Satanic Ska Is a Real Thing That Actually Exists
Mephiskapheles is the band name — emphasis on the "ska." God Bless Satan is the album title.
Remember the 1994 debut effort from the skankin'-meets-Satan provocateurs from New York? (Yes, the band name's the word "ska" smashed with "Mephistopheles.") Maybe not, but if you can believe it, there was a time when Satanic ska was actually a thing that was happening.
Not that the music ever contained any, we think, actual "The Conjuring"-style instructions for summoning evil stuff. Still, the material Mephiskapheles released in the '90s conveys a type of playful Satanism that sets the inventive two-tone act wholly apart from any other rock-steady bee-boppers with devil-seeking inclinations. Seriously, to whom else can you skank and sing about Beelzebub?
Anyway, looking back on it now, God Bless Satan sounds like it represents some alternative universe of a subculture that was already, at the time, a subset. But that doesn't mean one can't bounce along to the unmistakable groove found on Mephiskapheles tracks such as "Doomsday."
And Mephiskapheles still exists as a music-making entity over 25 years later. On YouTube, another music video exists for the Mephiskapheles tune "Satan Stole My Weed," proving that the act hasn't let up when it comes to shouting out the Devil — or taking hits from the bong — in all of this time.
Mephiskapheles, "Satan Stole My Weed"
According to AllMusic, Mephiskapheles "formed in the East Village in 1990 by lead vocalist the Grand Invidious, guitarist Brendog and keyboardist Brian Martin. Within the course of the following months, the group's classic lineup — also consisting of bassist Michael Bitz, trumpeter Osho Endo, alto saxophonist Alexander McCabe and trombonist Greg Robinson — was firmly in place, and over the next few years, Mephiskapheles toured relentlessly up and down the East Coast, building a tremendous cult following."
Maybe Satanic ska will make a comeback? Hey, the time is ripe overall for a new wave of the Jamaican-born music style that's gone through numerous stylistic iterations alongside British new wave and American punk. Next time it comes back, maybe there will be more songs about the dark lord.
After all, why should metal and rock hog all the Satanic imagery?
Have you ever heard of Mephiskapheles? Can you think of any other Satanic ska bands? Take a listen and see what you think of the swingin' sounds of Satanic '90s ska.