Imagine you found a portal to Hell and you’re a bit too drunk to think it is a bad idea just walking through it. On the other side, you find the prince of darkness, father of lies, the fallen angel Lucifer waiting for you. Calling you by name in a voice like an avalanche of gravel, summoning you forward; you move toward this being, as if on rails, and you fall to your knees in its presence. Instead of whatever tortures you imagined would be inflicted on you, the biggest-bad grants you three wishes; in a panicked state you blurt out that you “don’t wanna die,” to which he acquiesces.
Now, with your mind a bit clearer, impending doom removed from the table, you roll both your final wishes into one. You ask that two of the foulest demons be sent to Earth to make unholy, evil, and blasphemous Death Metal. A grin crawls across the red and cracked skin, peeling back dark lips to reveal hundreds of tiny, sharp, conical teeth dripping saliva. A bellowing laugh echoes around the cavern, reverberating in your bones.
“O’ mortal one, flesh-held bones and blood, you amuse. I had grown weary of late, too few of your kind take pleasure in the unholy; save for vaping I’d never see a millennial soul.” A crooked finger unfurls in your direction. “But you enter my realm, unannounced, and ask me for something I have not done in far too long: lay waste to the unbelieving, and return the body of the son to his father in tattered pieces.”
Smoke, smelling of brimstone and rotting flesh, fills the room until thick enough to choke your life out. Two figures emerge as the obscuring smoke begins to clear, donning all black, they approach you. One grips your arm and pulls, tearing it off at the shoulder, while the other begins to peel the skin off your back and legs; the first begins to pull sinew from your leg and string them up on your severed arm. What seems like eons later, following many more rude amputations, you see the unholy construction; blood still drips from the guitar fashioned from your arm, and the other demon sits behind a simple drum kit made of your flesh and bone.
The music churns to life as you lay bleeding out and helpless. With all the power the unholy can provide, they are masters at their craft; whether the songs are slow and lined with Doom, or quick and flaying Death hymns, the songs are full of an undeniably evil presence. Their sound is at once ancient, urgent, and unforgiving. The vocals belched forth are the hellbound gurgles of ungodly forms; the rotting vocal cords rattle inside your mind as they continue. Drumbeats, you are convinced, are the only thing keeping your heart pumping; the rhythmic pounding matching flawlessly with the assaulting guitar, and every crash rings out menacingly. As the music begins to fade, your vision starts to become Black around the edges, closing in.
You awake sometime later in a hospital room, your entire body, what is left of it, is wrapped in bandages. Immobile and mute, you try to grunt, cough, or breathe heavy, anything to make a noise. Hearing you, your love enters the room crying “You’re awake! He’s awake!” She runs out into the hall just as fast as she entered.
Searching around the room, you see two blurry figures looming on your left-hand side. One of them leans forward, his vocals akin to howls while gargling gravel, he bellows, “A gift for your sacrifice.” He places a cassette tape on your chest, the cover is the visage of the son of God in his last moments. Your eyes begin dart between the tape and the figures that shift in and out of focus as you hear the growing laughter of Lucifer.
“A gift for him?” the other figures asks. His hand reaches out, pressing into your remaining ribs until they relent and crack, giving way to the soft wet innards. Inside your chest you feel the hand unfurl into razor-sharp claws that search around until they slowly close, grasping something. Instantly your body is stricken with hypothermia, it feels as though you were just dunked into an ice bath. The figure pulls back his arm, and clutched within his fist is a fading light.
The figures fade, and the room begins to go with them. The last thing you hear before your hearing leaves you is your love entering the room and pausing at your bedside to say, “Oh, that’s hanging Jesus!” (EthanM)