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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now

one for each hour of the day!

The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now

THERE ARE RULES TO THIS TYPE OF THING.

Rule #1: Some bands are basically glorified solo outfits.
The bands on this list are group efforts. This means any musical collection that has a definite 'face' member will not be included. Said line-up must also have two or more original members throughout their career.
This rule excludes bands such as: Nick Cave and the Bad Seed; Sun Kil Moon; Tame Impala; Iron Maiden; Queens Of The Stone Age; Brian Jonestown Massacre; Guns n Roses; Cradle of Filth; The Cure; Of Montreal (which is a shame, because they were one of the main influences for this article); The Drones (also a massive shame); Nine Inch Nails, Xiu Xiu; Marilyn Manson; The Residents (??); Pile; GWAR; Ulver; Opeth; Bon Iver; Devin Townsend; Alcest; Cymbals Eat Guitars; LCD Soundsystem; Behemoth; and Napalm Death (who have no original members, lol).
Note: If this rule upsets you, do not fear, because I once wrote an article similar to this one called The 30 Greatest Music Legends Of Our Time. Maybe you'll find what you're looking for there.

Rule #2: Any breakups or hiatuses are no good.
Obviously any band that has broken up does not apply, because they are not in the world right now. This criteria also applies to bands that have had an extended break in their career or with a gap between records longer than 10 years.
This rule excludes bands such as: Portishead; My Bloody Valentine; Swans; The Pixies; Dillinger Escape Plan (pretty much); Blur; Megadeath; Godspeed You! Black Emperor; Killing Joke; Fleetwood Mac; Sonic Youth; Black Sabbath; The Stooges; Sleater-Kinney; Faith No More; Fugazi; Tool; Septicflesh; and The Rolling Stones.

Rule #3: New bands have a lot of room to fuck it up.
To ensure some level of security, bands with less than four albums were not considered.
This rule excludes bands such as: Vampire Weekend; The Hotelier; La Dispute; Ice Age; Ghost; Glassjaw; Everything Everything; Ought; MGMT; alt-J; Deafheaven; Wardruna; and Japandroids.

Rule #4: The word "band" has a definition.
Call me old fashioned, but if you don't play instruments, you are not a band.
This rule excludes groups such as: Death Grips; Wu-Tang Clan; Daft Punk; The Roots (even if they almost apply in recent years); and OutKast.

Rule #5: This is not a personal list, and critical consistency is key.
To help us distinguish which careers are good enough for some general concurrence, no bands with a Metacritic score of 66 or less were allowed in. I'm sorry, but it was the best solution I could come up with.
This rule excludes groups such as: Metallica; Korn; Kiss; Placebo; Aerosmith; Bloodhound Gang; and Blondie.

Rule #6: Ok, so this is kind of a personal list after all.
At the end of the day, I made this list, and so I have to be happy above anyone else. Which means there are certain massive bands that really should be here, except I don't actually like them that much (even if I do still like them somewhat maybe).
This rule excludes groups such as: U2; AC/DC; Green Day; Foo Fighters; The Strokes; System of a Down; Linkin Park; Arctic Monkeys; Cloud Nothings; Deerhunter; and Muse.

Rule #7: I can't write an endless list here, I'm busy.
Finally, there were bands I really really love and who obeyed my guidelines perfectly and deserved to be here, but were left out for one reason or another. 24 is a nice number. I couldn't please everyone.
This rule painfully excludes groups such as: Deerhoof; OK Go; and Rolo Tomassi.


If this is ok with you, it's ok with me, sort of.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 24. The Flaming Lips

24. The Flaming Lips

Active Since 1983
17 Studio Albums
74% Metacritic Average


I have an awkward relationship with The Flaming Lips. On the (bigger) hand, I adore their lush psychedelic spaciness, as their cupid's arrow laced with LCD introduces the perfect love affair between electro doodlings and indie organics, well deserving of their three Grammy Awards and the dedicated cult following attached to their balloons for decades now. This mass approval comes up particularly strong when discussing 1999’s The Soft Bulletin (an album Pitchfork called the third best of the 90s with a rare perfect 10/10 score) and 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (my personal favourite, which was Rolling Stone's 27th and Uncut's 11th best albums of the the noughties). But then, my other hand taps me on the shoulder and reminds me that The Lips have probably taken far too many drugs as time has gone on, and their art has suffered as a result, often falling a bit far over the 'weird line' for me, please allow me to explain. Exhibit A and B would be their absolute rape of classic albums by covering The Dark Side of the Moon and Sgt Pepper, both of which were such a complete mess that they even made me rethink my love for a lot of this band's other pretentious projects. Like 1997's Zaireeka, a record consisting of four separate CDs intended to be played simultaneously on four different stereos to produce a one album experience. Or like 2011's Gummy Song Skull, a gummy shaped skull with a gummy shaped brain hidden inside of it with a USB of music hidden inside of that. Or like 2012's vinyl version of The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, which was pressed with many of the contributor's blood in between the grooves. Which I guess is pretty cool, after all. Perhaps the truth for my uncertainty is for more personal reasons, if I'm honest. For you see, I am currently blocked from commenting on any of The Flaming Lips' Facebook posts, due to my persistent compulsion to remind them of their 2011 song called Is David Bowie Dying?, a track which became extra tasteless when the man actually did die. Oh well, it doesn't matter, I spend too much time on Facebook, and either way, they’re a pretty heavyweight swing to smack things off here, so we’re starting off well, I thought.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 23. elbow

23. elbow

Active Since 1997
7 Studio Albums
79% Metacritic Average


You know, interestingly enough, it was rock band Elbow’s very recently wonderful 2017 release, Little Fictions, which convinced me of their dependable genius, and I can only blame myself for such negligence. Admittedly, I’ve been very behind when it comes to this outfit, having only first come into contact with them via 2011’s Mercury Prize nominated record Build a Rocket Boys!, which made an instant fan out of me, just add water, stir twice, call me in the morning. Only after this fact I ventured deeper into their back catalogue, surprised to discover 2008's The Seldom Seen Kid, their oft go-to 'greatest work', called the 17th (by NME) and the 8th (by Q) best album of that year, as well as winning the Mercury Prize back then, which was like pouring cement around their bodies and making permanent statues of their presence within my mind. Oh, ok, I get it now! That's why each of their seven studio albums have hit the UK top 15! That's why seven of their singles hit the UK top 40! That's why they won the 2009 Brit Award for Best British Group! That's why they were chosen to write the BBC’s 2012 Summer Olympics theme tune! Because they are a great band! One of the greatest! In the world! Right now!


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 22. Depeche Mode

22. Depeche Mode

Active Since 1980
14 Studio Albums
68% Metacritic Average


You've probably heard of Depeche Mode, right? One of the 50 bands that changed the world, so says Q Magazine? The 98th Greatest Artists of All Time, so says VH1? The 2nd Greatest Artists of electronic music, so says Electronic Music Realm? The band who made Violator? The 342nd Greatest Album of all time, and 57th Best Album of the 90s, so says Rolling Stone? That group with five Grammy nominations and over 100 million records sold worldwide? One of the only 11 UK acts to have an album (Songs of Faith and Devotion) hit #1 in the UK and the US at the same time? 50 songs in the UK Singles Chart? 13 top 10 albums in the UK chart? You know? Depeche Mode?


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 21. Wilco

21. Wilco

Active Since 1994
10 Studio Albums
81% Metacritic Average


Like most hipster music, Pitchfork knew of alternative rock band Wilco before you did. They called 1996’s Being There the 88th best of the decade, and 1999’s Summerteeth the 31st, foreshadowing the moment when the rest of the world woke up and went 'shit!'. Said collective 'shit!' came with 2001’s monumental Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which has an interesting backstory too, if you have a minute. Basically, their label Reprise Records rejected the release and then dropped Wilco in the same breath, so untroubled with their decision that they even allowed the act to keep the rights of the album for free. Nonesuch Records snapped them up shortly after, released the record, and before anyone knew what happened, they had a modern day classic on their hands. It was called the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd best album of the decade by Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and Paste respectively, while Q readers rated it the 100th best album ever. Such a massive fuckup on Reprise's part prompted critics to use this very story as a key example to prove how ignorant the current music industry is, whilst Wilco themselves just laughed all the way into the critical acclaimed treasure chest. Granted, they never quite lived up to the Yankee hype afterwards, but they came pretty close with 2004’s A Ghost is Born which won two Grammys, and 2007’s Sky Blue Sky which was nominated for one, while Billboard, Paste, Uncut, and The A.V. Club all dubbed it in the top 10 of that year (Rolling Stone going one step further and calling it the 97th best album of the whole decade). Their subsequent releases have never been too far off various publications’ win lists, and that is why they have been called 'one of America's most consistently interesting bands' and 'America's foremost rock impressionists' by Rolling Stone, eventually earning them the reputation as the 'American Radiohead' by others. And Radiohead are huge!


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 20. Melt-Banana

20. Melt-Banana

Active Since 1992
9 Studio Albums
80% Metacritic Average


If you’ve never heard of Melt-Banana, don't worry, because there is an understandable reason for this. Said reason is because the male/female Japanese duo make quite the abrasive type of music, rushing down an experimental pop-electronic racetrack with their feet flat on the grindcore pedal, Ichirou Agata imitating sirens and laser effects by using his guitar alone whilst Yasuko Onuki blasts her high pitched Engrish raps at great speeds, freaking your heart into palpitations without any regards to health and safety. Just take their 1994 25-track album Speak Squeak Creak, for example, which ends with an untitled song made up from all the other 24 tracks played simultaneously, and then you may begin to understand how such an underground act caught the attention of one equally weird Mike Patton, the God of versatility himself. After their Jim O'Rourke recorded/Steve Albini produced Scratch or Stitch album in 1995, Master Patton took them out on tour with his band Mr. Bungle, a move which may have resulted in much confusion and hostility from the crowds, but did wonders for their career, now considered one of the most vital punk outfits Japan has ever offered. They were even asked to record a song for Cartoon Network's Perfect Hair Forever, which is like, the best cartoon ever made!


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 19. Future Islands

19. Future Islands

Active Since 2006
5 Studio Albums
78% Metacritic Average


Like any good synthpop band (or any good band in general, really), a lot of weight from Future Islands’ accomplishments ride on top of the vocalist’s ability to stand out from the herd, and very few artists on this list can boast such a recognisable tone as that of Samuel T. Herring. His baritone depths with occasional growls and barks rough up the new wave indietronica melodics like a melancholic nail to splinter this genre's trademark glossy instrumentation, which is why the trend radars have been going mad for these guys during the last decade. 2011’s On the Water peaking at #12 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart aside, it was mainly their (excellently deceptively titled) Singles album which blew the big holes into the end-of-year critic’s lists. To name a few, it was called one of the best records of 2014 by Pitchfork (22), Amazon (16), Gigwise (12), BBC Radio 6 Music (11), NME (11), The Telegraph (10), Q Magazine (9), SPIN (7), and Time Out New York (4), all the while hitting #11 and #10 on the US Top Alternative Albums and Top Rock Albums respectively. Verdict is still open on The Far Field which came out earlier this month, but initial reaction has been: it’s also great! What a relief!


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 18. Pearl Jam

18. Pearl Jam

Active Since 1990
10 Studio Albums
75% Metacritic Average


Pearl Jam may have been one of the essential four messengers of the 90s Seattle grunge movement, but they are the only ones who have never gone on hiatus or have had a lead singer die on them. Due to this commitment, over time, they have outsold all of their contemporaries (except Nirvana, of course) with a colossal 60 million copies worldwide, and were voted the greatest American rock band of all time by a USA Today reader poll. Their 1991 fancy debut album Ten caused the greatest amount of noise, taking its sweet time to be appreciated, but eventually hitting #2 on the Billboard 200 chart over a year after its inital release, now 13 times platinum, the 15th greatest guitar album ever (according to Guitar World), either the 42nd or the 20th best album of all time (depending who you speak to, Q Magazine or Rolling Stone Germany), and the greatest debut of all time (according to Rolling Stone readers). But the fact that they’ve released nine generally respected albums since that point isn’t what makes the Jam so interesting, but rather their non-traditional approach to promotion, refusing to make proper music videos, rejecting all interview requests, and once even boycotting Ticketmaster, compelling Rolling Stone Magazine to report that the band have 'spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame.' It’s no wonder, then, that they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this month, on their very first year of eligibility, because they are a very special gift for all of us to enjoy and cherish.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 17. mewithoutYou

17. mewithoutYou

Active Since 2000
6 Studio Albums
82% Metacritic Average


Considering every entry within this article, none are as hard to defend as mewithoutYou. This is because I included them for one reason and one reason only: I like them a lot. It's purely personal, me myself alone, adoring this band as something way up there with the best of them, due to their offbeat album concepts (like 2006’s Brother, Sister's attempt at tying symbolism to animals, or 2009’s It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright focusing on the spiritual love of God, or 2012’s Ten Stories relaying the incident of some traveling circus train crash) all of which are delivered by one of the most recognisable voices in the rock scene, thanks to Aaron Weiss’ dynamic spoken word/mumble/shouty range. Such love for the underrated outfit may not come with the sales or prizes to put any weight behind my punch, because these things don't exist, but let me assure you that everything is fine and well in my head and I will sleep even better tonight just by letting them take a seat here. Maybe this is just me doing my part? Maybe one day someone will reference me for a change? 'mewithoutYou are the 15th greatest band in the world right now, according to the Juice Nothing blog', wouldn't that be neat? I agree!


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 16. NOFX

16. NOFX

Active Since 1983
13 Studio Albums
71% Metacritic Average


NOFX are the embodiment of punk rock self-sufficiency and integrity. Having sold over 8 million records worldwide, they are one of the most successful independent bands of all time, with their 1994 record Punk in Drublic in particular standing as one the greatest (6th, according to Kerrang!) and most essential (4th, according to Rock Sound) pop punk albums ever made. Additional props must always be blessed towards bassist and lead vocalist Fat Mike, as his wisdom extends beyond his already impressive lyrical content (which covers such an important range of topics such as social inequalities, drug abuse, and sexual deviancy) and goes onto his foundation and ownership of one of the largest independent labels in North America, Fat Wreck Chords, who have boasted punk rock royalty to the likes of Rancid, Lagwagon, Leftöver Crack, Anti-Flag, Nerf Herder, Rise Against, Propagandhi, and Sick of It All in their time. He is also the bassist for supergroup cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, the once temporary bassist for Against Me!, and organised that whole Rock Against Bush campaign, a project which unified like-minded musicians against George W. Bush’s policies. But even if none of this impresses you (???), or even if this sounds like an exclusive Fat Mike dick-suck, simply read the band’s autobiography NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories, which not only proves the group's debaucherous punk ethics, but also came with a free bath towel (depending on which edition you manage to get hold of).


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 15. Manic Street Preachers

15. Manic Street Preachers

Active Since 1986
12 Studio Albums
76% Metacritic Average


There is a fair amount of criticism working against the Manics for ultimately being one frustratingly inconsistent outfit, and this is a fair judgement. However, I am an optimist, and where some see dips, I see rises, considering the band to have an almost impossible amount of comeback records, routinely rising from the dead without any indication of retiring just yet, whilst even their worst records are not that bad. I mean, 10 million albums sold, 11 NME Awards, 8 Q Awards, 4 BRIT awards, and reaching the UK #1 three times doesn't lie, a decent collection of wins that stem largely from a solid 90s run of championed releases, which includes: 1994’s masterpiece The Holy Bible (called Q’s 18th, Melody Maker’s 15th, Kerrang!’s 10th, and a BBC Newsnight’s NUMBER ONE greatest album in the world, as well as NME’s Darkest Album Ever Made); 1996’s Everything Must Go (NME/Kerrang!’s #2 and Melody Maker/Vox #1 album of the year, as well as Q’s 11th of all time); and 1998’s This is My Truth (NME’s 24th and Kerrang!’s 14th of the year). They spent the following few albums hiccupping a bit, but then nine years later, they rediscovered themselves with Send Away the Tigers (Q’s 16th of 2007), then Journal for Plagued Lovers (Mojo’s 20th, NME’s 14th, The Guardian’s 11th, Q’s 5th, and Drowned in Sound’s 4th of 2009), and then, finally, Futurology (Mojo’s 20th, XFM’s 11th, and Q’s 4th of 2014) all of which adds up to a monster assemblage of records over three decades, a feat most bands would sell their rhythm guitarist for. Which may or may not be what happened, actually, as member Richey Edwards' 1995 disappearance is still a major part of their folklore, without a doubt one of the most fascinating anorexic drug-addicted self-harming presumably-dead heroes from the 27 club of recent times. His story is worth the read alone.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 14. Gojira

14. Gojira

Active Since 1996
6 Studio Albums
77% Metacritic Average


Gojira have been climbing the success ladder rather rapidly in recent years. It appears that per each release, theses French dudes shove their progressive metal into our faces, working only to lift the group further up as one of the most impressive new-ish bands that this genre is providing. Their fourth album, 2008’s The Way of All Flesh, was already causing some fuss with PopMatters and Metal Hammer calling it the 8th and 5th greatest of the year respectively, but when my favourite Gojira release, L'Enfant Sauvage, came out in 2012, there was no denying that they were the real deal, with The A.V. Club, Entertainment Weekly, Loudwire, and PopMatters all happily honouring the record in that year’s top 10. This momentum has shown no intentions of dawdling either, as even last year’s much calmer Magma album elbowed its way straight to the top as the greatest metal album 2016 had to offer, according to the likes of WhatCulture, Ghost Cult Magazine, and the mighty Metal Hammer once again. Even the suits at the Grammys noticed, nominating said record for the Best Rock Album, but they lost to Cage the Elephant—which is fine. Way more acceptable than losing to Blink-182 or Panic! At the Disco anyway, which could have happened.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 13. Slayer

13. Slayer

Active Since 1981
12 Studio Albums
75% Metacritic Average


Credited as one of the largest influential metal groups of all time, Slayer are probably the most impressive cog in the 'big four' thrash metal band machine, partially because they never went soft (Metallica *cough*), but primarily because of 1986’s insanely violent album Reign in Blood, an instant classic which Kerrang! called the 27th greatest heavy metal record of all time (as well as the heaviest album of all), Metal Hammer called the best metal album of the last 20 years, and critic Chad Bowar argued as potentially the best thrash album ever recorded—a statement I am wholeheartedly willing to sell my soul for (terms and conditions apply). But their five Grammy nominations, two Grammy wins, and 4.9 million albums sold worldwide are nothing compared to their controversial subject matter; an onslaught of topics featuring necrophilia, genocide, Satanism, Nazism, and terrorism, all of which have caused album delays, album bans, lawsuits, and general upset from the whole of our precious society. Perfect! They were even once accused as a predominant catalyst for the rape and murder of 15 year old girl Elyse Pahle, a crime from the hands of Jacob Delashmutt, Joseph Fiorella, and Royce Casey, who claimed they received detailed instructions from the Slayer songs Postmortem and Dead Skin Mask to carry out the deed. The band actually got sued due to these killers' confessions, but they ultimately won the case because, thankfully, the judge in charge noted the stupidity of blaming musicians for the acts of blatantly mentally troubled individuals, and everything was peaceful in the community once again. Thank God and enter to the realm of Satan!


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 12. Spoon

12. Spoon

Active Since 1993
9 Studio Albums
83% Metacritic Average


What I’d like to talk about when it comes to experimental indie art rock band Spoon, is Metacritic itself, a website which aggregates critical reviews into a nice overall score per an outfit’s album, ensuring we get a lovely round average figure without all the noise of individual opinion confusing the issue between. Unfortunately, this group’s 1998 release A Series of Sneaks predated said site's practice, which is a shame, because when several publications called it one of the best albums of the 90s (Pitchfork at 54, and Treble at 9), you know it would have scored high. But no matter, let's move on, and our story truly begins with 2001’s Girls Can Tell, Pitchfork’s 96th favourite album of the 2000s, with the total Metacritic score of 85. Now look over here, at 2002’s Kill the Moonlight, Rolling Stone’s 51st, Pitchfork’s 19th, and Rhapsody’s 5th greatest album of the decade, with the total Metacritic score of 88. Next up, we have 2005’s Gimme Fiction, Rhapsody’s 19th best album of the decade, with the total Metacritic score of 84, followed by 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Rolling Stone’s 10th, Tiny Mix Tapes’ 9th, and Pitchfork’s 7th best album of the year, as well as Q’s 66th and Pitchforks 35th best album of the decade, with a total Metacritic score of 84. Rolling Stone’s 22nd and Exclaim!'s 9th best album of 2010, Transference, got a Metacritic 80, whilst 2014’s They Want My Soul, (The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop 9th best album of the year), hit a Metacritic of 81. Which is why I held my breath when Hot Thoughts was released last month, shooing away my threatening panic attacks which suggested that the album might wreck this entries' entire point with a subpar release, except, of course, this is Spoon, and they did it again with an 82 Metacritic score this time, thankfully fastening my overall gist nice and firm. Basically, if you don't get where I'm going here, allow me to break it down for you: any Metascore above 80 is known as being Universally Acclaimed, the best of the best, and in all my years I have never seen a group on that site with such a clear run of consistency over so many releases, truly the kings of this kudos, higher than anyone else you may find in this article, super rad and ultra nice. But wait! Here’s the real kicker: they still aren’t even that famous! How is this possible! Is it your fault? Maybe it's your fault! You better go listen to Spoon right now, buddy.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 11. TV on the Radio

11. TV on the Radio

Active Since 2001
5 Studio Albums
83% Metacritic Average


Despite 2006’s Return to Cookie Mountain standing as easily my favourite TVOTR record ever (as well as Spin’s album of that year) it was this American indie band’s third album Dear Science which really captured critics tastebuds, being labelled 2008’s Album of the Year by Rolling Stone, Guardian, Spin, A.V. Club, MTV, and Entertainment Weekly, as well as a Pitchfork Media’s readers poll. Pretty solid worship right there! Unforutnately, as things tend to do, the accolades have dwindled slightly per every following (still great!) release since that time, but the multi-talented members (who each play more than one instrumental role, by the way) extend well beyond their own work, members having collaborated with the likes of such heavyweight artists as David Bowie, Mike Patton, NiN, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Scarlett Johansson, Foals, Bat for Lashes, Oh Land, Kelis, Santigold, Liars, and MF DOOM (owed massively in part to guitarist Dave Sitek’s impressive list of studio work). Sadly, and I'd hate to end on a downer note, but the TVOTR brotherhood has only ever had one member change, being that of Gerard Smith who died in 2011 from lung cancer. They admirably chose to never replace him, keeping their bloodline as pure as it ever was despite injury. Actually, wait, let's end on a happy note after all, did I ever tell you about the time I went backstage after one of their shows and met some of them? Because I did!


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 10. Red Hot Chili Peppers

10. Red Hot Chili Peppers

Active Since 1983
11 Studio Albums
68% Metacritic Average


Oh, believe me, I feel the resistant roll of many eyeballs at the very mentions of this outdated mainstream hypersexed waffly funky-junk jam American rock band, but the facts boom louder than any of our unified opinions, and we cannot hide from their 80 million records sold worldwide, or their six out of sixteen nominated Grammy wins, or their 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, or their 'most successful group in alternative rock radio history' status, with more number-one singles (13), more cumulative weeks at number one (85), and more top-ten songs (25) on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart than anyone EVER. And while their lesser-than (read: generally hated) releases are well documented, they have still survived through severe drug addictions and excessively high member losses (even once due to a heroin-related overdose death) without any dip in persistence, continuing to reign as one exceptionally active musical entity, their joyous success bouncing upon the highest magnitude of rockstar royalty, already of a legendary historical importance, preaching love and friendship driven by a telepathic connection between some of the most naturally gifted members available on our Earth. Oh, and remember when John Frusciante was in the band? Jeeeeesus Chriiiiiisttt.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 09. Meshuggah

09. Meshuggah

Active Since 1987
8 Studio Albums
81% Metacritic Average


Swedishy experimantelly thrashy jazzy progressivey deathy metal band, Meshuggah, are fucking insane. With such complex time signatures, hyper-speed tempos, and coarse vocal savagery, they have been called one of the ten most important hard rock and heavy metal bands by Rolling Stone, as well as the most important metal band right now by Alternative Press. But while they basically invented Djent, making them one of the most significantly copied acts in the underground, any mainstream appeal has mostly eluded them, which might be unfair, but at least keeps the elitists happy. That said, their attention is flourishing, with 1995’s Destroy Erase Improve rated the 42nd Greatest Prog Rock Album of All Time according to Rolling Stone, and 2012’s excellent Koloss debuting at #17 in the United States charts. 2016’s The Violent Sleep Of Reason did even better, with PopMatters and Rolling Stone calling it the 2nd best metal album of the year, and Revolver calling it the 4th best album overall, but none of this impresses me much. What impresses me, is a paragraph like this one, shamelessly copied and pasted directly from Wikipedia:
“In polymeters typically used by Meshuggah, the guitars might play in odd meters such as 5/16 or 17/16, while drums play in 4/4. One particular example of [drummer] Haake's use of polymeter is 4/4 against 23/16 bimeter, in which he keeps the hi-hat and ride cymbal in 4/4 time but uses the snare and double bass drums in 23/16 time. On Rational Gaze (from Nothing), Haake plays simple 4/4 time, hitting the snare on each third beat, for 16 bars. At the same time, the guitars and bass are playing same quarter notes, albeit in a different time signature; eventually both sides meet up again at the 64th beat.”
Yip, that’ll do it!


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 08. Sigur Rós

08. Sigur Rós

Active Since 1994
7 Studio Albums
78% Metacritic Average


The majority of the public's Sigur Rós love falls upon their 1999 sophomore album Ágætis byrjun, which was called the 27th most Cosmic Rock Album by Q and Mojo, and one of the best albums of the whole 2000s according to Rolling Stone and Pitchfork (29 and 8 respectively). But, as we all know, it takes more than just one exceptional record to solidify a career as something supernatural, and thankfully these Icelandic heroes have maintained an aura of ethereal coherence from inception to present-day, with a sound so unique that it exclusively follows their own self-penned text(ured)book, unlike anything else on the market, consuming me until I get visions of snow angels who are falling in love with the air which surrounds the burden of human emotions. I mean, the guys sing in their own made up language, for fucksake! They called it Vonlenska (translation: Hopelandic, bless!) and it's so beautiful that I jump out of the window without ever hitting the ground. Maybe you'll disagree with all of this, but personally, I consider them to be in a category so special that no other artist has even found that box yet.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 07. Animal Collective

07. Animal Collective

Active Since 2003
10 Studio Albums (Together)
77% Metacritic Average


With their experimental pop jammings and druggy Beach Boys love, the lo-fi messiness that is Animal Collective has recruited quite a cult (and mainstream) following over the last decade, but no album has quite captured audience adoration like 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. It was the Album of the Year according to Pitchfork, Clash, Spin Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly, as well as Pitchfork’s 14th best album of the decade, which is all very nice and impressive, especially once you discover that I myself called it the 5th best album of the 00s too. However, it is truly the members' solo work which has proven their individual genius, with Avey Tare releasing a few decent offerings over his time, while Deakin provided my 43rd personal favourite album of 2016. However, none of them can compare to Panda Bear and his 2007 release Person Pitch, which was called the Album of the Year by Pitchfork and Tiny Mix Tapes, eventually hailed as the 7th best of the year from review aggregate website Acclaimed Music, as well as the 349th best album of all time from the same place. All of which adds up to one of the most exciting bands on the planet, no arguments accept, all enemies drowned in multicoloured mud, having a quick spazz out, then dying in bliss.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 06. Converge

06. Converge

Active Since 1990
8 Studio Albums
82% Metacritic Average


Converge are one the very first metalcore bands on the planet, and are frequently lauded as the greatest, which is fucking right. Make no mistake, each one of their albums will fuck you up in one way or another, but there are a select few that truly fight the test of Satan above the others. The first one that comes full swing into everyone's mind, is their fourth effort, 2001’s Jane Doe, as its vicious influence has only seems to grow over time, having been called Sputnikmusic's and Decibel’s very best, MetalSucks’ 5th best, Loudwire’s 10th best album of that decade, and eventually honoured with an induction into the Rock Sound's Hall of Fame as 'a gamechanger in the entire realm of heavy music'. Once again, fucking right. However, they didn't stop there, several of their following albums coming dangerously close to such honours, in particular 2009’s Axe To Fall (hailed as one of the best of the year by Stereogum [#1]; Rock Sound [#2]; Decibel [#2]; and Revolver [#4]) and 2011’s All The Love We Leave Behind (hailed as one of the best of the year by Decibel [#1] and Pitchfork [#2]; as well as Metacritic announcing it to be the 5th best reviewed album of the whole year). And if nothing else, it's perfect music to punch your loved ones to, if you're into that sort of thing, fucking right indeed, fuck.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 05. Arcade Fire

05. Arcade Fire

Active Since 2001
4 Studio Albums
86% Metacritic Average


In most ways, the indie power that is Arcade Fire stands fairly undefeated so far, in that 'modern day band with a perfect run' type of fashion, consistently hypothesised as the latest in the bloodstream of Beatles/Radiohead/Whatever royalty—and when you observe their four-album catalogue, it checks out. Just look: 2004’s Funeral, Grammy nominated for Best Alternative Album, named as one of the best albums of the decade (NME’s 7th, Rolling Stone’s 6th, Pitchfork's and Consequence of Sound’s 2nd) as well as Rolling Stone’s 151st and NME’s 13th BEST ALBUM OF ALL TIME. 2007’s Neon Bible, debuted on the Billboard 200 at #2, called the 4th best album of the year by Rolling Stone/NME, the 2nd best by Blender/Billboard/Spin, and the very best by Q/The Onion A.V. Club. 2010’s The Suburbs, debuted at #1 on the Irish, UK, US Billboard, and Canadian album chart, won the Album of the Year Grammy, and was called the 4th best album of the year by MTV/Rolling Stone, 3rd by Spin, 2nd by Billboard/NME/Stereogum/Time, and #1 by BBC 6/Clash/Exclaim!/Q. 2013’s Reflektor, on the other hand, was well wanky in my opinion, but people still lifted it up as the 10th (Stereogum/Pitchfork), 7th (NME/Consequence of Sound), and 5th (Rolling Stone) best album of the year, so not a fail by any stretch of any band's achievements. The thing for me personally, though, is that their pretentious self-loving does stroke me backwards a bit, but I can't falter their overall importance, which is so undeniable that it’s almost blasphemous that they aren’t at the top of this list. Oops! My own taste got in the way, sorry guys! You’re great, really! Hello?


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 04. Mastodon

04. Mastodon

Active Since 2000
7 Studio Albums
77% Metacritic Average


The sludgy stoner alternative metal band known as Mastodon have never released a crap studio album (read: ignore the live ones, for the love of God). Rather, if you stack each one of their highly conceptual records on top of one another, you may find you've accidentally built a stone wall monster, supported by each member who not only all play their instruments with an inventive flair, but also all share the vocal duties, ensuring no two songs sound identical yet all of them fighting courageously to balance an arty imagination with a vicious attack, penetrating deep into the depths of their heaviest core and your soft pathetic unberlly. We could try separate the individual recorded entities, and remind readers that Revolver, Kerrang!, and Terrorizer called Leviathan the #1 album of 2004, while MetalSucks crowned it the best metal album of the 21st century... twice. Perhaps you’re interested in Total Guitar magazine and Metal Hammer dubbing Blood Mountain as 2006’s album of the year, or how Crack the Skye was considered 2009's greatest (according to Rock Sound and Metal Hammer, as well as coming in as Time’s third). But whatever you're looking for, the critics will tell you it's here, mad props all around from the likes of from Allmusic ('[Mastodon are] one of the preeminent metal acts of the early 21st century'), BBC ('[Mastodon] are the most ambitious, most fearless, most fun heavy metal band to have breached the mainstream'), Alternative Press ('Mastodon are one of the all-time great hard-rock groups'), and Rolling Stone ('[Mastodon] have become the most important new band in metal'). Hell, even non-metalheads swear by it, so if you're scared, don't worry too much, you may have a chance still.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 03. The National

03. The National

Active Since 1999
6 Studio Albums
83% Metacritic Average


Let's talk about how four of indie rock band The National's albums were included on NME's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Alligator was the second best album of 2005, according to Uncut and Planet Sound (and 40th according to Pitchfork). 2007’s Boxer was the album of the year according to Paste (and 17th according to Pitchfork). High Violet debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200, won the Q award for the best album of the year, was called the 4th greatest album of 2010 by Time, and the 7th by Exclaim! (and 28th according to Pitchfork). 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me debuted at #3, and was called the 8th best by Rolling Stone and the 12th best by Paste of the year (and 43rd according to Pitchfork), which was less than what came before, but still, wtf, have you heard how incredible that album is? However, these are just good numbers, and while good numbers are good, there is an element to The National which goes way deeper for me, deeper than almost everything on offer here, bleaking out my emotional fundamentals and welcoming me into a safe zone where I can be emo within the comfort of miserable company. It's embarrassing to admit out loud, but I can't deny these personal reasons, and because of that, I had to place them in the top three of my own list. I just had to. It's a good number. And good numbers are good.


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 02. Deftones

02. Deftones

Active Since 1988
8 Studio Albums
77% Metacritic Average


Sometimes we shouldn’t measure success by whether a band has won a Grammy (they have), or by how many albums they’ve sold (10 million), but rather by their overall influence on the genre surrounding them. Alternative metal band Deftones were once one of the original nü-metal forerunners, helping shape the early incarnations of the style with their first two albums, and then jumping overboard just before the ship sank, perhaps the only true survivors of the style to tell the tale. Said jump was done in 2000 with their third offering White Pony, and that record changed the game and my entire musical education by constructing an atmospheric bridge away from metal and revealing to me that there were other places to go. Luckily, I was not alone, as Alternative Press called it the 2nd most influential album of the year, and Consequence of Sound said it 'helped usher the popularity of complex structure meets MTV audience'. However, that is not to say the pony stopped galloping here, as this band have from-the-bottom-of-my-heart swear-to-your-God never released a bad album (2010’s Diamond Eyes called the rock album of the year by the iTunes Store, and 2012’s Koi No Yokan called the album of the year by Revolver, for example) as undoubtedly one of the most consistent bands of our time, evidently unable to set a hoof wrong in their three decade career even if they wanted to (although I doubt they do, who would?). But what I owe to Deftones above all of this, is their unusual selections of cover songs, these interpretations single handedly introducing me to (or at least getting me into) such incredible outfits as The Smiths, Duran Duran, Cocteau Twins, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and even the Cardigans. Wait, so you mean Deftones helped me escape the metal trap and acquainted me with The Fucking Smiths?? That's just about as important as you can get! Just about...


The 24 Greatest Bands In The World Right Now: 01. Radiohead

01. Radiohead

Active Since 1985
9 Studio Albums
79% Metacritic Average


Ugh! So typical! Such a tasteless topper! So painfully obvious! Be that as it may, the arguments in favour of 'rock' (to put it lightly) band Radiohead ranking as our greatest heroes right now are so dense that it’s impossible to list them all in any reasonable timeframe. So, instead, here are some of the highlights: 1995’s The Bends was called the second best album of all time according to Virgin (behind only The Beatles’ Revolver) and Q agreed (except they put it only behind the band's own OK Computer, lol). Speaking of 1997’s OK Computer, that little record was called the best album of the whole 90s by Paste and Pitchfork, as well as winning the Best Alternative Music Album Grammy for that year. 2000’s (initially slated) Kid A was dubbed the best album of the decade by Rolling Stone, The Times and Pitchfork, as well as me. 2007’s In Rainbows fucked the whole music industry with its 'pay what you want' model, which already made it a legendary release without being called the best album of the year by Billboard, Mojo, Popmatters, and NME, as well as one of the decade’s best by NME (#10) and Newsweek (#5). But what makes these accolades more impressive, is that these heroes show no signs of slowing down, even as recent as last year's A Moon Shaped Pool, which Exclaim!, Slant, and The Sunday Times called the very best thing out in 2016. Take all of this with their 30 million copies sold worldwide, and it would have been a larger statement to not place them at the top of this list. Instead, I had to be honest, and I surrendered them right here, as the best band in the world right now, already a huge factor of musical history no matter which part of your meal you eat first, and I'm willing to stab you for it.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

I Read The Satanic Bible So You Don't Have To

I Read The Quran So You Don't Have To

A word of warning if you yourself have ever contemplated giving The Satanic Bible a read: suddenly all of your friends will become experts on the topic. It quickly became obvious to me that, no matter what their background was, everyone in the world has already arrived at some preconceived idea on what it is this religion teaches us, whether it be the holier-than-thou devout fundamentalists whose eyeballs quiver at the very mention at the name Lucifer, or those casual researches who have uncovered a few keywords which contradict the common perception of Satan and utilise that fragmented knowledge to verify their self-proclaimed qualification on the subject matter (of which I was once a member). But what’s important to note from the beginning, is that everyone was completely wrong.

Satanism is not exactly the worship of some deity with horns who lives under the ground and sets naughty people on fire. Anyone with any incentive and an internet connection to Wikipedia can tell you that, and I myself have educated many an uncomfortable crowd to the injustices this belief system has faced as a result of this ignorance. “Satanism is about worship of oneself!” I would proudly spread my knowledge without any references, and then smugly sit back as the audience would try to ignore the fact that I had just defended the one church we have all been taught to fear. I cringe now when imagining an accomplished Satanist listening to my late night ramblings, as I would have been the easiest target to trip up on the way to school. For I now know that Satanism does, in actual fact, believe in Satan. Much like anything, it’s a word, a representative for getting away from an external form of worship, and indulging in whatever actions make you happy. Yet even as a symbol, this bible spends much of its time referring to Satan as a personality; a personification of anti-religion, whilst acknowledging the devil in all scriptures as exactly the spooky mascot they were hoping for, which goes against the very idea of worshipping oneself in the first place. What if (like so many) the idea of Satan makes one feel distressed, even if they fully subscribe to the philosophy of feeding into one’s own pleasures? It’s a contradiction at the root level, unnecessary and juvenile, as pointless as the boy carving pentagrams on his desk to invoke horror and call attention to himself (note: I was once that boy). It’s ridiculous, and already a difficult favour to ask, even for someone who tries their best to take the book seriously.

Ok, so if not quite the worship of the Evil Spirit, and if not quite the worship of oneself, what exactly is Satanism trying to do here? And I can answer that question so quickly, that the book itself becomes redundant. In summary, it’s a complete fucking cop-out: whatever works for you, is what Satanism is. Their core belief is that we should do whatever we like as long as it makes us happy and we don't hurt any innocent bystanders. Such a basic concept has been spoken about to death by countless self-help speakers and greedy narcissists alike, but what makes The Satanic Bible unique in its approach, is that it attacks from a religious angle, blaming other faiths for everything that is wrong in the world, and somehow reaching the conclusion that quiet atheism/agnosticism simply won’t cut the animosity these ancient scriptures deserve. It holds the church responsible for tarnishing Lucifer’s name, whilst rightfully pointing out that it was Satan who has kept the church in business for all these years. It repeats the cliché idea which points out how hypocritical the religious God is: an omnipresent being who has created us to be exactly who we are, has sent the message that he loves us all, and then smites us with an almighty blow of plagues and disease and other countless human ailments when we don't adhere to his every vague command. It’s the whole “with friends like these, why do we need to fear Satan?” slogan, which is as true as it is fucking boring and overused. Team this creed hatred with the suggestion that we should love those who deserve it but hate those who don’t, and you have Satanism in a lunchbox: one vengeful and selfish and materialistic belief system, harmless and laughable to anyone of intelligence, hardly as scary as Jesus told you it would be, yet a very dangerous philosophy for certain people to follow and find a supportive community within, encouraging dark egos to step on anyone to get to where they want to go.

However, over a million copies sold can’t be completely useless, and of course, it is not. I’ll be the first to admit that Anton LaVey has always rubbed me the wrong way, but if you can ignore his liberal use of the exclamation point(!), the dude does most definitely write very well. I guess that’s what this so-called “religious text” has to its advantage above all the others: it’s a recent publication, and in that modern way, becomes a relief to read something so much closer to our contemporary understandings, far more relevant to our current lives than some other prophetic writings that came out 2000 odd fucking years ago. Time has been its greatest weapon in these religious comparisons, to the point that it’s almost not fair for such a new-age doctrine to viciously attack those that predate it like they do, as if a teenager beating the shit out of a senior citizen. But its historical and educational value cannot be disregarded, as its forte for emphasising the hypocrisies and obsolete absurdness of other segregated worships is very convincing, and I, for one, was successfully persuaded that everything we are taught about the Devil was merely a method for the church to undermine the preceding Pagan rituals and then capitalising on their downfall. But above all else, it was a logical and grounded read, hardly anything diabolic or mythical about it, rather considering curses to be as uncomplicated as someone who does you wrong (for example), or sacrifices to be symbolic rather than a bunch of blood on an altar. Although, that said, these practices are still somewhat represented to one degree or another, which is where the line gets confusing.

And that’s where the main source of my opposition stems from. It’s contradictory, not only in regards to the muddled "live your life however you see fit yet hail Satan" type of inconsistency, but also how fast it is to reject that any other form of prayer or worship will work, yet spends a vast amount of pages advocating magic and rituals, which I fail to see the difference between (because I know how to pray properly). Furthermore, so much of this book’s content has been said a million times before, the vast majority of its concepts featuring in various superior Satanless pieces of literature as well as many late night drug-driven pseudophilosophical conversations I have endured in my time. It’s difficult to conclude whether this tiresome factor is a result of how un-revolutionary The Satanic Bible actually is in reality, or whether its ideas were so grand and progressive that this very book was the catalyst for such concepts becoming commonplace, but regardless, very little of its revelations were news to me. Below even this, as my primary gripe against the entire experience, was Anton LaVey himself. I mean, what the fuck gave him the right to claim the Satanist title? One theory so imperative to the very existence of all religion, now kidnapped and mutilated into his own little fucktoy, redefining its purpose for Anton's own gain. It’s sacrilegious and it’s rude and it should not be allowed.

With all of this bundled together, however, I must confess that I did find the book to be shamefully entertaining and (despite how awkward I felt reading it on the tube, and despite of how much of a walking cliché I felt every time death metal came into my headphones whilst I held this book in my hands) I always looked forward to reading it, like a naughty kid who found his uncle’s porno stash. This is because, at the end of the day, I love Satan like I love the wolf, the common enemy to all fairy tales and/or religions (which could be fairly interchangeable, to be fair), and I admired what it was trying to achieve as a whole. If you truly pick it apart bit by bit, it did make a helluva lot more sense than any other holy documentation, and even more than that, it encouraged individuality and strived to make you feel good about yourself—a celebration of your own person—which is the polar opposite of all other religions, and as a result, had a unique power to it. And if nothing else, it’s a cool thing to say I have read.

Now, if you yourself don't care enough to brave this villainous content, you don't need to! For below I have selected the most standout pieces from the bible, and then commented on them with my own endless wisdom, which means you could simply scroll through these bits and still come away with a greater awareness of the misunderstood belief whilst collecting a larger amount of ammunition next time the Satanic debate falls on your radar. Don't say I don't do anything for you.


THE NINE SATANIC STATEMENTS


Like the 10 commandments, Satanism could not be left out. Google them if you're interested, but it's all about indulgence and retaliation and just doing what you like really.


(FIRE)
BOOK OF SATAN
THE INFERNAL DIATRIBE


THE BOOK OF SATAN


This whole chapter is ridiculous, he actually speaks from the perspective of Satan, as if this truly was a bible, as if Satan was actually a talking entity. It's comedic, if anything.

II 6. - No creed must be accepted upon authority of a "divine" nature. Religions must be put to the question. No moral dogma must be taken for granted - no standard of measurement deified. There is nothing inherently sacred about moral codes. Like the wooden idols of long ago, they are the work of human hands, and what man has made, man can destroy!
II 7. - He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom.

Question everything, I can get on board with that.

III 5. - Is not "lust and carnal desire" a more truthful term to describe "love" when applied to the continuance of the race? Is not the "love" of the fawning scriptures simply a euphemism for sexual activity, or was the "great teacher" a glorifier of eunuchs?

Love is basically just an emotion to encourage reproduction, which is probably true.

III 7. - Hate your enemies with a whole heart, and if a man smite you on one cheek, smash him on the other!; smite him hip and thigh, for self-preservation is the highest law!
III 8. - He who turns the other cheek is a cowardly dog!
III 9. - Give blow for blow, scorn for scorn, doom for doom - with compound interest liberally added thereunto! Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, aye four- fold, a hundred- fold! Make yourself a Terror to your adversary, and when he goeth his way, he will possess much additional wisdom to ruminate over. Thus shall you make yourself respected in all the walks of life, and your spirit - your immortal spirit - shall live, not in an intangible paradise, but in the brains and sinews of those whose respect you have gained.

I do quite like the vengeance aspect, it's a refreshing contradiction to the whole submission of other religious texts, and I guess that's what really sets it apart.


(AIR)
BOOK OF LUCIFER
THE ENLIGHTENMENT

WANTED!: GOD—DEAD OR ALIVE


It is a popular misconception that the Satanist does not believe in God. The concept of "God", as interpreted by man, has been so varied throughout the ages, that the Satanist simply accepts the definition which suits him best. Man has always created his gods, rather than his gods creating him. God is, to some, benign - to others, terrifying. To the Satanist "God" - by whatever name he is called, or by no name at all - is seen as the balancing factor in nature, and not as being concerned with suffering. This powerful force which permeates and balances the universe is far too impersonal to care about the happiness or misery of flesh-and-blood creatures on this ball of dirt upon which we live.

God is fine as a belief, as it's a word, the definition is up to us, which is a theory I've independently arrived to on my own journey (see my blog piece Everything, All Of The Time).

Anyone who thinks of Satan as evil should consider all the men, women, children, and animals who have died because it was "God's will". Certainly a person grieving the untimely loss of a loved one would much rather have their loved one with them than in God's hands! Instead, they are unctuously consoled by their clergyman who says, "It was God's will, my dear"; or "He is in God's hands now, my son." Such phrases have been a convenient way for religionists to condone or excuse the mercilessness of God. But if God is in complete control and as benign as he is supposed to be, why does He allow these things to happen? Too long have religionists been falling back on their bibles and rulebooks to prove or disprove, justify, condemn, or interpret.

I have my own opinions on why "God" would be like this, but the purpose of this text delivers: Satan as a concept is not the bad guy in the bigger picture.

The Satanist shuns terms such as "hope" and "prayer" as they are indicative of apprehension. If we hope and pray for something to come about, we will not act in a positive way which will make it happen. The Satanist, realizing that anything he gets is of his own doing, takes command of the situation instead of praying to God for it to happen. Positive thinking and positive action add up to results.

Instead of praying and waiting, just go out and get the thing. Pretty sound advice, really.

With all the debates about whether or not God is dead, if he isn't he had better have medicare!

Funny? If nothing else, at least this text has a sense of humour, which I doubt many can boast.

THE GOD YOU SAVE MAY BE YOURSELF


God can do all the things man is forbidden to do - such as kill people, perform miracles to gratify his will, control without any apparent responsibility, etc. If man needs such a god and recognizes that god, then he is worshipping an entity that a human being invented. Therefore, he is worshipping by proxy the man that invented god. Is it not more sensible to worship a god that he, himself, has created, in accordance with his own emotional needs - one that best represents the very carnal and physical being that has the idea - power to invent a god in the first place?

The whole "God can commit sins" is a pretty smart point. Doesn't seem fair, now that I think about it? So the advice here is to stop worshipping externally and make your own God inside of yourself, which is the fundamental basis of the Satanic thought in the first place.

SOME EVIDENCE OF A NEW SATANIC AGE


This chapter was cool, as it encouraged the "seven deadly sins" by pointing out how we are all guilty of them and the advantages of this. Greed and envy, for example, result in ambition. Gluttony can be balanced out by pride, the two cancelling each other out. Pride itself is something everyone does, rightfully demonstrated by how the choices of clothes we wear are hardly ever exclusively for warmth, rather for style and an attempt to impress. Sloth was never addressed properly. And, finally, lust, a completely normal human incentive for breeding, was chosen to be a sin by the church in order to ensure people would always be guilty, and therefore justified the church's existence. Probably true.

It is the "Devil" who caused women to show their legs, to titillate men - the same kind of legs, now socially acceptable to gaze upon, which are revealed by young nuns as they walk about in their shortened habits. What a delightful step in the right (or left) direction! Is it possible we will soon see "topless" nuns sensually throwing their bodies about to the "Missa Solemnis Rock"? Satan smiles and says he would like that fine - many nuns are very pretty girls with nice legs.

Haha, can't argue.

Many churches with some of the largest congregations have the most hand-clapping, sensual music - also Satanically inspired. After all, the Devil has always had the best tunes.

Can't argue with that either.

"Satanism is based on a very sound philosophy," say the emancipated. "But why call it Satanism? Why not call it something like 'Humanism' or a name that would have the connotation of a witchcraft group, something a little more esoteric - something less blatant." There is more than one reason for this. Humanism is not a religion. It is simply a way of life with no ceremony or dogma. Satanism has both ceremony and dogma. Dogma, as will be explained, is necessary.

While I'm glad he addressed this, I feel it was skimmed over just to prove awareness of the resistance to the name, and did little to convince me that the title "Satanism" was chosen for anything other than controversy.

Satanism represents a form of controlled selfishness. This does not mean that you never do anything for anyone else. If you do something to make someone for whom you care happy, his happiness will give you a sense of gratification.

The often debated "is there such a thing as a selfless act?" question. I've always said that there is not, and the Bad Book agrees.

Inevitably, the next question asked is: "Granted, you can't call it humanism because humanism is not a religion; but why even have a religion in the first place if all you do is what comes naturally, anyway? Why not just do it?"
Modern man has come a long way; he has become disenchanted with the nonsensical dogmas of past religions. We are living in an enlightened age. Psychiatry has made great strides in enlightening man about his true personality. We are living in an era of intellectual awareness unlike any the world has ever seen.
This is all very well and good, but - there is one flaw in this new state of awareness. It is one thing to accept something intellectually, but to accept the same thing emotionally is an entirely different matter. The one need that psychiatry cannot fill is man's inherent need for emotionalizing through dogma. Man needs ceremony and ritual, fantasy and enchantment. Psychiatry, despite all the good it has done, has robbed man of wonder and fantasy which religion, in the past, has provided.

The reason he called it a religion is addressed here and continues for a bit, and I totally get it. Beat the system from the inside.

HELL, THE DEVIL, AND HOW TO SELL YOUR SOUL


This chapter is pretty cool, and comes complete with a comprehensive list of all the "infernal names" for the devil, which is fun, and seems quite important as the book goes on, calling on certain monikers for certain things, depending on what you want.

The association of the goat with the Devil is found in the Christian Bible, where the holiest day of the year, the Day of Atonement, was celebrated by casting lots for two goats "without blemish", one to be offered to the Lord, and one to Azazel. The goat carrying the sins of the people was driven into the desert and became a "scapegoat". This is the origin of the goat which is still used in lodge ceremonies today as it was also used in Egypt, where once a year it was sacrificed to a God.

A little history of Satan, of which the above is only a snippet. It's an interesting and educational read, if nothing else.

To the Satanist, it is unnecessary to sell your soul to the Devil or make a pact with Satan. This threat was devised by Christianity to terrorize people so they would not stray from the fold. With scolding fingers and trembling voices, they taught their followers that if they gave in to the temptations of Satan, and lived their lives according to their natural predilections, they would have to pay for their sinful pleasures by giving their souls to Satan and suffering in Hell for all eternity. People were led to believe that a pure soul was a passport to everlasting life.

You should have assumed this to be the case by now.

(Even with all their threats of eternal damnation and soul roasting, Christian missionaries have run across some who were not so quick to swallow their drivel. Pleasure and pain, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. So, when missionaries ventured into Alaska and warned the Eskimos of the horrors of Hell and the blazing lake of fire awaiting transgressors, they eagerly asked: "How do we get there?"!)

I found this very amusing.

So, if "evil" they have named us, evil we are - and so what! The Satanic Age is upon us! Why not take advantage of it and LIVE!*

That asterix leads to a footnote which felt the need to point out that "live" is "evil" reversed. Potentially the lamest part of the whole book.

SATANIC SEX


I liked how this chapter fell on page 66 on my edition.
This was one of the better sections too, I could get on board with it.

Satanism condones any type of sexual activity which properly satisfies your individual desires - be it heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or even asexual, if you choose. Satanism also sanctions any fetish or deviation which will enhance your sex-life, so long as it involves no one who does not wish to be involved.

You've got to respect Satanism for their tolerance towards any sexual preference, completely subscribed to equality and consensual sex, unlike most judgemental religious texts available.

If all parties involved are mature adults who willingly take full responsibility for their actions and voluntarily engage in a given form of sexual expression - even if it is generally considered taboo - then there is no reason for them to repress their sexual inclinations.
If you are aware of all the implications, advantages, and disadvantages, and are certain your actions will hurt no one who does not wish or deserve to be hurt, you have no cause to suppress your sexual preferences.

Elaboration on consensual freedom of desire.

Just as no two people are exactly the same in their choice of diet or have the same capacity for the consumption of food, sexual tastes and appetites vary from person to person. No person or society has the right to set limitations on the sexual standards or the frequency of sexual activity of another. Proper sexual conduct can only be judged within the context of each individual situation. Therefore, what one person considers sexually correct and moral may be frustrating to another. The reverse is also true; one person may have great sexual prowess, but it is unjust for him to belittle another whose sexual capacity may not equal his own, and inconsiderate for him to impose himself upon the other person, i.e., the man who has a voracious sexual appetite, but whose wife's sexual needs do not match his own. It is unfair for him to expect her to enthusiastically respond to his overtures; but she must display the same degree of thoughtfulness. In the instances when she does not feel great passion, she should either passively, but pleasantly, accept him sexually, or raise no complaint if he chooses to find his needed release elsewhere - including auto- erotic practices.

A refreshing take on cheating and being honest to exploring what it is that makes you happy on a sexual front. Once again, I can see the value, it could probably save marriages rather than destroy them.

INDULGENCE . . . NOT COMPULSION


People often mistake compulsion for indulgence, but there is a world of difference between the two. A compulsion is never created by indulging, but by not being able to indulge. By making something taboo, it only serves to intensify the desire. Everyone likes to do the things they have been told not to. "Forbidden fruits are sweetest."

The difference is rather logical when you put it that way, Mr LaVey.

It has become very fashionable to concentrate on the betterment of the mind and spirit, and to consider giving pleasure to one's body (the very shell without which the mind and spirit could not exist) to be coarse, crude, unrefined, as of late, most people who deem themselves emancipated have left normalcy only to "transcend" into idiocy! By way of bending their behinds around to meet their navels, subsisting on wild and exotic diets like brown rice and tea, they feel they will arrive at a great state of spiritual development.

I found this very funny, and is even more true today. Although I can't fully agree that turning your back on healthy eating and exercise would do you any good. You'll get fat!

If anyone thinks that by denying his natural desires he can avoid mediocrity, he should examine the Eastern mystical beliefs which have been in great intellectual favor in recent years. Christianity is "old-hat", so those who wish to escape its fetters have turned to so-called enlightened religions, such as Buddhism. Although Christianity is certainly deserving of the criticism it has received, perhaps it has been taking more than its share of the blame. The followers of the mystical beliefs are every bit as guilty of the little humanisms as the "misguided" Christians. Both religions are based on trite philosophies, but the mystical religionists profess to be enlightened and emancipated from the guilt-ridden dogma which is typified by Christianity. However, the Eastern mystic is even more preoccupied than the Christian with avoiding animilastic actions that remind him he is not a "saint", but merely a man - only another form of animal, sometimes better, more often worse, than those who walk on all fours; and who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development", has become the most vicious animal of all!

Dissing Eastern philosophies is something I'm not used to hearing, and I admire the fairness. I also appreciated how he rightfully stated that Christ has been overly blamed.

The simple fact of the matter is that the very thing which has led this type of person to a faith which preaches abstinence, is indulgence. Their compulsive masochism is the reason for choosing a religion which not only advocates self-denial, but praises them for it; and gives them a sacrosanct avenue of expression for their masochistic needs. The more abuse they can stand, the holier they become.

Religion is a form of masochism? Very interesting idea, and makes some sense. It does seem weird that a chosen path of intentionally depraving oneself of "sin" makes a person feel superior to others, a bit backwards.

If all attempts to sell something (be it a product or an idea) have failed - sex will always sell it. The reason for this is that even though people now consciously accept sex as a normal and necessary function, their subconscious is still bound by the taboo which religion has placed upon it. So, again, what is denied is more intensely desired. It is this bugaboo regarding sex which causes the literature devoted to the Satanic views on the subject to overshadow all else written about Satanism.

Sex sells, we know this, but this is a damn good theory as to why, and I believe it. Good paragraph.

ON THE CHOICE OF A HUMAN SACRIFICE


I love this chapter, because upon skimming the section titles, it does seem to offer the scary shit Satanism has built its reputation upon. However, once reading, the idea of a human sacrifice seems like a symbolic one, opting to destroy the target by means of mental or emotional attacks.

The only time a Satanist would perform a human sacrifice would be if it were to serve a two-fold purpose; that being to release the magician's wrath in the throwing of a curse, and more important, to dispose of a totally obnoxious and deserving individual.

Although, wait, what does this mean? Is it ok to kill someone after all? Eekers.

Under no circumstances would a Satanist sacrifice any animal or baby!

Well, that's good.

The "ideal sacrifice" may be emotionally insecure, but nonetheless can, in the machinations of his insecurity, cause severe damage to your tranquility or sound reputation. "Mental illness", "nervous breakdown", "maladjustment", "anxiety neuroses", "broken homes", "sibling rivalry", etc., etc., ad infinitum have too long been convenient excuses for vicious and irresponsible actions. Anyone who says "we must try to understand" those who make life miserable for those undeserving of misery is aiding and abetting a social cancer! The apologists for these rabid humans deserve any clobberings they get at the hands of their charges!

Bwhahaha oh God, how is this for a Social Justice Warrior's biggest nightmare!

LIFE AFTER DEATH THROUGH FULFILLMENT OF THE EGO


Life is the one great indulgence; death the one great abstinence. To a person who is satisfied with his earthly existence, life is like a party; and no one likes to leave a good party. By the same token, if a person is enjoying himself here on earth he will not so readily give up this life for the promise of an afterlife about which he knows nothing.

This is a very important point for the Satanism philosophy. So many religions focus upon life after death, it's their whole game, whereas the above encourages us to not worry about that and do our best to survive against all odds, not relying on some promise of an afterlife. It's also a good shout opposing suicide.

Belief in reincarnation provides a beautiful fantasy world in which a person can find the proper avenue of ego-expression, but at the same time claim to have dissolved his ego. This is emphasized by the roles people choose for themselves in their past or future lives.

I like this paragraph a lot, sums up the chapter nicely and really demonstrates the paradox of the whole reincarnation belief.

Self-sacrifice is not encouraged by the Satanic religion. Therefore, unless death comes as an indulgence because of extreme circumstances which make the termination of life a welcome relief from the unendurable earthly existence, suicide is frowned upon by the Satanic religion.
Religious martyrs have taken their own lives, not because life was intolerable for them, but to use their supreme sacrifice as a tool to further the religious belief. We must assume, then, that suicide, if done for the sake of the church, is condoned and even encouraged - even though their scriptures label it a sin - because religious martyrs of the past have always been deified.
It is rather curious that the only time suicide is considered sinful by other religions is when it comes as an indulgence.

Shots fired! Very true, this is.

RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS


The highest of all holidays in the Satanic religion is the date of one's own birth.

Fuck yeah, I've been doing this one right for years now.

Despite the fact that some of us may not have been wanted, or at least were not particularly planned, we're glad, even if no one else is, that we're here! You should give yourself a pat on the back, buy yourself whatever you want, treat yourself like the king (or god) that you are, and generally celebrate your birthday with as much pomp and ceremony as possible.

I'm sorry, but how lovely is this?

THE BLACK MASS


This was an interesting chapter, with quite a decent history on the religion's mass, including a quick summary of French cult leader La Voisin, the originator of the commercial black mass. This lead to further research on my part, and it was pretty intense, I recommend you do the same.

The stories of unbaptized babies being stolen by Satanists for use in the mass were not only effective propaganda measures, but also provided a constant source of revenue for the Church, in the form of baptism fees. No Christian mother would, upon hearing of these diabolical kidnappings, refrain from getting her child properly baptized, post haste.

This sounds like something that could be true.

To the Satanist, the black mass, in its blaspheming of orthodox rites, is nothing more than a redundancy. The services of all established religions are actually parodies of old rituals performed by the worshippers of the earth and the flesh. In attempts to de-sexualize and de-humanize the Pagan beliefs, later men of spiritual faith whitewashed the honest meanings behind the rituals into the bland euphemisms now considered to be the "true mass". Even if the Satanist were to spend each night performing a black mass, he would no more be performing a travesty than the devout churchgoer who unwittingly attends his own "black mass" - his spoof on the honest and emotionally-sound rites of Pagan antiquity.

I found this interesting, but only serves to make me question all types of modern day mass, including that of Satanism.


(EARTH)
BOOK OF BELIAL
THE MASTERY OF THE EARTH


THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF SATANIC MAGIC



 I really appreciated this chapter, as it spoke of magic in ways of manipulation, seduction, misdirection, wonderment—even such simple techniques as appearance and scent—which was really rational and demystified the whole spooky woooo Satanic magic concepts.

THE THREE TYPES OF SATANIC RITUAL


This chapter broke down rituals into three sections: sex (yes please); compassionate (the helping of others of yourself); and destruction (the "evil" side of provoking harm on others). As much as I welcomed the neat organisation, it did lose me a bit here. It was like, who does Anton think he is to make up all these rules? I call bullshit. It even came with "warnings" about how they can backfire, which I guess falls too far out of my belief system at this point of my life.

One of the greatest of all fallacies about the practice of ritual magic is the notion that one must believe in the powers of magic before one can be harmed or destroyed by them. Nothing could be farther from the truth, as the most receptive victims of curses have always been the greatest scoffers. The reason is frighteningly simple. The uncivilized tribesman is the first to run to his nearest witch-doctor or shaman when he feels a curse has been placed upon him by an enemy. The threat and presence of harm is with him consciously, and belief in the power of the curse is so strong that he will take every precaution against it. Thus, through the application of sympathetic magic, he will counteract any harm that might come his way. This man is watching his step, and not taking any chances.

That said, this was pretty interesting.


THE INGREDIENTS USED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF SATANIC MAGIC


A. Desire

Desire is basically the motivation.

The Satanist performs his ritual to insure the outcome of his desires, and he would not waste his time nor force of will on something so inconclusive as rolling a pencil off a table, etc. through the application of magic. The amount of energy needed to levitate a teacup (genuinely) would be of sufficient force to place an idea in a group of people's heads half-way across the earth, in turn, motivating them in accordance with your will. The Satanist knows that even if you succeeded in lifting the teacup from the table, it would be assumed that trickery was used anyway. Therefore, if the Satanist wants to float objects in mid- air, he uses wires, mirrors, or other devices, and saves his force for self-aggrandizement. All "gifted" mediums and white- light mystics practice pure and applied stage magic, with their blindfolds and sealed envelopes, and any fairly competent stage magician, carnival worker, or lodge-hall entertainer can duplicate the same effect - although lacking, perhaps, the sanctimonious "spiritual" overtones.

I get this. Why do something the hard way when you can do it the easy way, to the same result? People will doubt you anyway. That said, I was amused that he makes it sound like he could levitate a teacup if he so wanted to, but he just doesn't want to, lol, sure, buddy.

A little child learns that if he wishes for something hard enough, it will come true. This is meaningful. Wishing indicates desire, whereas prayer is accompanied by apprehension. Scripture has twisted desire into lust, covetousness, and greed. Be as a child, and do not stifle desire, lest you lose touch with the first ingredient in the performance of magic. Be led into temptation, and take that which tempts, whenever you can!

Not sure I agree with the prayer thing, surely that's down to the individual's methods and definitions? But I agree with the "be like a child" thing, everyone always tells me to do that.

B. Timing

In every successful situation, one of the most important ingredients is the proper timing. In the performance of a magical ritual, timing can mean success or failure to an even greater extent. The best time to cast your spell or charm, hex or curse, is when your target is at his most receptive state. Receptivity to the will of the magician is assured when the recipient is as passive as possible. No matter how strong-willed one is, he is naturally passive while he is asleep; therefore, the best time to throw your magical energy towards your target is when he or she sleeps.

Hell yeah, fuck 'em while they sleep! It went on to say that the dream state (two hours before they wake) is the best time to cast your attack, use it, don't use it.

There is, however, an easier way, and that is to simply ascertain the dates and frequency of the menstrual cycle of the woman who is your target. It is immediately before and after the period itself that the average woman is most sexually approachable. Therefore, the magician will find the sleep period during these times most effective for the instillation of thoughts or motivations of a sexual nature.

Good to know?

Should the fearful ask, "Is there no defense against such witchery?" it must be answered thus - "Yes, there is protection. You must never sleep, never daydream, never be without a vital thought, and never have an open mind. Then you shall be protected from the forces of magic."

Ha.

C. Imagery

The adolescent boy who takes great care in carving, on a tree, a heart containing his and his love object's initials; the little chap who sits by the hour drawing his conception of sleek automobiles; the tiny girl who rocks a scuffed and ragged doll in her arms, and thinks of it as her beautiful little baby - these capable witches and warlocks, these natural magicians, are employing the magical ingredient known as imagery, and the success of any ritual depends on it.

I like this a lot, as it agrees with most thought movements that claim visualisation manifests into reality, which (in turn) does justify some sort of ritual practice after all. Use your imagination in your intent, put creative into your ceremony.

Anything which serves to intensify the emotions during a ritual will contribute to its success. Any drawing, painting, sculpture, writing, photograph, article of clothing, scent, sound, music, tableau, or contrived situation that can be incorporated into the ceremony will serve the sorcerer well.
Imagery is a constant reminder, an intellect- saving device, a working substitute for the real thing. Imagery can be manipulated, set up, modified, and created, all according to the will of the magician, and the very blueprint that is created by imagery becomes the formula which leads to reality.

Once again, surround yourself with reminders, create your desires in art form, hold the image of what you want in your head. This is a fairly common idea in our age now.

D. Direction

This section basically informs that impatience works against you, you've just got to let it go once you've set out the intention. Which is exactly the same as the Law of Attraction, and exactly the same as prayer, no matter what LaVey says.

E. The Balance Factor

Hahaha if there ever was a section which demonstrated how full of shit The Satanic Bible is, it's this one. It's basically about how you must manage expectations and be reasonable with the magic you are casting, otherwise it won't work. Such crap.

If, in attempting to attain your goal through either greater or lesser magic, you find yourself failing consistently, think about these things: Have you been the victim of a misdirected, over-blown ego which has caused you to want something or someone when the chances are virtually non-existent? Are you a talentless, tone-deaf individual who is attempting, through magic, to receive great acclaim for your unmusical voice? Are you a plain, glamorless witch with oversized feet, nose, and ego, combined with an advanced case of acne, who is casting love spells to catch a handsome young movie star? Are you a gross, lumpy, lewd- mouthed, snaggle-toothed loafer who is desirous of a luscious young stripper? If so, you'd better learn to use the balance factor, or else expect to fail consistently!

Don't expect miracles, basically. This isn't God you're talking to here haha.

The chronic loser is always the man who, having nothing, if unable to make a million dollars, will reject any chance to make fifty thousand with a disgruntled sneer.

Makes sense though.

The man with nothing to offer, who approaches the man who is successful with grandiose advice and promise of great wealth, has the alacrity of the flea climbing up the elephant's leg with the intention of rape!

Funny image that.

MAGIC IS LIKE NATURE ITSELF, AND SUCCESS IN MAGIC REQUIRES WORKING IN HARMONY WITH NATURE, NOT AGAINST IT.

I mean, all things said though, it does have a point.


THE SATANIC RITUAL

In this chapter he finally details how to perform a ritual, and it pisses me off. Here he is, having spent all this time being rational and philosophical, and then it falls apart into the typical Satanic rubbish you always expected it to be, as outdated as the religions it disses. I was very disappointed, it was far too specific and I felt I could also make this shit up if I wanted to, but then again, I'd still give it a go. I understand the notion of intensifying visualisation, if nothing else.

C. TO CAUSE THE DESTURCTION OF AN ENEMY


a. the sticking of pins or nails into a doll representing your victim; the doll may be cloth, wax, wood, vegetable matter, etc.

Here's that voodoo technique we didn't need.

C. DEVICES USED IN A SATANIC RITUAL (CLOTHING)


Black robes are worn by the male participants. The robes may be cowled or hooded, and if desired may cover the face. The purpose in covering the face is to allow the participant freedom to express emotion in the face, without concern. It also lessens distraction on the part of one participant towards another. Female participants wear garments which are sexually suggestive; or all black clothing for older women.

Sexist and ageist!

C. DEVICES USED IN A SATANIC RITUAL (SYMBOL OF BAPHOMET)


In its "pure" form the pentagram is shown encompassing the figure of a man in the five points of the star - three points up, two pointing down - symbolizing man's spiritual nature. In Satanism the pentagram is also used, but since Satanism represents the carnal instincts of man, or the opposite of spiritual nature, the pentagram is inverted to perfectly accommodate the head of the goat - its horns, representing duality, thrust upwards in defiance; the other three points inverted, or the trinity denied. The Hebraic figures around the outer circle of the symbol which stem from the magical teachings of the Kabala, spell out "Leviathan", the serpent of the watery abyss, and identified with Satan. These figures correspond to the five points of the inverted star.

Pentagram explained.


(WATER)
THE BOOK OF LEVIATHAN
THE RAGING SEA


INVOCATION TO SATAN


In nomine Dei nostri Satanas Luciferi excelsi!
In the name of Satan, the Ruler of the earth, the King of the world, I command the forces of Darkness to bestow their Infernal power upon me!
Open wide the gates of Hell and come forth from the abyss to greet me as your brother (sister) and friend!
Grant me the indulgences of which I speak!
I have taken thy name as a part of myself! I live as the beasts of the field, rejoicing in the fleshly life! I favor the just and curse the rotten!
By all the Gods of the Pit, I command that these things of which I speak shall come to pass!
Come forth and answer to your names by manifesting my desires!

You see! Right there! Literally calls upon Satan, doesn't it?

INVOCATION EMPLOYED TOWARDS THE CONJURATION OF LUST


(Male) My rod is athrust! The penetrating force of my venom shall shatter the sanctity of that mind which is barren of lust; and as the seed falleth, so shall its vapours be spread within that reeling brain benumbing it to helplessness according to my will! In the name of the great god Pan, may my secret thoughts be marshalled into the movements of the flesh of that which I desire!
Shemhamforash! Hail Satan!
(Female) My loins are aflame! The dripping of the nectar from my eager cleft shall act as pollen to that slumbering brain, and the mind that feels not lust shall on a sudden reel with crazed impulse. And when my mighty surge is spent, new wanderings shall begin; and that flesh which I desire shall come to me. In the names of the great harlot of Babylon, and of Lilith, and of Hecate, may my lust be fulfilled!
Shemhamforash! Hail Satan!

Sex prayers, lol. Quite poetic.

INVOCATION EMPLOYED TOWARDS THE CONJURATION OF DESTRUCTION


It repenteth me not that my summons doth ride upon the blasting winds which multiply the sting of my bitterness; And great black slimy shapes shall rise from brackish pits and vomit forth their pustulence into his (her) puny brain.
I call upon the messengers of doom to slash with grim delight this victim I hath chosen. Silent is that voiceless bird that feeds upon the brain- pulp of him (her) who hath tormented me, and the agony of the is to be shall sustain itself in shrieks of pain, only to serve as signals of warning to those who would resent my being.

This whole section was well written and imaginative. I dig it. Evil.


THE ENOCHIAN KEYS


The final 120 pages of this book felt like the most useless to me, with very little info from page to page. To give you some idea: there are 19 Enochian Keys, and for each key, there was a full page for the title, a full page for a one sentence summary of the key's purpose, a full page dedicated to the original Enochian language, a full page dedicated to the elegant translation, and two blank pages between them all. This means that there were basically six pages of fuckall for each one, which seemed to me like an attempt just to make the book appear larger. Even the English Keys were so nonsensical and metaphorical, that you'd end up turning these last pages extra fast, hardly taking anything in.
For that reason, I had to do my own independent research on the matter. It seems Enochian magic is based on the 16th-century writings of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley, which was said to be delivered to them "by angels" and have a "magical effect which cannot be described" which does not fill me with confidence. Apparently LaVey adapted the Aleister Crowley versions of these texts further just to include the name of Satan, to which many (including Israel Regardie, Aleister Crowley's personal secretary) have criticised as a subpar reworking, and even "stupid".

Related: some have also accused LaVey of paraphrasing the Nine Satanic Statements from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged novel without acknowledgement. Anton responded by stating that his variant of Satanism is basically "just Ayn Rand's philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added", which makes me feel like I read the wrong book anyway, so maybe start there instead.