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There are a lot of apocalyptic scenarios looming out there, in various religious sects in the nooks and crannies of history. Though the scenarios are wildly different in method, you can rest assured that most will leave us all equally dead.

While we can't know which one is actually going to happen, here are the ones we're rooting for, along with the heavy metal album cover each most resembles.

5Judgment Day

Source: Christian New Testament

What to watch for:
Four guys on a multicolored assortment of horses will charge across the world, spreading War, Famine, Pestilence and Death. In other words, things will look exactly like they do now, so you'll need to actually see the horses to know something is up.

What comes next:
Few denominations can agree on what happens, and when. The basic idea is that while we all play "Spot the Antichrist" amid tornadoes and earthquakes, pretty much every comet in the universe hits Earth, turning the rivers and seas to poison blood. Mankind fights a gargantuan war involving 200 million soldiers. Then, invincible scorpion locusts swarm across the land, stinging the crap out of everyone who hasn't been marked by God.

Satan walks the Earth. Then, after a period of time somewhere between seven to 1,000 years, Jesus returns with tears of love in his eyes, and gives everyone a pass to Heaven.

Ha, no, we were kidding. The Good Shepherd divides the survivors into "sheep" and "goats." Guess which group spends an eternity in everlasting fire.

Can you survive it?
The Christian apocalypse is tricky. Some sects say the believers will be sucked off Earth before any of the most terrible stuff happens, leaving the other 99 percent of humanity to suffer the millennium of unspeakable horrors. Others think the believers will be left to do battle with Satan' hordes along with the rest of the godless heathens.

Luckily, according to the Bible, all this can only come when no one is expecting it. So we're safe for now, thanks to this article.

A heavy metal album cover for reference:
Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast

Rating:
Seven separate seals, trumpets, thunders and judgments, including war and disease and meteors and monsters ... at times the author seemed to be spinning the Wheel O' Disaster to see what kind of horror would strike the world next. It's all over the place and honestly, it just feels like piling on. We give it a 4/10.

4The Coming of Gochihr

Source: The ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism.

What to watch for:
A comet named Gochihr strikes Earth, causing the human race to act "like a sheep being attacked by a wolf."

What comes next:
Waves of holy, molten metal ripple across the entire surface of the world. All people, living and dead, will be judged. Those who have spent their time feeding the poor and not making fun of people with bad haircuts will be able to swim around in the lava-like "warm milk." The heartless ones, such as murderers and cruel reality-show judges, will be burned until their sins are gone. Most of us will wind up doing the flaming backstroke long before the screaming stops.

As the burning continues, a virgin-born man named Saoshyant, or "one who brings benefit", will defeat the forces of evil and usher in a perfect world where no one ever suffers or dies.

Can you survive it?
Sure. Even the worst cat-raping bastard is only looking at three days of agony, followed by eternal paradise once all the bad parts are gone. It' fairly easy to see why Zoroastrianism makes the followers of newer religions irritable.

A heavy metal album cover for reference:
DragonForce - Sonic Firestorm

Rating:
Zoroastrianism has the first recorded "End-of-the-World" prophecy, making it kind of like the Lord of the Rings: It inspired a whole generation of more recent and exciting works, but was boring as hell until Peter Jackson made a movie out of it. With only one comet and a single battle, Zoroastrians simply cannot compete in the modern apocalypse market. Still, originality earns it a 5/10.

3The Return of Pahana

Source: The Hopi tribe of Native-Americans

What to watch for:
The arrival of white men in the lands of the Hopi Indians, taking land that isn't theirs and killing their enemies with hand-held thunder.

Wait a minute.

Uh oh.

What comes next:
It looks like we got to this prophecy a little late. The foretold snakes of iron, electronic spider webs and rivers of stone have already crossed the world and the seas are already polluted. Some people say the ninth and final sign, a "dwelling place in the stars falling to earth," happened in 1979 when Skylab crash-landed in Australia.

All that' left is the great wars between the White Man and his enemy in the deserts-

Goddammit.

Can you survive it?
The Hopi were polite enough to provide this part for us. According to prophecy, those who wish to avoid all the diseases and destruction should move to the lands of the Hopi. The bad news: "the lands of the Hopi" means Arizona. The good news: It' only temporary. Any day now, the Hopi are expecting the return of Pahana, or the "lost white brother" from the stars that left them thousands of years ago. When he descends, the survivors become wise and start making the world a better place.

Still, Arizona.

A heavy metal album cover for reference:
Iron Maiden - Brave New World

Rating:
What the Hopi' "great renewal" lacks in rivers of boiling blood and screaming demonic dragons, it makes up in deadly accuracy. Though it appears we're 98 percent of the way through this one, it' not really our fault: It was only revealed to the outside world in 1959. 6/10.

2Nahui Ollin - The End of the Fifth Era

Source: Aztec mythology

What to watch for:
A total solar eclipse lasting forever. This happens because the Aztec nation was destroyed by Spanish invaders in the 1500s, and hasn't been feeding Nanahuatzin, or the Sun, the human sacrifices he needs to stay healthy and strong. Good going, Spain.

What comes next:
According to most early Central American cultures, the world has already ended four to five times, by methods ranging from flood to armies of hungry jaguars. Our world will apparently get the terrifying Tzitzimime, depicted as either skeletons with rattlesnake penises, or a race of bony, female spider monsters from the stars.

The Aztecs believed the sun would have saved us from the Tzitzimime, had they been allowed to keep feeding it human hearts. But, of course, fucking Spain came along.

Can you survive it?
Read the last description of the Tzitzimime above. Do the bony, spider creatures sound familiar at all?

Yeah. So it's these things, or the army of skeleton monsters. Almost a coin toss.

We won't pull any punches: It's been 500 years since our last heart donation, so the Tzitzimime are long overdue. Today, most humans are too selfish to donate our organs to science, so forget appeasing the wrathful gods. And, we won't even stop driving our SUVs to avert the sun's wrath, so forget about any crash programs to ramp up the human sacrifices.

Maybe Sigourney Weaver will come along and battle their queen from a construction bot, but we're thinking we need to get the hell off this planet anyway, just to be safe. Though our warp engines might tear a passage through to hell or our own ship' artificial intelligence may decide that human life must be extinguished, we have to take the risk because those Aztec gods just do not give a fuck.

A heavy metal album cover for reference:
Helloween - Walls of Jericho

Rating:
Man, the Aztecs didn't fuck around. Apocalypses were routine with these guys. We're thinking the Aztec prophets couldn't make headlines unless they predicted the world wasn't going to end the next year.

It gives you some perspective on why the Aztecs were so keen on the sacrifices that would keep their gods full and sleepy, even if it does make us wonder just how devastating their apocalypses actually are if they happen more frequently than the Ryder Cup. 7/10.

1Ragnarök

Source: Norse Mythology

What to watch for:
A three-season-long winter. Of course, with all the mindless killing we'll be doing, we'll barely notice.

What comes next:
Wolves eat the sun, Norse Trickster God Loki escapes from ropes made of his son' intestines and hijacks a ship made of dead men' toenails, and Jörmungandr, the World Serpent, rises from the oceans and spews poison across the lands and skies. Regardless of the fact that they know full well how the whole damn thing is going to end, the gods stab, poison, burn and eat each other until Earth sinks into the ocean.

Can you survive it?
We have a really narrow window here. The short version is that this is all Loki' fault, despite that he' currently tied up beneath the world getting venom dripped into his eyes. Once he gets free, you can't turn around anywhere on Earth without bumping into dragons, fallen world trees and cowardly Viking zombies.

Only two humans, Lif and Lifthrasir, are scheduled to survive Ragnarök by hiding in the Yggdrasil, the world tree. It stands to reason that a tree large enough to connect hell, Earth and the heavens together would have plenty of places to hide, though.

Heavy metal album covers for reference:

From left to right:

Hammerfall - Renegade
Manowar - Warriors of the World
Cannibal Corpse - Gore Obsessed
DragonForce - Valley of the Damned

Center:
Dio - The Very Beast of Dio

Rating:
With cast members like Odin All-Father, Norse Thunder God Thor, and Fenrir, a wolf so large that he has to crouch not to leave Earth' atmosphere, it'll be like the drawing on the back of every fantasy geek' notebook has suddenly sprung to life. This is the only apocalypse that ends with blood arcing through the air in slow motion while someone screams "Heimdall! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

If you make it into the Yggdrasil tree, find a place where you've got a view because we think even the Norse prophets agreed this is going to be wicked awesome. 9/10.

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