Iron Man – “King of Kings”

Today we reflect on the contributions of black musicians and songwriters to the metal genre. Among them are Terrence Hobbes and Mike Smith of Suffocation, Cammie Gilbert of Oceans of Slumber, and before all of them, the bands Sound Barrier and Black Death. Also among these we remember the late, great Al Morris III, guitarist of the Maryland doom metal band Iron Man. Morris passed away last year at age 60.

Iron Man has one song on a classical topic, “King of Kings’ from their 1999 album “Generation Void.” Similar in lyrical content to the Iron Maiden song “Alexander the Great,” this track recounts the Macedonian conqueror’s illustrious, and infamous career. But unlike Iron Maiden, Iron Man paints a less lionizing picture of Alexander, as they present his campaigns as a bloody massacre rather than a civilizing crusade. Repeatedly, as in the title, they refer to Alexander as the “king of kings,” the title of the Persian emperors whose empire he took over. So much for his “civilizing” mission, he simply wanted to replace one despot with another, himself.

His name was Alexander he was the king
Of Macedonia one of the greatest generals of war
He conquered what was the civilized world

Oh, marching across untamed land
Oh, they would die by his sword
Next was the conquest of Persia an army of 35,000 men
He gambled on a quick victory the Persians they died
Where they had stood

Oh – They would die by his sword
Oh – He is the king of kings

He is the king of all kings, his name is Alexander The Great
He was the king of all kings, his name will live on for infamy

On to Egypt he made his home
He was christened the son of God
Onward toward India, this would be his last victory

Oh He is the King of Kings
Oh His name was Alexander the Great

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