Pope Cancels Hell, Might As Well Cancel Metal While He’s At It
For once, Catholics and Metalheads are pissed about the same thing.
Pope Francis. Ugh. The stones on this guy. If you haven’t already heard, a few weeks ago during an “informal conversation” with an Italian journalist, Our Holy Father said (or indicated, or implied, or merely mused) that Hell does not exist. His exact (alleged) words were: “Hell does not exist.” And since no official record or hard evidence of this utterance exists (much like Hell itself (apparently)), I suppose the rest of the world is going to have to take Ol’ Francis’s sentiments on faith. Which means that for once in all of Time and Space both nonbelievers and the faithful alike have found themselves with a tough pill to swallow.
Because for a good percentage of the devout, the fear of Hell is the only thing keeping them from running around raping and murdering with gleeful abandon, while for dissenters, the absurd hypocrisy of Hell as a concept is a handy point of ridicule. And for the vast minority of dissenters who are also metalheads, co-opting Hell for their beloved kingdom has proven a hilariously and endlessly effective method of getting Christianity’s goat. And for the not-at-all-vast minority of metalheads who read and/or write for this very blog, it’s kind of integral to the brand.
So what does it mean if Hell does not exist? Have we been lied to or is it all just some big misunderstanding? If there’s no Hell, then where does the Devil live? Or is the Devil just a metaphor? Where even is the line between Revelation and metaphor anymore?
But Wait — There’s More
The Italian journalist in question went on to allege that, when asked about what happens to sinful souls if there is no more Hell, the Pope said: “The disappearance of sinful souls exists.” Translation: If at the time of your death you do not renounce your unbelief or are unrepentant for your sins, you get THE VOID. What bearing, if any, would this have on Pascal’s precious Wager? For many people, the concept of THE VOID alone is scary enough to drive them toward faith. For me, personally, THE VOID seems like a marvelous upgrade from eternal torture, so, uh…sign me up. (I’m terribly afraid of heights anyway.)
What is the Pope’s angle here? Is he an altruist trying to increase the potential for love in the world by decommissioning an essential pillar of doctrine based on hate? Or is he a cynic attempting to undermine the power of metal music (i.e., blasphemy) with a targeted robbery of a concept which metal holds most dear? Is this one of the most bold pivots toward badly needed reform or the sneakiest censorship campaign the world has ever seen?
Whatever the Case, The Cancelation of Hell Means Nothing
But Heartache and Ruin for Metal
If Hell no longer exists — or never existed all along — then metal musicians, much like the Vatican, have a lot of backpedalling to do. No one wants egg on their face. No one wants to admit that they’ve spent their entire professional and artistic lives mocking a red fucking herring. Band names will have to change. Album covers will require editing. Lyrics will have to be rewritten and vocal tracks rerecorded. The future of metal is bleak, my friends. There’s a lot of wreckage to sift through and a lot of difficult healing to do. Here is but a taste of what is to come if metal is going to save itself.
1. Slayer is going to have to change the name of that one album that you don’t like as much as that one other album about which you never shut up:
I know, right? Gasp!! And that’s just the tip o’ the old bumcleaver™ because:
2. Full of Hell will have to make some adjustments to their logo:
Given that Full of Hell and The Body have collaborated on two full-length split albums now, it is an obvious choice, really. What’s also obvious is that Full of The Body will assimilate Chip King and Lee Buford into its ranks full time, and that The Body, like Hell itself, will be no more.
3. Seeing that the band they sort ov stole their name from has acted with wisdom and prudence, Ov Hell is going to rush the revamping of their name in time for their remix album to hit the market. They are going to panic — and this will be the result:
As was the case with Sunn 0))) before them, Ov ???? will run into problems with fans understanding how to say their name, and there will be bitter confusion. Pronounce the question marks? Leave them silent? Say the word “Ov” in the tone of a question? Famine, war and mass carnage will ensue.
4. This fuckin’ guy is going to get rip-shit when he tries to change the name of that one album where they stopped wearing spandex and the Pope says “NOPE”:
5. Everyone’s favorite buttrock supergroup is going to briefly change their name to Heckyeah but then, in the wake of the Pope’s latest decree, pivot once more:
Once the boys from the former Texas Hippie Coalition notice that the name Heckyeah has come back on the market, they’ll snatch it up. That is, until the Pope yells at them too, at which point the obvious will happen (and hey, since there’s no more Hell, they can’t be sent there for cursing):
Conclusion: Fans of either band will fail to notice that anything has changed.
6. In a frantic bid to stay relevant, Helloween will first chop their name down to O’ween, then down to this:
…And these guys won’t even bat an eye:
7. Black metal trolls du jour, Deafheaven (DFHVN), will cause another world wide pants-pissing by pulling this totally unforeseen stunt:
8. At almost the very instant that Deafhell (DFHLL) emerges from the chaos, consummate one-upsman Dane Cross will seize upon the irresistible opportunity change his band’s name from Sacred Son to…you guessed it…:
9. These guys are safe though:
10. On behalf of all the editors and writers at this here bloggy blog, I rate the Pope’s decision to cancel Hell:
5 Out Ov 5 Flaming Toilets Ov [REDACTED]