Myrkur responded to allegations that her 2017 black metal song “Måneblôt” is satanic due to lyrics “about ritual sacrifice of a newborn child.” She stated that that’s not the case, in spite of claims made by an organization called ‘Shutdown WSOU’ that has been attempting to shut down Seton Hall’s WSOU radio station for allegedly playing “Satanic” music even though they’re a Catholic university.
Consequence points out that WSOU has been an influential radio station in the New Jersey/New York area, with nightly shows including their “Punk University” hardcore/punk show, a “Vintage ‘80s” hair metal/heavy metal show and an “Out of Babylon” Christian metal show. Shutdown WSOU has been protesting their programming for several years, and posts examples of songs they deem to be “Satanic” due to their interpretation of the songs’ lyrics.
“Måneblôt” is one of the recordings that made it onto Shutdown WSOU’s “Evidence” page with the words “about Child Sacrifice.” There’s also a paragraph about how Mayhem guitarist Morten “Teloch” Iversen had played guitar for Myrkur and toured with her, and pointed out that Mayhem is associated with “convicted serial church arsonists.” Iversen himself didn’t join the band until 2011 and has commented previously on how Mayhem is trying to just focus on the music and leave their troubled history behind them.
The lines that Shutdown WSOU picked out to highlight from “Måneblôt” as their “evidence” that the song is about ritual sacrifice are “In pale moonlight/We bathe in blue/A sacrifice of life born new.” It’s worth noting that Shutdown WSOU also used a translation of the song’s lyrics, which are largely in Norwegian.
In her response, Myrkur stated “For the record ‘Måneblot’ is not about killing newborn babies – it is written in a symbolic manner about a pagan ritual. Ironically, symbolism is something I’ve learnt a lot about from reading the bible (Which I did often when composing Mareridt.)”
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She continued with some of her views on religion and spirituality, “Anyone who has listened to my albums will know I am a deeply spiritual person and feel drawn to nature worship and paganism. The earth is my church if you will. But I am not a big fan of demanding others to obey your personal religious beliefs.”
Myrkur added that she does appreciate those religious beliefs, however, “I have grown a lot the past years and I have become more open and actually LISTENED to people who worship something I simply don’t understand. It has proven to be very inspiring and enlightening. There is room for us all ya know.”
The folk/metal icon closed with the comment, “Lastly I actually don’t get a kick out of offending people just for the hell of it. I don’t have a need to take a s*** on people’s personal beliefs. I actually don’t think that’s cool. UNLESS you’re fighting oppression. In that case then keep ‘offending’ till you’re blue in the face. I just want to have artistic freedom and freedom of speech for all.”
In a follow-up post, she posted a video of her singing “Måneblôt” and captioned it, “I try to be cordial but they keep being close minded. You want to talk about how Christianity came to power in Northern Europe? Didn’t think so. This is NOT satanic. You have to be a Christian to even acknowledge that concept. Don’t anger a pagan woman 🌿. Mareridt means nightmares. My entire album is written based on my personal nightmares. It’s not a demon worship – it’s my own demons and I assure you they have nothing to do with the Bible. And no I’m not MK Ultra either.”
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Other songs that Shutdown WSOU called satanic include Cannibal Corpse’s “Hammer Smashed Face,” Opeth’s “Deliverance” and “The Grand Conjuration,” Misfits’ “Last Caress” and “Skulls,” Candlemass’ “Bewitched” and Electric Wizard’s “Venus in Furs.” Footage of Shutdown WSOU protesting the radio station last week can be seen below. Seton Hall had responded to the protest, “WSOU’s advisory board comprised of WSOU students and alumni along with Seton Hall University clergy and administrators, meets regularly to review the station’s content and operating policies and standards.”
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat