The 10 Best Metal Bands for Conspiracy Theorists
Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, front, has been known to espouse a conspiracy theory or two.
Universal Music Enterprises/Tradecraft /T-Boy Records
Nowadays, if you talk to anyone about such far-out topics as UFOs, who really shot JFK, the Illuminati or the truth behind 9/11, you're about equally likely to be embraced or ridiculed. Even if you don't believe in any given conspiracy theory, the fact is that such topics have been infused into our culture so much that they are a normal part of the lexicon and appear frequently in TV, film and music, especially hip-hop and heavy metal.
It is no surprise that many artists have used these subjects and other conspiracy theories to create music that is a means of resistance, a political statement, or simply a way to express a story for listeners. Whether you're into ancient aliens, the New World Order, David Icke's notion of the reptilian agenda or just good old-fashioned UFO abductions, these are definitely bands worth checking out. We'll let the music speak for itself and avoid any political dogma. Just be sure to take off your tinfoil hats as you blast the following top 10 heavy metal bands for conspiracy theorists.
10. The Faceless
Although there have been numerous lineup changes over the years in this L.A.-based death metal band, the music has always been inscribed by the sounds of aggressive, extreme metal, and the lyrics have always been esoteric and mind-boggling. Take, for example, the band’s second album, 2008's Planetary Duality. The record is a solid slab of technical death metal, with hints of prog and metalcore, but the subject of this concept album is an ancient race of demonic alien hybrids known as Reptilians, who have taken over humanity through the bloodlines of the elites. The album is based on the book The Children of the Matrix by British author and researcher David Icke, who claims that all forms of power in the world today are traced back through the Illuminati to these reptilian shape-shifters. Their ultimate agenda is to exterminate 90 percent of the world’s population of humans and enslave the rest. Songs like "Prison Born," "The Ancient Covenant" and "Legion of the Serpent" all give listeners a brutal face full of technical death metal and apocalyptic, mythical, out-of-this-world lyrics.
9. High on Fire
Guitarist and songwriter Matt Pike of doom-metal titans Sleep formed High on Fire in 1998 to let out some of his aggression, speed and interest in mythology, comparative religions and other ancient mysteries. With HOF, the speed metal and thrashy grooves of bands like Venom and Motörhead combine with the powerhouse drums and thunderous stoner metal of Sleep to create an epic wall of sound that goes well with lyrics about ancient warfare and the battle between good and evil. The title track from the band's 2010 album, Snakes for the Divine, is a direct reference to David Icke’s notion of the reptilian bloodline and creation of the Illuminati. In an interview with Ultimate-Guitar.com, Pike said, “The title Snakes for the Divine is based on the premise that Adam and Eve weren't the first people on Earth, and Adam actually having a wife that was a Reptilian named Lilith. They were the first two people to actually take the reptilian DNA and make shape-shifting human beings that go between the fourth-dimensional, the Anunnaki, and human beings. Eventually, from ancient Mesopotamia, this spawned a thing called the Illuminati.”
8. Job for a Cowboy
Since their inception in 2003 in Arizona, Job for a Cowboy's sound has evolved from metalcore into a technical, progressive and brutal-as-hell deathgrind machine. They've used their relentless, in-your-face sound to highlight some very frightening themes, such as the real use of implanted RFID chips, which some Christian groups have likened to the biblical notion of the Mark of the Beast and a sign of the apocalypse. Albums like Genesis (2007), Ruination (2009) and Demoncracy (2012) all highlight issues such as the New World Order’s enslavement of humanity, the secret societies that control all governments and wage all wars, and the massive erosion of civil liberties since 9/11.
This Swedish band, formed in 1990, is led by guitarist, singer and musical mastermind Peter Tägtgren. At first the band was a blackened death-metal unit with a focus on Satanic, anti-Christian sentiments. But Tägtgren's lyrics soon shifted to UFOS and other paranormal subjects. Hypocrisy became known for exploring themes of extraterrestrial visitations and the demonic nature of alien abductions on early albums such as The Fourth Dimension (1994) and Abducted (1996), as well as later albums such as The Arrival (2004), Virus (2006) and End of Disclosure (2013). Tägtgren has worked as a producer of such death, thrash and black metal bands as Amon Amarth, Immortal, Dimmu Borgir, Celtic Frost and many more. With the music of Hypocrisy, he gives a musical soundtrack to events such as Roswell, and movies like Fire in the Sky or TV shows like The X-Files.
6. Gamma Ray
This is a band formed by German guitar wizard Kai Hansen after his departure from the power-metal band Helloween in 1988. With Gamma Ray, Kai’s interests in sci-fi and conspiracies surfaced, even as his music continued to represent the best of powerful, melodic speed metal. But it is the 2001 album No World Order that put the band on the conspiracy-theory map — most notably because of the timing, as it was released just one day before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The concept album is based on the defeat of the New World Order and Illuminati, as humanity rises up to fight for freedom. From the opening, it is clear that Gamma Ray are in the same vein as other classic heavy metal titans like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, with a heavy sound that demands immediate headbanging. This record does not skimp on the majestic guitar work, blast-beat drum patterns and insane song structures. Songs like "Dethrone Tyranny," "New World Order" and "The Heart of the Unicorn" give listeners a glimpse into the dark future plan of the master elites.
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