Certain bands O.K. to listen to?

Lately I’ve been cleaning out my CD collection of music that I’ve accumulated over the years. I’ve always interpreted the music as just entertainment and never took any of it seriously or literally, however, most of those discs displayed artwork and contained topics and lyrics that were direct contradictions to my faith, so I couldn’t comfortably listen to those albums anymore and decided to get rid of them.

I’m still in the process and I’m still sifting album after album, trying to decide if it can stay or if it needs to go, which brings me here to ask for your opinions on the matter.

Albums that contain blatant blasphemy, mockery, occult symbolism, versus and names are immediately being thrown out, but what about bands that sing more about mythological content or non-Christian content?

For example, albums by artists with names such as Pentagram, Pagan Altar, Blood Ceremony, who may give a nod to Pan here and there and sing more about psychedlic experiences. The music is good and they don’t really sing songs about praising the devil nor do they attack the faith I believe in. Should I just give them up or is it okay to appreciate the musical art of our imperfect brothers and sisters?

Thank you in advance.

dude, its just music, god blatantly doesn’t give a **** as long as you don’t actually do what the song is talking about. if you like a song then it shouldn’t matter.

Perhaps, and that’s why I’m asking these questions here, although this may be more of a matter of respect and reverence more than anything.

If your best friends occasionally hang out with the guy that beat you up and took your lunch money, even if they’re not the ones beating you up and robbing you, wouldn’t that make you feel bad anyway and like they are less of a friend to you?

I agree that there is some music which should definitely be removed from a Christian’s collection, and also much problematic music which is not so clear. When i was younger (20’s) I tended to be very strict, but I’ve loosened up with age. My recommendation is that, for the ones which you are not sure of, to take them out of your collection and leave them with a family or friend, and then look at them again in a year’s time (or so).

You are doing a good thing!

~ Edmundus

I don’t know that there’s a universal answer to your question. I know some people who have had to purge their musical collections almost entirely because the music carried associations of the time in their life when they were living far from God. Personally, I never felt nudged in that direction. You have to pray for God’s guidance and ask Him what He wants you to do and what is best for your spiritual growth.

Generally speaking, though, there is no moral mandate that Catholics can only enjoy art that is produced by Christians, for Christians. If it’s not a sin for you to read a book about mythology or to look at a painting depicting a mythological story, then I cannot see how it would be wrong for you to listen to a song written about mythological themes.

We are not called to force ourselves into a bubble that includes only Christian things. When one is at the start of their faith walk, I think it can be beneficial for some to insulate themself for a time in order to make a clean break from the “things of this world” that had been holding them back from God. But that is not the case for everyone. And I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing so permanently.

What really got me thinking about cleaning out and purging my musical collection, was watching EWTN (I forgot which exact program it was) and hearing a priest speak of the reality of diabolical possession, oppression, and infestation. He says many bands who play dark music that belong to a certain record label, actually consecrate their albums in the name of satan, so that the listener is partaking in the activity in some way, and certain symbols and pieces of jewelry/decorations may be “cursed” through diabolical infestation, opening gateways for demonic forces.

If this sounds silly to you for whatever reason, I stumbled upon a video interview between Bob Larson and Anton Lavey’s children. Nikolas Shrek (Church of Satan member and founder of his own Satanic order) has also produced a musical album. He says that it is meant for worship activities in their church, much like the relationship gospel is to Christians. He claims that by simply listening to his music, you are participating in his church’s worship. There you have it, right from his own mouth.

So for me now, this has become more of a real issue than just appreciating secular forms of art.

Let me make a brief list of the bands and albums in my collection that I’m referring to and that are in question. I think you can tell from the names alone, but you can always look them up on YouTube for further info.

The more blatant:

Venom - Black Metal
Venom - Welcome to Hell
Onslaught - Power From Hell
Onslaught - The Force (and a big pentagram on the cover)
Krisiun - Black Force Domain
Summon - Dark Descent of Fallen Souls
Cradle of Filth - Principle of Evil Made Flesh

The ones that are more confusing and more facetious:

Electric Wizard - Witchcult Today
Blood Ceremony - Living With the Ancients
Pentagram - Relentless

I have been out of the rock music scene for a long time, and don’t know any of these bands, but, just looking at the titles I would say definitely get rid of everything in the first list. Simple put it in the bin, and do it quickly. The three in the second list I would also consider binning, but, if I wasn’t sure, I would leave them with friends or family while I thought about it.

If you have been listening to this music a lot then it will take quite a while to get it “out of your system”. I suggest that you try and find some other music, and activities, and avoid all this sort of music until you feel it’s safe to listen again.

Heavy metal can be addictive. As with any addiction (eg. alcohol), often the only method of recovery is to abstain for a while (at least a month) or permanently. Only the individual can work out what is appropriate for himself/herself.

Best wishes,

Edmundus

I am highly skeptical of the claim that certain bands consecrate their albums to Satan. That sounds like an urban legend to me. The one EWTN personality that I know of who used to say such things has left the priesthood and they no longer air his programming.

I believe that demonic possesssion is real, but the idea that someone could become possessed simply by listening to a particular CD seems a tad farfetched.

I’m not that familiar with any of the bands you listed. I’m a metalhead myself, but I stick with the power/prog metal which tends towards the less evil sounding. :wink: Those albums would make me a bit uneasy, too. But of course, not being familiar with those particular bands and albums, I can’t really say for sure. Precious few bands are legitimately satanic. Most of the bands that use satanic imagery are atheists or agnostics. They just use such imagery because it’s controversial. Even still, it creeps me out to listen to.

I wasnt referring to Fr Corapi, it was another priest. He didnt say that possession was necessarily the result, but by listening to a satanic consecrated disc would be the equivalent of participating in another non-Christian church’s worship, whether you intend to or not (as even admitted by Nikolas Shrek). I know not all metal bands are satanists (I used to be friends with many of them!), but you dont know who is or who isnt and what theyre doing to their discs. Even so, albums with occult and satanic symbols on them may be diabolically infested, opening gateways for evil spirits (as said by that one priest on EWTN, not necessarily albums but he was referring to things like Dreamcatchers, etc).

It wouldnt surprise me if a lot did consecrate their albums though. Bands like Inquisition, Dissection, Coven, Kult Ov Azazel, Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, and Acheron (who Vincent Crowley is a member of, and with their album Rites of the Black Mass which is a death metal version of their mass) all take their satanism seriously.

I suppose it’s possible. I’m not really into the black and/or death metal scene, so I never really looked into it. Most of these guys seem like they’re just trying to make a statement against religion rather than for Satan. I’m still skeptical that someone can unknowingly find themselves participating in an anti-Christian worship service simply by listening to an album. That strikes me as circumventing free will. :shrug:

I did once see Dimmu Borgir in concert and that was probably one of the more disturbing things I’ve experienced in my life. I was frantically praying the rosary the whole time. :o

Look up Acheron especially and youll see the difference between bands just venting and standing against religion and bands who are active, open satanists who participate in ceremonies and ritualistic behavior who also tie their beliefs in with their music.

About the free will part. If someone gave you a piece of bread and you ate it, then later told you it was bread that was baked as their communion, you basically just participated in their sacrament. Sure it probably isnt as sinful on your part because you were unaware…but albums that recite versus of an occult and esoteric nature with you playing that frequently, might indirectly summon something you werent prepared for, even though YOU didnt recite those versus.

And no Im not just being superstitious :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, Ive heard singing counts as “praying twice” to God, he appreciates it.

So what can be said about music or singing that derides him? Just something I thought of.

I was thinking the same thing too a while back. Most notably with “Iced Earth” They are a very talented power metal band. They are a tricky situation. They don’t sing anything satanic at all. In fact, they do concept albums where there is a story throughout.

I forgot the details, but in a nutshell…
The story is that Earth was originally inhabited by a race other than humans, and that Humans are from another planet. Being the greedy power hungry humans we are, the humans set forth conquering other planets throughout the universe. When coming to earth the original Earthlings had a hero who brainwashed the humans into believing that they are from earth. Then the original earthlings went into hiding, and from the shadows control the governments of the world, along with creating religion as a tool further control humanity. Then in the end times, their hero will rise up, and destroy humans once and for all. And their hero has been weaved into our religion and is casted as our antichrist.

It’s a really cool story except for the part on creating religion to control us, and them honoring the antichrist. It’s really a sci fi story . However that thole thing just didn’t settle with me, so I tossed 'em.

Thats how I feel. The music is so good (they say evil never has an ugly face), but I just cant completely relate to it, so that takes away a lot of the enjoyment for me too.

Thanks for sharing your experience, too. Thats going to make me a lot stronger in dettaching myself from certain albums. There isnt anything not worth giving up for God.

I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it. You can’t accidentally invite evil spirits into your soul. It doesn’t work that way.

Believe me, I understand the desire to be cautious. And I do think it’s better to be overly cautious rather than the opposite.

When I had my profound conversion experience 13+ years ago, I wrestled with the issue of music a lot. I wondered if I could ever listen to metal again. I especially stuggled with listening to Skyclad (one of my favorite bands at the time) because they are self-professed neo-pagans who are quite critical of religion, Christianity in particular. One of the turning points for me was their song “Cancer of the Heart.” It is really an excellent articulation of Original Sin, though that’s probably not what they were going for. It made me realize that this guy (Martin Walkyier, the vocalist and lyricist of the band) is wrestling with the same issues and trying to make sense of it all from his own experience. I started praying for him every day. Not too long after that, he left the band (and I’ve always wondered if the two were related… ;)).

The more that I’ve learned about my Catholic faith, the more I’ve come to realize that some song lyrics aren’t going to turn me away from the Lord. There are some bands that I never listened to because their occultish overtones made me uncomfortable. There are some bands who I can’t enjoy listening to anymore (like Therion because I found out their main lyricist founded his very own occult religion :eek:). But by and large I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t need to agree with a band on every point in order to enjoy their music. (If that were true, I couldn’t listen to many Christian bands either! :p)

So do you also not believe the priests that say fooling around with an Ouija board, even if you see it as just a game, is not a good thing and that there is also the potential to invite.certain spirits in your home (maybe not necessarily your soul)?

In any even, my way of thinking used to be just like yours. Secure in my faith enough to not let bands and their own opinions bother me. But I couldnt draw the line and kept going further…startes listening to bands like Archgoat "Whore of Bethlehem, Mystifier “Goetia”, Bestial Mockery, Black Witchery “Hellstorm of Evil Vengeance”, Impaled Nazarene etc. Was it any coincidence that my sins startes to increase, my care for people diminished, my love of life gone? I felt secure in my faith enough, but it crept up on me. But regardless, secure in faith or not, it may be just about respecting God. Also, when my atheist friends saw some of the CDs in my collection, they were confused. Because Ive debated with them about religion before, amd it just didnt make sense to them as to how I could own such contradictory material. It made me feel as if I was not practicing what I preach.

And Like Anton LaVey even says “white witch or evil witch, theyre both the same. A witch is a witch is a witch. Satan tricks the white witche’s into believing theyre safe from him, little do they know theyre doing just what he wills. Many play the devil’s game, its just that some dont use his name.”

Dont let Satan fool you into thinking you are secure enough and safe. He loves anything that derides God!

Playing with a Ouija Board and listening to a CD are entirely different. The former is active and the latter is passive.

Since that was your experience, I can definitely understand why you want to purge your music collection and I commend you for it. That has not been my experience. But again, I never listened to any of the really dark stuff to begin with. If I had, I probably would be doing the same thing.

Youre probably right in saying that it just varies from person to person, but its not even worth taking that chance IMO.

On the contrary, King Diamond DOESN’T take Satanism seriously. In fact, he has said that he doesn’t evil believe in God or Satan and that what he did back in the 80’s was all for shock value. As was the case with most “satanic” metal bands. It got them media attention, which got their name out there, and that got people interested. And the church of Satan King Diamond belonged to actually doesn’t believe in Satan as an entity either. The whole religion is just self worship and after reading about it, I can almost guarantee that Anton LaVey only started it to make money. I know your post and this thread are really old so I apologize for replying. I just felt the need to defend King Diamond because he’s a good guy and an awesome entertainer.

I’ve always thought it was ironically fitting that the “church of satan” (which as you say, doesn’t really believe in the devil [or God] at all) is focused on self-worship. That really is the opposite of Christianity, which is focused on loving others – God and neighbor. They are closer to Satan’s designs than they realize (or would admit).

But, yeah, this is an old thread. :stuck_out_tongue:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.