Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Satanic Music Devil Occult Pagan Musicians Rock Roll Pop Guitar

Satanic Music Devil Occult Pagan Musicians Rock Roll Pop Guitar

A-Z of Satanic Music

Bizarre's guide to Satanism, occultism and evil in rock n roll... Wagner, Manson, Mayhem and, um, Sting?!

satanic music varg vikernes
A is for Arthur Brown
“I am the God of Hellfire, and I bring you...Fire!” With those words in 1968 Arthur Brown announced Satan had arrived to burn the 60s peace and love dream down. Two years before, the wild man from Whitby had caused a sensation in Paris with his incendiary, macabre band, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, playing a part in instigating the Parisian student riots. In London he was an active part of the bohemian, druggy psychedelic scene, but it was his No.1 single ‘Fire’ which truly shocked the establishment. Its groundbreaking display of Satanic notions and imagery suggested an evil lurking beneath the 60s that was now ready to emerge.

B is for backwards messages
Since the birth of rock ‘n roll rumours have spread of bands hiding subliminal Satanic messages backwards in their songs. Messages were found backwards in The Beatles’ songs, particularly ‘Revolution 9’ which reversed, says, “Paul is a dead man, miss him, miss him.” This instigated the ‘Paul is Dead’ conspiracy theory. Bands such as Pink Floyd and Cradle of Filth deliberately put backwards messages in their songs, but a real furore broke in the early 90s when Christian groups claimed Madonna’s ‘Justify My Love’ when played backwards said, “I love Satan.” Judas Priest had a civil trial brought against them by the families of two fans who’d committed suicide. They said the message ‘Do it’ was in their song ‘Better By You, Better Than Me’. Singer Rob Halford retorted it would be counterproductive to get fans to kill themselves and said if they included a subliminal message it would be “Buy more of our records.”
C is for Cannibal Corpse
With album artwork involving such things as rotting bodies performing cunnilingus on each other and songs such as ‘Entrails Ripped from a Virgin’s Cunt’ and ‘Addicted to Vaginal Skin’, Cannibal Corpse have been on a mission to drag death metal further into the filth than it’s ever been. While they’ve laughed off suggestions that they’re Satanists, for their efforts in depicting Hell on Earth for over 20 years, the Horned One would surely give his approval.

D is for Daniel Johnston
Daniel Johnston is a savant genius American singer-songwriter haunted by Satan. In and out of mental institutions his whole life, he managed to still be heralded by Kurt Cobain, but his demons continually wrecked his career. He once used a New York showcase organised by Sonic Youth to lecture the crowd on Satan, then later refused to sign a lucrative record deal because the label had Metallica on their roster and he thought they were Satanic. Once, when flying in a small plane with his pilot father, Johnston became convinced he could fly, so cut off the plane’s power. He and his father miraculously survived the crash.

E is for The Eagles
‘Hotel California’ is strongly rumoured to be about the Church of Satan building, and lines like “In the master’s chambers/they gathered for the feast/they stab it with their steely knives/but they just can’t kill the beast’ seem to back this up.  Indeed, on the inside cover of the Hotel California album the photo seems to show the bald figure of the head of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey looking down on the band from a balcony.
F is for Freddie Mercury
Few still seem to realise that Bohemian Rhapsody, a national treasure of a song is about one man’s desperate battle against the Devil. It seems the young bohemian kills a man and sells his soul to the devil to escape execution. Not quite such a family tune now is it?

G is for Great Balls of Fire
The complex, deeply troubled Jerry Lee Lewis came from a deeply religious background and thought rock n roll was the Devil’s music. But he discovered he had a gift for it, and launched himself into damnation, alternating between periods of drinking and whoring and invoking the Devil as he played, and periods of pious self-loathing. He initially refused to record Great Balls of Fire because he thought it was Satanic, screaming at his producer, “Man I got the devil in me!” Believed himself to be cursed to remain alive while those around him died. Now 74 years old.

H is for Hall
The super-smooth Darryl Hall from middle of the road pop kings Hall & Oates is an unlikely devotee of occultism. He once said, “Around 1974 I graduated into the occult. I also became fascinated with Aleister Crowley, the 19th century British magician who shared these beliefs...his personality was the late 19th century equivalent of mine.” He says. “I believe in the ability to change reality through will and that is the definition of magick. I feel I have done that. When I’m singing and in touch with the energy...that’s the reason I’m in music.”

I is for Ian Curtis

Obsessed by the occult, there has been some speculation amongst fans and writers that the Joy Division frontman’s remarkable, almost anciently written, pitch-black mystic lyrics and his literally spell-binding, ‘possessed’ live performances are evidence that he was possessed by a demon or was himself a called a nagual, a demonic witch doctor capable of transforming himself into animals. Whatever he was, he hung himself in his kitchen aged just 23.

J is for Joe Meek

Joe Meek was the deranged genius producer who made the first ever UK single to get to number one in America, ‘Telstar’, out of a kitchen studio in a flat on London’s scuzzy Holloway Road. He was also an occult obsessive who, in early 1958, got a tarot message that Buddy Holly would die on February 3rd. He contacted Holly, but the date passed without incident. However, on February 3rd 1959, Holly died in a plane crash. Meek saw this as proof of the spirit world and began regularly holding séances where he’d consult Pharoah Ramses the Great. He eventually believed he was possessed by demons and on February 3rd 1967 he used a shotgun to kill his landlady, then himself.

K is for King Crimson
The debut album by these prog rockers was 1969’s ‘In the Court of the Crimson King: an observation by King Crimson’ was arguably the first Satanic concept album which combined psychedelia, heavy metal and lyrics about the Devil to blow the minds of LSD-fried hippies everywhere.

L is for Led Zeppelin
Jimmy Page was obsessed with the occult, and by filtering his interest into Led Zeppelin IV, he not only gave the band an expressly demonic edge, he was crucial in bringing occultism into the open. He was an exponent of Aleister Crowley’s teachings, and even bought Crowley’s old Loch Ness property, Boleskine House (USE THE PIC OF HIM IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE) , where Crowley performed magick rituals and conjured demons. Page owned an occult bookstore and publishers called, ‘The Equinox’, and occult symbols representing the members of the band were put on the cover on Led Zeppelin IV. Some people have speculated that dabbling in the dark arts cost Led Zeppelin dearly, as following the deaths of Robert Plant’s son in 1977 and drummer John Bonham in 1980, rumours spread of a curse.

M for Marilyn Manson
Although he’s often said he doesn’t believe in Satan as a being, his use of unholy imagery showed just what a grip the idea of the Devil still has on people, as he became public enemy number one in America in the 90s. His ‘Antichrist Superstar’ album and persona united the notions of celebrity and Satan, and cleverly played around with Nazism, fetishism and anti-Christianity, everything that seemed opposed to societal norms and values. After the Columbine killings were blamed on him though, it seemed many people had missed the message and were taking him far too literally.

N is for Norwegian Black Metal

The most overtly Satanic metal scene. In the early 90s in Norway bands such as Mayhem and Burzum peddled a violently anti-Christian message which resulted in murders and over 50 arson attacks on churches.  Mayhem’s guitarist Euronymous was at the centre of the scenes most notorious incidents. In 1991, his bandmate ‘Dead’ shot himself at the house they shared; upon discovering the body, Euronymous took photos, ate a piece of brain, and collected skull fragments which he later made into necklaces. In August 1993, Burzum’s Verg Vikernes murdered Euronymous at his apartment, inflicting 23 knife wounds in the process.

O is for Orridge, Genesis P-
After a correspondance with William S Burroughs while at Hull University, Neil Megson AKA Genesis P-Orridge got introduced to the work of occult magick exponent Bryon Gysin. He soon dropped out of university and began a war on conventions and taboos with his highly provocative, occult-influenced pagan bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. In 1995 he released the seminal counter-cultural occult book, ‘Thee Psychick Bible’.

P is for Paganini
Nicolo Paganini was an 19th century virtuoso violinist from Genoa who was widely accepted as being in league with the Devil due to the difficulty of his compositions and super-human playing. For concerts he’d dress completely in black and would astonish and terrify audiences with his double-jointed wrists, near-impossible fingerings and string-breaking bravado. At one concert in Vienna, audience members claimed to have seen the Devil guiding his arm on stage. People were so convinced of his Devilment that when he died he was refused burial in consecrated ground for 5 years.

Q is for Queens of the Stone Age

With Queens of the Stone Age's fourth album 'Lullabies to Paralyze', Josh Homme brought out the loitering demons that had always been at the edge of his music, and pushed them to the fore in a rare modern and popular example of the occult album. On songs like 'Someone's In the Wolf' and particularly 'Burn the Witch', Homme delved into a hypnotic world of magick, paganism and Grimm's fairytales to create an eerie, supernatural masterpiece.

R is for The Rolling Stones
Their Satanic Majesties, The Rolling Stones, are the ultimate devilish rock ‘n roll, revelling in Lucifer’s shadow. From ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ to ‘Dancing with Mr D’, their songs have treated Satan like a close personal friend, and Mick Jagger in particular has traded upon the sexy, dark glamour of being the embodiment of evil. Their shattering Altamont concert, where the killing of a fan at the hands of the Hell’s Angels the Stones had hired for security, has been seen by some as the point where they paid the price.

S for Sting
Almost unbelievably, the Baron of Bland, Sting, is a big follower of the occult. He once said in an interview regarding his tarot cards: “These cards were designed in the 1940s under the supervision of Aleister Crowley. They’re quite stunning. Crowley was known in his lifetime as ‘the evilest man on earth’ and ‘the great beast’. My favourite tarot card is Death. Oh! Here it is! How strange Death should be right on top. Anyhow – I find it extraordinary how strong are the feelings this card inspires in me.” Who’d have thunk it?

T is for Tartini
Guiseppe Tartini was a composer who’s most famous work is the ‘Devil’s Trill Sonata’, a solo violin sonata which Tartini was encouraged to write when the Devil appeared in a dream. Apparently Satan himself appeared at the foot of his bed with a violin and played the most beautiful music he’d ever heard. When Tartini awoke, he attempted to recreate it, and almost abandoned music when he couldn’t match it – nevertheless, the resulting sonata remains one of the most technically difficult pieces in classical music.

U is for Underground, Velvet
Lou Reed was a deeply troubled, rebellious kid who terrorized his nice middle-class family, playing guitar at incredible volume and putting on an effeminate persona. His parents, wishing to ‘cure’ of him of his homosexuality and his addiction to “the Devil’s music”, listened to their doctor and admitted Lou to a psychiatric hospital where he received electro-shock therapy. It failed to do what his parents desired though, and their son went on to record some of the most dangerous music ever in The Velvet Underground.

V is for Volta, Mars
Recording the Mars Volta’s album ‘The Bedlam in Goliath’ proved to be a nightmarish process after the band had a bad experience with an Ouija board which they’d bought in Jerusalem. It’s unknown what happened exactly, but band member Omar Rodriguez-Lopez confirmed the original engineer had a nervous breakdown and stole the studio tapes. Their studio also flooded twice, and he claims that various tracks they’d recorded would just disappear from the tapes.

W is for Wagner
For his Götterdämmerung piece, the 19th Century German composer Richard Wagner included a section representing the pagan black mass scene. To convey this, he made use of tritones, an extended musical interval between two notes. In the middle ages tritones were called Diabolus in Musica or ‘The Devil’s Interval’, and actually banned by the Church because it was believed that pause invoked sexual feelings and in it lay the Devil. After Wagner, bands like Black Sabbath made liberal use of the eerie sound of the Devil’s Interval.

X is for Crossroads
Legendary American bluesman Robert Johnson was the original musician who sold his soul to the Devil. Johnson was a young but otherwise unremarkable musician in Robinson, Mississippi in the 1930s whose desire to become a blues great led him to a crossroad near the Dockery plantation late one night. Here he met a large black man who tuned Johnson’s guitar, played some songs, then returned it. Suddenly Johnson could play otherworldly blues, but in exchange he had sold his soul. He died aged 27 at a country dance, after his whisky was poisoned by the husband of a woman he’d met.

Y is for Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono was a devotee of Tarot and numerology and refused to let John Lennon or her travel without consulting one of her psychics. In 1978 the couple began collecting ancient Egyptian artefacts which Yoko believed had supernatural and mystical powers. Fascinated by their power they had an Egyptian Room in their apartment at the Dakota building in New York, the building which had been the setting for Roman Polanski son of Satan film, ‘Rosemary’s Baby’. Lennon was shot and killed outside the building by Mark Chapman in December 1980.

Z is for Ziggy Stardust
After becoming interested in the occult around the time of Ziggy Stardust, Bowie moved to Los Angeles where his cocaine addiction fuelled his interest and ended with one of the strangest tales in rock history. Claiming to have seen Satan in his indoor swimming pool he got his wife Angie to get him in touch with a priest who then taught him how to perform an exorcism. Angie Bowie says halfway through the ritual the pool began bubbling, and then she saw an image of Satan burned into the bottom of the pool. The Bowies sold up and moved house immediately.


  1. This is something I have not thought about in a while. I wonder if anyone has ever thought that Henry Rollins music could have Satanic messages in it too. A good example is the song Liar, after all, why does he dress like he's the devil in that video for?


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