Occult Metal

Posted: October 15th, 2023 | Author: | Filed under: Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Occult Metal

The term “occult” refers to what is hidden, and like “esoteric” implies that which rests in plain sight awaiting our ability to understand it. Nothing hid gravity, electricity, magnetism, and nuclear fusion from us, but it took us centuries to understand what we saw.

In the same way, spiritual truths remain hidden. To those who understand the nature of Godhead, the unity of Satan and God makes perfect sense, and the moralistic personal deity of the Abrahamic religions falls like members of Hamas gunned down on the border.

Darwinism similarly hides in plain sight. To those who can think it through, it represents a perfected system that improves quality and reduces costs much like capitalism. It involves predation and culling of the weak, so the herd fears it.

In permanent agricultural civilization, understanding of reality — as a nihilist I reject universal “truth” — remains sequestered as the ultimate taboo. Civilizations do not want reality; they want compromise, pacifism, and pluralism so everyone “gets along together.”

To peer under the mile-wide inch-deep surface of human existence is to encounter occult notions. Some metal bands do this, and we celebrate them for their honesty and perception, even while knowing that only natural aristocrats have any interest in such things.


This Texas band combines rabid anti-Christianity and dogmatic realism with an interest in the possibilities beyond the visible. It also creates one of the most implacable visions of a world where conflict, not peace, is the foundation, and ruthless extermination of the weak leads to a great clarity and competence.


One of the few bands to encode occult ideas without mentioning them constantly by name and symbol, Sacramentum writes allegorical lyrics that match music which is simultaneously reductive and elegantly complex, using melody to bring out the potential in life hidden beneath the paranoid antirealism of the Crowd.


Creating architectures out of simple melodies that expand into odd harmonies which touch the dissonant and then return to a savage simplicity, Gorgoroth created metal to mirror the patterns and cycles of nature while affirming the importance of the Left Hand Path.


Merging Buddhist mysticism with LaVeyian Satanism, Beherit explored the ancient rites and rituals of past civilizations through music, bringing forth the idea of a world kept in balance only by necessary evil consuming an excess of good.


This band got in trouble for admonishing others in the scene for their “obviously Jewish behavior” and wrote a song about race war, but the majority of their material seems designed to wake up an oversocialized, pacifistic, and neurotic bourgeois population to the world outside the confines of peer pressure, marketing, and compromise.


Emerging out of the Unabomber years, Infester created a type of atmospheric death metal which glorified in the decline of civilized behavior and looked toward the horrors of internal animalism as a clearer sight of what was real and important, mixing the pounding of percussive death metal with the unsettling ambient melancholy of black metal to come.


With an aggressive approach to guitar-driven black metal with whispering vocals describing a mostly lunar mythos of evil as the force against entropy in the universe, this US-based band made soundtracks to emerging darkness which consume the listener with an abandonment of conventional morality and notions of a personal god.


Outright motivated by a Nietzschean dislike of Christianity, this band helped with the founding of the death metal genre through a tremolo-driven, bass-intense style of gurgling and roaring metal that knitted together complex little symphonies of oppositional riffs in a style inspired by Celtic Frost that went even further in forming a new musical language.


While not explicitly occult, Slayer invoked themes from Milton and Crowley as a way of undermining the modern mythos of a consumer-driven individualistic society where people ignored history, myth, and legend. This band brought back the ancient feelings through ripping apart the fragile veil of illusion in which most people live.


Imaginative noctilucent epics of the rise of evil accompany lengthy riffs that aim for a seductive removal of daylight consciousness and the emergence of the beast within man, portraying a vast world-building impulse that combines magic, folklore, and occult evil to portray a world far removed from the commercial and symbolic cosmopolitan Potemkin metroplex of our era.


While this band focused more on condemning the Christian version of God and summoning instead an order where the ancient gods came forth to slaughter the unworthy, its thundering precision metal served mostly to cast aside the shackles of conventional morality and embrace a world in which humans could admit their naturalistic impulse to power and independence.


Working within the Hindu mythos, Rudra invokes the morality of the past which did not focus on good and evil so much as an attempt to make an order of the whole which perpetuated itself with strength. Their imaginative riff-working fits together into songs where the seemingly obvious falls away and unveils a labyrinth of ambiguity.

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