There inevitably comes a time when, as a Bible-believing Chrtistian, you encounter the Book of Revelation and do one of two things: Accept it provisionally with the hope of a forthcoming explanation, or reject it altogether as the delusions of an author too enamoured with an ancient narcotic. A beast with seven heads and ten horns? Four apocalyptic horsemen? A lake of fire? A purported vision of the future, written by a questionable follower of some guru who may not have even existed. Modern Christians handle the cognitive dissonance of Revelation’s fantastic imagery and today’s science by insisting that said imagery are metaphors. Oh yes, the seven-headed beast is a stand-in for a “world government,” some kind of resusciatated Roman Empire. Sure, whatever you say Christian apologist two thousand years removed from the context of when antiquity’s equivalent of The Lord of the Rings was authored by its likewise equivalent of Tolkien.

All of this is a lead-in to a revelation I had the other day, a microcosm of the psychedelia experienced by John, of the tiny island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, sometime before 100 CE. The Bit—a great, heavy song superbly performed by Mastodon—was actually conceived by the Melvins for their 1996 album, Stag. Mind equals blown. I’m usually good at metal trivia, having been immersed in the subculture for as long as I have, but this one caught me off guard. Guess I should’ve been paying more attention to the musical brilliance of the Melvins all along.

Here’s a 2008 performance of Mastodon and the Melvins sharing the stage and deftly belting out The Bit:

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2 thoughts on “The Bit

  1. Great post. Love Melvins. Are you familiar with the book “Environmental Apocalypse in Science and Art”? Very interesting take on apocalyptic culture for our days.

    Thanks for the great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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