Major props to this guy. His throat sounds like it’s gonna need a bucket of Vaseline and lemon juice after such an ambitious vocal exercise. He even adds his own campy lyrics to represent each genre of metal. This video makes me realize there are too many “cores” in terms of types of metal. I’d also like to hear his take on Heavy, Power, and Doom Metal.
“A heathens call, stand up or fall. This world is yours, for you to rule.”
Band Location: Norway
Musical Genre: Black Metal
Lyrical Themes: Mysticism, Nature, Apocalypse, Anti-Christianity
As the winter approaches for those of us in the world’s Northern Hemisphere, the ice cold chill of this Norwegian black metal song fits the season well. Satyricon makes for a formidable force with the singer’s ghoulish voice, pumping double bass drums and an ambiance that sounds like it was recorded in a primeval Norwegian forest. The Nordic fathers are calling, those ancient Heathen voices from long ago are returning yet, like torches in the dark. The black metal of today evokes voices of old, in their brutal, primal essence.
My skin is cold and the birds fly free
Over my head, where winter grows
A heathens call, stand up or fall
This world is yours, for you to rule
This, the blood of sin
This, unstoppable force
In the naked flesh
My skin is cold – your skin is cold
Black metal rock and scent of leather
And bloodstained gold
With rain and wind come times of change,
and dream come true
I go with you, on the path we make
This, the blood of sin
This, unstoppable force
In the naked flesh
My skin is cold – your skin is cold
Snow covered mountain
I gaze in awe
Wondering who and what was here before
I made my mark on that sacred soil
This phoenix rose from a pit of pain
This, the blood of sin
This, unstoppable force
In the naked flesh
My skin is cold – your skin is cold
One nations man carrying the weight,
of a peoples disgrace
This is the turnaround!
Driven by birthright and godsent will
The time has come for you to rule
This, unstoppable force
In the naked flesh
My skin is cold – your skin is cold
Týr refers to the Germanic God of courage, strength, justice, victory, defense, and battle.
Genre: Progressive Folk Metal
Themes: Norse Mythology/Paganism
Band Location: Faroe Islands (an archipelago and autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark)
Lyrics: Click Here
Any Heathen metal head or Folk Metal enthusiast is familiar with the band Týr. A Folk Metaller without Týr in their playlist is like a warrior without a sword, a witch without her broom or me without a secret stash of chocolate in the house. It just doesn’t happen.
This band has been going strong for about 16 years now with 7 full length albums to their name. While they may experiment with their style a good bit, the heart of their music lies in heroic themes of warrior battles, Norse glory, and in general just having a fucking fun time. The song I posted above has to be one of my favorites and is pretty characteristic of their sound.
As mentioned above, their name is connected to the Germanic God of justice, Týr. The most famous story about Týr is how he sacrificed his hand to the wolf Fenris in order to bind him.
Týr also was originally known as Tiwaz. The Tiwaz rune is named after him and symbolizes fighting for truth and one’s beliefs, as well as standing for dedication and valour in combat.
Tiwaz rune pictured above. Image Source
This is a playlist of folk metal songs similar to Falkenbach’s Gjallar. Enjoy! I liked almost all of the songs on this list, and even heard a few new songs that I had never encountered before.
The band’s first music video:
Genre: Folk Metal. Encyclopedia Metallum also says that this band plays Melodic Death, my interpretation is that they are more of a Folk Metal band, but maybe I haven’t heard enough of their material.
Themes: Pagan Gods, Kings, War, Nature
Country of Origin: Poland
This video is definitely a good start for a band’s first official music video. They successfully blend together traditional instruments like the bagpipes, tin whistle and violin with guitars, bass and drums. They are obviously highly influenced by Arkona, especially with vocals. The female singer of this band, Adrianna Zborowska has a particularly powerful and enchanting voice. My only criticism is that I don’t think the female and male vocals are as in sync with each other as they could be. I know that doing the whole pretty melodic vocals with harsh growls is a very difficult thing to get just right, and honestly the only song that I feel has this dynamic perfectly is Dark Tranquility’s The Mundane and the Magic .
And of course the imagery of the video itself was beautiful – forest, ritual, ancient pagan garb and all.
Keep up the good work Netherfell!
“Our show is a church of heavy metal. I hope everyone will put their weapons down and listen to metal. That’s my Utopia.” ~ Orphaned Land Frontman Kobi Farhi
Metal Hammer recently released an article in which the Orphaned Land Frontman Kobi Farhi opens his heart up about the current Israeli and Palestinian conflict. For those of you who don’t know about Orphaned Land, they are a Israeli Folk Metal (former death metal) band that writes music about conflict in the Middle East. As a token of goodwill, Farhi even shared a Metal Hammer award with his Palestinian tour mate of the band Khalas. He states that the only thing he and Khalas argue about is “who will pay for the beer.”
Yet now the lives of people in Palestine and Israel have turned into a nightmare, as these places have turned into a war zone once again. Yet Farhi didn’t just speak out about this violence, but about the general bloodshed in the Middle East – referring to the tragedies in Syria and Iraq.
“We feel like we’re some of very few awakened from a deep slumber. It’s not just Israel and Gaza. Look what happens in Syria, look what happens in Iraq with Isis. The place is full of weapons, fire and death. Terrible things are happening – and we can’t stop them with our guitars and lyrics.”
The video above discusses the topic of children being handed toy guns and taught hatred from a young age, instead of being taught about life and how to have a dialogue with one’s enemy.
While times look dark, there is a tiny flicker of hope in the power of music and art. Maybe one day we can use the power of art and music to achieve a real global dialogue and a lasting peace.
Cnoc An Tursa is Gaelic for “Hill of Sorrow”
GENRE: Black/Folk Metal
THEMES: Scottish History and Poetry
Happy Tuesday! Enjoy some riveting Scottish Black Metal. I’ve noticed that a lot of the good metal I’ve been listening to lately has been from Scotland. There must be something very awe inspiring about the Scottish landscape.
As mentioned above “Cnoc An Tursa” is Gaelic for “Hills of Sorrow,” which relates to the Callanish Standing Stones (similar to Stonehenge) which is an actual place on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides Scotland.
Cnoc An Tursa started in 2006, but only has produced one album, “The Giants of Auld”. In an interview with Teeth of the Divine the band said it took them three times longer to produce the album than they expected. But hey – you can’t rush perfection, right?
The song posted above, “The Lion Of Scotland” is the second track on this album followed by a brief intro from “The Piper O’Dundee.” “The Piper O’ Dundee” is a well known Jacobite war song. The original lyrics of the song deal with the rebellious influence of music during the Jacobite era. The bagpipes were outlawed in Scotland because they were thought of as an “instrument of war.” Many of the other songs on the album are also based off old Scottish melodies.
In this album the guitar does a great job in lacing driving melodies over black metal ambiance. The only complaint I’ve heard about the band so far is the choice of screamed Hardcore vocals. I myself prefer clean or growled vocals, but there are some people who like the screamed style.
If you liked these guys, check out the links below.
“We don’t expect the world to change their ways after listening to our album…we just expect the metalheads that come to a Sceptre gig or for that matter any gig they attend, to understand this message and start treating women with a certain amount of respect. For ages, women have been portrayed as mere objects of lust especially in ‘metal’. That needs to change.”
Today it is my great honor to interview one of India’s longest lasting metal bands – Sceptre! They are a heavy hitting thrash metal band from Mumbai that has been going strong for 15 years and they have been pioneers of extreme metal in the country.
One key thing that peaked my interest in the band was their recent album, “Age of Calamity.” In this album they take a stand on the issue of violence against women that is happening both in India and around the globe. According to the latest statistics, as many as 35% – 70% of women in the world have experienced some form of sexual violence (UN Women). In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States, intimate partner violence accounts for 40% – 70% of all female murder victims (UN Women).
In India, there have recently been many protests against the lack of police and government action in dealing with the crimes of gang rape and sexual violence. Unfortunately the problems of gang rape, sexual violence, spousal abuse, child marriage and sexual trafficking are ubiquitous around the globe.
Therefore, it is great to see an extreme metal band creating an album about female empowerment – particularly in a genre of music that can be quite the sausage fest. So without further adieu – I will begin my interview with Sceptre.
MG: First of all, I would like to ask, which member of the band am I currently speaking with?
You’re speaking to Aniket S Waghmode ( drummer and founder member)
MG: What is your band’s secret to lasting as long as you guys have? It’s not every day that I get to talk to a metal band that is 15 years old and still going strong.
It’s the sheer love of playing metal and nothing else! We cannot imagine playing any other form of music.
MG: One thing I’m really excited in talking to you guys about today is your newest album, “Age of Calamity” and its theme of the empowerment of women. What motivated you to cover this theme?
We’ve always tried to showcase the problems we, as a nation are facing, through our albums…be it lyrically or visually. Our earlier album ‘Now or Never’ had a song called ‘Charred’ which talks about the evils of smoking. And none of the guys in the band smoke or dope by the way. With ‘Age of Calamity’, we were unanimous in deciding to bring the issue of women empowerment to the fore. Since a while now, India has seen the most heinous and ghastly atrocities committed against women in various forms like rapes, acid attacks, groping and molestation in public places. And the rate of such crimes is increasing at an alarming rate. The indolence of the Government is stupifying to these cases. We don’t expect the world to change their ways after listening to our album…we just expect the metalheads that come to a Sceptre gig or for that matter any gig they attend, to understand this message and start treating women with a certain amount of respect. For ages, women have been portrayed as mere objects of lust especially in ‘metal’. That needs to change.
MG: Do you believe that violence against women is worse in India than other parts of the world? If so, why is this?
We are not sure about the situation outside India, but we’ve come to know after our album release from various people all over the world, that it is a global problem. The problem with India is the law. It’s ancient and inefficient to deal with the current state of affairs. To add to this, its the people who think one can rape and get away scott-free by bribing the police. Its a vicious circle.
MG: What do you think are some things that India – as well as other countries – could do to reduce the atrocities committed against women? What are some things that various countries around the world could do to empower women?
I think the law needs to be made more stricter and most importantly, implemented wherever necessary. The punishment for these crimes should act as deterrent to others. These small steps will help empowering women all over the world.
MG: What is your favorite set of lyrics, in the album (Age of Calamity), that discusses the theme of violence against women?
It’ got to be the opening lines from the title track ‘Age of Calamity’… ” more and more lives at stake, bureaucratic apathy to blame, damned if you will..damned if you don’t, you gotta give in to their game..”
MG: Aside from the theme of female empowerment in your most recent album, what are some other important themes and messages in your music?
Our first album had a song called ‘Charred’ which talked about the evils of smoking, then we had a song from the same album called ‘Nuclear’ which was against Nuclear warfare. The recent album; ‘Age…’ has a song called ‘Prophesy Deceit’ which is against these godmen who swindle people in the name of religion, one more song from the same album called ‘ Parasites(of the state) ‘ is about people in authority, from a policeman to a politician, who fail to do their duty….yea…stuff like that!
MG: What band’s influenced Sceptre the most?
Oh..we are mostly influenced by the old school thrash era. Bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Iron Maiden…to the new ones like White Chapel, Suicide Silence, Divine Heresy etc
MG: What are Sceptre’s plans for the rest of 2014?
Get a video done and play as many gigs as possible, in India as well as abroad!
MG: Does Sceptre plan on doing a tour in the United States in the near future?
Oh yeah…just waiting for that call!! Haha..
MG: What are some other powerful Indian metal bands I should check out?
Bands like Zygnema, The Down Troddence, Bhayanak Maut, Plague Throat, Gutslit etc are some bands who can kick some serious ass. Do check them out!
MG: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! For the rest of you Metal Heads, check out their song “Age of Calamity” below.
May 29, 2014 | Categories: Gender, Interviews, Music, Thrash Metal, Women | Tags: against, band, empowerment, extreme, female, indian, interview, metal, mumbai, sceptre, thrash, violence, women | 1 Comment
“We stand united. We are the sons of war!”
Band’s Country of Origin: Sweden
Genre: Viking/Black/Folk Metal
A pumping folk metal video of warrior dudes doing warrior things. The word Månegarm itself refers to a wolf that lives on the blood of dying humans and at Ragnarök hunts down and swallows the moon – I can think of no name more metal for a Norse Folk Metal Band. One of Månegarm’s signature qualities is that they have had traditional instruments from the start. Their songs have a professional quality violin sound in the background along with the occasional flute as well. I find this particular song a little bit repetitive (a lot of folk metal is honestly), but the power driven melody and chords make up for this repetition. The vocalist also has skill in flawlessly exchanging growls for the occasional clean vocal. It is certainly a song I would put on my playlist – if I needed a playlist for riding a steed into battle followed by some quality drunken shenanigans.
If you want a black metal seizure, behold this video.
Genre: Black Metal
Lyrical Themes: Lucifer, Death and Darkness
“The only way to create something of true beauty of this world is to look beyond its borders…to search outside of the mundane…to step into the realm of liberated wilderness, untamed fire and that ancient chaos to which every true and potent artist has been mouthpiece.” ~ Watain quote.
Watain captures a sort of magical chaos in their performances and music. Like a shaman, they go beyond the boundaries of the mundane to bring us – the audience – into the realm of the unknown. This is a band that has musical skill, but also knows how to this power onto the stage and put on an unforgettable performance. The above song captures the spirit of this anarchy, the feeling of what it is like to be an outlaw. True brilliance will always exist on the fringes of society, not within its borders. This is why many tribal shamans lived outside the tribe, so they could bring wisdom from a different place – a place beyond the accepted norm. So enjoy this musical chaos, this black metal pandemonium.
SEPTEMBER 29 UPDATE:
The fourth and final blood moon lunar eclipse of the 2014-2015 tetrad just occurred on September 27-28. This was also the rare eclipse of a Supermoon (meaning the moon was closest to the Earth). Total eclipses of Supermoons are rare, and another won’t happen for 18 years.
So what is a tetrad? This refers to the fact that there were four blood moons between 2014-2015, each one spaced about six months apart. The first blood moon in the tetrad was on April 15th. Fortunately the world didn’t end that day, but people did have to pay their taxes (which was the next closest thing).
Blood Moon Tetrad Dates:
Total lunar eclipse: April 15
Total lunar eclipse: October 8
Total lunar eclipse: April 4
Total lunar eclipse: September 27-28
So what is the significance of The Blood Moon? Is it the end of the world or a mere astronomical phenomena? What causes this ominous sounding event?
WHAT SCIENTIFIC PHENOMENON CAUSES THE BLOOD MOON?
The word “eclipse” itself means shadow, an eclipse is the Earth’s shadow on the moon. The red color itself is caused by particles and dust in the Earth’s atmosphere. What’s even more significant about this particular Blood Moon is that it is the first of a tetrad of Blood Moons. This means that there will be four blood moons occurring over a period of 18 months. It is also said that each of these four Blood Moons will fall on a Jewish holiday: Passover, The Feast of Tabernacles, Passover again the following year and then the next Feast of Tabernacles after that.
BLOOD MOONS AND PROPHESY
I’ve had a very difficult time finding astronomical information on this event, because I’ve been bombarded by several news stories about the biblical prophesy that uses the Blood Moon to predict the end of the world:
Acts 2:19-20: “And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”
Yet as rare as Blood Moons are, there have been other Blood Moons in history that occurred after this biblical prophecy was written, what is interesting is that each of the tetrads did usher in significant events for the Jews: their expulsion from Spain, the founding of the state of Israel and on The Six Day War between Arabs and Israelis.
WHAT DID OTHER CULTURES THINK ABOUT BLOOD MOONS OR ECLIPSES IN GENERAL?
The Incans believed that the Blood Moon was a result of a jaguar who attacked and then ate the moon. After it ate the moon, Incans believed that the jaguar would come for them next. To prevent that, they would try to drive the predator away by shaking spears at the moon and making a lot of noise, including beating their dogs and making them bark.
The Ancient Mesopotamians believed that a lunar eclipse was an attack on their king. The Mesopotamians were also very good at predicting when an eclipse would occur. So for this situation, they would install a Substitute King to bear the brunt of whatever attack the eclipse may dole out. The Substitute King would usually be treated very well during this period, but then mysteriously disappear afterwards.
The Hupa Native American Tribe believed that the moon had 20 wives and lots of pets: mountain lions and snakes. When the moon didn’t bring his pets enough food to eat, they would attack him and make him bleed. The eclipse would end when the moon’s wives came to protect him. They would collect his blood and make him well again.
To the Luiseño tribe of southern California, an eclipse signaled that the moon was ill. It was tribe members’ job to sing chants or prayers to bring it back to health.
The Ancient Norse Folk believed that the moon (Mani) was chased around in the sky by a hateful wolf named Hati. And each time the wolf got close, it took a bite out of him which caused an eclipse.
The Ancient Egyptians thought an Eclipse was the moon getting swallowed by a sow and the ancient Chinese believed that it was a three legged toad who was doing the swallowing.
However, not every Blood Moon is negative. The Batammaliba people in Africa saw it as a time that the moon and sun were fighting. Yet the significance of the Blood Moon meant that it was a time to come together and resolve old feuds.
IS THE END NEAR?
None of the previous Blood Moons ushered in an end of the world, why is this particular Blood Moon the one that will do it?
In 2012, the world was was supposed to end on December 21st because that was the day when the Mayan Calendar ended. Before that the world was supposed to end in 2000, because of the infamous Y2k crisis, apparently resetting the digital calendars of the world’s computers is enough to usher in a robot apocalypse?
And now, looking at a shadow on the moon through the tint of some atmospheric dust is a sure sign of the end? Perhaps this is the omen that will usher in the end. Or maybe when this prophecy fails, someone will find an image of the Anti-Christ on a piece of toast and surely this will usher in the end of the human era. My point is that people are completely obsessed with the apocalypse and are constantly grasping for a new sign each year of this impending rapture.
So, I’m pretty sure you can all untwist your panties out of a knot and enjoy the astronomical phenomenon that is the Blood Moon with a cup of cocoa. And in the chance that the apocalypse is happening, I will eat my words by taking a jaguar sized bite out of the laptop I’m typing on and die of suffocation before the demons of the apocalypse can descend from the bleeding moon and play softball with my carcass.
Whether it is a portent of death or a cool astronomical phenomenon, we can all agree on one thing: it’s metal as hell. Get your Blood Moon on tonight with some heavy tunes.
VADER – WHEN THE SUN DROWNS IN DARK
SLAYER – REIGN IN BLOOD
SAOR means “Free” in Scottish and Irish Gaelic
Band Location: Glasgow Scotland
Genre: Scottish Folk, Atmospheric Black Metal, Post-Rock
Members: Andy Marshall (Can you believe this is a one man band?)
Themes: Scottish Heritage, Highland Nature/Landscapes, Sorrow
Imagine if the Folk Metal band Belenos had a baby with the progressive rock group Pelican. The baby would be Saor: a band that has the power and mystery of Folk Metal, but the creative melodies of Prog Rock. Saor brings the traditional Celtic sound to the music with instruments such as the tin whistle, bodhrán and bagpipes.The music itself is emblematic of the stunning Scottish landscape. If you go to the band’s facebook, you can see some amazing images of Scotland. It’s pretty impressive that one artist, Andy Marshall, was capable of putting this all together.
“Children of The Myst” is the opening track for the album Aura, which will be released June 6th 2014. Saor may be a very new band, it was formed in 2012, but already its music is going to the top of Folk Metal Playlists. If you would like to hear more of their work, check out their facebook:
One and All, Together for Home comes out May 23rd 2014
In an effort spearheaded by the Ukrainian band Drudkh, eight different Folk Metal bands have come together to produce a compilation album. I’ve included a list of the eight bands below:
- Drudkh (Ukraine)
- Ava Inferi (Portugal)
- Primordial (Ireland)
- KAMPFAR official (Norway)
- Winterfylleth (England)
- Häive (Finland)
- HIMINBJORG OFFICIAL (France)
- Mondvolland (Netherlands)
Each band listed above has used music as way to link the listener back to their culture’s respective folk traditions and history. In this album, you’ll find that these bands have created their own unique way to represent traditional folk songs as well as the melodies from their musical heritage.
The Irish band Primordial has recently released a preview of their Dark Horse on The Wind on Metal Hammer (a song that will appear on the One and All, Together For Home album). Dark Horse on The Wind is a folk classic that is an ode to the pain of Ireland’s Civil War. Enjoy!
Most Relevant YouTube Comment: This band is “somewhere between Flogging Molly and Korpiklaani.”
Genre: Celtic Folk/ Black Metal
Lyrical Themes: Cultural heritage, struggle, history
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Primordial was originally a cover band that covered songs by Black Metal groups such as Bathory and Venom. But then they started performing their own Celtic influenced music. In terms of vocals this song has the organic simplicity of a punk, or Flogging Molly song. Yet this song still packs a punch with atmospheric, black metal instrumentals. While this song is pretty simple, it does convey the power of a primordial, ancient past.
This is my church
It stands so tall and proud
It has done for all time
It has no walls
Yet its vast halls
Reach from shore to shore
To whatever shore
You know as your own
We stand as one, we stand alone
We are born
From the same womb
Hewn from the same stone
From the frozen Baltic
I watched sunrise over Athena
Walked the battlefields of Flanders
And saw duskfall at Cintra
Beneath the spires of Sofia
Fields of crosses at Arnhem
Armenius stood tall in Teuteborg
Senatus Populusque Romanus
To the fjords of Hordaland
Shadows of ancient Albion
At the shore of a 1000th lake
Saint Vitus dance in Praha
Yet when to Ireland we Return
I know that I am home at last
And every sun that sets
Takes me closer to her Earth
A perfect theme song for this subzero winter we’ve been having!
Band Genre: Cinematic/ Melodic Black Metal
Location: U.S. California
Lyrical Themes: Self Created Lore
The song above is a folk tribute to a Wintersun song. You can read the song lyrics here.
I am excited to discover a new band I like that begins with the letter ‘x’ so I can own my friends at Metal Scattergories (ever notice how the only metal bands that start with the letter ‘x’ are usually black metal?) But I digress. Xanthochroid is highly influenced by Wintersun, Opeth, Moonorrow, Emperor and many black metal bands.
As mentioned above, the lyrics of the band’s songs are about a fantasy story created by the band itself. I find that more and more bands are starting to use music to convey a story of their own creation. You can read more about their story idea on their facebook or in their lyrics.
According to facebook, their interests are: “hiking, camping, hunting and anal” – a very down to earth crew of folk as you can tell. Just don’t go mountain climbing around these guys with your pants off, because you never know what will happen…
So enjoy some gentle, haunting and at times bombastic music from Xanthochroid!
2014 has barely started and already a hellish horde awaits us. Time to break in your eardrums with the new year and check out when the next big metal albums are coming out. Now you know what to get your Valentine’s Day Sweet Heart. ;-D
January 6th: Iced Earth’s “Plagues of Babylon”
January 24th: Primal Fear’s “Delivering The Black”
January 28th: Metallica’s “Metallica Through The Never DVD”
February 4th: Behemoth’s “The Satanist”
February 4th: Truckfighter’s “Universe”
February 14th: Cynic’s “Kindly Bent to Free Us”
February 28th: Manowar’s “Kings of Metal MMXIV”
Exploring a world of sex, drugs, rock and roll….and Satan.
DISCLAIMER: Pagans are not Satanists. Christians talk more about Satan than Pagans do. This article also does not represent every Satanist’s point of view, it just is a basic summary of Satanism in music and modern practice. This is not an article telling people to go worship Satan, it is merely examining the practice as well as the idea of Satan in other areas of cultural life.
Although it is controversial, it is true that Satan has popped up in the subject matter and lyrical content for many heavy metal and rock bands throughout the years. Most of these musicians are not Satanists themselves. So why has Satan and Hell been a popular topic in the realm of Rock and Roll? I’m here to explore this theme and put some popular misconceptions about the whole deal to rest.
Music and art are a manifestation of the subconscious reality within ourselves. It is fascinating that the imagery of Satan, the so called Lord of all Darkness and Evil, has been such a prevalent musical topic and inspiration. So we must question, what does this iconic figure represent? Perhaps, rather than being a symbol of all evil and darkness – he has come to represent man’s suppressed primeval nature.
The Christian Church has long had a monopoly on the sexual and moral laws of man. Yet as the chains on the minds of men begin to crumble, man’s true instincts will bubble to the surface. Rock and Metal music are a manifestation of this primeval out-pour. This is why the legacy of Rock and Roll is sex, drugs and brutality.
Some look at Satan merely as a symbol. Yet there are a few who actually call themselves Satanists. How is Satanism practiced today? Does it involve sacrificing babies and drinking goat’s blood? Sorry, it’s not that exciting. If we’re talking about Satanists of the “Lavey variety,” imagine a room full of ritual atheists drinking wine and talking about their birthdays. That’s right, some Satanists are actually Atheists while others are Theists. These are the two different approaches to Satanism in practice, Atheistic and Theistic.
So this article will look at the emergence of Satan as a counter-cultural icon in an age where the rules of Christianity are beginning to fade away.
PAN – THE PRIMEVAL GOD OF THE FOREST GETS CO-OPTED
What image does the word “Satan” conjure? A red goat man with a pointy tail and trident? The interesting thing here is that the bible didn’t actually give a very specific physical description of Satan. From what I’ve read, he was initially a fallen Angel who disguised himself as a serpent at some point. I don’t remember anything about pointy horns and a tail.
The goat-like image of Satan is an effort on the part of the early Christian Church to defame some of the popular Pagan Gods. Some of the key Gods who were converted into a Satanic image were Pan, a Greek who really knew how to party. Pan represented the free and primitive call of the forest to a place of natural sexuality and savage revelry. It is interesting that the Christians took the God of raw masculinity and nature to re-brand into their chief bad guy. Perhaps they were trying to tell people to ignore their base, primeval instincts.
SATAN AND SEXUALITY
There has long been an association between Satan and sexual power. Throughout the Middle Ages and even in some parts of the world today, many Christians believed that an initiate of Satan would meet him out in the woods and engage in sexual rites. It was primarily believed that witches (females received most of the blame) would have sex with Satan in the woods in exchange for supernatural powers and magic. This is why witch hunters and priests would verify the identity of a witch by examining her naked body, they were checking for “the devil’s mark.” This could be a mole, a birth mark or any kind of scar or skin blemish. The protests of the “witch” usually went ignored.
What is significant about this paranoia? Perhaps these priests were afraid of the Old Pagan Ways returning. After all, druids practiced out in wooded groves, as well as other spiritual folk. This also goes back to Pan, since he was a God of the Wild Wood.
In particular, there was a fear of women having access to magical power. Notice how all the church authority figures were male? This is why most of those accused of witchcraft were female. Yet the church fathers were not only afraid of female power – they were afraid of people getting in touch with their natural, sexual urges. Which explains the paranoia about people having sexual rites with the devil in the woods.
Satan’s role as a sexual deviant would later emerge powerful in the realm of rock and roll and metal.
PARADISE LOST: LUCIFER HAS A NEW MEANING IN PRE-ENLIGHTENMENT ERA
After brutal war between the Protestants and Catholics, many people were getting tired of religion. It is natural that the Enlightenment emerged with a celebration of reason and science – and a general discontent with Christianity.
Before the Enlightenment Era began, the poet John Milton wrote an epic poem about the fall of God’s highest Angel Lucifer to the lowest pits of hell. This was one of the first times that a major literary work portrayed Lucifer in a sympathetic light. He described himself with the now famous quote, “Better to reign in hell, then serve in heaven.” While Satan is still understood to be the antagonist of this work, there has been much debate throughout the ages as to his real role. In this Epic, Satan attempts to raise a rebellion and wrestle control of heaven from God, claiming that God is a tyrant and that the Angels should each be Gods onto themselves.
It is significant to note that Lucifer in this poem represented many of the traits that eventually became important in the Enlightenment Era: knowledge, self-determination, an escape from religious tyranny and individualism. During time periods in which people buck convention, Satan will play a role of inspiration. Later in the 1960’s, there was a massive social revolution spurred on by rock music, psychedelic drugs and “free love”. Here, Satan would once again become a revolutionary symbol. Satanism as a religious and occult practice also emerged into the limelight – or shall we say darkened torchlight – during this era.
“The key of joy is disobedience. ” ~ Aleister Crowley
The fascination with the occult began to rise during the 19th century. This was a time period in which Western Cultures were exploring (plundering) other parts of the world and opening their minds to alternative religions. This trend later continued into the 20th century.
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) is one of the most well known Occultists of the 20th century. He is famous for such works as “The Book of The Law,” “Magic in Theory and Practice,” and “The Book of Thoth.” He was also a reknown sex and drug addict. He enjoyed opium, hashish and mescaline. There is some dispute over the fact of whether Aleister Crowley was actually a Satanist or not. Did he worship the old Pagan Gods, did he worship Satan or was it a mix of both for him?
In his Liber Samekh ritual, there are several invocations to Satan. Yet what did “Satan” mean to Crowley? Was it devil worship or something else? A key concept for Crowley was the idea of the “True Will.” A key quote from Crowley is “Do what though wilt, shall be the whole of the Law.” Perhaps to Crowley, Satan or Lucifer were manifestations of the True Will?
Thelmapedia gives a further explanation for this idea of the “true will.”
“The concept postulates that each individual has a unique and incommensurable inherent nature (which is identical to their “destiny”) that determines their proper course in life, that is the mode of action that unites their purest personal will with the postulated course that preexists for them in the universe (Source).”
Read Thelmapedia for more information on the works of Aleister Crowley.
How would this True Will manifest itself later in the 20th century?
The 1960’s controversial film maker Kenneth Anger made a movie about Aleister Crowley. An interesting fact about this film is that one of the actors, Bobby Beausoleil, was involved with the Manson family (Interview).
RISE OF THE “I-THEISTS”
ANTON LAVEY’S CHURCH OF SATAN
Above I mentioned that the character of Satan in Paradise Lost encouraged the angels to overthrow God and become their own Gods. Many modern day Satanists seek to revel in their own internal power and worship themselves as a God. In particular, this is a key ideology for Anton Lavey’s Satanists.
While not all Satanists are part of the Church of Satan, it is definitely prominent enough to mention. In 1966 Anton Lavey set out to create The Church of Satan and wrote The Satanic Bible. He reigned as the High Priest until his death in 1997.
What are the fundamental beliefs of Lavey’s Church of Satan?
“Satanists are atheists. We see the universe as being indifferent to us, and so all morals and values are subjective human constructions.
Our position is to be self-centered, with ourselves being the most important person (the “God”) of our subjective universe, so we are sometimes said to worship ourselves. Our current High Priest Gilmore calls this the step moving from being an atheist to being an “I-Theist.”
Satan to us is a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential. We do not believe in Satan as a being or person” Church of Satan FAQs.
What are some misconceptions about the Church of Satan?
The Church of Satan FAQ section clears up several of the prominent myths about Satanists. This page explains that Satanists do not perform sacrifices, they do not ritually abuse people and they definitely do not have sex with children. Having sex with children, an animal or any non-consenting adult is strictly against the Satanic Rules and is grounds for immediate expulsion from the church. (Funny how this isn’t always the case for Catholic Churches…oh did I go there, yes I did!)
What kind of rituals do Laveyan Satanists have?
Satanists do not see any Gods or divine forces behind ritual. They still perform rituals, but they see it as a kind of “self transformational psycho drama.” For Satanists, ritual is a means to expunge oneself of emotional baggage or to mark a significant occurrence in one’s life.
Criticisms of Lavey: There are some wild rumors that Lavey lied about portions of his past in his biography or that he even recanted his beliefs on his deathbed. The truth of these rumors however, remains unknown. In the content below however, I will give further examples of some criticisms that other Satanists may have of Lavey and the fact that he tried to turn Satanism into an organized institution.
Unlike Laveyan Satanists, Theistic Satanists are spiritual. It is hard to make assumptions about the beliefs of Theistic Satanists as a whole, since they are a diverse and disparate group of entities.
The common ground for many Theistic Satanists is the importance of knowledge, self-development and individualism. In the Old Testament, Satan was a bringer of knowledge, since he is the one who encouraged Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and leave the limitations of Eden behind. The quest to raise up oneself, and one’s power is important to Theistic Satanists. These Satanists see Christianity as a demand for submission to a megalomanic God. In this dynamic, Lucifer plays the role of the liberator.
Beyond this common ground, there are many different orders, such as The Order of Nine Angels, The Temple of Black Light, Children of the Black Rose, Palladrists, and Luciferianists. Theistic Satanism is also sometimes called “Traditional Satanism.” These Satanists see Satan as an actual deity to worship. Some of the orders mentioned above see Lucifer as something entirely different from the “Devil.”
Luciferianists see Lucifer as a God of Light, Knowledge and equality. The Temple of the Black Light, on the other hand, believes in a militant nihilism. They believe that a true Satanist can never be a part of Society, since they believe society to be founded on lies.
It is difficult to accurately portray the attitudes of some of these orders, since they are closed to the public and are highly secretive in nature. However, there is a belief that some of the more radical Satanic groups despise Lavey’s Church of Satan and his modern attempts to make Satanism into something safe and socially approved. They believe that turning Satanism into a “church” is the ultimate irony, since a church is a part of an organized religion. Satanists from both the Order of Nine Angels as well as The Temple of Black Light have expressed that Satanism is supposed to remain on the fringes of society. They believe that Satanism isn’t supposed to be safe or socially sanctioned – rather, they think Satanism is supposed to be dangerous and embrace the chaos of the unknown.
This primeval chaos certainly manifested itself from the Sexual and Social revolution that emerged from the 1960’s via Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll.
SEX, DRUGS, ROCK AND ROLL….AND SATAN
Metal and Rock music played a prominent role in breaking controversial ideas about Satan into the cultural mainstream. First of all, an overwhelming majority of rock and metal music is NOT about Satan. Yet as far as Rock and Metal are concerned, Satan played the same role for modern rockers that Dionysus played for the Ancient Greeks. Dionysus himself was a subconscious manifestation of drunken debauchery, raucous violence, in your face blatant sex and a general enjoyment of Earthly pleasures.
Even the Blues, Rock’s ancestor, was called “The Devil’s Music.” Part of this was the controversial aspect of Blue’s Musicians using the “Blue’s Note” or the flattened fifth in a musical scale. This was already highly unconventional. Yet even more controversial was the gritty lyrical content of Blues Music itself: sex, drink and hardship. There is even a legend that Robert Johnson, a famous Blues virtuoso, received his guitar skills from the devil in exchange for his soul.
The Beginnings of Rock and Roll
Eventually the Blues spawned Rock and Roll with the song “Rocket 88” in 1951, a song about women and fast cars. A key feature of Rock and Roll music in the 1950’s is that it flaunted sex in the face of a very sexually restrained American public. When Elvis started to gyrate his hips on stage, the women in the audience went insane with sexual delight – some even passed out from all the excitement. I wouldn’t blame them, considering that this was the same time period in which Ricky Ricardo and Lucy had to sleep in separate beds on television in their neck high pajamas.
The 1960’s Cultural Revolution
Hmm…a fallen angel, where have we seen that before?
In the 1960’s, Rock Music became a key part of the sexual and cultural revolution. One of the prominent bands of the time, Led Zeppelin, incorporated symbols of the occult in their music and included the occasional allusion to Satan. Houses of the Holy for example contained the following Satanic Lyrics:
So the world is spinning faster. Are you dizzy when you’re stoned
Let the music be your master. Will you heed the master’s call
Oh… Satan and man.
There is some controversy about Led Zeppelin, considering their interest in Aleister Crowley. This interest is fairly obvious – considering that Jimmy Page bought Aleister Crowley’s old house – The Boleskine House! However, in recent years Jimmy Page has denied that he had anything to do with Satanism and that the occult was merely a musical topic – not a lifestyle.
Hard Rock and Heavy Metal
Later, as the genre of Rock and Roll evolved into Metal in the 1970’s, hard rockers continued to use Satanic imagery and symbolism in their lyrics and band art. While these Satanic images were used to cause shock and controversy, most of these heavy metal bands deny any actual involvement with Satanism as a religion. Other artists from this era, such as Ozzy and Danzig, would also deny bowing before Satan in real life. You can read the Danzig article here. In this way, Satanism was more of an artistic concept – a symbol for the return of the primeval self.
The Rise of Black Metal
Eventually, a genre emerged in the 1980’s that truly celebrated Satan – Black Metal. This began when the English Heavy Metal band Venom’s second album, Black Metal kick-started an entire genre. Unlike previous genres that dismissed Satan as a mere artistic muse, early Black Metal embraced Satan very openly. Upside down Pentagrams and bloodied crucifixes became a staple of the genre. Bands like Burzum even engaged in burning churches – although Burzum’s frontman Varg believes in the Ancient Norse Religion, not Satanism. Later in the 1990’s, some Black Metal groups eventually made the split from Satan-centric content and delved into the world of Ancient Paganism. You can read about that in my article: Bathory and Paganism.
Yet there are many Black Metal artists today who still have a strong connection with Satan. Behemoth’s newest album in 2014 will be called “The Satanist.”
Watain is one of the key, openly theistic satanist bands in the world of Black Metal. While they like to keep a majority of their rituals private, they have incorporated this ritual atmosphere into their music and art. Erik Danielsson, the Frontman of Watain, discusses the bands connection to Satanism more in the following interview.
If you would like to see an example of ritualistic ambience in Watain, watch the opening of Watain’s 2012 DVD.
SATANISM IN SUMMARY
Satanism is a diametrical opposition of Christianity’s laws. Where Christianity demands humility, chastity, love for all and obedience; Satanism calls for pride, lust, love for only those you care about and devotion to the self. Some Satanists use upside down crosses or inverted Christian symbols to show their own personal rebellion.
Do I agree with the principles of Satanism? No. I won’t expand too much on my personal opinion here, but I’ll throw down my two cents. Why am I a Pagan instead of a Satanist? I am not looking to follow an inverted form of Christianity. I am looking to follow the eternal laws of Nature as our ancestors did for millennia.
Yet Satanism is clearly significant here in a cultural context. As the hold of the Christian Church on the minds of men began to crumble, people began to look to Satan as a symbol of rebellion in order to break their shackles. Paradise Lost became popular in the 17th century because this was a time when key thinkers were breaking free from the church and beginning to explore new scientific and spiritual ideas about life and nature.
Eventually Satan became merged with our understanding of Ancient Pagan deities – as he represented a sort of raw, primeval power. This chthonic power took root in Rock and Roll and inspired the masses to break the conventions of their time. People began to explore ancient ideas about sex and identity.
December 10, 2013 | Categories: Black Metal, Satanism/Black Magic, The Dark Arts | Tags: black, eleven, gaahl, history, lavey, metal, misconception, myth, reality, rock and roll, rules, satan | 33 Comments
We did it! We got more than 1,000 views in one day! EDIT: At the end of the day it was around 2,500. This is a blog where the daily average is 150 views.
So thanks everyone for your help! Couldn’t have done it without you!
Let’s celebrate with Amon Amarth’s “1,000 Years of oppression” as a reminder of what we’re overcoming.
May the torch of our ancestors burn bright, may we hold this torch with courage and might.
Long live the Ancient Ways! Long live the eternal!
The band name translates into, “The Order of Ogan.”
Orden Ogan is a band from Germany that transitioned from playing Folk Metal to playing Symphonic Power Metal. It’s been a while since a symphonic power metal band has gained attention like this group. In fact, they are the only Power Metal band that I have written about on this blog, so good job guys! Much of their lyrics and album art is oriented around a concept fantasy story created by the band.
“The Things We Believe In” itself was released as a single in 2012, and I think they couldn’t have picked a better song. It is inspiring, has a great melody, a thought-provoking video and great metaphorical connections to fighting the corruption of those currently in power today.
My interpretation of the song is that you feel more alive fighting for the things you believe in. If you live a life of deceit out of fear, you are already as good as dead.
We should die for the things we believe in
But live our lives in the dark self deceiving
In the snow, all the world that we knew is ice…and so we are: Cold, Dead and Gone
Happy Halloween/Samhain/Dia De Los Muertos/Alfablot everybody! Let’s get some spooky tunes going to get this celebration started.
ROB ZOMBIE – SUPERBEAST
CANNIBAL CORPSE – EVISCERATION PLAGUE
KING DIAMOND – HALLOWEEN
MORBID ANGEL – CHAPEL OF GHOULS
MONSTROSITY – IMMENSE MALIGNANCY
Metal Injection also has 10 metal songs for your Halloween playlist.
New HD Single was released September 11th
Genre: Melodic, Viking Metal
Country of Origin: Austria
Themes: Norse, German Mythology, Paganism, Fantasy, Battles
If this song doesn’t wake you up, I don’t know what will. Great driving melodies, powerful clean vocals, Heathen Foray certainly embraced their inner force of creativity for this single.
Rise My Brothers! We Are Blessed By Steel!
Genre: Viking Folk Metal
Themes: Legends, Fantasy
Country of Origin: Finland
Interesting Fact: Ensiferum means “Sword Bearer”
WARRIORS EVERYWHERE ALSO ENJOYED THE FOLLOWING ENSIFERUM SONGS
The name of the band was inspired by Celtic Frost’s song “Sorrows of the Moon”
Genre: Folk/Pagan/Black Metal
Lyrical Themes: Paganism, Legends, War, Folklore, End of the World
The band originally started out as a black metal band. Over time they started adding folk elements to their music and eventually Moonsorrow evolved into a pagan/folk metal band. This was evident in their debut album, “Suden Uni”. According to Metal-Archives, they have once again started reaching for a darker sound, starting with the “Verisäkeet” album.
The video for this song was put together by a fan who took clips from “Course of the Ring” by director Uli Edel.
Themes: Norse Paganism, Spiritualism, Runes
I’ve already wrote about Wardruna before in a past article. However, I was so awestruck by the power of this video, that I had to share it with you all. As mentioned in my previous article, Wardruna is a group founded by the ex-members of the legendary black metal band Gorgoroth. Wardruna contains much of the same Dark Ambience of Gorgoroth. Wardruna also delves deep into Norse Mythology and uses traditional instruments, natural objects and mystical chants. The video Løyndomsriss evokes much of these ancient feelings.
Interesting Facts: The Wardruna song “Fehu” was the soundtrack for an episode of the History Channel’s “Vikings” series.