Thursday, March 24, 2011

Behemoth - No Sympathy For Fools

I feel I must, after last week's secrilege, atone for my sin against Athe. Therefore:

From their album Zos Kia Cultus


FOOLS! I cast you all aside!
Your bullets harm me not
I am heresy, blazing hell
The embodiment ov all you fear
I am all which you can never be
A truth revealing hate machine
No longer will I tolerate
Lies from a kingdom built on dread
Yet what if naught exists above?
No shining glory and no god
You question not, blindly believe
Upon your ignorance I shall feast
Damn higher virtues, divine love
Your wooden idols and your law
Kneel before your god yet do not see
He doth feel you lies

[ From: ]

Blinds you with fear
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth
Your hearts I shall tear
With paws ov truth
With slashing jaws I rape
Your feeble womb
No god exists to save you from thy doom

You will never see the light!
Bound to always live by lies!

This is what I listen too when I'm kind of both pissed of and bewildered by the antics of the religious folk surrounding me. The lyrics,


I cast you all aside!

also convey a sense of I am not one of them, which is something I find myself thinking a lot when I'm out with them in public or on their "community outreach" drives.

As some may know,Behemoth is a Blackened Death Metal band that extensively uses Satanic and Thelemic themes in their music, so it isn't quite the paragon of atheisticness either. However, just like with The Devil Wears Prada I can find elements in their music which I can identify with (though I may not exactly wish to perform certain of the acts in the song).

I have found myself gravitating towards heavier music of late, particularly Death Metal and Black Metal acts, many of which, like Dimmu Borgir, Hellhammer and Venom to name but a few, use occult themes. Many, though, have identified themselves a s atheists or simply anti-religionists who use Satanism because of its popularity, its use as a conduit for their anti-religious lyrics or simply for its shock value (which is why most people, myself included, listen to those bands. There is nothing more hilarious than the look on the face of a hitchhiker you've picked up in your car when you start playing Death Metal on the radio while dressed up all black, in a band T-shirt and some skull jewellery. Try it sometime). And I like listening to any music that trashes the highly opressive middle eastern religions that are so popular today (and so does Diego Lecca of Su Nombre en Vano - some time ago, he posted a pagan metal song on Facebook with an awesome cross chopping scene at the end).

So, I'd like to know, what do other atheists think about this? Do you think it's OK to listen to pagan and satanic songs and cite them publicly as representing your own anti- or a-theistic views? Is it OK to listen to any religious music? For those who cannot identify with my metal addiction, I'm sure you are aware of some classical music written with a religious agenda (Handel's Messiah is one of my personal favorites) or may enjoy the odd carol during Christmas. What are your views on this?

I've set up a poll in the right margin of the blog. Please do vote, and comment to tell me your views. I know, though, that the beauty of atheism is that there is no central dogmatic authority that tells others what to do, so whatever you have to say will have no bearing whatsoever on any decision I make (:P). I'd just like to hear your opinion on it, is all.



  1. I (theoretically) have no problem to listen to classical music written with a religious theme behind it. (Also, I tell myself that the composer was just using the stories most popular at their time as a backdrop for their work; makes it easier to ignore the myths' stupidity ^__^)
    As for pagan/satanic songs: I think that not listening to them because they promote a different worldview than my own would be stooping to fundies' level. I'm against that, obviously. And good thoughts sometimes hide in the weirdest places - that doesn't make them unworthy of thinking. So long as people don't start to think that I agree with everything any person quoted by me ever said, I'm ok. :)

  2. Thanks for the mention and the linking, it's always nice to know someone read what I write.

    As I said on Facebook, I think music, as an art, transcends borders and mentalities. You don't need to agree to a song's lyric or idea to like it. I like songs with some religious ideas, I have to admits that. I think they are nonsense, but if the song is nice, and I like it, why not? I think that's part of the beauty of the non-believer, that gets to enjoy what anyone has to offer without being bounded by unquestionable ideas (meaning, religion).

    I'm not a huge fan of Behemoth, maybe too Death Metal for me. But I wouldn't mind getting a ride and listening to it.

  3. Thanks Diego and Karina for commenting. Karina you've brought up a good point about classical composers that I think also applies to other artists of the time and also scientists like Isaac Newton that Christians like to claim as their own: they simply lived in a time when that was the most popular thing to believe and had no viable alternatives. Some, it could be said, simply succumbed to peer pressure.

    Diego, I'm not usually such a death metal fan either. My favorite style is metalcore or just generally stuff with a bit more clean vocals, powerful and memorable riffs and breakdowns and lyrics that are more socially perceptive. But my 'net listening and the few albums I recently got are darker, harder stuff and I think I'm gravitating more to that. I think it's just phase, though. I'll be over it soon.

  4. Always been a big fan of King Diamond and Venom, Anthrax, Slayer, and of course Metallica. Though I like anything that stands out both musically and lyrically. Growing up in San Fracisco Bay Area, I have had my share of music that challenges the norm.