Watch a Christian TV Host Warn Against Metal Bands’ ‘Satanism’ in 1988
In 1988, the Satanic panic was in full swing in the United States. Amid the hysteria, many religious ministries and Christian groups maintained that rock and metal music was a window into satanism for the fans consuming the tunes, especially young people.
TV evangelist Blaine Bartel and the Christian youth program he hosted at the time, Fire by Nite, were just one source of religious media aimed at discouraging "satanic" rock and metal listening among kids and informing parents about the purported threat. In the second part of an August 1988 Fire by Nite episode called "Satanism Unmasked," Bartel singled out Dio, Slayer and other bands, claiming that through the "use of the media by the devil," they were part of the "major reason that satanism is so appealing" to listeners.
What the video down toward the bottom of this post.
"Rock music and heavy metal music has the ear of this youth generation," Bartel says in one segment. "And believe me, they're listening and they're learning."
Displaying the cover art for several then-contemporary metal albums, Bartel insists the devil uses "secular rock, metal and heavy metal" to influence the youth.
"Look at some albums that I brought here," he says. "Dio, you can see here it's called Holy Diver. This group on the cover here has a picture of a demon-looking character swinging a chain and drowning a priest, and of course that represents Satan's attempt to destroy God."
Holding up Slayer's Show No Mercy, he calls them a "very popular group among the satanist groups. You can see the inverted pentagram, which is characteristic of satanic worship, and also the goat's head as well, a lot of satanic symbolism there."
Bartel also names English metal act Venom and Texas punk outfit MDC. Other Christian programs at the time made similar claims about Black Sabbath, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue and untold others.
See Bartel discuss the metal albums at 17:01 below.