"Black Rose Immortal" as written by Mikael Lars Akerfeldt and Sven Peter Malcolm Lindgren....
In the name of desperation
I call your name
A lamentation I sigh
Again and again

Spiritual eclipse
The gateways are closed for me to seek

The night
A veil of stars, watching
My shadow is born from light
The light of the eye, in darkness

Over troubled waters memories soar
Endlessly, searching night and day
The moonlight caresses a lonely hill
With the calmness of a whisper

I wear a naked soul
A blank face in the streaming water
It is cold in here
Frost scar my coat with dust

Eyes attach to your mute portrait
We spoke only through thoughts
Together we gazed, awaited
Hours brought thirst and the rising sun

Sun birds leave their dark recesses
Shadows gild the archways

Do not turn your face towards me
Confronting me with my loneliness
You are in a forest unknown
The secret orchard
And your voice is vast and achromatic
But still so precious

Lullaby of the crescent moon took you
Mesmerized, its kaleidoscopic face
Granted you a hollow stare
Another soul within the divine herd

I have kept it
The amaranth symbol
Hidden inside the golden shrine
Until we rejoice in the meadow
Of the end
When we both walk the shadows
It will set ablaze and vanish
Black rose immortal

It is getting dark again
Dusk shuffle across the fields
The evening trees moan as if they knew
At night I always dream of you


Lyrics submitted by Idan

"Black Rose Immortal" as written by Sven Peter Malcolm Lindgren Mikael Lars Akerfeldt

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Black Rose Immortal song meanings
Add your thoughts

47 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +6
    General CommentLike others have said, I also believe this song to be about Satan. Also, I think he is referring to a lost loved one, for whom he is driven in desperation to seek out Satan. This is my stanza by stanza interpretation.

    In the name of desperation
    I call your name
    A lamentation I sigh
    Again and again

    This is pretty clear if you assume he is communicating with Satan. It's also just about the coolest way to introduce such a song.

    Spiritual eclipse
    The gateways are closed for me to seek

    I believe here he is traveling to a separate plane on which mortals and godly beings can communicate in different form...this change he refers to as "spiritual eclipse". Upon arrival, the gateway, through which he arrived has closed off, making him unable to leave

    The night...
    A veil of stars, watching
    My shadow is born from light
    The light of the eye, in darkness

    Here he describes the new setting to which he has arrived. It is very dark, the only illumination coming from distant stars overhead, but he still is producing a shadow which would ordinarily be impossible to discern. A common ability which dark and evil creatures possess in fantasy is often night vision. In his current state, I think he's able to see clearly even with so little light, which explains the "light of the eye".

    Over troubled waters memories soar
    Endlessly, searching night and day
    The moonlight caresses a lonely hill
    With the calmness of a whisper

    Here he further elaborates on the environment...creating atmosphere before Satan reveals himself.


    I wear a naked soul
    A blank face in the streaming water
    It is cold in here
    Frost scar my coat with dust

    As others have said, he describes his soul as being naked because he has opened it up for Satan, and now holds no secrets from him. A blank face in streaming water might suggest that he no longer inhabits his ordinary body, but rather is more of a spirit or face, perhaps similar to the soaring memories in the preceding stanza. It also might just mean he's standing in water.


    Eyes attach to your mute portrait
    We spoke only through thoughts
    Together we gazed, awaited
    Hours brought thirst and the rising sun

    This is where Satan reveals himself, and their communion is described. Who else speaks in thoughts? The end of the verse describes the process of waiting with Satan...I believe the point of this is to show that before the writer is able to leave Satan's realm, daylight must first come...while it is dark, it is impossible to leave.

    The contents of the omitted conversation with the devil, I believe, include terms by which the writer can once again see his beloved who has past away in a separate realm, which is then described...

    Sunbirds leave their dark recesses
    Shadows glide through archways

    Brightness is described here, indicating the change of location and presence of people. The archways through which shadows glide are also gateways to other planes of existence, I think. The shadows moving through them might be suggestive as to the types of places which they lead (such as the place which the writer came from). The shadows gliding through might be a hint to the reader that the archways are indeed gateways, and relates back to the place where the writer met Satan, the first description of which predominantly described shadows.



    Do not turn your face towards me
    Confronting me with my loneliness
    You are in a forest unknown
    The secret orchard
    And your voice is vast and achromatic
    But still so precious

    This is the description of his first encounter with his dead loved one. He is clearly ashamed of the extents to which he has gone to see her again, and ashamed of his weakness causing him to be unable to be without her. She avoids him for it, and treats him distantly, though not unkindly. The "secret orchard" once again implies a hidden, unearthly, even celestial, realm. Her voice being vast (resonating throughout the forest/orchard) shows that she is perhaps a spirit, or at least not entirely still human. Her voice being achromatic once again shows that she treats him indifferently, perhaps being shocked and extremely displeased that he would commune with the devil, but still being understanding that he did it for her.

    Here the description of their encounter ends, and instead the reader is provided with the necessary back-story.

    Lullaby of the crescent moon took you
    Mesmerized, its kaleidoscopic face
    Granted you a hollow stare
    Another soul within the divine herd

    Lullabies put people to sleep. Using the term mesmerized further alludes to this. The moon is a celestial body. The first two lines imply an eternal sleep, or death, and the last two cinch the deal. The last two lines, however, sound somewhat bitter and even contemptuous. Whether this is perhaps Satan's influence or the remaining effects of Satan's taint on his soul is unclear. It could also simply be a poetic way of describing her physical body and then her rejoicing spirit after death.

    I have kept it
    The amaranth symbol
    Hidden inside the golden shrine
    Until we rejoice in the meadow
    Of the end
    When we both walk the shadows
    It will set ablaze and vanish
    Black rose immortal

    At this point the subject is back to his normal life, but with a parting gift (it could be from his lover were it not a black rose) from Satan. An amaranth, according to dictionary.com, is a mystical, undying flower (The black, immortal rose). Exactly what this symbol does is not entirely clear, however, its purpose will presumably be fulfilled after death, when it will be destroyed. The line, "When we both walk to the shadows" greatly contrasts with their initial meeting place. Of course when he originally went to see Satan, his intent was to somehow be reunited with his lover, but Satan's terms were perhaps somewhat unfair.

    It is getting dark again
    Dusk shuffle across the fields
    The evening trees moan as if they knew
    At night I always dream of you

    Alright...these lines could possibly be referring to night time, but it is more likely that they are speaking of death. If indeed they are speaking of death, then he will probably soon be reunited eternally with the woman he loved, though perhaps they will spend eternity in a less joyous place than she originally was in. If it is death, it would seem probable that the writer asked for an unnatural and untimely death to be reunited sooner.

    Another interpretation could be that it is simply referring to night-time, where each night he can briefly meet with the departed on the shadowy fringes somewhere in between life and death, or another unfortunate realm, like where he met Satan. This might be done by forcing her to meet him against her will so he can see her. (Mikael's lyrics don't tend to be all that happy.)

    Another interpretation might be that Satan was simply lying the entire time, and rather than being united with his woman, he instead is simply sent to Hell (or whatever equivalent was created for the sake of the song). Stuff like that tends to happen when you sell your soul to the devil. :P Lastly, the final lines are somewhat ambiguous. I would just assume who he dreams of is his dead beloved, but perhaps others would argue that the trees moan because his sleep is tainted by visits with Satan.

    Alright, I'm sure a lot of you disagree, my interpretation's just sort of a shot in the dark, but regardless, it's a fantastic song, which unfortunately seems very reminiscent to me of Wuthering Heights. But yea, this album's practically the pinnacle of all music IMO.
    Athon August 15, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOpeth's best song
    about a man, who in the name of desperation (duh) turns to the devil. He goes into a dark forest or garden with a pond in the middle (maybe the cover of Morningrise is this place, ya ever think of that?) and find a black rose, symbolizing the devil. It is a cold, dark place, and they speak only through thoughts. He becomes one of the devils many slaves and he rests in they fields of eternity, his soul in immortality. (the amaranth respresents immortality)
    Thats basically it
    RedIce08on December 11, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI can't describe how much I love this song.
    hellarack99on January 11, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe Night And The Silent Water has the line, "Your face was like a photograph, painted white..."

    Considering that:

    "Eyes attach to your mute portrait
    We spoke only through thoughts
    Together we gazed, awaited
    Hours brought thirst and the rising sun"

    The face of a dying loved one can be described as a portrait. These lines reflect waiting up all night with a loved one, awaiting her eventual death.

    "Lullaby of the crescent moon took you
    Mesmerized, its kaleidoscopic face
    Granted you a hollow stare
    Another soul within the divine herd"

    The moment of death.

    The song itself isn't about that. I see that he's desperate to see this person again, and in fact does believe he communicates with her and wishes to be with her again in the afterlife. Amaranth is sybolic of immortality - by protecting the amaranth symbol he keeps her soul safe, symbolically. But everything about the song reflects the moment of death, it's a beautiful expression of grief and anguish.

    I refer to 'her' because I think I heard a long time ago that certain songs were about his grandmother, but I might be completely wrong on that.

    Also black could have the typical meaning - depression. He's unable to live for the overwhelming desire to die...
    TonyJPRosson July 12, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song looks like it's describing an invocation of satan as a final resort to a problem (loneliness, depression, whatever it is). The opening two lines show that it is a cry for help to someone. "I wear a naked soul" - saying his soul is exposed and vulnerable. "Eyes attached" through "but still so precious" talk about his communication with satan, saying that he speaks to satan in thoughts, even though satan is inaccessible, hidden in a "secret orchard." From "Lullaby of the crescent moon" to "divine herd" talks about how he was finally converted by the soothing nature (lullaby) of the night, and gave his soul up to satan. But he hides it, remains among the "divine herd," keeps his "golden symbol" hidden until the day comes that he can join satan (black rose immortal?).

    Anyway, that's my impression of the song, please help me out, I love this song and want to figure out exactly what it means . . .
    huggybear0132on July 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe middle of song when it slows down into the acoustic harmony is the best. I love this song.
    Eightnine1on June 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is both a beautiful and brutal song. I wish people could get past Mikael's harsh vocals and listen to the music and read the lyrics. Opeth really are in a league of their own.
    MetalNickon April 12, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation"In the name of desperation
    I call your name
    A lamentation I sigh
    Again and again"


    As someone said earlier this sounds like a man in desperation calling the name of a higher power. (Be it God, Satan or other deity). "A lamentation I sigh, again and again." He has been haunted by grief for long and seeks relief.


    "Spiritual eclipse
    The gateways are closed for me to seek"

    You have to read my interpretation on the other verses to follow through on this one. I believe this claims his bond to the woman has been blocked off. (Spiritual Eclipse, maybe this woman was all the spiritual he had and even needed, now left in spiritual darkness.) The gateways to the other side are closed and she is beyond his reach.


    "The night
    A veil of stars, watching
    My shadow is born from light
    The light of the eye, in darkness"

    This is a new setting. He's outside, starlight is watching. Seeing as this metaphor gives the stars eyes and they emit light then their unending stare makes him cast a shadow. I'm unclear as to what or who this spectator is but what I draw is that it is unyielding, I think it might be the 'darkness' he carries. His grief, guild, desire, desperation (pick one heuheu)


    "Over troubled waters memories soar
    Endlessly, searching night and day
    The moonlight caresses a lonely hill
    With the calmness of a whisper"

    He thinks about tragic memories, plagued by them he is searching without rest. Searching for his spiritual relief until he sees this place where "The moonlight caresses a lonely hill, With the calmness of a whisper". This hill draws him close, he enters the crypt.


    "I wear a naked soul
    A blank face in the streaming water
    It is cold in here
    Frost scar my coat with dust"

    Beaten by tragedy and haunted by loss he is ready to accept any solace. A broken man wears nothing but his soul. (Hence he wears a naked soul.) He's crying as he walks into the crypt. (a blank face in the streaming water) "It is cold in here, frost scar my coat with dust." this I think gives the atmosphere of a grave-house.

    I would like to mention the song goes apeshit at this part. The sheer strength of this part is oozing with excitement. Could this be the it?


    "Eyes attach to your mute portrait
    We spoke only through thoughts
    Together we gazed, awaited
    Hours brought thirst and the rising sun"

    He sees her body lying still. This is where the song calms down. This divine moment when he finally finds the peace he has searched for. His mind calmed and his troubles gone he starts to talk to her. (not really since that bitch is dead, but in his mind) He pours his heart and thoughts out to her still frame. He spent the night talking and then the sun rises and the thirst with it. (this thirst might be other needs, what's your take?) Point being he must attend other matters.

    (I think he has to either earn his place in heaven or simply enjoy life until it is time)


    "Sun birds leave their dark recesses
    Shadows gild the archways"


    He leaves the crypt and things are different now. No longer a shadow hangs overhead and he finds hope and joy to drive him through with his new task.

    [This part of the song is so fucking beautiful it feels like an orgasm.]


    "Do not turn your face towards me
    Confronting me with my loneliness
    You are in a forest unknown
    The secret orchard
    And your voice is vast and achromatic
    But still so precious"

    He is saying this to either her spirit (as if she's watching him, he feels her) or the deity first mentioned. I assume it's her. He wants her to remember him as the person he was and as the person who talked to her in the crypt. Not the one who was torn by loneliness and desperation.

    He doesn't want her to see him in this lonely quest to see her resurrected (or joined in death) because he may fall to shadows again on the journey. He bides her to stay in the forest unknown (heaven or other depending on beliefs) The secret orchard. (perhaps their ideal place, a small spot of heaven. This I think is very related to Akerfeldt because he talks about orchards all of the time, maybe it's related to his favourite place in the world.)
    Anyway.. He doesn't want her to see but still secretly yearns to hear her voice. And he hears it everywhere around him. (voice is vast and achromatic)


    "Lullaby of the crescent moon took you
    Mesmerized, its kaleidoscopic face
    Granted you a hollow stare
    Another soul within the divine herd"

    This depicts her death. It is an unclear telling of her passing but it gives me a hint that it was a silent and painless death. This metaphor of the crescent moon silently lulls her into the eternal sleep, leaving her body in a cold stare. "Another soul within the divine herd" fukken shivers man


    "I have kept it
    The amaranth symbol
    Hidden inside the golden shrine
    Until we rejoice in the meadow
    Of the end
    When we both walk the shadows
    It will set ablaze and vanish
    Black rose immortal"

    I cried, man.
    [Within these brackets are my thoughts not my interpretation.]
    This part is the least decipherable, but some facts are easy to note.
    He's keeping something immortal. (as symbolized by the amaranth. Maybe himself, maybe her death, maybe their love)
    He says he has hidden it. Maybe he doesn't want to use it yet (if it's an object) or perhaps he's keeping 'it' until they meet once again. He implies they will meet again in the end and will "both walk the shadows"
    Again, shadows are a metaphor for a ton of things. In this case it could easily mean death but I can't quite figure it out since once they meet again, the symbol of immortality will wither and disappear.

    It would indeed fit if he were immortal, as if he made a pact with the Devil (or other deity) to grant him immortality (the Amaranth symbol) because finding this woman would take more than a mans lifetime. Then once he had found her he would sacrifice his immortality to forever rest besides her.

    Another thought, this one is a long shot.
    Maybe this deal with the devil would grant our man immortality until he would find her body. Then he would bind his soul into hers and leave his own body. Then the devil would overtake the soulless body and be made flesh through him.
    Then the Black (darkness) had risen immortal.
    That would make the last verse easy. The world darkens because Satan reigns and the trees suffer and they know what caused this.

    Anyway that's just a thought and the Black Rose Immortal is probably just the flower (Amaranth) and not a black immortal rising. Plus I'm still wondering what the golden shrine could mean.

    Fuck.. these verses break my interpretation, it might be about the devil after all. Any ideas?
    [Within these brackets are my thoughts not my interpretation.]

    The amaranth symbol represents his love which he leaves with her in the tomb. (Maybe it's an actual flower, a black rose, that he leaves with her) He will live out his life until it is his time. He will then return to her side to die. When he does his heart will be set ablaze and with no heart he will join her in the shadow. Love in death.
    Only death and love are forever.
    Black Rose Immortal.


    "It is getting dark again
    Dusk shuffle across the fields
    The evening trees moan as if they knew
    At night I always dream of you"

    With both of their lights out the dusk takes their place. The forest and wind bear symbols of their death.

    In his sleep he will forever be with her.

    ---

    I have read the other interpretation and many are very good, I personally like the one where she dies and goes to heaven, he kills himself and goes to hell (that's what happens according to the bible). He yearns to meet with her and she joins him in hell to be together. I also like the one with the Devil pact. Remember, every interpretation with fact, quote or evidence support is just as true as the next one.

    It's the individual who chooses the truth for himself in these matters.
    Endatarmuron October 27, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuch an epic masterpiece. Black Rose Immortal is one of the greatest metal tracks in history.
    Supplanteron June 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYep.
    Jester24on August 17, 2002   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain