Immaculate – “Cross of Nero”

Day 5 of 6(66) Days of Nero. The Swedish speed/thrash metal band Immaculate open their 2010 album Atheist Crusade with this track, which combines much of the events of Nero’s reign we’ve seen previously treated by metal bands: matricide, depraved tyranny, arson, and anti-Christian persecution. The phrase “Cross of Nero” itself may refer either to the crosses on which Nero hanged Christians and set on fire to serve as street lighting (a punishment fitting their alleged crime of burning down the city); or it could refer to an inverted cross, a popular symbol in metal music, representing a clear antagonism to Christianity. However, it could also refer to the Cross of St. Peter, whose martyrdom under Nero was carried out by being crucified upside down in the Circus of Nero. That sporting venue was located on the Vatican Hill, the future site of Peter’s Basilica. Immaculate fittingly begin this record by casting the Neronian persecution as the original “Atheist Crusade.”

Hail the emperor!
Rose to power ‘gainst the Paulines
A tyrant and a savior
The delusions of the meek
The corpse!
A malignant sign is rising
Seven gates of angels
Must be shut ‘fore its too late

Forgotten!
The writings of the scripts to be
Pre-existant antichrist
Beacon of lunacy
Persecution!
The eye is kept closed
While the city turns to sin
And death claims its throne

Lawless King
The slayer of his mother
Who himself is king
Will persecute the plant
Which the Twelve Apostles
Of the beloved
Have Planted
Of the Twelve
One will be delievered to his hands!

CROSS OF NERO!
Obey!
CROSS OF NERO!
Watch the kingdom
blinden by the flames!

The number!
Of the beast
Metaphors run rampant
Through the halls
Of ravaged streets
They hide in fear of death
Crucifixion by the limbs
Christian blood flows
On the crimson sand

Murder!
A dirge of unholy vengeance
Averting the eyes of sin
Shameless and without restraint
A deadly curse runs through his veins
The terror of the seraphim
The throne of tyranny!

Lawless King
The slayer of his mother
Will come – and there
Will come – with him
All the powers of this world
And they – will hearken unto him
In all that he desires!

CROSS OF NERO!
Obey!
CROSS OF NERO!
Watch the kingdom
blinden by the flames!

Who’s to blame for setting the fires?
Was it him or a secret cult?
The scapegoats righteously sentenced
For their lives – ARE BUT WORTHLESS!

Flawless King
The slayer of his mother
Will come – and there
Will come – with him
All the powers of this world
And they – will hearken unto him
In all that he desires!
CROSS OF NERO!
Obey!
CROSS OF NERO!
Watch them burn down blinded by the flames!
CROSS OF NERO!
Obey!
CROSS OF NERO!
Feed the christians to the gods of day!

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