Everything you consider absolute is put to probes with the return of Finland’s industrial metal provocateurs, who began disrupting our conventional sphere in 2017 with King Fucking Satan, followed by 2019’s I Want You to Worship Satan, and now they’ve completed a trilogy with the third full trip titled Occult Spiritual Anarchy. The metal essence is brought upfront on this new exhibition from KING SATAN while maintaining a strong electronic presence, and these elements conspire to produce rapturous symphonies, which then elevate the psyche into states of transcendent awareness as they unfold. Influences from other rhythmic and vocal qualities drive their emphasis, with pounding beats and vibrations to reflect an intoxicated frenzy, and the total power is enhanced through the inclusion of some newer features. KING SATAN examines reality through a revealing lens on Occult Spiritual Anarchy, and it employs a masterly collection of talents to usher in the new aeon.
A psychoactive effect takes hold with the sampled Baudelaire quote and synths on “Left Hand Path Symphony,” and heavy riffing joins the mix as multiple keyed melodies evoke a carnivalesque aura. This electronic potency traverses the heaviness in a myriad of layered infusions throughout, with industrial psychedelia expanding alongside the haunted keys on “The Faces of the Devil,” and a techno variant appears ahead of other obscured lead qualities on “Demon Made Flesh.” Those two are also among the tracks exercising an amplified vocal fury from King Aleister Satan, whose frenzied spirit shifts to express varying dynamics, including a drawn-out entrancement to mirror the rhythmic flow on “Devs Ex Satanas.” His forceful commands are complemented by female choirs from Hekate “Kate” Boss, and her siren song is especially pronounced while elevating the symphonic grandeur of “Human Sacrifice.” This energy radiates across many of the arrangements as melodies carrying a likeness to leads evolve from keyboards, and “The Devil’s Opera” is one that sustains its epic peak with a series of these developments.
The electronic layers are matched by riffs that form a mass with fretted slides and other nuances in the progressions, along with rhythmic points of chugging and open chord emphasis, and shifts to muted techniques of varying speed also occur as they advance cooperatively within the arrangements. A balance of flow and striking intensity is achieved alongside beats possessing the signature dance and mosh qualities of past works, and here perhaps they join in favor of the latter to revive memories of “slam dancing.” Their currents are enhanced by a new versatility appearing through Pete Hellraiser, who wields his drums to reflect the amassing energy of tracks like “Human Sacrifice” with double bass and blast beat alternations. Similar formulas transpire amid the peaks of “Left Hand Path Symphony,” which are also marked by heightened vocal effects, and a quickened stride takes multiple forms while driving the heaviness with grand symphonic notes on “This is Where the Magick Happens.” A pounding attack is amplified by further vocal power on “Devs Ex Satanas,” and the details emerging between its strikes are an example of how percussive intricacies compound the impact of certain passages.
Percussion is also notable when a ritualistic and tribal swagger unfolds on “The Pagan Satan,” and its lo-fi industrial buzz spawns a catchy riff and groove that becomes exalted by evocative soloing, which is another expanded feature raising multiple orchestrations to levels of transcendence. Calmer passages augment the gloom of tremolo melodies on “Beyond God,” and it extends to desolation from bass and synth distortions before an epic culmination takes hold. Its grooving riff and pulse gradually escalates until both vocalists soar over a sustained blast-beaten oppression, and dark forces return in the slow menacing burden of “The Devil’s Opera,” where a compelling apotheosis is captured by its solo and keys before revisiting roots on “Spiritual Anarchy ’22.” This version gives new life and contextual relevance to a now classic track, and a raw hip-hop styled vibe follows in the beat of “Outro (Clowning is Serious Business),” along with demented laughter to convey a final grim reality behind the absurdity.
The written and spoken record of this transformation begins with melancholy on “Left Hand Path Symphony,” where the world deemed “A poem of dead souls” has “No hope for turning back,” and “Clownery, desecration, and blasphemy” are among the “Taboos” advocated to prompt “Creation through destruction.” Knowledge that “When you are excrement you can turn yourself into gold” inspires the search for wisdom, which appears “Where the old guard never want you to go,” and it’s noted how real gods “Reveal themselves only in the dark night of the soul.” This attainment through struggle is recurrent, with “Death, chaos, pain, and sorrow” embraced as a “Grand army in the battle for enlightenment” on “The Faces of the Devil,” and another theme of merging dualities is introduced when stating “God is all and all is one,” while “It uses us to experience itself” references our divine connection to the universe. These continue by observing “The faces of the devil are the eyes of God,” with an alteration to “The I’s of God” showing wordplay alongside deeper symbolism, and it concludes that “In the end they are the same.” These concepts are directed toward higher aspirations of being “Reborn as ONE, in both the flesh and the spirit” on “Devs Ex Satanas,” and pain endures when gaining “Salvation in damnation” on “The Pagan Satan.”
Conceptions of reality are scrutinized on “Human Sacrifice,” with an awareness that “Past times and future lives under the myriad of masks,” and this sacrifice is for “Spiritual emancipation” alongside a “Liberation of reason and sense.” A point above is reiterated in “Reality reveals itself only through the death and pain,” and avoiding these “Makes the reality appear as escapism,” leading to “Cycles of the fantasy confining the misery, boiling to the point where the myths are alive.” A relevant link to the past through “Spiritual Anarchy ’22” details this point by stating “All of your facts and knowledge are really only just sophisticated guesses based on your hopes and fears,” and “even the world’s most renowned scientists say that how we perceive the world is nothing like the world actually is!” A utility is found in that knowledge on “This is Where the Magick Happens” as “There’s always more than meets the eye, in the consciousness of reality,” and “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” A “Deep cognitive re-mapping, through the pain of dissonance” is then undergone in aims of escaping the “Strongest prison of our mind,” where many remain “Chained by the opinions of other people.”
Enlightenment approaches on “Beyond God,” where “Symbolic archetypes depicting the genuine force” are recognized while stripping away various “Principles of human mind” and “Categories of understanding of ever-living cosmos.” This process of moving “Beyond the womb of universe” to encounter “Word without sound, symbol without shape” leads to conclusive realizations on “Demon Made Flesh” with “I am all things ever happened to me, from the smallest joy to the deepest wound, and it is all within my grasp.” Only the question of “Are you a victim? Or conqueror?” remains. “The Devil’s Opera” affirms “There is no other than you to lift you up” and “Help your self to help yourself,” with an earlier theme also reconnected in “But those who can bear it, the pain can be transformed into consciousness.” Savage jesting is executed on “Outro (Clowning is Serious Business)” before the final calls to “Never renounce magick or magick renounces you” and “Never trust a God.” There is much to contemplate here, and these lyrics successfully challenge narrow existential views by combining philosophy and metaphysics with brutal comedic points.
KING SATAN has capitalized on their boundless aural alchemy with Occult Spiritual Anarchy, a work that retains an industrial prominence while highlighting other symphonic and metal qualities, and it reaches heightened levels by integrating newer percussive and soloing elements. Their immersive effects craft dynamic and multifarious hymns, which explore unique planes to keep consciousness engaged, and they also promote deeper contemplation on the topics communicated by energetic and diverse vocals. This musical style won’t appeal to everyone though, and even for myself it tends to be more mood-specific, but the extent of refinements and new features here will undoubtedly make Occult Spiritual Anarchy more accessible, and to a wider audience. When the right mood arises, all the works of KING SATAN, and now especially the achievement of this striking grimoire, should easily captivate those open to the more eccentric possibilities within metal.