Metal and all its sub-genres are highly influenced by historical, religious and mythological motifs. Mythological references can be found in every single Metal style – from Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal or Grindcore to Heavy Metal, Pagan/Folk Metal or Power Metal. They are integrated in artworks, songs, lyrics and appearances of bands, scenes and labels all over the world.
The inverted cross. One of Metal’s – especially Extreme Metal’s – most used icons next to the pentagram. Countless bands have used the inverted cross in their logos, artworks, tattoos, live shows or general art. Bands like Mayhem, Marduk, Belphegor, Deicide, Gorgoroth, Dark Funeral or Impaled Nazarene (to name just a few) have used this image in very different shapes in their communication for decades. This way a whole generation of metalheads grew up drawing inverted crosses on school desk, just like I did for years.
But if you look for the origin of the inverted cross you will come across a surprise. The inverted (or upside down) cross is the official sign of the highest representative of the catholic church: the pope. According to Roman Catholicism the pope is the direct successor of Saint Peter, the bishop of Rome and first pope.