' several hundreds of thousands died in contrast to several hypothetical millions.

    Does this make it any better? No. We're still dealing with the mess.

    War brings out the worst of everybody, and in most cases, it's impossible to judge who was 'good' and who was 'bad', what action was 'right' and what action was 'wrong', because we can't look into an alternate history. We can only say that things could have possibly been worse hadn't the bombs been dropped. We will never have a proof for that, though. How do we know the Japanese wouldn't have surrendered had the Americans landed on the shores of Japan?
    We can only hope things won't get any worse now.
     
  11. Cosmiceddie

    Cosmiceddie Back From The Edge

    These Colours Don

    Let's face it, those people DID know what they were creating.Maybe they had no clue about how big the effect of the bomb and its lethal consequences(damage caused by radiation...)would be.They DID know that their scientific work would be abused by political and military persons.They had probably been forced to do what they did. Everything that scientists create can be used either for the good or the bad and each and every one must be aware of this and hence is responsible for their research.
     
  12. Anomica

    Anomica Trooper

    These Colours Don

    It's an old philosophical discussion. It's not a matter of wheter or not we can do a thing, but should we? It's the same with a lot of military research that leads to civilian uses. Like the Internet, for example. There is no easy answer to the question of the guilt of the scientists of the Manhattan Project, but if I remeber correctly Oppenheimer became a most vehement activist against the atom bomb after the war. Does someone know if that's right?

    Anyway, the song is the best Maiden song I've ever heard. The lyrics are brilliant, the guitar work is excellent on all counts, 'arry works his bass the way he should and Nicko does what he does best. The whole they manage to create is absolutely mind-boggling to me. I fell for this song the first time I heard it (on the low-quality mp3 that was released about a month or so ago) and it still grows on every listen. A part of me wants to say that it's the best song I've ever heard, but that judgement might be more appropriate to make in a few years. But it's the best song on the album, definitely.
     
  13. SneakySneaky

    SneakySneaky Trooper

    These Colours Don

    At first when I heard the low quality mp3 version I wasn't impressed.  But when I got the album,  read those wonderful lyrics that give shivers,  and then listened to it,  I realized I was wrong.  It's the best one in the album imo,  heavy,  atmospheric,  just great.  This is the album's Paschendale (not as good as Paschendale,  but very close).
     
  14. ABandOn

    ABandOn .:The Final Frontier:.

    These Colours Don

    It's right, he strongly opposed to the H-bomb develop, and had his life ruined because of that. It's on the other post.
    There are many examples of scientists that were regret about deplorable uses of their inventions....Nobel, for instance.
     
  15. Albie

    Albie Keeping an open eye on the Weeping Angels.

    These Colours Don

    This track is seriously becoming the best, in my opinion, track on this album (sorry Mav). The whole structure of the song is incredible. The ethereal type voice we hear in lead of each verse - brilliant. The solos seem to fit - and not just thrown in for the sake of it. The length of the song is just not enough - this could go on for 13 minutes and I will not tire of it. Brilliant song.

    I do want to discuss the following lyrics:

    We are not the sons of God
    We are not his chosen people now
    We have crossed the path he trod
    We will feel the pain of his beginning


    At some point our God may well have turned his back on us. But, where did it all start? After all, we have been killing each other since time began - it's just now the killing can be more destructive and chaotic. Thoughts like this always remind me of the time my mother sat and watched the killing of Israeli athletes in Munich 1972.

    "Do you believe in God?" she asked, well we thought the answer should be "yes", so we obliged.

    "How can a God allow this to happen?", she said.

    That single comment has always struck a blow with me.
     
  16. Raven

    Raven Ancient Mariner

    These Colours Don

    EDIT: Just as a warning, you'll see me discussing the religious analogies throughout the song.  I don't believe in being overly PC on this forum, so I'm not going to add 'hypothetical' or 'possible' every time I talk about God.  I don't want to push my beliefs on anyone here, but I just want to make it clear that since the song doesn't account for every religious belief, I won't get stuck in technicalities of faith.  This is just in case any atheist get offended by my style of writing. -_-

    Well, time for me to actually discuss this song.

    Firstly, the intro chills me to the bone.  The excessive distortion, combine with palm muting, gives both an aura of calm, and yet the same time, the feeling of repressed anger, of something about to explode.  The strange timing also grabs the listener's attention...the intro is melodic, and yet something is not right.  Bruce's vocals join in at a strange time for a Maiden song...rather than waiting for the start of the next phrase or repeat of the intro riff, he begins with We are not the sons of God a few beats in.  All this strikes the listener suddenly, just as the detonation of the first bomb must have struck the onlookers.

    Throughout, holy imagery is used, and to good effect.  Bruce has made the point that the Manhattan Project was man playing God, and this metaphor is used throughout the songs.  The idea that through the massive destruction that Trinity resulted in, we renounced any claims to being 'Children of God' is an interesting one.  Clearly, 'crossing the path he trod' refers to the massive energies involved in the process of nuclear fission on such a scale.  Indeed, the detonation of the bomb must have seemed to those present to be like the first throes of the Universe.  'In the beginning there was darkness...then there was light'.  Such energy was soon to be unleashed on civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Another interesting point of the opening verse is the way in which the song progresses to the main riff.  Traditionally, a main riff would enter after '...his beginning'.  Maiden, on the other hand, throw it in quite suddenly in the middle of a syllable...this serves to shock the listener, and is no doubt (again) emphasising the suddeness of the Trinity detonation.

    The echo effect on 'shadow' is also quite effective...perhaps echoing the roar of the nuclear wind.  The shadow fingers could possibly be the last traces of night, drifting away as dawn breaks (the Trinity 'Gadget' was detonated at 5:29 A.M. in the 16th July 1945)...the iron fingers are the struts of the tower supporting the gadget, 20m above the New Mexico earth (It was placed this way to give a better indication of how the bomb would react when dropped from an airplane...also, this would cause the minimal fallout from radiation) and the tower, 730 m away, which supported 'Jumbo'.  'Jumbo' was a huge steel canister, designed to recover the plutonium from 'The Gadget' in case of failure.  It was originally to be placed on the same tower as Gadget, but last minute changes to the plan resulted in it being used as a measure of the power of the bomb.  Jumbo survived the detonation...the tower did not.

    Ground zero:
    [​IMG]

    The last two lines are fairly explanatory.  The former is mocking the culmination of many scientists' work in a force of pure destruction.  The tower has been mentioned, but 'the fall' could refer to either the physical fall of the bomb, or the fall of man.  The fact that the line does not read '...ready for its fall' leaves the line open for such a double entendre (not the one you're thinking of, Mav!), and is a nice, subtle touch.

    'Knocking heads together' can be interpereted in a few ways.  It could refer to simple violence, or to the 'knocking together' of the heads of the scientists involved by the US government, pushing them to complete the work on the bomb.  The other lines are self-explanatory, and the last line is clearly referring to the tolling of a funeral bell.  As John Donne once wrote, 'Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.'  Again, this verse emphasises the self-destruction that could ensue from the bomb.  Thankfully, this has not happenned yet, but we have been very close to the proverbial 'World War III'.

    Again, these lines are fairly simple.  The first refers (again) to the idea that the scientists (many of whom studied to better humanity) would use their knowledge, which could have solved so many problems in the world, to create even more.  The second line is another reference to God, and also a play on words.  The unholy union could refer to both the often taboo joining of science and militarism; on this scale, it could only result in more misery and fear for mankind.  Also, the nuclear bomb is detonated by a 'union' of the explosive with the fissile material, and this line could refer to that.  The trinity is another reference to God, and of how powerful the detonation was.  It is also a play on words, as the test site was known as...Trinity.

    Again, these lines refer to the brightness, the power, the destruction of the detonation.  Interestingly, the processes that occur in nuclear detonations and the reactions within the sun are opposite; in the sun, Hydrogen atoms are fused together to form heavier Helium atoms...the energy released results in the light and warmth of the Sun.  Nuclear fission, which occurs in most Uranium/plutonium reactions in both nuclear weaponry and nuclear reactors, is the splitting of atoms of Uranium or plutonium by firing neutrons at them.  This causes a chain reaction, which in turn leads to the mushroom cloud from nuclear weaponry.  The wings could refer to the flight of the Inola Gay, and the unleashing of the destruction on Japan.  I can't find any obvious relation to Trinity in that line, so it is more likely that it is a slight scene jump.  'Spliting' our souls is another analogy to the nuclear reaction, and the 'splitting' of the atom.  The final line is another Biblical reference...'ashes to ashes, dust to dust'.  However, the lyricist (Bruce, most probably) has cleverly altered this to refer more directly to the effects of the bomb.  This is in fact one of my favourite lines from the song.

    Now, for the refrain.  The sudden switch to a quiet riff is highly effective, and Bruce manages to make a chorus of repeated phrases varied and chilling.  The final shout of 'Brighter than a Thousand Suns!' is typical of this record, and shows that Bruce's vocals are still as strong as ever.  I don't really need to explain these lines, as the blast was said to be 'brighter than a thousand suns' by eyewitnesses.

    This verse is also highly effective, not least because it offers a shift in perspective from the historical to the critical (which is coupled by a riff and time change).  The different phrases associated with the verb 'bury' all work well in this context, as the scientific world (for the most part) allowed Nuclear proliferation to take place after the war, instead of seeking for disarmament as a whole (yes, I know Oppenheimer and Einstein campaigned tirelessly for this, but if all the scientific world had worked as one, then the messy situation of the fear of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) might not have taken place).  Also, the E=mc2 reference is a possible pointer at Einstein.  Made famous for his theory of relativity, when he fled the Third Reich in the late 1930's, he became an American citizen and urged President Roosevelt to develop nuclear weapons before Hitler did.  Other than that, I don't believe the theory of relativity figures into the Trinity site anywhere.  If someone knows more about this, feel free to correct me.

    The second verse of this section is nearly the same, except for the reference to Robert Oppenheimer, which has been covered before, so I don't feel I need to go into that in any more detail.

    This verse is a direct departure from the historical event of the Trinity test, and moves fairly smoothly into the later effects of the nuclear bomb.  Indeed, shortly after the War was over, the USSR detonated its first nuclear bomb in 1949.  This would lead to an escalation of the Cold War, and the fear of total destruction at the hands of one of the superpowers.  Throughout the Cold War, both the USA's and the USSR's foreign policy were dictated by the uncertainty of whether the other was willing to use nuclear weaponry to destroy the other.  And as it was not until the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis that the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty was signed (1968), many nations (although not all) would come into possession of nuclear weapons, either placed there by the US to control the USSR, or given by the Soviets to their buffer states.

    Divide and conquer refers to the splintering of the allies in the aftermath of World War II, and the fear of MAD by every nation.  As Bruce said, his generation lived in fear of the 'four minute warning'.  There was a prevalent fear of nuclear fallout on a major city, and the idea that destruction would be inevitable for those in the target city.

    Another fear was that of mistakes.  And I'm talking of something worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Stanislav Petrov.  The name may not mean much to you, but we all quite probably owe our lives to him.  On September 26, 1983, shortly after midnight, Stanislav Petrov was working in the long-range missile warning base he had been assigned to, shortly outside Moscow.  It was his job to alert the Soviet commanders if Soviet satellites and computers detected a long-range missile strike against the USSR.  The Soviet Union would then retaliate with a full nuclear counter-attack.  On this fateful night, Lt. Col. Petrov detected a missile, heading straight for the USSR.  He dismissed it, thinking that the USA would not launch one missile against the USSR...besides, the accuracy of the computer system was questionable.

    A short time later, another missile was detected.  And a third.  And a fourth.  Now Petrov began to get worried.  Alarm bells were ringing all around the base, and he had to make a decision.  On screen, in Russian, the word 'Start' flashed up...pressing this would alert the Soviet command to the threat, and they would respond with full retaliation.  Unfortunately, he had no time to question other sources: the Soviet land-based radar could not detect anything beyond the horizon, and by then it would be too late.  And so he waited.  Minutes passed.  There was no destruction, no impact.  The warning had been false, and Petrov had saved millions of lives by his actions.  Unfortunately, he had disobeyed orders, and was assigned to a less sensitive position in the military-he lated resigned.

    But the chilling thing about this anecdote is this; Stanislav Petrov had not been scheduled for duty that night.  If the normal officer had been on duty, things could have been very different.  This is the kind of fear Maiden encaspulate in the final verse.  Similar, to '2 Minutes to Midnight', it looks at the fear of destruction that carried throughout the Cold War.  The final, sorrowfull line of 'Holy Father we have sinned' simply sums up the fear, grief and pain that resulted with a single detonation on a still July morning, over 60 years ago.

    Oh, and the solos rock.  Both Adrian's and Jannick's are emotional, and use a good balance of precision and fluency.  They're highly memorable, and make this song just as good, if not better, than Paschendale.

    The Trinity site today:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    These Colours Don

    I found Bruce's comment on the DVD interesting, that the bomb was the closest man ever came to being God. The funny thing is, usually when somebody accuses man of 'playing god', it is because he creates life on his own (any moral issues aside, this is not the topic here); but ultimate destruction is also a nearly divine deed.

    So let me talk about the absolute closest mankind ever came to being God. We know about the Trinity Test, the Manhattan Project, Hiroshima, Nagasaki... the latter perhaps being the single most destructive event in human history.

    Let's get cold and technical for an instant. The Nagasaki bomb, dubbed Fat Man had a yield of 21 KT of TNT (for comparison, Little Boy, the Hiroshima bomb, had 16 KT). In other terms, you'd have to blow up 21 000 tons (21 000 000 kilograms) of TNT to get a comparable explosion. As demonstrated, this kind of exposion is perfectly sufficient to level a town of about 250 000 people. Following the explosion, nuclear fallout was responsible for wide radioactive pollution of the area, which of course remains sixty years later.

    After the war, the two great antagonists of the Cold War, the USA and the USSR began developing bombs that had a much bigger destructive potential than Fat Man. The 1940s and 1950s saw a long series of nuclear tests in mostly uninhabited areas like the American or Kazakh deserts, the Southern Pacific or the Soviet Arctic territories.

    In October 1961, this gained momentum. The Soviets detonated a bomb that is nowadays known as theTsar-Bomba on the Arctic islans of Novaya Zemlya.
    The Tsar-Bomba had a destructive capacity of 57 M]T of TNT (it was originally planned for 150 MT, but that was simply impossible to manage). The subsequent mushroom cloud rose up to 64 km high. The seismic shockwave passed the globe three times, with the first one having enough power to break windows in Finland. Not only was this explosion the biggest artificial explosion in the history of mankind; it ranks as the biggest thing man has ever produced. So, this may well count as the closest man ever came to being God.

    [​IMG]

    This test is also subject of two bitter ironies. The first one is that the bomb was modified to limit nuclear fallout, thus becoming the "cleanest" nuclear bomb ever to be dropped (in relation to its size); the second one is that the bomb itself was too big and too heavy to ever be carried by a bomber at war time, thus making it completely useless for actual use. The test was a mere demonstration of power.
     
  18. Raven

    Raven Ancient Mariner

    These Colours Don

    Interesting, especially when you think that the entirety of the Cold War was built on displays of power...not necessarily willingness to use that power.
     
  19. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan Ancient Mariner

    These Colours Don

    The song reminds me of Megadeth's Set the World Afire, especially "Einstein said we'd use rocks on the other side".  The Maiden version is more into describing the atomic bomb while the Megadeth's version describes the devestation.
     
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    These Colours Don

    It's about time I got a say in this thread.  This song is probably my favourite on the album.  It is similar to "Dream of Mirrors" in the way that it sounds like one song repeated for effect.  The effect used for Bruce's vocals like the "fade in" to the verse (I don't know the technical name) makes him sound very sinister.  The agressive lyrics also make this song ultimately powerful.  I think this is similar to "Longest Day" and "The Trooper" as the way the song sounds reflects the message conveyed.

    This song, like most on the album has the soft intro and outro theme and works very well, especially with the last line:
    "Holy Father we have sinned".
    It is as though Bruce (or whoever wrote the lyrics) is apologising for the atrocities of the past.

    The lyrics are simply great... we all know the devastation caused by the consequences of the Trinity tests and the reverberations can still be felt today, on a political level.  The way man is compared to God is also intriguing, as Perun said, this attribute is normally used in debates over creating life, not destroying it.  The line:
    "All nations are rising through acid veils of love and hate",
    tells the tale of the aftermath of the bomb in a political sense as the Cold War was dominated by the fact that Nations threatened each other with a nuclear weapon without having to use words.

    Ona  personal note, the main harmonised riff sounds sinister and reminds me of "Electric Funeral" by Black Sabbath in the way it sends shivers up your spine, as well as lyrical content.
     

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