“We want to be a voice for those who don’t dare speak up." Dogma are a bunch of sexually-charged, corpsepainted, metal-playing nuns. And they're here to spread liberation and queer love in the rock scene.

Dogma
(Image credit: Press)

Dogma vocalist Lilith appears before us from a darkened corner of her convent, corpsepaint and nun habit in place as part of the aesthetic that has made her band so distinctive. She has one important question to ask: “Do you have anything to confess?”

In an effort to purge humanity of their sins, Dogma are burning the Bible and unleashing their own set of carnal commandments to a trad metal-style beat. Drawn together by “a feral desire to rid the world of restrictive societal expectations”, Sisters Nixe (bass), Lamia (guitars), Abrahel (drums) and Lilith are here to prove everyone can be their own God. Delivering roaring heavy metal sermons, the nun quartet are luring listeners into their blasphemous Sisterhood, welcoming in a new era of personal and sexual liberation. “Our mission is far from the ordinary,” Lilith insists. “Dogma is the living embodiment of defiance. My Sisters and I are united souls drawn to the rebellion, standing against conformity in order to allow the beauty of individuality to flourish.” 

Each nun’s name serves as a facet of what Dogma represent, taking condemned women of myths and parables and allowing their virtue and strength to shine. Lilith explains her own name “represents fierce independence”, while Lamia “embodies seduction”. She reveals that Nixe alludes to ideas of staggeringly tempting beauty, while succubus Abrahel strikes fear into the hearts of men. The group’s self-titled debut serves as their first howl of defiance. Following a nun’s descent into the depths of lust, lesbianism and debauchery, Dogma strike a balance between ridiculous obscenity and potent social commentary, resulting in a fierce, forthright triumph of a record. While certain crude moments will stop you in your tracks - My First Peak’s tale of a nun rubbing one out with the aid of some corn is certainly a stand-out - these moments only amplify Dogma’s message. “Blasphemy serves as a vehicle for us to share our message,” Lilith says. “It defies the status quo, just like we do.”

The blunt delivery of tracks like Made Her Mine, with its glistening, grandiose howls describing two nuns ‘rubbing scissors in the dark,’ depicts queer sexuality free from any sense of guilt. Father I Have Sinned also serves as a sacrilegious twist on the confession, a glorious celebration of sin, sexual temptation and the ultimate rejection of God. But with the likes of Sleep Token, Creeper and Scene Queen leading the charge for rock and metal artists embracing unabashed sex positivity, you might be wondering why now, exactly? “The world yearns for a catalyst for change more than ever - and we plan to be that catalyst,” Lilith states firmly. “We hope to draw in those who resonate with our music and message, so hopefully the right people will find us and join our cause.”

Visually, the nuns are also lovers of shock value. Every video released is another opportunity to push boundaries, oozing lust as they carry out risqué acts that may have even the most rebellious of metalheads clutching their pearls. Yet it all serves a purpose: if Dogma offend you, perhaps it’s time to ponder why exactly female sexuality and promiscuity is considered so scandalous.

“We want to be a voice for those who don’t dare speak up, due to fears of family, friends, or peers judging them,” Lilith says. “We want people to feel assured and determined. We are trying to give people courage, courage to achieve their goals and feel liberated in life, work, sexuality.”

Alongside the strident social and religious commentary, at times the nuns undoubtedly veer into the realms of cheese. And that balance, pushing vital messages while still feeling playful, is what makes Dogma all the more enjoyable. “We want people to have a lot of fun with our music,” Lilith says. “We use lots of different sounds, as we want everyone to enjoy our band and heed our message.”

From glitzy power metal anthems with uber-melodic hooks to symphonic metal grandeur and a big band chorus line like the blast of horns on Free Yourself, Dogma defy restrictions sonically, too. “We don’t want to choose our audience,” Lilith states. “We want the audience to choose us.” While the quartet are decked out in habits and corpsepaint, there’s no set uniform to join the church of Dogma.

“It’s not a mandatory look,” Lilith smirks. “We’re firm on individuality, so of course everybody’s free to do whatever they please. We’ve not performed live yet, but when we do, we plan to make it an experience... and it would be nice to see if any people come to our shows proudly wearing the Dogma veil.”

That’d be the branded veil, sold on their website. Despite being a new Sisterhood, Dogma are making a mark. "We've already heard many stories of people finding hope and solace in our music,” Lilith says happily. “Every story really highlights the transformative power of art, and we’re so honoured to share our message and encourage people to be themselves.”

While Dogma have yet to fully write their own Unholy Scriptures, Lilith hopes that their growing congregation will help spread their message. “We have our principles and we want to share them with the audience, and we hope they will go on to spread the word,” she muses. “As more people join the cause, the stronger the spirit of Dogma will become. We want to start a revolution.”

Dogma is out now via MNRK Heavy

Emily Swingle

Full-time freelancer, part-time music festival gremlin, Emily first cut her journalistic teeth when she

co-founded Bittersweet Press in 2019. After asserting herself as a home-grown, emo-loving, nu-metal

apologist, Clash Magazine would eventually invite Emily to join their Editorial team in 2022. In the

following year, she would pen her first piece for Metal Hammer - unfortunately for the team, Emily

has since become a regular fixture. When she’s not blasting metal for Hammer, she also scribbles for

Rock Sound, Why Now and Guitar and more.