Pope Steps Down to Start Metal Band

VATICAN POPEVatican City – Hours after announcing his intention to resign the papacy, Benedict XVI released a cryptic message calling his flock to St. Peter’s Square. As the clock struck midnight, spotlights blazed across the Sistine Chapel and black smoke billowed out of the chimney. An ear-splitting guitar thundered from above, as if played by God himself.

Benedict XVI stepped into the light, his hat gone, hands flying over a double-neck Fender Stratocaster. After an epic ten minute solo, he finally spoke.

“For those about to rock, I pray for you.”

Two men appeared at his side, and Benedict XVI introduced former Pantera members Phil Anselmo and Vinnie Paul. “We’re getting the band back together,” Benedict XVI declared. “We are Satan’s Nightmare!”

They launched into the single “Demons be Driven,” rocking the old sacred city so hard this reporter’s heart thrummed with the bass, or perhaps God’s love. And then they were gone, leaving St. Peter’s Square and the metal world in a state of extreme purgatory.

But a press release soon followed. Satan’s Nightmare will be joining American thrash metal group Slayer on a European tour immediately, with Benedict XVI playing under his given name, Joseph “Rat Nasty” Ratzinger.  The band’s sound, Mr. Nasty promised, will blend “classic heavy metal, extended shredding, and liturgical lyricism,” with a nod to his German roots. “You know Rammstein, not Scorpions,” he joked. “They should be crucified for that pussy Hurricane song.”

An album is slated for summer release: “And Communion for All.”

Even as the first pope to resign in almost six hundred years, the ex-pontif explained the decision was easy. “I want people to actually listen,” he smiled. “And the groupies aren’t so bad either.”

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