Unless you're an avid NME reader you're probably unaware that a new Neon Death
Slittes 3" came out on FirstPerson
a month or two back… Copies are now available for around the same price
of a pint of Guinness over at Norman
A couple of people have asked about the title of the EP - The Grim War
of Chaos Magick… It's basically a pun on The Grimoire of Chaos
Magick, a book of magical and meditational exercises written by a guy called
Julian Wilde and published
by Sorcerer's Apprentice
in the 80s. I remember reading a newspaper article about the book being implicated
in an 'occult' murder in the 80s, although the prosecutor repeatedly referred
to the tome as "The Grim War of Chaos Magick" - a phrase that stuck
with me. Unfortunately, I'd never been able to track down the article or anything
relating to it since briefly seeing a copy of it around ten years ago…
… until last month when I went book shopping with English
Heretic, who picked up a copy of Brian Lane's Encyclopaedia
of Supernatural and Occult Murder. He opened it and almost immediately
pointed out a reference to The Grim War of Chaos Magick.
So, although it pains me to quote from a book that is complete trash and serves
little purpose other than to capitalise on the misfortunes of others, here's
the extract in question. It concerns the case of one Andrew Newell, who seems
to have commited his crime
at the height of the 1980s 'Satanic
Panic' in Britain during which anyone who listened to Iron Maiden might
be plausibly considered part of a dangerous global Satanist conspiracy:
According to his own evidence, twenty-one-year-old Newell fled from the flat he shared with Philip Booth after Booth became violent and attacked him with a knife after a bout of heavy drinking and eating quantities of 'magic' mushrooms. When he returned to the house at Telford in Shropshire, so he said, he found twenty-year-old Booth had unaccountably been stabbed to death.
Not so, claimed Crown prosecutor Mr. Timothy Barnes QC when Andrew Newell appeared before Shrewsbury Crown Court, charged with murder in December 1987. According to prosecution evidence, Newell was a practising devil-worshipper who had deliberately knifed his unsuspecting friend after they returned from a Guy Fawkes' night bonfire party the previous year. Not only that, but it was believed that after bludgeoning Philip Booth with a heavy chain and repeatedly plunging a knife into his body, Newell performed some homespun Satanic ritual over the dying man's body. Police had found a 'black magic box' (in reality a modest plastic record storage holder) at the scene of the crime, which contained Newell's paraphernalia - candles, a ceremonial dagger, an altar cloth, and a number of books on ritual magic, including the Grimoire of Magick and The Grim War of Chaos Magic [- Lane obviously has his facts wrong here, and Lord knows where else in this mess...]. It was suggested that the box also served as a makeshift altar; painted on to the base of it in blood was an inverted cross.
Aside from his excursion into murder - for which, incidentally, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment - it seems that Andrew Newell was more generally, how to put it … unstable. His diary, found in the murder flat, recorded how he would gaze into a mirror while 'turning into a werewolf'. Scene-of-crime officers had also recovered a slip of paper bearing the words of his favourite heavy-metal band Iron Maiden's song The Number of the Beast, one verse of which read, appropriately, 'The sacrifice is going on tonight; I am coming back; I will return.' [- again some misinterpretation since the lyrics seem to be akin to Tam O'Shanter: the protagonist in the song stumbling upon a diabolic gathering. Lane is quoting selectively from the middle and end of the song.]
It may possibly have been just as Newell's bewildered family claimed, a drunken prank, but his sleeping inside a centuries-old tomb in the disused graveyard at Stirchley 'to be surrounded by the dead', could hardly have helped the jury accept his father's claim that Andrew was not involved in black magic.