International Journal for the Study of New Religions, Vol 4, No 2 (2013)

At the Threshold of the Inverted Womb: Anti-Cosmic Satanism and Radical Freedom

Benjamin Hedge Olson
Issued Date: 7 Jan 2014


During the 1980s and 1990s anti-cosmic Satanism emerged in the UK and Scandinavia as an attempt to merge ancient forms of Gnostic thought, highly performative, blasphemous manifestations of heavy metal subculture, and certain death-oriented, magical traditions from the Caribbean and Latin America. While culturally wide-ranging and syncretic in its theological outlook, anti-cosmic Satanism consistently emphasizes the abandonment of the physical body and a violent apocalyptic merger with an infinite satanic power. Anti-cosmic Satanism has risen in tandem with the popularity of Nordic black metal music, to which it is indelibly connected, making it one of the most controversial left-hand path traditions that has arisen since the 1980s. Paradoxically, anti-cosmic Satanism also borrows much from the folklore and narrative structures of Conservative Christianity regarding the existence of sincerely evil satanic cults. The hyper-transgressive attitudes and anti-Christian rhetoric of both black metal and anti-cosmic Satanism assert a fetishised morbidity, associating death with ultimate liberation.

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DOI: 10.1558/ijsnr.v4i2.231

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