Atmospheric Black Metal

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

The most commonly played among the sub-genres of black metal, Atmospheric Black Metal artists typically draw the genre into a less aggressive direction. While much of the black metal genre as whole may be deemed as atmospheric (especially when compared to other extreme metal styles like thrash metal and death metal), atmospheric black metal acts take things a step further. Keyboard use is common in the style, though not mandatory, while the music's pace tends to be slow to mid. Well known performers include Burzum, Darkspace and Fen.

Different types of atmospheric black metal artists may incorporate elements of ambient music, folk music, post-rock or sludge metal, as well as drawing on aspects of other black metal styles, such as Summoning, whose music is both atmospheric black metal and symphonic black metal.

Alternative names for the genre include Ambient Black Metal and Post-Black Metal, the latter typically referring to those artists who draw influence from post-rock and/or sludge metal, but is sometimes also used interchangeably with atmospheric black metal.

Inclusive Atmospheric Black Metal Sub-Genres

Blackgaze is a sub-genre of atmospheric black metal so named for its resemblance to shoegaze music. It may include influences from the neoclassical darkwave and post-punk music genres.

Return to Black Metal

atmospheric black metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

PROGENIE TERRESTRE PURA oltreLuna Album Cover oltreLuna
PROGENIE TERRESTRE PURA
4.85 | 8 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
WODENSTHRONE Curse Album Cover Curse
WODENSTHRONE
4.69 | 13 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
WODENSTHRONE Loss Album Cover Loss
WODENSTHRONE
4.77 | 9 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MARE COGNITUM Phobos Monolith Album Cover Phobos Monolith
MARE COGNITUM
4.63 | 10 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ULVER Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler Album Cover Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler
ULVER
4.36 | 40 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ESOCTRILIHUM Pandaemorthium (Forbidden Formulas To Awaken The Blind Sovereigns Of Nothingness) Album Cover Pandaemorthium (Forbidden Formulas To Awaken The Blind Sovereigns Of Nothingness)
ESOCTRILIHUM
4.74 | 5 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SPECTRAL LORE III Album Cover III
SPECTRAL LORE
4.47 | 9 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
BURZUM Hvis Lyset Tar Oss Album Cover Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
BURZUM
4.27 | 53 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
FEN Winter Album Cover Winter
FEN
4.36 | 13 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
NEGURĂ BUNGET OM Album Cover OM
NEGURĂ BUNGET
4.25 | 40 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SAOR Aura Album Cover Aura
SAOR
4.53 | 6 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MARE COGNITUM Luminiferous Aether Album Cover Luminiferous Aether
MARE COGNITUM
4.42 | 8 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

atmospheric black metal online videos

atmospheric black metal New Releases

.. Album Cover
Song of Lorien
Single
MOONGATES GUARDIAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Last Ship
Album
MOONGATES GUARDIAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Secreta Obscura Mysterium
Album
LUNATIC AFFLICTION
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Flameless
Album
VELDES
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
I: Collision
Album
STRIGAE
Buy this album from MMA partners

atmospheric black metal Music Reviews

MYRKUR Mareridt

Album · 2017 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
I am increasingly convinced that the black metal scene's fixation on aesthetic kvlt purity is far and away its biggest liability. For one thing, when bands buy into it too hard it's a recipe for artistic stagnation; exactly how many bands do we need rehashing the early Darkthrone style, particularly when Darkthrone themselves already nailed it and moved on? For another, it means that whenever someone does something a bit different in a black metal context, there's inevitably a grumpy backlash.

Take Myrkur, for instance, whose debut album had a mixed reaction to say the least. Some of the backlash devolving into either lazy misogyny or quibbles about her indie pop background; those arguments we can toss aside easily, the former as the bigoted nonsense they obviously are, the latter for the absurdly closed-minded attitude they reveal. Who cares where she learned her chops if she produces decent black metal? How does it help black metal grow and evolve if the scene rigorously closes itself off to influences from outside it? Wouldn't someone who cut her teeth outside of black metal and then shifted over to it later in her career be able to bring an interestingly different perspective to bear? It's precisely this perspective which allows Myrkur to really tease out parts of the classic black metal sound which other artists take for granted.

A somewhat less risible set of criticisms came from those who dislike it when their black metal gets blended with other genres, regarding that as a dilution of the music at best, an attempt at bandwagon-hopping at worst. If that's genuinely your aesthetic outlook, fine; you probably didn't like Myrkur's M, and you certainly aren't going to enjoy Mareridt, because far from pandering to a purist audience that she'd likely have never satisfied anyway, Myrkur instead goes even further with her genre blending here, bringing to the fore the dark folk and ethereal wave influences which were already apparent on M.

Compare the covers: M had Myrkur lurking about in the distance, an indistinct shape; here she's stood out in the light, her aesthetic intentions entirely clear. Take it or leave it, guys; for my part, I consider this one of the most interesting projects in black metal today.

SAOR Guardians

Album · 2016 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
As I said in my review of Saor's magnificent Aura, I'm a bit fussy about my folk-metal hybrids and it doesn't take much for me to lose interest in them. Case in point: I quite liked Saor's mashup of atmospheric black metal and Scottish folk music on Aura, but I find Guardians to be substantially less interesting than its predecessor - largely because it seems to be leaning too heavily into the "Scottish folk" angle and playing it up for the audience, spoiling for me the delicate balance of the album.

The addition of Kevin Murphy on bagpipes is symptomatic of that - they're a love-it-or-hate-it instrument at the best of times, and to be honest their inclusion seems to be an attempt to deliberately pander to people's preconceptions about Scottishness and distinctively Scottish music in a way which the previous album didn't actually do.

What you get, then, is a reasonably competent but not enormously special atmospheric black metal album that someone's thickly layered a lot of ostentatious bagpipes and other folk instrument. I just can't get into it the way I do Aura.

OATHBREAKER Rheia

Album · 2016 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Oathbreaker's Rheia finds the band walking away from the crust punk that had characterised their early work, instead hitching their wagon to the "blackgaze" style of shoegaze-influenced atmospheric black metal.

Oathbreaker's particular approach is to do the whole quiet/loud/quiet/loud thing which the post-rock crowd love so, with quieter sections of reflective post-rock alternating with louder black metal sections. Lead vocalist Caro Tanghe offers pleasant enough clean singing during the post-rock/shoegazey sections and reasonably wild shrieks during the black metal sections, and in general the album comes across as a competent exercise in working this particular formula, but on the whole I found that it's rather unsatisfying.

To me, the quiet sections on their own would not constitute especially satisfying post-rock, and the loud sections on their own would not constitute especially satisfying black metal, and whilst you can construct a whole greater than the sum of its parts from such material, Oathbreaker don't quite manage it here. Check it out if you're really keen on the whole blackgaze style.

SAOR Aura

Album · 2014 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Saor's sort-of second sort-of first album (Andy Marshall, the man behind this one-man project, put out the preceding Roots under the project name of Àrsaidh before changing it retrospectively to Saor) offers a really nicely judged blend of atmospheric black metal of the most epic, sweeping sort, and carefully chosen aspects of Celtic folk music.

There's lots of folk/metal blends out there, but I find that a lot of them leave me a little cold because in coming up with the mixture the projects in question don't show much judgement when it comes to what to leave out, which I think is a mistake. Trying to incorporate all the metal and folk tropes and instrumentation into a composition at once just leaves you with a mess; instead, Marshall selects his folk incorporations carefully, a whistle there, a viola there, a bodhrán drum over there, and makes sure that the folk inclusions serve rather than disrupting the atmosphere thus established.

Lyrically speaking, Marshall manages to pull off the trick of expressing pride in his homeland of Scotland and in his Celtic heritage without making it sound like he's coming anywhere near more hateful territory, which gives stealth NSBM bands who try to muddy the waters by just claiming they're singing about ancestral pride even less of an excuse. (If it's this easy to get your message across without steering into ambiguously fashy territory, then if you've ended up there it can only be because you either didn't think carefully enough or you meant to end up there in the first place.)

On the whole, Saor deserve to take their place in the current pagan pantheon of British atmospheric black metal band simply on the basis of this masterful project, and I'll be making sure to hear more of their work when I can.

NEGURĂ BUNGET OM

Album · 2006 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
Since last year (which was 2017 as of this writing), I have been enjoying catching up on a lot of the extreme metal that I missed out on after basically leaving the extreme metal scene back in the early nineties. Two years ago, I had no interest in black metal; however, in the last 16 months or so, I have been checking out classic old school albums and becoming familiar mostly with the Norwegian scene of the nineties. Though this I have garnered a pretty decent understanding of how things were sounding at that time. To help me on further into the dark atmospheric realms of black metal, I recently consulted several lists of top 10, 25, 50 and 100 black metal albums of all time in an effort to find which albums were the most frequently included. One such album was “Om” by Negura Bunget.

I’ll admit that the album cover intrigued me – a curious and distorted human form that, as it turns out, is just exposed grass below a melted and dirty spring snow cover. Having never heard of the band, I looked them up on Wikipedia and as well read a review of the album. When I learned that they were a Romanian band that utilized Romanian folk music and symphonic elements in their music, I knew I had to order this album right away! How curious I was to hear it.

What I have to say now in favour of this album are two things. The first is that I am in no way disappointed with the music on this release. While black metal remains the constant core, there are frequent surprises such as ominously dark-sounding brass parts as well as a string orchestra, and there are also moments of those Romanian folk instruments, most notably the hand percussion instruments. Add to that some cathedral chanting of “Om” in ominous tones, some guitar-less symphonic sections, and some post rock/metal parts and you get an album that plays more like a musical journey than a simple collection of songs.

I’m finding that I really love albums that have a basic sound that I enjoy but which then reveal surprises that contrast with the extreme metal music or complement it. With the awesome over-distorted but well-controlled guitars, the clean and almost pretty moments, and all the extra instrumentation, and you’ve got an album that keeps turning you head.

Now, a lot of the old school black metal albums have intentionally lo-fi quality recording. As it was, I bought Marduk’s “Opus Nocturne” and put it on the playlist right after “Om”. Listening to “Om” was just how I love to listen to music. The sound was beautifully rich and clear. I could see myself drifting through a dim and dense but clear atmosphere of guitar distortion and gravelly vocals while various instruments and sounds passed by me in solid, 3D form or flashes of light. But when “Opus Nocturne” came on, I suddenly felt like I was standing in a shallow stream of cold water up to my ankles. In contrast, “Opus Nocturne” sounded just like a young band in the scene of the time putting out an extreme album with shoddy production (or mastering) while “Om” was like someone with a good studio budget had taken time to craft an album that was a work of art.

The version I bought is a double-disc digipak that has another, more recently recorded album on the second disc. It’s a beautiful package with great design and artwork. I’m curious to hear more from this band, though most sadly the one member holding the band together passed away a few years back and the band subsequently dissolved. “Om” is a fantastic album and it’s easy to understand why it makes a few of those all-time best black metal lists.

atmospheric black metal movie reviews

No atmospheric black metal movie reviews posted yet.

Artists with Atmospheric Black Metal release(s)

atmospheric black metal Index

Member Zone

Username:
Password:
Stay signed in

Metal Subgenres

Artists Alpha-index

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II Power Metal
HELLOWEEN
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

The Last Ship Atmospheric Black Metal
MOONGATES GUARDIAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
Secreta Obscura Mysterium Atmospheric Black Metal
LUNATIC AFFLICTION
Buy this album from MMA partners
Flameless Atmospheric Black Metal
VELDES
Buy this album from MMA partners
I: Collision Atmospheric Black Metal
STRIGAE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Kenoma Black Metal
DEVENEROR
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Between the Buried and Me "Extremophile Elite" (LIVE)
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME
Tupan· 19 days ago
Between the Buried and Me "Astral Body" (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME
Tupan· 19 days ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online