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Thrashback Thursday: Nuclear Assault - Hang The Pope

Old columns die hard. In this case, they rock hard too. Thrashback Thursday is back again and this week we're taking a look at one of the most beloved (and short) songs from one of the East Coast's favourite names in thrash metal, Nuclear Assault. The song? "Hang The Pope."

Nuclear Assault may not have hit the commercial highs of some of their peers such as Anthrax or Megadeth, but when discussing classic thrash metal, Nuclear Assault always get brought up very quickly. With good reason too. They were one of the more aggressive sounding bands in a sub-genre which wasn't exactly known for being soft, taking the sounds of the New York hardcore scene and blending them with thrash metal, before the term "crossover" was invented. They released their first album, "Game Over" in 1986 and the record is still considered a must have for any thrash fan today. Over the course of their career, they released five more studio albums, five EPs, two live albums, three home videos/DVDs and toured the world numerous times.

It's from the beginning that we'll be looking at today though, with one of the most controversial songs in thrash metal (that wasn't written by Slayer,) entitled, "Hang The Pope," from the "Game Over" album. The song begins with a Discharge inspired bass line which opens the track in the most ferocious of ways. It's soon followed by an onslaught of noise, which was almost certainly an influence on the tiny grindcore scene at the time, then the rapid fire verse of "Hang the pope, hang the pope, hang the pope, hang the pope, hang him with a fucking rope." Somehow, the song still manages to have a catchy chourus without slowing down for an instant, as the sing along refrain goes, "Let's go to the Vatican, get him out of bed. Put the noose around his neck and hang him till he's dead." As if this wasn't enough, this is all repeated and in a song which is only forty six seconds long. Wasn't thrash a wonderful invention?

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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4 Comments on "Thrashback Thursday: Hang The Pope"

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Anonymous Reader
1. I'm not Jesus Christ writes:

Nuclear Assault, totally underrated band!

# Dec 1, 2017 @ 10:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Albert writes:

My favorite n.a. Album is trail of tears!

After ep called pounder , no new stuff!

# Dec 2, 2017 @ 2:50 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. Oldthrasherinflorida writes:

Man what a great song.....nuclear assault, carnivore, onslaught, destruction and several other lesser known thrash bands all made some really great tunes that have truly stood the test of time.....never got a chance to see NA but hopefully will one of these days.....seeing D.R.I next saturday \m/

# Dec 2, 2017 @ 11:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
4. I'm not Jesus Christ writes:

That's cool, Oldthrasherinflorida. I love D.R.I. and Nuclear Assault.

# Dec 3, 2017 @ 10:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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