How presumptuous I am to assume that you’ve never heard some, most, or all of these bands? Completely, but that’s okay! Check these songs out. Some of these tunes are over 40 years old! A couple of them of them predate Black Sabbath and may even have influenced them as a band. Are they as good as Sabbath? Probably not, else they might have made it big. Although, some of the content that these bands put out was, shall we say, a bit more risqué than what Ozzy and crew were doing. I did slip one or two gimmes in there BUT hopefully most of this stuff will be new to a lot of people. I mean c’mon, who doesn’t LOVE EVIL SHIT. Isn’t that what this site is, in essence, about? Evil shit counter cultures? If Christian rock sounded this god damned cool then this list would be entitled 13 Totally Righteous Holy Rock/Christian Metal Bands You’ve Probably Never Heard. But it isn’t named that, is it? Because Holy Rock Christian Metal God Damn Sucks. I’m always curious as to how much of these heavy occult themes are real and how many are just an act to sell more records. Then I realize that quite a few of these bands hardly sold any records at all and that really, in my opinion, kind of legitimizes their chosen art. I mean, they could have knocked out 3 minute pop rock tunes and made bank, but they chose the dark path….or were chosen by it…!
Coven – This band, particularly their album Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls. Track one on this album is called Black Sabbath and this band used to play at a club in the late 60s that John “Ozzy” Osborne used to frequent prior to forming HIS bread winner. Well, this may not be true as the Black Sabbath wiki entry claims that they names the band after a 1963 Italian horror anthology. BUT certainly this came out a year before Sabbath’s first album. The female vocalist (classically trained in Operatic styles) Jinx might quite possibly be responsible for the sign of the devil, aka Metal Horns, or whatever you want to call them, being linked with Metal. She began and ended all of their live shows with that ubiquitously metal symbol. Dio claimed to have made it fashionable but didn’t start using it a lot until he joined Black Sabbath in 1979. Check out that album cover. A full 10 years before Dio! This band has quite an interesting history really. Their record label dropped them in 1970 or so, never to pick them back up again because in the March issue of Esquire from that year, they ran an article about ole Uncle Charlie Manson which pictured him holding their album (which I thought would make a great graphical aide but I couldn’t find that anywhere on the internet! And I don’t happen to have a copy of that magazine just sitting around!). They released a few couple more albums on different record labels after this but none as heavy handed with the occult themes.
1.) Coven in Charing Cross – I just found this album yesterday in fact and this vocal melody has been stuck in my head all day. Beautiful vocal melody followed by Satanic chanting. The lyrics are pretty awesome too. “13 cultists / Held a secret meeting / bringing powers of a darkness upon those who oppose them \ The chief of the circle \ Known as Machius \ drank the blood of a young baby offered unto he \ They danced ecstatically \ They orgied frantically \ The demon had arisen from the circle on the floor.” Sorry about so many lyrics here BUT damn it, once I started typing out that beautiful prose, I just couldn’t stop! Plust they far more potently about this very topic than I could!
2.) Pact With Lucifer – Classic story! A poor farmer looses everything. He says a curse upon the universe or some shit. A demon appears. The farmer signs a contract in blood. Becomes very affluent for seven years. The seven years is up. Lucifer collects his soul.
3.) Satanic Mass – As if the rest of the shit about this band isn’t enough and you don’t already think that this is the best shit ever…the last track on this album is a 13 minute, full blown Satanic Mass. Strange how similar to a Catholic Mass this is really. I guess it’s the Mass part which is the commonality. But this shit sounds way more authentic and less cheesy than any such ritual from any move that I’ve ever seen. These guys might just have been the real deal. I mean, they used the word puissant for crying out loud…!
Black Widow – These chaps started off and were touring the same circuit that Black Sabbath was back in 1969-1970. Their breakthrough, first album Sacrifice, came out around that time. They stirred up a bit of controversy when, in their live shows, they theatrically sacrificed a nude virgin. Not a big deal by todays standards but for 1970, that shit was crazy! Hell, when is the last that you’ve seen that happen on stage NOT at a GWAR show? They are often likened to Sabbath but are really somewhere nearer Jethro Tull in sound. Unfortunately all of their albums after this, they pretty much abandoned their occult ties….UNTIL NOW, they released an album called Sleeping With Demons in 2011 which marks a return to THIS style of music.
4.) In Ancient Days – While not overtly satanic, their lyrics are steeped with esoteric meaning. That and this song has a really rich, full occult sound. Good stuff!
5.) Come to the Sabbat – This is apparently the only song by them which is kind of known because it’s been covered a couple of times by modern(ish) bands. Great song. Martial drums in the front and into a jaunty Pagan-ish feast romp.
6.) Bedemon – Through The Gates Of Hell – This is pretty much just Pentagram. I mean, Bobby Liebling is doing the vocals on it. This is the brainchild of the guitarist Randy Palmer. It took them about 20 years to finally get this album put together and released They recorded some back in the early 70s, then more then more, and finally it was released in 2005. Good song.
7.) Witchfinder General – Burning a Sinner – It’s the sound track to the Salem Witch Trials…! “Burn her / Burn her / Burn her to the ground / Burn her sins / Burn her pride / Burn her till she DIES…!” Early NWOBHM (HATE that acronym but it’s easier than typing out that loathsome genre) doom metal. Definitely Sabbath influenced. This album came out in 1982.
8.) Pagan Altar – The Black Mass – I’ve heard this guys vocals described as “A woman singing through a trumpet.” As annoying as it *MAY* sound to some folks, and understandably so, I find his vocal melodies to be quite addictive. I’ve been jamming these guys for quite some time now and they don’t have a bad song amongst their 5 full length releases.
9.) Venom – At War With Satan – These guys are arguably the true progenitors of Black Metal (at least the coining of the phrase to describe the sub-genre itself). This song is a 20 minute long epic about a war between the dark forces of Hell and the pansies up in Heaven. It has quite a few different parts in it so it really almost sounds like 2-3-4 different songs but nope, all one song. This really piques the musical nega-ADD in me. Anything over 10 minutes becomes that much more interesting. The spoken piece at 17:35 is some of the most evil shit ever…!
10.) Satan’s Host – Metal From Hell – Getting into a more modern(ish) music now. 1986. Well after Thrash Metal had gotten big. Slightly before Black Metal really got cranked up. Yea, these guys are cheesy. But there’s just something about their sound. They still put out albums today an dare pretty much standard faire Death/Black Metal. This one’s just funny okay! Slayer totally paved the way for these dudes.
11.) Pentagram – Review Your Choices – This came out on their 1999 release of the same name. New Music, Old Sound. These guys are pretty big today with the doom/retro rock resurgence going on. But they are one of the originals to fly this flag back in the early 70s. Oh, and he has one of the most piercing stares in the world. They are awesome live too. He struts around in tight ass leather pants and bores holes though skulls with auger eyes.
12.) Abdullah – Proverbs of Hell – This selection is just a chance for me to pimp one of my favorite bands that no one’s ever heard of. Abdullah’s first self titled album is a heavy slab of esoteric laden doom. The lyrics are some of my favorite ever. And this song in particular. I would even put money on it that these guys (at least the singer/drummer Jeff Shirilla) might have read Manly P. Hall’s The Secret Teachings Of All Ages a time or two. P.S. I don’t understand some of the pictures in the video! Okay, I don’t understand the MOST of the pictures in the video especially Emo Rebel Flag Kid…Just play the song and minimize this window, provided that you know how to un-minimize it…!
13.) Ghost – Satan Prayer – It’s good BUT kind of unfortunate too, this band is the current buzz word band of the world. James Hetfield and Lord Phil Anselmo both spoke up about this band so…they’re a little less underground/unknown than they were BUT…good for them. Even though I have to concede that their music is good, I don’t really care for their sound too much BUT their imagery…it’s spot on. This is how they perform on stage.
Well, that was the magic 13. HOWEVER, I have two no reason bonus cuts that KIND OF fit in…!
BONUS 1.) Sins of Satan – We Are The Sins Of Satan & Devil’s Disco -I don’t understand what this funk band from the mid 1970s has to do with Satan but the music is pretty jammin’. This album is called Thou Shalt Boogie Forever and it has an awesome album cover. Worthy of going in the future Part II to THIS article.
BONUS 2.) Metalucifer – Heavy Metal Chainsaw – Okay, this one is just goddamned ridiculous…! The song itself is not occult BUT we should worship it as if it were. I can’t even function when this song is in my ears and this album cover is in my eyes…! Overall, the record isn’t that bad. It’s metal that doesn’t take itself seriously while drilling as many self referencing heavy metal references in each and every song. It’s just too awesome! I also love it when singers are so foreign that they sing with a slight accent. HEAVY METAL CHAINSOO!
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