Pope Francis claps for the Brazilian Youth Orchestra in Paul VI Hall, Vatican City Rome, Italy, Oct. 31st, 2014. 
Photo by Maria Laura Antonelli/AGF/SIPA

Pope Francis releases single off forthcoming rock album

Pope Francis probably didn’t intend to cement the heavy-metal credentials of the Vatican with the release of “Wake Up!”, his forthcoming prog-rock album set for release on label Believe Digital this November. But from now on, his Holiness may have to get used to the sight of devil horns thrown his way.

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Pope concludes Mass at Madison Square Garden

After a show of gratitude from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Pope Francis concluded Mass at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
A composite of uplifting riffs, gentle build-ups, and cool synths reminiscent of “Friday Night Lights” band Explosions in the Sky, the first single from ”Wake Up!” entitled “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” boasts fired-up excerpts from past papal speeches that take on issues such as climate change, peace, and poverty.

The single, which debuted on RollingStone.com Friday, features rousing, albeit soft-spoken pleas such as “The Lord speaks of a responsibility that the Lord gives you. It is a duty to be vigilant. Not to allow the pressures, the temptations and the sins to dull our sensibility of the beauty of holiness.”

The multi-lingual single also proves a great complement to the Argentine pope’s first visit to the U.S. Like the pope’s addresses to Congress and the United Nations, during which he failed to shy from polarizing issues including abortion, the death penalty, immigration and climate change, the number urges listeners to unite over the world’s most urgent problems and reinforces the unifying messages that have thus far resonated with millions, Catholic and not.

Musically, Pope Francis follows the lead of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who also released albums during their papal tenures, though surely to not as much fanfare.

Fans on SoundCloud gushed over the single Friday, describing it as “heavenly” and writing “now I want to see him shred live.”

“Wake Up!” officially drops Nov. 27, but listeners can pre-order the album on iTunes and automatically download the single “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” 

Music and Pope Francis

Pope Francis releases single off forthcoming rock album