Were any of the Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal etc. bands actual Satanists?

Over the years many bands have used symbology, words and images in their music related to the Christian Devil/Satan concept. Most of these bands were doing this for entertainment purposes only, but of all these bands were there any of these bands or band members that were actually true Satanists or professed to be Satanists?

Someone will remember the details, but there was a Norwegian Death Metal band that went above and beyond the entertainment aspect - Killed a couple people, IIRC.

Damn, I have one of their albums but I can’t remember who it was. Mayhem, maybe?

There’s Gaahl from Gorgoroth (sorta, kinda. Read the entry on “Beliefs”)

Euronymous from Mayhem is a Satanist. And a scary guy IRL.

I’m sure there’s plenty of others. Those are just two I could think of off the top of my head just from a passing interest in the scene.

Gorgoroth I think.

None of the major American or British bands, but there were some scandanavian bands that took it seriously. King Diamond, for instance. I think Deicide did too. I think most of the acts who take it seriously are pretty obscure, though.

Glenn Benton from Deicide has an upside down cross burned into his forehead.

Ha! I just realized that I inadvertently did a Jethro Tull tie in.
Not that anyone else will care, but “Mayhem, Maybe” is a song from *20 Years of Tull - Flawed Gems *

From everything I heard, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin did have a serious interest in Aleister Crowley but I don’t know how deep he went into Thelemic Magick.

Not wanting to get into back into the long argument of what ‘Satanist’ means …

King Diamond was a member of the Church of Satan (as was/is Glen Benton), and used one of their texts for the lyrics to a song of his called ‘The Oath’. He seems to have always been more of a ‘fun loving’ Satanist, though, and most of his records have a horror theme, rather than an explicitly Satanic one.

A lot of the infamous Scandinavian bands considered themselves Satanists - some, again, of the ‘let’s have fun in the name of Satan’ crowd (eg Darkthrone), others more in the depressed/suicidal style , such as Abruptum, who put a razor blade in one of their CDs with the message ‘Kill Yourself!’

I don’t think any mainstream heavy metal bands were really Satanists - quite a few of them ended up becoming Christians, in fact, such as Alice Cooper and Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden.

A dude with an unpronouncable name from a band called Burzum murdered a dude with an unpronouncable name from Mayhem.

The whole Norwegian black metal scene got pretty weird for a while in the 90’s. There were a whole bunch of church burnings too.

I can say from having spent years playing in serious metal bands, being around the scenes, knowing other bands and knowing way too much about the bands I listened to, that 99.9% of them don’t see the Satanism thing as anything more than a gimmick, as theater, as black humor or as a way to troll the squares. Once in a while you come across a musician who takes it seriously, and those guys are seen as creepy by everyone else.

Ozzy is a Christian too.

Coven seems to have had a genuine interest in Satanism.

However, since the group’s only charting song was One Tin Soldier (the theme from Billy Jack) you can’t really classify them as "Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal etc. "

Black Widow had an early tie-in with Satanic imagery and supposedly consulted a notorious witch for advice, but I don’t know if that makes them bad people.

I used to play “Come to The Sabbat” from their album Sacrifice on my college radio show, for which I am probably going to hell.

Deicide and King Diamond are the only two well-known acts who are definitely sincere about their Satanism, and it’s questionable how seriously Glen takes it now. The black metal scene in Norway had a lot more to do with Norway than Satanism, and it’s kinda tough to say that all the violence wasn’t just a pissing contest gone awry.


According to Wikipedia he’s given up on the whole matter.

I was going to mention that too, it popped up in their music here and there, they talked about it alot, I think he may have even bought AC’s house. There was alot of talk about him being involved in the occult, but I think it was just an (HUGE) interest of his, I don’t think that he treated it like his religion.
But the reason I didn’t mention it is becuase Led Zeppelin, isn’t heavy/death/thrash metal by any stretch of the imagination.

I think the distinction between The Church of Satan and devilworshiping is pretty important in threads where people are claiming that violence and murder are parts of CoS. I don’t know much about it, but CoS seems pretty darn harmless from what I can tell.

Reading some of the links in this thread has been fascinating, particularly the ones about Gorgoroth.

They make Marilyn Manson look like a choire boy. But I was amused to see that their guitarist eventually found conflict between the band and his day job: primary school teacher. That and the front man getting involved with women’s fashion.

It’s tempting to think of them and the other Norwegian black metal bands as an enormous WHOOSH. Like Spinal Tap gone very, very goth.

I can just imagine a scene with them riding in an elevator together to get to the stage, poking each other’s eyes out with those wristbands. Or the lead singer (to use the term very loosely) sipping honey tea between songs because of all the screeching.

I sure hope they’re being ironic, because I can’t fathom why anyone would listen to that in seriousness.

They were in the area where Satanism and folk music overlap. Kind of a niche market.