Filthy 15. Mercyful Fate’s “Into the Coven”.

During the 1985 Congressional hearings on music, a couple songs from the Filthy 15 were singled out due to occult topics. Other songs were thought to glorify drugs, alcohol, sex, and violence. “Into the Coven” was singled out for its occult imagery which was considered inappropriate for any to hear.

God is dead! Satan lives!

The song does have references to the devil, witchcraft, and the like. It’s a step by step description of a woman joining a coven of witches. Mercyful Fate’s lead singer, King Diamond, has an absurd falsetto voice which only adds to the fear the song summons.

What an excellent day for an exorcism.

Mercyful Fate was singled out as inappropriate to listen to, and worthy of censorship. However, quotes like the ones above are not the reason why. Because those quotes are from Rosemary’s Baby, nominated for and winner of multiple Academy Awards and Golden Globes in 1969; and The Exorcist, nominated for and winner of multiple Academy Awards and Golden Globes in 1973.

Quotes taken in context, and considered as part of the entire work, have different meaning than those which are cherry picked to support agendas. The two horror movies above are considered classics, from years before this album was conceived. They didn’t cause debate on Capitol Hill or threats of censorship or lead to vague warnings on every movie henceforth.

The album it appears on, Melissa, is a concept album about a husband and wife. The wife, Melissa, is tempted by dark forces and joins a coven of witches. Bad things happen that inspire her husband to want vengeance against those who took his wife away from him. But he has no idea how he can combat evil without possibly becoming evil himself. It’s an impressive romantic horror story that could be the number one movie in theaters.  Or the number one target of people seeking out of context scapegoats.

Halloween is the number two holiday of the year.  American Horror Story is one of the biggest award winning shows on TV. Music is top 40 or nothing and that’s not a fair way to consume or enjoy the world’s oldest form of entertainment.

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2 Comments

  1. My musical tastes haven’t aligned with Top 40 since the 80s. Thanks to the internet and sites like Bandcamp I never have to fumble through the radio dial.

    1. I can enjoy an FM station until I realize who they’re favorites are. The ones played every hour. Currently it’s way too much Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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