Behind The Crooked Cross (War and Religion)



It seems to me that is an 'unofficial rule' that every super metal band should have an Anti-war song masterpiece.

Black Sabbath has 'War Pigs'.
Megadeth has 'Holy Wars...The Punishment Due'.
Metallica has 'Disposable Heroes'.
While Slayer has multiple anti-war song including 'Behind The Crooked Cross'.

At a first glance, you may think that 'Behind The Crooked Cross' is about the cross that catholics place at their altars and almost everywhere. Well, it is not. The cross the song referring to is the swastika.


Noun: swastika
The official emblem of the Nazi Party and the German Third Reich; a cross with the arms bent at right angles in a clockwise direction

Actually, the lyrics of this song is well written by Jeff Hanneman which can be viewed in 2 different topics; War and Religion

War
Jeff Hanneman (lyricist) has a known interest in Nazi Germany (SS - Waffen SS etc.). He also has a fairly big collection of German war- and nazi medals. Slayer also use iron eagle as band logo which can lead us to conclusion that the song 'Behind The Crooked Cross' was written by Jeff with war in his mind. In addition to that, the South of Heaven album (which the song is included) discusses a lot of topics like abortion, TV-preachers, war and nazi. At least 3 songs from the album is about war. Politically charged song or album are always great. Full of aggressive and the South Of Heaven album is an example of it.

At the First Stanza,
it appears that the lines were being uttered by a german soldier in a middle of a war having trouble inside of his heart understanding the scenery of the war. Death around him, blood,flesh and lifeless bodies are upon to each other and starting to ask question about meaning of war.
At the Chorus,
the soldier realizes that he was sent to war just to die for a useless cause. 'Forced to fight behind the crooked cross'
At the Second Stanza,
about soldiers following orders from their superior what ever the command it might be.Forget about conscience, forget about law. Just do what their commander has instructed them.

Religion
Do you remember the case of deacons from a certain Church who butchered five students because of basketball? Even worse, they did the murder inside their chapel which they believe that the spirit of their god dwells. The very same chapel where they pray to their god. Yes, there are some fanatics to their faith that they even kill people just because of their faith (cross). Sometimes, even killing upon the commandment of their ministers. Losing their conscience because of their faith (cross). Blind followers we may say.

Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Mat 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

* the drumming skills of Dave Lombardo on this song is unbelievable. The drums of 'Behind The Crooked Cross' can easily surpass the drums applied by Lars Ulrich in Metallica's 'Disposable Heroes'. I also admire the drums in 'Disposable Heroes', I think it's one of the best of Lars Ulrich. But sorry Lars, you cannot beat Dave in drums anyday. Specially now that Metallica already sold their soul to fame & fortune.

Behind The Crooked Cross
(Lyrics: Hanneman; Music: Hanneman)

I
Time melts away in this living inferno,
Trapped by a cause that I once understood.
Feeling a sickness building inside of me,
Who will I really have to answer to.

Chorus
March on through the rivers of red.
Souls drift, they fill the air.
Forced to fight, behind,
The crooked cross.

II
Do only what is expected of me,
With no emotions my feelings suppressed.
Blind obedience carries me through it all.
Conscience a word I learned to forget.

Chorus
March on through the rivers of red.
Flesh burns, it fills the air.
Forced to fight, behind,
The crooked cross.

LEAD: HANNEMAN, KING
KING, HANNEMAN

Time melts away in this living inferno,
Trapped by a cause that I once understood.
Blind obedience carries me through it all,
Do only what is expected of me.

Chorus
March on through the rivers of red.
Souls drift, they fill the air.
Forced to fight, behind,
The crooked cross.

metal up your head
- josepherdon

1 comment:

judav said...

Great comment. I thought of it as the templars, because of the religion related charged on the song. I also share your comment on the Lombardo's drums.

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