June 8th, 2005

Knight

The Satantra Newsletter V.8

Contents

I. Bizarre Sexual Trivia: Bizarre Kissing Facts, more.
II. Satantric News: Dutch Brothels Legalized, Goodness, Gracious, Great Boobs of Fire, Protestors Brave Nippy Weather to Fight for Bare Boobs, Police Get to the Bottom of Matters, Women Aroused From Sleep By Phone Sex Calls, Love Hurts, Doctor Restores Virginity to Patients, Man Undergoes Surgery For Bearing All in Barroom, Queens to Stand by the Throne, Prince Lends His Support to Breast Pillow, Animal Offender Has Investigators Saying EWWWE!, Woman Tries to Avoid Arrest with A Breast, Birds, Bees, and Billy Goats?, Officer Has Beef With Man's Solicitation, Dude Looks Like a Lady, Over Zealous Cop Busted by Busty Teen, They Could Teach You A Few Things, Nude Zorro Rides Again!, Sexperts Reveal How to Have Sex in Public Legally, Family's Travel Plans Sunk Upon Receiving Porno Brochure, Lapping Bovines Make Bald Men Happy.
III. Carnal Comedy: True colors, Important Info for women.
IV. Sextionary: malacodermous.
V. Lustful Links: Satanya.
VI. Satantra Gallery: Forbidden Fruit.


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Knight

Old Satan, New Metal


OLD SATAN, NEW METAL
By Travis Jeppesen

As the drummer of Darkthrone, Fenriz is one of the most respected figures in Norway's modern black metal movement. Besides being an excellent musician, he's also something of an activist when it comes to preserving the original precepts of the devil's genre—keeping things Aryan-pure. In Corpsespeak, "pure" means cold, minimal and ugly as hell; like many black-metal purists, Fenriz wants nothing to do with the excessive instrumentation, Yannified keyboards and quasi-coloratura vocals that have marred the genre, and is virulently opposed to any tendencies that might even remotely be construed as progressive. As he stated in a recent interview, "Old school is attitude and feeling. Old school is not overproduced and commercially abused. Old school does not depend on sales, nor finely tuned musical skills. Old school does not have to be draped in sorrow and melancholic synth lines, with female opera vocals and twin guitar solos. Primitive, ugly and raw is what I crave."

Yes, the Dark Lord's a classicist at heart. And so it's heartening that Peaceville Records has given Fenriz the chance to offer a sort of Old-School Black Metal for Beginners class to the headbanging masses. Fenriz Presents…The Best of Old-School Black Metal is a classic best-of album. The selections are wholly rooted in Fenriz's idiosyncratic tastes, with some revelations along the way: While it's no surprise that Celtic Frost doesn't age well, we never get tired of hearing "Freezing Moon," especially when it's Dead croaking out the words. Nattefrost's "Sluts of Hell" proves that you don't have to fuck her with a knife in order to show her you hate her, while Tormentor's tribute to black-metal demi-goddess Elisabeth Bathory rates among the cheesiest goth-fag ballads ever recorded; one could easily imagine Tony Orlando doing a cover.

While black-metal bands Mayhem, Burzum and Aura Noir are included, it's a wonder why certain other bands from the so-called second wave (I'm thinking particularly of early Gorgoroth and Immortal), or some of the more experimental players of the now (such as Sweden's Abruptum), are excluded. Perhaps Professor Fenriz is saving these for a more advanced course.

Until then, this compilation is a useful intro and an exciting sentinel of what's to come; indeed, the release of Fenriz Presents is meant to coincide with the launching of Fenriz's own imprint, Tyrant Syndicate Productions, also on the Peaceville label. He's already released one album (by Norway's Aura Noir), and will use the imprint to promote the old-school sound that he's enthroned so well in his own dark outfit.

The latest album of Denmark's Exmortem was accompanied by loads of hype. As the band's first album for Earache's Wicked World imprint, Nihilistic Contentment lives up to the brutal standards set by label mates Decapitated and Hate Eternal, without contributing much to the art as a whole. Songs are played at super-speed and with a maniacal, almost masturbatory enthusiasm; production values are fetus crisp; the vocals are hate harsh, and yet I keep wishing there was a reason to remember this album. It's missing that certain Satanic-something that keeps me going back to albums like Nile's Black Seeds of Vengeance, Deicide's Legion, Decapitated's Nihility. In a word, it's not so jolting. As far as the guitar work is concerned—an essential aspect of any death metal—it's interesting frippery at first, but after a while the riffs become indistinguishable from track to track. Monotony is detrimental to any album, but in death metal, already a self-limiting genre of seemingly one-note volume and intensity, it's even more of a tragedy.

For sheer variety, Exmortem might look to labelmates Hate Eternal for guidance. Founded by ex–Morbid Angel guitarist Erik Rutan, Hate Eternal spewed onto the scene just a few years ago full of bile and bass. Along with Nile and perhaps just one or two others, Hate Eternal belongs to that elite squadron bent on pummeling the New Death Metal/reduxed 80s sound into the Scandinavian-socialist pavement. I, Monarch, to be released later this month on Earache, is perhaps one of the grandest undertakings ever attempted in death metal. Experimentalism's the key word here; spinning this baby on headphones over and over again, it continues to boggle the brains.

I, Monarch puts forth technicality that goes beyond technicality—completely messy and atonal, yet somehow perfectly orchestrated and executed. At times, it feels like some producer went up to these death-metal dudes, stuck instruments in their hands and then had them record a free jazz album. As the guitar riffs fluctuate between high-tech anti-precision and avant-garde virtuosity, Derek Roddy's drumming summons the furious intensity of a tornado desecrating a steelworks, though he ain't afraid to break the rules and mindfuck us by slowing down every now and again into something approximating swing. Frontman Rutan's growl is still intact, I'm happy to report, as was your little sister's virginity the last time he checked. All in all, this is the future, at least the death-metal version, and if you don't believe me, just try to remain skeptical after they play B.B. King's on June 26.
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Alas, Babylon

ALAS, BABYLON
Is NYC still evil enough for the Church of Satan? Whither Hades-on-the-Hudson?
By Jim Knipfel

Following the 1997 death of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, there was some question—at least to those of us on the outside—whether or not the Church would die with him. But to the surprise of many, the Church of Satan not only didn't die, it flourished. Perhaps it was a sign of the times.

In 2001 the Church's headquarters, which had been based in San Francisco for some 35 years, were moved to New York City. Hell's Kitchen, to be precise. (Where else?)

Shortly after the move, Peter Gilmore, a longtime member of LaVey's inner circle and a Magister in the Church, explained the move to an interviewer: "New York is the perfect city for a Satanist to live in," he said. "It is secular, it is Babylon." He went on to describe New York as having "all the pleasures and wonders of the world."

It should be explained here that to members of the Church, Satanism is not about practicing Evil on a grand scale, sacrificing virgins or listening to heavy metal. It's about accepting man as a carnal animal and indulging its desires. Even Willy Wonka has been cited as a very Satanic character.

So what better place for a Satanic base of operations than New York?

But by 2001, the Giuliani administration's war on fleshy excess had taken its toll. Times Square was touting its new family-oriented atmosphere. The city was hardly the sleazy, dangerous, pleasure dome it had been even 10 years earlier. Four years later, the city continues to change in the same direction. It's cleaner and quieter and safer. It's tourist-friendly. Landmarks are being replaced with chain stores, and everywhere you look, there's an advertisement staring back at you. An awful lot of people seem to like it that way, but to some of us, it's become a bland, sterile corporate wasteland without any of the charms that made New York "New York" in the first place. It's like Topeka with thyroid cancer and a lot more money.

Peter Gilmore was raised upstate and visited the city regularly throughout his youth, finally moving to Hell's Kitchen in 1980. He's witnessed firsthand how the city has morphed. So the question is: Does the Church of Satan's High Priest still feel like he's living in Babylon?

"What was refreshing about The City at that time [25 years ago]," he said, "was the lack of moderation, with little of the dull middle ground to muddy the stark black-and-white scenery."

Gilmore, a sharply intelligent, soft-spoken man with a surprisingly friendly demeanor, called the New York of those days "the pivotal exemplar of what it means to be homo urbanus." It was a home port, a refuge, to a broad array of human extremes—idiots and geniuses, the depraved and the sophisticated. That's what he loved about it.

"Times Square used to be the most potent vista for viewing this entire spectrum in one glance," he said. "If one stood on Broadway and 42nd, simply by looking around you could see human passions embodied: base sexuality in the venues for all facets of pornography, the restless mind hungry for information in the endless electronic crawl of headlines and in the publications cramming the newsstands. Our need for fantasy was served by the many theaters showing every level of film being produced and a similar range of live performance from the splendid to the sordid. There were shops which sold exotic weaponry and tacky souvenirs. The cuisine ranged from street vendors of dubious cleanliness and the quintessentially American Howard Johnson's to the second-floor exotica of the Chinese Republic."

Gilmore mused, "Times Square functioned in the way symbols do, allowing so much information to be in conscious focus in one intuitive flash."

As we all know, that symbolic, iconic Times Square is long gone, replaced with "retail boxes" catering, as he puts it, "to the bland needs of tasteless drones." The supposed revitalization of the area, he further notes, "has slapped a sanitized mask on the true face of our Babylon."

It's not just Times Square. It's a wave of mediocrity that seems to be washing over all five boroughs. At the end of the summer, Coney Island will become only the latest victim. The extremes are becoming harder to find, while the "dull middle ground" he mentioned pushes out toward the edges. As Gilmore puts it, "New York City has been attracting more of the marching morons of the herd, who now linger rather than pass through, and in that way it becomes a more accurate reflection of our whole species. I am lately missing the purity of the old perspective. Our Hades-on-the-Hudson seems to have had its sharp edges blunted, made child-safe and tepid."

But all is not lost. There is a cyclical nature to things, and because of that, there is reason to believe the demonic spirit of the old New York will return again one day. As the old Satanist dictum goes, "As environments change, no human ideal standeth sure."

"Our town always works to 'renew' itself," Gilmore explained, "but the squeaky-clean results are short-lived. The hungry darkness still lurks on the fringes and will return to center stage in time, as the loadstone at these world crossroads is a powerful lure. Yes, our once and future Babylon is still Satanic, and those of us who know it intimately can still find the stimulating extremes, sidestepping the alien throng of mall cultists. Their moment is now, but I suspect that it shall be fleeting."

It's a comforting theory, but it might also be argued that the changes the city has undergone in recent years (as well as those it has planned for the near future) are of a different nature than those of previous eras. They're not being brought about by a shift in social mores; they aren't coming from within. Instead, they're being inflicted upon New York from the outside—by massive corporations and developers and politicians. There's a lot of money to be sucked out of that property, and the people who are buying it up to build another upscale mall, high-rise apartment complex or sports arena have no interest in relinquishing it, or in preserving the city's spirit.

So what will it take to usher in the next Satanic era? In short, WWSD—what would Satan do?

Well, it seems that what Satan would do is bide his time.

"So long as there is a profitable market for a 'Manhattanland' experience amongst visitors who think that visiting safe simulacra is preferable to something more 'spicy,' these spots will remain 'improved' and resistant to the surroundings which haven't yet been 'redeemed,'" said Gilmore. "I cannot say for sure what may turn that tide, but in their greed, as soon as the income begins to decrease, the maintenance will lessen and things will become seedy, and again havens for what they view as the less savory…The remaining adjacent areas will be poised to ooze back when the opportunity presents itself."

The latest edition of The Satanic Bible with a new introduction by Peter Gilmore has just been released by Avon Books.
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