Judas Iscariot (band)

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Judas Iscariot
Also known as Heidegger
Origin DeKalb, Illinois, United States
Genres Black metal
Years active 1992–2002
Labels End All Life Productions
Moribund Records
No Colours Records

Judas Iscariot was an American black metal band. It began in 1992 as the solo-project of Andrew Harris, who performed under the pseudonym Akhenaten (after the Egyptian Pharaoh of the same name).


Akhenaten formed Judas Iscariot in 1992 under the name Heidegger.[1] The name was changed to Judas Iscariot in 1993.[1] In 1993 Akhenaten released the first Judas Iscariot demo.[1]

Akhenaten relocated to Germany before the recording of Of Great Eternity[1] because he "could not live any longer in the fucking USA", but insisted he "would like to still be considered a USBM band".[2]

Judas Iscariot performed live at the The Sacrifice of the Nazarene Child festival and at the Under the Black Sun Open Air. Akhenaten was supported by Proscriptor of Absu and Lord Imperial of Krieg "because they are long-time contacts of mine and I felt they have a good understanding of what Judas Iscariot is about". These would be the only Judas Iscariot performances, as Akhenaten stated.[2]

Akhenaten announced the demise of Judas Iscariot on August 25, 2002.[3]

Musical style[edit]

Akhenaten was mainly inspired by Burzum,[2][4][5][6] Darkthrone[4][5][6][7] and bands from the Polish NSBM scene, like Graveland[5][6][8][9] and Infernum.[5][9] The first demo "was composed in traditions of early Darkthrone and Gorgoroth".[1] All Judas Iscariot releases were recorded with a 4-track analog portable recorder.[2] On Heaven in Flames, Akhenaten used a keyboard "only to add dimension to the music. I was very careful not to 'overuse' the keyboards. I generally HATE keyboards, but I think bands like Graveland and Burzum have used them tastefully". He insists that black metal "is not 'pretty' or 'romantic'. BLACK METAL SOUND NOT SOUND BEAUTIFUL!!! This is the sound of the apocalypse!! FUCK OFF FAG-GOTHIC INFLUENCE IN BM!!! I am also completely against female vocals! As Barbarud from Maniac Butcher says, 'FEMALE VOCALS??? WE HAVE OTHER USES FOR THE MOUTHS OF GIRLS!!!!'"[2] Burzum were "a very strong musical influence" on that album.[2] According to the band's former label Red Stream, the recordings show a "slow evolution towards (or crystallization of) what he surely considers a 'pure' or 'true' sound", working towards a sound that "excapsulated and combined at least two different strains of black metal stylistics: the somewhat-slow, moody, atmospheric form of Graveland and/or Burzum's inspiration with the raw, stripped-down, aggressive blasts of Darkthrone". Heaven in Flames was likened to Burzum, Graveland, Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger and US band Demoncy by the label.[10]


Unlike traditional black metal, Judas Iscariot did not deal with Satanism; Akhenaten called Hell "just an illusion like heaven and god...Judas Iscariot is purely against christianity and I mention hell as imagery against the 'beauty' of the cunt god".[2] As the band's name implied, Akhenaten's stated goal was "to spread propaganda against the false reign of christian ignorance" through music.[2] The emotion was particularly directed toward Christian views of morality and compassion, which he believed promoted human weakness instead of individuality and personal development. Akhenaten considered the story of the band Judas Iscariot as documentation of one individual's struggle against the moral boundaries set by Christianity.[3] Furthermore, he expressed contempt towards capitalism, which he dismissed as inextricably linked to materialism.[2] Akhenaten stated that his music was intended to give others strength to live in a world compromised by materialism and irrational religious ideology.[citation needed]

Some of the lyrics on early Judas Iscariot albums are borrowed from the works of English poet and Christian mystic William Blake,[11] as well as from English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, fundamental for understanding the connection between dark romanticism, the esoteric and their connection to heavy metal lyrics.

Akhenaten repeatedly denied holding any extreme right-wing or racist views. In an interview he stated "Judas Iscariot is no Nazi band. I myself am no Nazi either [...] If other bands think they have to include politics into their music, it's their business, but this has nothing to do with my band."[12] He called nihilism "the only philosophy which makes any sense to me" and referred to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.[2] German Rock Hard journalist accused Akhenaten of just reading out of Nietzsche's works the parts fitting his own ideology.[13]



Full-length albums[edit]

  • The Cold Earth Slept Below (1996)
  • Thy Dying Light (1996)
  • Of Great Eternity (1997)
  • Distant in Solitary Night (1998)
  • Heaven in Flames (1999)
  • To Embrace the Corpses Bleeding (2002)


  • Arise, My Lord (1996)
  • Dethroned, Conquered and Forgotten (2000)
  • March of the Apocalypse (2002)
  • Moonlight Butchery (2002)

Split releases[edit]

Live releases[edit]

  • Under the Black Sun (2000)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • From Hateful Visions (2000)
  • Midnight Frost (To Rest with Eternity) (2002)


  • Heidegger (1992)
  • Judas Iscariot (1993)


  1. ^ a b c d e Judas Iscariot - US True Black Metal project by Akhenaten, accessed on 16 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bruno Zamora. "Judas Iscariot interview". TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Statement from the inlay of Judas Iscariot's final release. Judas Iscariot: Midnight Frost (To Rest with Eternity), Sombre Records 2002.
  4. ^ a b Mega. "Interview with Akhenaten of Judas Iscariot". Inferno (8). Archived from the original on 27 April 1999. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Interview with Akhenaten of Judas Iscariot (#04)". Judas Iscariot (official site). Archived from the original on 22 November 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "Interview with Akhenaten of Judas Iscariot (#08)". Archived from the original on 22 November 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Interview with Akhenaten of Judas Iscariot (#12)". Judas Iscariot (official site). Archived from the original on 10 March 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Interview with Akhenaten of Judas Iscariot (#10)". Judas Iscariot (official site). Archived from the original on 25 November 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Interview with Akhenaten of Judas Iscariot (#13)". Judas Iscariot (official site). Archived from the original on 17 January 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Judas Iscariot - Heaven In Flames, accessed on 16 July 2013.
  11. ^ ROB: Secrets of the Tune: Unholy Blake Metal.
  12. ^ Interview on Art of Malice (in German), accessed on 31 December 2012.
  13. ^ Robert Pöpperl-Berenda: Judas Iscariot. Dethroned, Conquered And Forgotten. In: Rock Hard, no. 166, accessed on 16 July 2013.

External links[edit]