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Roundtable Review: Behemoth – The Satanist

Behemoth-TheSatanistLabel:  Metal Blade

Release Date:  4 Feb 2014

Songs:   9

Length:  45 Minutes

Genre:  Extreme/Black/Death

Studio Albums:   9 others

Location:  Poland

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Song of the Week: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge by Coven

covengatefold-572x385editSince falling head over heels for psychedelic/doom retro revival bands like Blood Ceremony, Castle, Ghost, and Jess and the Ancient Ones I started working my way back into the history of the genre branching out my knowledge of pioneering psychedelic and doom bands other than Black Sabbath and Jefferson Airplane.  During my ventures I became privy to a band from the late 60s-early 70s that went by the name of Coven.  And since one of the big draws to my to the modern band I’ve been digging is that ominous witchcraft sound, a band name like Coven is a sold deal already.  While digging around online about the band while rocking out to some of their tunes a few neat fun facts caught my eye.

Before Ronnie James Dio popularized them and John Lennon added another clue to the whole ‘Paul is Dead’ rumor, vocalist of Coven, Jinx Dawson was making regular practice of branding the universal symbol for metal at the beginning and end of all their concerts.  The Devil Horns gesture is also featured on the back cover of their debut record (and the album this weeks song is from) Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls and is the first usage of them in association with rock music.

Charlie Manson and crew had mentioned that Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls was a preferred album they would listen to while they performed their ‘black masses’.  In reaction to this the band’s label immediately pulled the record from their catalog and to this day the only ways one can get their hands on the album is through the bands personal website or finding it on Spotify (which is how I discovered the band).

While not confirmed, it is said that the band signed their first record contract in blood.  They are also credited with being the first band to utter the phrase ‘Hail Satan’ on record.  While by today’s standards that may not be too shocking (and imo hilarious, cheesy, and cheeky), think of all the eyebrows it raised and biblethumpers it pissed off.  The album also contains a 13 minute track of the recording of an initiation of an acolyte in a black mass.  If you want a good laugh give it a listen, the acting is so hammy and the over exaggeration makes me wonder how anyone in their right mind ever took this stuff seriously (I’ll post the Spotify player of the album below so you can check it out).

Anywho, enough with the facts, check out the song “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” (ok, one more quick fun fact, it is false that the worlds most versatile word originated from that phrase and neither ‘Fornication Under Consent of the King’.  Its etymology derives from Germanic language origins circa the 15th century, especially the Middle Dutch word ‘fokken’- to thrust; copulate with.  For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge is also the name of a Van Halen album).  The tune is groovy as hell and hearing elements of early heavy metal past the Occult imagery can be heard.  But above all, it’s just a damn fun and killer tune.  Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Here’s the Spotify player containing the album, the track I referenced above is subtlety titled “Satanic Mass”.

Song of the Week-Ritual

Remember a time when everyone’s parents accused metal of being nothing more than Satan worship and its fans took part in cult rituals and made sacrifices(Viva Memphis Three).  Let’s be happy that Ghost wasn’t around during those times because while parents and politicians were out scrutinizing bands like Black Sabbath and Twisted Sister for lyrics that encouraged Satanism and sacrifice, Ghost sings about those themes right up front point-blank.  While it may be a gimmick, it’s a gimmick that they use to perfection as they harken back to the sound of Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer and create retro awesomeness.

Here is the song “Ritual” off their debut release Opus Eponymous.  Never did I think that the lines “The chapel of ritual, smells of dead human sacrifices, from the altar bed, on this night of ritual, invoking our master, to procreate the unholy bastard” would ever be so damn fun and catchy.  Boy, moms and politicians in the 70’s and 80’s would have had tons of fun with this one.  Check it out!! The album is awesome too, maybe I’ll do a review of it later today or tomorrow.  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

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