Christian Rock is More Satanic Than Black Metal
Part of the monthly column ‘Degtyarov’s Despotisms’, posted every last Friday of the month
Not black metal, but Christian rock is the most satanic of all music genres. I say this not as a provocative hyperbole, but as a genuine statement. Christian rock is the music genre by far the furthest removed from God. The desolate corporate soullessness with which it claims to represent God is a far bigger blasphemy than black metal’s reverence of satan as a rock ‘n’ roll god. To confirm this, we must first explore Christian rock’s conception of God and black metal’s conception of satan respectively, before comparing them to each other.
The main source of Christian rock’s blasphemous nature is that the subgenre mainly emerges from evangelical and Protestant sects based in North America. Gringo Christianity tends towards the ungodly because it reflects the common American’s inability of grasping transcendental thought. Everything that exists within the US border is in danger of being absorbed by the zombie consumerism that by now forms the basis of its existence. Do you have mental problems? Go to Dr. [sic] Phil so your frail emotions can be exploited in exchange for basic, digestible but ultimately useless tips on how not to be a complete failure at life. As if your mental instability were but 20 pounds you needed to get rid of two months before summer arrives. Or Oprah Winfrey, Grand Whore of Capitalism and the Final Avatar of Mammon, who has used her immense wealth and fame to peddle cheaply made consumer goods to her intellectually vegetative audience.
Similarly, American Christianity barely differs from your average self-help programme, offering simple, pragmatic solutions to all your problems, now available for purchase at a reduced rate. The only difference is that the accompanying book is not called 12 Easy Steps Towards a Satisfying Life, but The Holy Bible. Has there ever been a greater blasphemy?
As an inevitable consequence, attracting new members is in US Christianity primarily a marketing question that is therefore to be resolved by marketing tactics. As a result, we get Christian rock, music pragmatically repackaged to appeal to the “youngsters”, but bereft of actual divinity, contemplation or transcendence. Christian rock is consumerism in the name of God, and as we all know, using His name in vein is a sin. Christian rock is therefore sinful music.
Let us compare this with the satan crafted and venerated by black metal. As L’Atrabilaire already observed in the brilliant Peste Noire documentary, black metal’s satan goes on cruises. Black metal’s satan wins Grammy Awards. Black metal’s satan is a Hollywood star. Black metal’s satan crushes intolerance and donates to pro-mass immigration agitators. Black metal’s satan, represented through clownish bands like Dark Funeral, is a free speech advocate, urging us to leave the Middle Ages behind, while displaying an insatiable lust for buggery. Black metal’s satan is embodied and personified by official institutions and individuals. Truly, there is no black metal band that can offer us a more hopeless, demonic and apocalyptic vision of the future than true satanists such as Charles Manson and Hillary Clinton.
If black metal is to remain — or even to become — relevant and subversive, it should leave behind its veneration of the princes of hell who already rule the world in which we live. It should stop trying to do something at which they have already been thoroughly defeated by Christian rock. For it is one thing to attack the Holy heads-on, an act which still has an air of misplaced valiancy about it. But to infiltrate the Holy to transmogrify it into the unholy from within? That is pure evil.
Modern American Christian fundamentalism has largely the same origins as Asatru or Rastafari: A nationalist political movement decides their ideology needs a religious dimension, so they attempt to revive their ancestors’ original native faith – in this case the strict Protestant Christianity of the Mayflower Pilgrims – but since the whole project is motivated by very modern political concerns the end result comes across as decidedly off. (even more so when the faith in question never really died out in the first place)
On the subject of Satanism, did you know that the Church of Satan’s membership peaked in the early 1970s and has been going downhill ever since? It’s just that back then the outside world considered them yet another weird Californian new age movement – i. e. exactly like they are today as you describe – until the Religious Right in the 1980s needed a scapegoat to moralize against. Different situation with the theistic Satanism as represented by Michael Aquino’s Temple of Set in the US and the UK-based Order of Nine Angles, though, since neither of those really took off until the 80s/90s.
I do know that the French black metal groups Antaeus and Aosoth are very strongly informed by Nine Angles ideology, with the latter being named after a female demon in the Order’s pantheon. Also wouldn’t be surprised if Peste Noire also had similar connections now that you mention them: The group’s combined loyalty to theistic Satanism and militant nationalism, something usually associated more with BM’s *pagan* wing, strikes me as very O9A.
Meanwhile, back in the 1970s most of the moral panics over heavy metal came not from the religious right but from the progressive left over Blue Öyster Cult, KISS and Motörhead’s use of WW2 Axis symbolism in their visual aesthetics. (despite most the former two groups’ members having obviously Yiddish surnames) Basically exactly as the situation is today – just substitute those three groups for Bölzer, Deströyer 666 and Inquisition.
In fact, the panic of the 80’s and early 90’s was very much born of anxiety from both the right AND left: evangelical Christians one side and secular liberals such as feminists and psychiatrists on the other.https://www.academia.edu/7047714/Awakening_to_Satanic_Conspiracy_Rosemarys_Baby_and_the_Cult_Next_Door_from_Eckel_and_Herling_eds._Deliver_Us_from_Evil_London_Continuum_2008_
This appears to have cooled off for about a generation, long enough for the current group of mostly “progressive” journalists to grow up with almost zero awareness of history to realize today how much they sound like PMRC, and are now revitalizing these moral complaints through the internet while acting as spokespersons for heavy metal.
Cool and entertaining article.
I am not an expert on the subject, but there is a very clear misunderstanding of what “satanic” actually is, and what the forms of spirituality and religiosity derived from it imply. You have a rather cartoonish image of it on the one hand, and one of “liberal progressives” idiots using a metaphor on the other.
Christian rock is definitely “ungodly”, but it isn’t satanic in the least.
Well, there’s the difference between Anton Lavey’s Church of Satan who are just Nietzschean existentialists with ritual – and theistic Satanists like the Temple of Set, who broke from the CoS in the late 1970s because their founder Michael Aquino wanting to practice real Satanism. They venerate not as much the Biblical Satan but the various pagan deities of which he’s a demonized archetype – chief among them Set the Ancient Egyptian god of war, chaos and storms.
The other main representative of Theistic Satanism, the Order of Nine Angles which I talked above, are of British origin and pretty secretive not really taking off until the 1980s. They despise the CoS even more than the Setians do, and are *very* far right politically to the point of openly admiring and imitating the Thule Society. The late conservative Catholic historian John J. Reilly had some pretty interesting analysis of the O9A’s very strange cosmology:
Like most forms of far-right ideology popular in black metal circles, the O9A curiously enough reminds me more of the mystically inclined Japanese nationalism that took hold during the Meiji Restoration only with European instead of Asian cultural references than how Western Fascist states have functioned in practice. (since *their* religious orientation has almost always been towards conservative Roman Catholicism)
The fact that you feel the need to politicize it (and that you really believe that the aim is “right-sided”) shows that you have too much of a trained and standard view on the whole matter.
Let me give you a clue: National Socialism was not “of the right”. Anyone who has delved honestly and personally into its tenets and understands the political as a means and not as an end can tell you this.
‘Satanism’ in this polemic merely means ‘in opposition to God/the godlike’, and not bored Hollywood atheists or whatever grew out of Deathspell Omega’s crackpipe.
Of course, chronologically speaking it’s rather DSO who grew out of either Michael Aquino’s or David Myatt’s crackpipe…
Deathspell omega and all the TOS is rather first world boredness with life.luciferian vampiric bullshit, is the same. Useful and interesting exercises of the mind, but useless in the real world.
O9a, when properly explored and understood, is another beast. Actual, pragmatic, left hand path ideas in general(which btw, as as old as any religion and not exclusive to the west) are obscure if you keep the kind of obtuse mentality completely centered in the prejudices of this civilization that you still show. Not here to argue though, just leaving a seed for someone with your guts and brains.