Messiah – “Nero”

Day 4 of 6(66) Days of Nero. Today we’re revisiting a post from this past winter, when the latest polar vortex seized the Midwestern US in a deadly, icy grip. A song about Nero’s Great Fire on an album titled “Extreme Cold Weather” surely embraces the spirit of FROST AND FIRE.

(From the archives)
As the Midwest region of the United States withstands an Arctic assault with wind chills approaching 60 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, many local metalheads have found appropriate soundtracks to the experience. Among these is the 1987 album Extreme Cold Weather by the Swiss death/thrash band Messiah.

That album includes a tribute to a Roman emperor associated more with fire than ice. “Nero” explores the twisted mind of the last Julio-Claudian (r. 54-68 CE), who “fiddled while Rome burned.” It cannot be known for certain whether the Great Fire of 64 CE was an “inside job” but this band sure thinks so. The fire of Rome was a fitting subject for the emperor’s poetry, but also a pretext for his anti-Christian agenda. According to Tacitus and others, Nero blamed the Christians for causing the fire. In this song, Nero not only celebrates the killing of Christians, but in a mockery of their beliefs sees himself as a new Messiah who embodies the resurrection of a new empire from the flames of the old.

To those under siege from the Polar Vortex, take the necessary precautions to keep warm today, folks, and perhaps turning your mind to the burning of Rome will help.

Nero the hero, god of full corpses
Nero, centurio, lost in madness,
walked in the shadows of broken minds,
saved his power in the name of lies,
enslaved girls, he’s a destructor by his hand. 
Burn down this town, burn down this Rome.
Nero, master of lied enrichements,
Nero, finder of bad sound harmonies,
composed titles for wonderfully done things,
found the answers, the things he sung
Were about the realities of his next strike.

Sadist of his own empire, will be his own messiah,
loser of his own mind.

Aaaaahh my little Rome, enjoy my flames,
I sing and pray for you and your child,
fall to ashes for my new empire,
It’s my greatest lyric now.

Burn down this town, burn down this Rome.
Look at me, people of Rome,
It’s the sweet resurrection, after the celebration
It’s my lustful work, that all these christians are rotten now.

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