Secret Societies

ODYSSEY OF THE DEVIL HORNS

ODYSSEY OF THE DEVIL HORNS
Who is responsible for bringing metal's famous hand signal to the tribe?

~ By STEVE APPLEFORD ~


Illustration by Mark Brooks

t is called the mano cornuto, the horned hand, with index finger and pinkie raised proudly as the sign of the beast, ready for an unholy wave to your favorite demon king. The Horns of Cernunnos. The woolly Goat of Mendes. And the edifice of Scaccia Scalogna, source of the ancient code to defeat the "evil eye" and its power to wilt the fruit on trees and the mojo of men. Or, it means nothing at all – nothing beyond the international greeting to heavy metal ecstasy, aimed at all the flawed rock gods with their Marshall amps and electric guitars. It is there that the horns still carry some tribal significance, and where the local monster metal fest might carry a giant foam-rubber facsimile of the horned hand to be waved from across the arena, as harmless as a pillow.