Gilles De Rais: A Historic Serial Killer's Playlist

Today we celebrate the death of Gilles de Rais. Back in the 15th century, de Rais took up killing children like it was going out of style, though some claim that he was framed by the Church so it could seize his lands. Here's what went down in the history books, though.

De Rais confessed to having begun kidnapping children sometime in 1432. His body count is supposed to be well north of 40 and may reach as high as 200. At first it was just ridding himself of children he sodomized so they would not implicate him, but then he moved on to ritual torture and necrophilia. There were also accusations of summoning demons using parts of dead children, but this aspect didn't really make up much of his M.O.

He was brought to trial in 1440, and on October 26 he two accomplices were hanged and burned.

Rocks Off thought this would be a perfect time to dance merrily upon the grave of one of histories most abhorrent monsters with a playlist of songs about the man. It's all metal... if you kill more than five people, the International Coalition of Metal Musicians has to assign a band to write a song about you. It's in their charter.

5. Celtic Frost, "Into the Crypt of the Rays"

Celtic Frost really should be mentioned more often when people talk about incredibly influential metal masters. Most of the bands we run across today seem to be ripping them off. This tune comes from 1984's Morbid Tales.

4. Ancient Rites. "Morbid Glory (Gilles de Rais 1404-1440)"

Ancient Rites isn't so much a band as the name that a random assortment of musicians who seem to just pop in and out; only Gunther Theys remains of the band's founding members. Like a lot of Scandinavian metal personnel changes, Ancient Rites' history involves fatal accidents and suicides. "Morbid Glory (Gilles de Rais 1404-1440)" appears on the band's first full-length album, 1194's The Diabolic Serenades.

3. GWAR, "Blimey"

You know we're deep in the pits of evil when GWAR is one of the lighter-hearted acts on the playlist. "Blimey" includes de Rais in a pantheon of historical killers and madmen like Caligula. It also has the line, "Madly failing porno cow get me on the road right now," which we think helps our argument that Dave Brockie is actually John Lennon. Seriously, if you dropped that lyric into "I Am the Walrus," no one would notice the difference.

2. Cradle of Filth, "Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder"

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  • Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019 / 6:30pm @ House Of Blues - Houston 1204 Caroline St Houston TX 77002
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Rocks Off used to not be able to stand Cradle of Filth, and now we think that everything Dani and company do is pure brilliance. Not content to do just a song, Cradle of Filth did an entire concept album about de Rais, portraying him as a righteous man who fell into madness and debauchery following the death of Joan D'Arc, with whom he served.

1. Macabre, "The Black Knight"

We always hope that we'll hear of a history teacher somewhere who assigns Macabre albums as homework. The band fills their songs with incredible amount of historical detail, and somehow it just works despite not being very poetic. Also, does anyone else hear the theme from Spider-Man in the chorus?

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