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Rocking Poll Contenders?

Tonight I’ve posted my Darklore Volume 2 article “Occult Rock” here on TDG. Let’s have some fun with the topic and do a poll on the band out there with the most occult/esoteric vibe to it – so who are the contenders? Tool definitely, perhaps Mastodon, probably The Tea Party. Coming from a more psychedelic-esoterica angle, Shpongle? Post a comment and let me know who you think should be on the poll, and then I’ll add it to the site.

  1. Coil – Duh. If anyone votes
    Coil – Duh. If anyone votes for another band as being more esoteric, they’re wrong.

    Throbbing Gristle

    Mind Science aren’t a band per se, rather a glammy 90’s indie rock supergroup side project thing, but their album is my reference for magicky music that’s both interesting and accessible without being written for spooky adolescents.

    1. I concur…
      “At the Heart of it All” is the song I want on continuous loop at my funeral, with an occasional segue into “The Tenderness of Wolves.”

      AWESOME band. It was a sad day when Jhon Balance died…

  2. Eleanore – Parlour Game (Best newcomer)
    Just thought I’d hijack this thread to cheekily promote a friend of the family’s debut album, released just last week.

    Not off-topic, though. The titles of her tracks speak for themselves (The Calling, Demons, Magical, Hidden Wings, The Key). She gets my vote for best newcomer!

    Eleanore is a highly talented and charismatic (currently unsigned) artist with a simply beautiful ethereal voice.

    She writes, composes, arranges and performs all her songs. Her music ranges from rock (Demons) through RnB (Strange) to waltz (Parlour Game).

    Have a listen on iTunes but be warned, it’s powerful stuff!

    If you (or your lady) are into Kate Bush/Tori Amos/Evanescence, you’ll love her. Buy it for Christmas!

    Links for Eleanore:


  3. Coil would be my pick for the
    Coil would be my pick for the BAND with the most occult vibe. They win hands-down.

    However, just sticking to rock bands I’d pick Fields of the Nephilim. Think: Love Under Will, Moonchild, Psychonaut, etc. Trememdous stuff.

    93, all 😉

  4. Onion Peelings
    Killing Joke have always had a strong interest in the Occult. If you exclude the mysterious robed figure that adorns the inside cover of their debut album then they first explicitly mention the Occult when they used a chapter heading from the Book of the Law (“The fall of because”) on their second album (“What’s THIS for?”). Third album (“Revelations”)had it’s original Masonic influenced cover withdrawn after death threats. The ’86 album “Brighter than a Thousand suns” featured the Crowley poem “Onion Peelings” and the track Exorcism from the ’94 album Pandemonium had it’s vocals recorded in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid. In addition to that the ’89 album “The Courtland Talks” is an hour long lecture by lead singer Jaz Coleman on Geomatria and Numerology.

  5. No argument re. Coil/TG – but
    No argument re. Coil/TG – but while we’re at it I’ll toss Unto Ashes and Gong into the ring. And as for solo acts, hard to top Julian Cope for actual hard work & research into the subject.

  6. From Mexico’s side
    Just to give a more international flavor to the poll, I would have to say that two Mexican groups that have (or had) very interesting esoteric connotations in their music and lyrics are: Santa Sabina —named after the famous Mixteco sorceress María Sabina— and Caifanes —some of their lyrics seem (to me) to have a strong resonance with the books of Carlos Castañeda.

    Here’s two examples:

    Santa Sabina: Azul Casi Morado.

    Caifaines: Nubes.

  7. many of my choices (COIL,
    many of my choices (COIL, Throbbing Gristle, Fields of the Nephilim, Killing Joke, Unto Ashes) are already here, and i have learned of a few more (Julian Cope? really? cool!), but i still have several to add.

    Current 93, of course, and possibly Nurse With Wound. Sol Invictus (though perhaps that’s more of a European native religion thing than occult, per se – how are you defining “occult” for this purpose?). Psychick TV. Morbid Angel. Dead Voices On Air. Not Breathing. Sky Cries Mary. The Red King.

    if you’re including bands with a pagan/polytheist vibe, then the A Darker Shade Of Pagan podcast is THE resource.

    if i spent more time, i could probably think of more, but this, i think, will do!

    1. Julian H Cope
      …probably the only rock star to ever deliver a lecture on palaeoarchaeology in the British Museum (in leopardskin leggings, no less!). His 2 volume gazetteer of European sacred sites are splendid – especially as he recounts exactly how to get to them, has photos he took on site and discussions of any workings/tripping/psi sensations encountered. There’s a website:

      I’ve had the pleasure of deep talks with him on these subjects a few year back & his passion (even through the colossal amount of dope we were smoking!) was inimitable.

  8. Gavin, my MAIN man!
    I haven’t seen any mention of the Virgin Prunes yet!
    Their song “Beast [seven bastard suck]” is quite, errr, moving…

    I’m sure most of the folks here have read “The Laughing Gnostic; David Bowie and the Occult” right?

  9. Carl McCoy
    Plenty of good suggestions there, I suppose I should nominate Fields of the Nephilim too. Carl McCoy the lead singer and songwriter really knew his occult onions 9and if you’ve never tasted occult onions you’ve never lived 😉 ), plus he was in Richard Stanley’s film Hardware (as Stanley had done most of their early music videos).

  10. Contenders
    Tool’s already in the mix, but Danny Carey’s electronica project Zaum is a little bit more unknown, with direct references to mysticism (Merkaba, Psychedelic Experience etc.)

    Got turned onto another “esoteric” sounding band through Tool called Collide. Very animated, mysterious music with haunting lyrics sung by a wonderfully talented female vocalist.

    Kind of surprised no one’s mentioned Dead Can Dance yet. They don’t really fit the occult label (although I’m not a big fan of labels anyway), but their songs definitely transport you “beyond the threshold.”

  11. game
    Good article. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.

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