This originally appeared in the dummy issue of 'Bizarre' magazine, which I still haven't seen, or been paid for.


the devil on the dancefloor


If you thought that techno was all about good vibes and smiley faces, you're in for a nasty surprise. A new generation has evolved that uses the dancefloor to raise an entirely different energy. Call it gabba, call it speedcore, call it what you want - it's fast and aggressive music that rivals any thrash outfit. Some of the practitioners have realised that not only does the devil have all the best tunes - he's pretty good with a drum-machine as well.

The Disciples of Belial are the originators of the increasingly popular satanic-speedcore scene. Very little is known about them, their live appearances in London and Europe being the stuff of legend. I had to work through a series of mobile telephone numbers before finally reaching someone who would only admit to being "a spokesman" for the group. He confirmed that, yes, the band are Satanists, and that they are involved with others across the globe. Apparently they perform rituals "when the stars are right" and the forces invoked are then "channelled" into two of the English initiates ("Seth Mendes" and "Baal Equananthorn") who then create the tracks "somewhere near Highgate cemetery". When asked about the ideas behind titles like "Torment of the bastard Nazarene" and "Infibulation of the Virgin Mary" my contact just laughed. And then put the phone down. Eeeeek!

Of course, occultism and dance music is nothing new. Groups like Psychic TV were producing what they called "Acid Dance" music as far back as 1987, and were also heavily inspired by magicians like Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare. The PTV-inspired organisation, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth has even published articles on the shamanic role of the DJ and about performing rituals whilst on the dancefloor. Many of the industrial bands of the 80's slapped pagan and satanic symbols on their record sleeves, the results usually being more cheesy than chilling.

However, this kind of imagery is going through a resurgence. A cross-over with the burgeoning Black Metal and Darkwave scenes seems inevitable. Copies of the Disciples' first 7" are now changing hands for around £75. They've also spawned a whole host of evil imitators with Jack Lucifer, Germany's Christoph de Babalon and SixSixtySix Records in the USA all giving the devil his due.

Disciples of Belial "Goat of Mendes" EP has just been released on Praxis Records (Praxis 17)


Back to Texts