By thousands, angel on archangel rolled (Paradise
VI, line 594).
The Rough Guide to Rock states: “If you had to choose just
one band as the main driving force behind the black metal scene,
then Venom would have to figure pretty high on the charge sheet” (Buckley & Ellingham,
2003: 1135). This influence is acutely acknowledged by the various
Venom tribute albums recorded throughout the 1990s, and especially
the inclusion of the band’s vocalist\bassist Cronos on Dave
Grohl’s 2004 Probot album, a homage to the ‘classic’ death\thrash
metal bands of the 1980s. Consisting of the singer\bassist Cronos
(Conrad Lant), guitarist Mantas (Jeff Dunn) and drummer Abaddon
(Tony Bray); the heyday of the British, Newcastle Upon Tyne-based
Venom was arguably between 1981 and 1985. It was within this period
in which the band produced the key albums: Welcome To Hell,
Black Metal, and At War With Satan. Now acknowledged as one of the key ‘New
Wave Of British Heavy Metal’ bands, Venom would also influence
the emergent heavy metal subgenre of thrash metal.
However, the critical and commercial disappointment of the 1985
Possessed album, blamed mainly on the album’s thin production
values, meant that Venom were subsequently superseded by technically
more sophisticated and heavier-sounding bands such as Metallica
and Slayer (which would however both acknowledge Venom as an influence).
Following Possessed, the band would release a live album and numerous
compilations, record solo material, experience numerous line-up
changes, and suffer generally from a lack of mainstream recognition,
although the original line-up did reform in 2000 to record Resurrected.
At one level therefore, because of their status as heavy metal
innovators, Venom, are worthy of discussion and re-visiting. However,
the main subject
of this short article is an analysis of Venom’s quasi-concept album,
At War With Satan. This album was a significant moment in the recording history
of the band in that it saw Venom attempt to move away from the perception that
they were merely purveyors of crudely played ‘noise.’ At War
With Satan saw Venom strive for a level of musical and lyrical sophistication that
was quite distinct from earlier albums. I argue that At War With Satan represents
something of a curio within black\thrash metal; a rock-opera, based upon Milton’s
epic poem, Paradise Lost. In this regard, At War With Satan serves as a prime
example of the postmodernist erasure of the boundaries between ‘high’ and ‘popular,’ or ‘low’ culture
through the interweaving of popular music and classical literature.
Venom: Thrash Metal Innovators
From 1969 to 1972 has been variously identified as the period
in which heavy metal emerged as a distinct musical genre. It was
characterised initially by bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath,
and then as the 1970s progressed, the likes of: AC/DC, KISS, Rush,
Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, Motorhead, Saxon, Scorpions,
and Iron Maiden (Arnett, 1995, Walser, 1993, Weinstein, 1991, Christie,
2003). Weinstein argues that the principle element of heavy metal
is that as a musical genre it is persistently characterised by
themes of chaos: “the absence or destruction of relationships,
which can run from confusion, through various forms of anomaly,
conflict, and violence, to death. Respectable society tries to
repress chaos. Heavy metal brings its images to the forefront,
empowering them with its vitalizing sound” (Weinstein, 1991:
38). Therefore, for Stuessy:
Today’s heavy metal is categorically different from previous
forms of popular music. It contains the elements of hatred, a meanness
of spirit. Its principal themes are…extreme violence,
extreme rebellion, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, and
and Satanism. I know personally of no form of popular music
before which as had as one of its central elements the element
(in Weinstein, 1991: 1-2).
In an equally disparaging assessment, Lester Bangs claimed that
Heavy-metal rock is nothing more than a bunch of noise; it
is not music, it’s distortion – and that is precisely
why its adherents find it appealing. Of all contemporary rock,
it is the genre most closely identified with violence and aggression,
rapine and carnage. Heavy metal orchestrates technological
nihilism (in Shuker, 1994: 153).
Stussey and Bangs’ frank appraisal of heavy metal is however
actually more appropriate for particular forms of the genre than
others. One would be rather hard pressed to define the likes of
Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, Saxon, Rush and Scorpions as the sound of ‘technological
nihilism.’ However, the early 1980s would see the emergence
of a distinct subgenre that differed markedly from such mainstream
metal acts. This period saw the rise of a number of bands that
deliberately emphasised a more intense form of music with lyrics
that centred upon more morbid themes. Subsequently:
A new term, “speed” or “thrash” metal,
was coined to include the heavy metal subgenre of Metallica,
Megadeth, Slayer, and other bands whose sound was distinctly
than even other heavy metal bands and whose lyrical themes
were relentlessly pessimistic and angry (Arnett, 1995: 44).
However, this American form of speed/thrash was directly influenced
by a number of NWOBHM [New Wave Of British Heavy Metal] groups
such as Venom’ (Weinstein, 1991: 49). Formed in the late
Many have compared Venom’s approach with that of punk rock,
and there’s some validity to this. Technically, Venom
stank. They were fast, rude and keen to upset the apple-cart
Molotov cocktail of confrontational attitude and unpredictability.
while punks nursed a disingenuous desire for media approval,
Venom clearly did not give a shit, remaining both unacceptable
throughout their career (Baddeley, 1999: 125).
Consequently, Stussey and Bangs' critical condemnation of
heavy metal fits Venom surprisingly accurately. Uncompromising,
and frequently offensive, their music exhibited a chaotic
and crude quality, with clear vestiges of ragged punk rock.
Christie, Venom were, “unquestionably the most extreme
band of its time” (2003: 104); they were ‘vulgar
and base, with Satanism as a vehicle for their course obsessions’ (Baddeley,
1999: 124). Whilst For Paul Elliot, of metal magazine Kerrang!
the sound of Venom was (somewhat melodramatically): “The
musical equivalent to the Earth splitting asunder and revealing
a filthy, gaping maw to the Kingdom Below” (www.Metalstorm).
With regard to their own position, Venom perceived themselves
as actively breaking away from more traditional heavy metal
metal,’ says Cronos, “is basically saying things
that Sabbath didn’t have the balls to say. We are the Evil
Dead to their Hammer Horror” (Herman, 2002: 202). Of the
raw, belligerent sound of the band’s music, drummer Abaddon
states that the first album, Welcome To Hell was recorded and
mixed in four days: “Because of that we managed to get
quite a lot of violence into the grooves” (Baddeley, 1999:
129). To emphasise the anti-social nature of Venom’s music,
Cronos adds: “My criteria for if a song’s good or
not is that I play it to me mam and dad. If they say, ‘Son,
its fucking disgusting’, then I know it’s alright” (Herman,
2002: 202). One can see the validity of this assessment in that,
although the devil is a lyrical and thematic mainstay, the band’s
repertoire also includes drugs, murder, the supernatural
and venereal disease.
Therefore, for a band infamous for lyrical crudity and musical
limitation, Venom were not a band automatically expected
to undertake the challenge and demands of the concept album.
Yet this is exactly
what their At War With Satan album would represent.
At War With Satan: Milton Meets Metal
The concept album, or ‘rock opera’ flourished in the
late 1960s and 1970s with albums such as The Who’s Tommy, the Beatles’ Sgt
Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,
David Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The
Spiders From Mars, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, Rush’s
2112, Yes’ Tales From Topographic Oceans and Pink Floyd’s
The Dark Side Of The Moon. With regard to format:
|Concept albums (and rock operas) are unified by a theme,
which can be instrumental, compositional, narrative or
lyrical. In this form, the album changed from a collection of
heterogeneous songs into a narrative work with a single
theme, in which individual songs segue into one another
(Shuker 1998: 5).
Through the 1980s and 1990s, although the concept album gradually
became less fashionable, the success of Queensryche’s Operation
Mindcrime, Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar and Dream
Theater’s Scenes from A Memory suggest that it has retained
its commercial presence. The central characteristic of the concept
album is one of musical sophistication and dexterity, aligned with
lyrics often of a distinctly mystical, mysterious or literary character.
Hence, for Venom: “The 1984 release of At War With Satan was something of a departure – with one side of the album
dedicated to a Satanic rock opera – but it was still chaotic
and crass by mainstream standards” (Baddeley, 1999: 125).
With respect to theoretical evaluation, in his postmodern analysis
of Iron Maiden’s concept album, Seventh Son of a Seventh
Son, Walser (1993) utilises Jameson to argue that the album represents
an example of pastiche. This assessment stems form the album’s
mixing of the Biblical Book of Revelations with various ‘parareligious’ subjects
such as astrology, alchemy, and witchcraft. I would argue that
also this aspect of Jameson’s evaluation of postmodernism
is especially relevant to Venom’s At War With Satan album.
Although notoriously difficult to precisely define (Delanty, 1997),
there is some consensus that postmodernism is the celebration of
the popular (Freccero, 1999) involving the mixing of diverse cultural
texts (Lemert, 1997) and foregrounding play, anarchy and combination
(Harvey, 1989). In terms of recognised aspects of postmodernist
culture, Connor argues that:
Rock music has a claim to be the most representative of postmodern
cultural forms. For one thing, it embodies to perfection the central
paradox of contemporary mass culture, in the fact of its unifying
global reach and influence on the one hand combined with its tolerance
and engendering of pluralities of styles, media and ethnic identities
on the other (1997: 207).
For Jameson (1991), a primary aspect of postmodernism is the effacement
of boundaries or separations most notably the division between
high culture and mass or popular culture, battlelines which are
traceable (at least) to F.R. Leavis and subsequently the Frankfurt
School (Storey, 1997). And there can be perhaps no greater musical
example of this process than within Venom’s At War With
The overtly satanic qualities of the album are characteristic of
Venom’s general output, and indeed, a central thematic trait
within heavy metal per se. As Weinstein argues:
Heavy metal’s major source for its imagery and rhetoric
of chaos is religion, Particularly the Judeo-Christian
tradition. Although other religions speak to chaos, Judeo-Christian
nourished the creators of heavy metal and their core audience.
The Book of Revelations, that unique apocalyptic vision
in the New Testament, is a particularly rich source of imagery
metal lyrics (1991: 39).
Thus, “the devil is frequently mentioned in heavy metal
lyrics because he serves as shorthand for the forces of disorder.
Hell, as both the home of the devil and the place of punishment
for those who transgress, is used in heavy metal lyrics as a synonym
for chaos itself” (Weinstein, 1991: 41). As the various track
listings of Venom albums reveal, they are saturated with satanic
references: Welcome To Hell, In League With Satan, In Nomine
Satanus and The 7 Gates Of Hell. Indeed,
Venom have been accused of transmitting to fans, hidden satanic
messages via backmasking within such songs
(Cloonan, 1996). With regard to origins, the devilish elements
within Venom’s lyrics and visual themes are drawn from horror
film imagery, and the cloven-hoofed “Satanic goat first drawn
by nineteenth century magician Eliphas Levi” (Schreck, 2001:
128); whilst the band’s stage names are culled from Anton
LaVey’s Satanic Bible. However, the primary influences
At War With Satan are different.1
At War With Satan is quite specific in its references: John Milton’s
figure of Satan and the angelic war precipitating his fall, as
played out within Paradise Lost. At one level, like many other
heavy metal bands, At War With Satan takes The Book
of Revelations and the theme of biblical Armageddon. However, the details of
the tracks depict very specifically, the war between the angels
heaven and hell in which:
On the second day of creation a tremendous battle took place
between two factions of angelic beings. The first group was
God and given the Grace to pursue goodness. The second
was equal in strength but were devoid of God’s Grace,
and thus had the ability to choose sin. Michael, at the helm
of the good
conquered the sinners from heaven, among them Lucifer,
who took with him one-third of the legions of angels (Lewis
However, The Book of Revelation does not provide any real detail
concerning this heavenly conflict. Rather, the most dramatic depiction
of this war is contained within Milton’s Paradise Lost, and
it is aspects of this epic poem that At War With Satan clearly
evokes and subverts.
Consisting of twelve books, written in blank verse, the narrative
of Paradise Lost can be encapsulated thus:
God (through the Son) makes all creation; the angels fight
a war and Satan’s forces establish an empire; Satan falls
to hell, rallies his troops, makes the trip to Earth, seduces
Eve, and flies
back; Adam and Eve are born, learn what they are to aim
for, fall, recover themselves, and leave Paradise; the Son
in heaven, comes to Earth to judge and mediate, and returns
to heaven (Webber, 1979: 158).
Paradise Lost is a mystical journey through a series of fantastic
worlds (Curry, 1966), and although rooted in Christian doctrines
is itself the product of borrowings from numerous religious and
cultural traditions on the part of Milton (Carey, 1999; West, 1955).
However, it is the figure of Satan and the angelic war in which
provides the centre-point for both Paradise Lost and At
War With Satan. For Bloom: “the most extraordinary portrait of any
angel that ever we have had or will have is of Milton’s Satan,
who employs his freedom to damn himself titanically” (1997:
38). Alternatively, Carey describes him as “a paranoiac.
He is obsessed with his own importance. He cannot reciprocate positive
emotions, and needs to believe that he is persecuted. He chooses
to live in a world of fantasy in which he can make himself supreme” (1969:
89). It is this character we first meet within Paradise Lost, ‘the
infernal Serpent’ and his rebel angel forces:
Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky
With hideous ruin and combustion down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy the omnipotent to arms
(Book I, lines 34-49)
Once recovered within this world, Satan declares this prepared
Hell to be his dominion, declaring that ‘To reign is worth
ambition though in hell: Better to reign in hell, than serve in
heaven’ (Book I, lines 262-263). Calling together his chief
followers, Moloch, Chemos, Baalim, Ashtaroth, Thummuz, Dagon, Rimmon
and Belial, they erect the city of Pandaemonium: ‘the high
capital of Satan’ and plan for revenge. And it is within
the city of Satan that the narrative of At War With Satan begins,
with Lucifer similarly addressing his fallen angels, and planning
a vengeful attack against Heaven.
Significantly, Milton’s Satan is not the pitiable, ice-bound fallen angel
conjured by Dante, rather he is the eternal rebel and adversary against God
and humanity (Hill, 1977, Burton Russell, 1977, Stanford, 1997). Satan is accused
of the ‘sins’ of pride and of envy of the Son of God. This serves
as the catalyst for Satan’s sedition and the beginning of the angelic
war, a war Satan loses, resulting in his ejection from Heaven, and subsequent
attempt to destroy humanity via the tempting of Eve. However, as many Milton
scholars recognize, Satan’s actions are futile, there can be no victory
against an omnipotent God. Yet Satan still pursues a course of resistance.
It is this rebellious, defiant aspect of Milton’s Satan that Baddeley
(1999) argues has rendered him as such an attractive icon for heavy metal performers
and aficionados. Such music therefore strikes a chord with subcultural youth
groupings which, for however short-lived, hold counter-cultural attitudes and
beliefs (Hall and Jefferson, 1976; Hebdige, 1979; Brake, 1980; Muncie, 1984).
From Arnett’s ethnographic research amongst young followers of heavy
metal, one fan of Slayer, a band that also extensively employs satanic imagery,
reported that he admired the band because of their anti-social subversive quality:
I like the music. It’s so full of energy. And it’s
really aggressive…[They write songs about] problems in the
world and stuff like that…I’m a musician, so naturally
I listen to the music. But I also listen to the lyrics, because
that’s the thing about heavy metal. It exposes a lot of problems.
It tells the truth about what’s really going on in the
world, not just a bunch of bull (Arnett, 1995: 59).
Such an insubordinate attitude is evident in the ideology and
actions of Paradise Lost’s Satan. However, it is Milton’s
description of the war in Heaven, the Satanic act of insurgence
which furnishes At War With Satan with its central conceit. Within
Book VI of Paradise Lost Milton creates plains swarming with two
vast opposing armies of armoured angels facing each other and engaging
in physical combat. The collision motif within this conflict is
paramount as the battle commences:
So under fiery cope together rushed
Both battles main, with ruinous assault
And inextinguishable rage; all heaven
Resounded, and had earth been then, all earth
Had to her centre shook. What wonder? When
Millions of fierce encountering angels fought
On either side, the least of whom could wield
These elements, and arm him with the force
Of all their regions: how much more of power
Army against army numberless to raise
Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb,
Though not destroy, their happy native seat
(Book VI, lines 215-226).
The descriptions suggested here is that of the heavens shaking
with thunderous attacks as two vast celestial armies clash in a
super-human contest in a fantastic confrontation involving thousands
of angels and hand-to-hand combat between Satan and archangels.
However, the tide is turned when the Son of God sweeps into the
fray on board an angel-drawn chariot to lead the final assault
and drive the legions of fallen angels out of Heaven. As well as
the fall from grace through pride and envy of the Son, Satan and
his rebel angels are literally driven over the edge of heaven and
into the abyss.
At War With Satan directly borrows elements from the poem, explicitly
the rebellion of Satan and the conflict between the fallen angels
and the angelic armies
of God. However, Venom also add a radical twist. As Christie argues, At
War With Satan saw Venom “indulging every excess” producing an “irony-laden
story line [in which] demons invade heaven and toss out the angels” (2003:
105). At War With Satan recasts Paradise Lost to the extent that it is now
the rebellious forces of Satan that are now triumphant. The army of Satan rises
up from Pandaemonium to storm the gates of Heaven and sack the ‘city’ until ‘White
marble walls bleed red.’ The theme of diabolic vengeance against the
forces of heaven is explicitly articulated in the lyric: ‘The Warriors
gather slowly around the Sacred City, Hell\Satan screams a vengance\On the
land his Angels fell.’ This lyric reflects clearly the tenor of Paradise
Lost, however the ‘postmodern’ twist is that: ‘Frenzied Demons\
Angels Cries\Lucifer commands the Orgy\Molten Mayhem one thousand lies\Heaven
fails to hold tranquility.’ Within Venom’s version of the angel
war, it is Satan who constructs an infernal empire, not to make the horrors
of Hell bearable, but from which to invade Heaven and destroy God’s forces.
Thus, the album fulfils the ‘transgressive’ chaotic characteristic
Weinstein ascribes to heavy metal.
The structure of At War With Satan is
reminiscent of Rush’s 2112 and
Hemispheres, in which the conceptual aspect of the album only covers (in the
original vinyl format) the first side of the recording, sustained within a
single track for twenty minutes. The remaining songs: Rip Ride, Genocide,
Cry Wolf, Stand Up (And Be Counted), Women, Leather And Hell and Aaaaaaarrghh,
although unrelated to the At War With Satan track, nevertheless maintain its
intensity and also in places exhibit supernatural themes. The apocalyptic,
demoniacal quality of the album is established from the outset through the
album cover which is designed to simulate a leather-bound tome entitled The
Book of Armageddon and adorned with an inverted cross positioned between
the album title and band name. Furthermore, the sleeve’s quasi-mystical,
doomy ethos is heightened by the ersatz Macbeth text inscribed on the back
Now that we three
Thru thunder, lightening
and the rain…
Now the hurdey
And the battle has
The actual music of At War With Satan is preceded by an appropriately
ominous thunder and rain sound effect. As this effect fades, this
is replaced by
a single note continuously played on bass, an instrument used within heavy
music, argues Arnett to “create a sense of chaos and doom” (Arnett,
1995: 43). Then the guitar begins with a chugging riff forming a musical
passage which will become a leitmotif throughout the album. As vocalist
out the first lyric, the drums begin in earnest tempo, and the concept
commences. Although not broken down into separately titled sections, a
motif common to
many concept albums, At War With Satan still steadily moves through various
moods and passages, in a manner designed to identify the various ‘chapters’ of
Musically, At War With Satan for the most part consists of relentless,
rumbling bass, driving, pounding drumbeats, growling vocals and heavy guitar
alternating with screaming solos. Only a short mid-section in which calm
breaks this aggression in the form of a passage played on acoustic guitar
featuring ethereal, female singing. However, it is the lyrical content
that is most significant
because the lyrics of At War With Satan consistently suggest Miltonic influences.
Words and phrases such as: angels and archangels, the Lamb of God, Lucifer
and the city of Pandaemonium are all threaded throughout the track, with
the music serving as a brutal counterpoint. For instance, at one point,
of grinding instruments is layered with vocal screams and grunts, sonically
simulating the sounds of the angelic battle. However, lest we forget that
the album is a work of pastiche, the keen listener is suddenly not so subtly
that they are experiencing a Venom album when the poetical reverie of the
album is somewhat shattered by the distinctly un-Miltonic cry of: ‘Bomb the
bastards!’ shouted out by Cronos to signify the first wave of Satan’s
attack against God’s angels.
The album reaches it’s most (melo)dramatic and portentous moment comes
in a spoken word section. Slowing for a mournful bass riff, accompanied by
martial drumming, the song soon erupts again as the guitar recommences, Cronos
cries out ‘Armageddon!’ This passage lyrically and musically is
intended to convey the destruction of Heaven, and following a brief period
of ‘heavy’ music; the tempo soon slows again as the track enters
the ‘poetical’ section. This sequence consists of the lyrics being
spoken, instead of sung, although the words are conveyed in an appropriate
distorted ‘demonic’ voice, against the background of minimalist
bass, sparse drums, and a mournful female voice wailing out airy notes in stark
contrast to the rasping narration. The purpose of this segment is to portray
the aftermath of the angelic war, the outcome of which is revealed by the first
lyric: ‘Satan laughs.’ Satan is the victor, and significantly,
it is within this part of the album that Satan is explicitly described as a
winged fallen angel, a portrait that brings to mind Gustave Dore’s illustrations
of Satan for Paradise Lost, whereby Satan possesses “bat-like wings and
possessing cloven hooves” (Lewis and Oliver, 1996).
At War With Satan overflows with quasi-poetical, but rather lurid
lines such as: ‘Damnation has sunk its talons deep into the womb of Utopia\Spilling
forth great streams of virginal purity and bliss.’ Whilst such is the
military success of the rebel angels that upon the throne of God now sits Satan,
whilst rape and destruction is being waged throughout the expanse of Heaven.
Indeed, Heaven in now reduced to a ruin, roiling in its ‘death throes.’ Here
then, At War With Satan becomes the epitome of heavy metal fantasy whereby
the forces it is the forces of evil which are triumphant whilst the Manichean
converse, those of ‘good’ are vanquished.
Accordingly, within At War With Satan, it is now the archangel
Gabriel and his exhausted followers who fall from the sky, reversing
the fall of
and the rebel angels within Paradise Lost. It is God’s angels who descend
down into hell, where they lie, with: ‘Their broken, blood-stained wings’ on
the banks of the River Styx. However, all is not lost. The fallen angels, drunk
with celebration at their victory, fail to acknowledge any possible remaining
threat from Gabriel. So, rallying his remaining angels, Gabriel launches a
counter-attack, and the forces of Heaven are once more ‘At war with Satan’.
As this phrase is cried out, the throbbing bass and roaring guitar riff that
initiated the album, once again begins, now serving as the album’s
coda. The concept of At War With Satan therefore comes full circle, as
the war recommences
and the song slowly fades out, leaving the angels locked in battle.
Venom’s At War With Satan is Milton by way of
horror movie/pulp fiction theatricality, with a heavy dose of
heavy metal cliché.
The album is musically and lyrically excessive, hoary, and raucous;
qualities perfectly befitting a band once described as “NWOBHM
rejects” (Christie, 2003: 104). However, compared to their
previous output, At War With Satan is also something of an exception
for Venom. It represents an adventurous and wholly unexpected
foray into the realm of the concept album, an exercise that saw
the band actively stretch their musical and lyrical abilities
far beyond the level of previous recordings.
Moreover, with regard to the album’s primary inspiration,
Paradise Lost, Hill states that for the contemporary reader “the
poem is there for any reader to interpret. We may think of Milton
as a forward-looking genius who somehow leapt out of his own
time and believed in the supremacy of romantic love, or in the
wickedness of the Christian God, or whatever suits contemporary
fashions” (1977: 355). In light of such textual openness,
within At War With Satan, Venom create their own particular polysemic
version, borrowing certain aspects and re-working them; in their
case, taking the ‘wicked God’ interpretation, and
elevating Satan to heroic heights. And it is worth noting that
Venom is not alone. Milton’s Paradise Lost has also provided
musical inspiration for other musical projects, such as ex-Misfits
vocalist, Glen Danzig’s album Black Aria, and Gary Numan’s
Ultimately, At War With Satan stands as a supreme example of
cultural pastiche. It is an association between, on the one
hand, unsophisticated and vulgar heavy metal, and on the other,
of the most esteemed and critically lauded classical examples
from the literary canon. A starker, more incongruous blending
is difficult to imagine. But that, of course, is the very essence
of the postmodern.
1. Many bands that employ satanic motifs do so in a light-hearted,
thematic manner, However, although beyond the scope of this article,
the reader should be aware that there have been a number of ‘black
metal’ bands, particularly located in Scandinavian countries,
that have taken the Satanist ideology seriously. So much so that
band members and fans have committed `criminal activities such
as church desecration and even murder. For discussions of such
bands, see Moynihan and Soderlind (2003) Lords of Chaos: The
Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground; and Baddeley (1999) Lucifer
Rising: Sin, Devil Worship and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
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Baddeley, Gavin. (1999) Lucifer Rising: Sin, Devil Worship
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Dreams and Resurrection, London: Fourth Estate.
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