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
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
BURZUM Hvis Lyset Tar Oss Album Cover Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
BURZUM
4.23 | 53 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ESOCTRILIHUM Mystic Echo From A Funeral Dimension Album Cover Mystic Echo From A Funeral Dimension
ESOCTRILIHUM
4.46 | 7 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
SUMMONING Dol Guldur Album Cover Dol Guldur
SUMMONING
4.35 | 11 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
Ghost Condensate
Album
MESARTHIM
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
An Isolated Mind
Album
AN ISOLATED MIND
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Heart of Lead
Album
KALEIKR
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Forgotten Paths
Album
SAOR
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Doomed to Live Without Reason
EP
DWELL IN SOLITUDE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Ethic Of Radical Finitude
Album
DOWNFALL OF GAIA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Arv
EP
HERMÓÐR
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Griefloss
Album
GRIEFLOSS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Forest Sky
Album
HERMÓÐR
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Lore (2019)
Album
WINDARK
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Men Amongst Wolves
Album
ERMENGROND
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. 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

ELLORSITH Orbhàis

EP · 2018 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Orbhàis" is the 2nd EP release by Scottish black/death metal act Ellorsith. The EP was released through Dark Descent Records in April 2018. The band´s first release was the "1959" EP from 2014 and in 2016 they released a split with Mannveira. I was personally quite intrigued by "1959" when it was released because of it´s combination of black and death metal elements, dark atmosphere, and concept story revolving around the "Dyatlov Pass Incident". A real-life incident which took place in the Ural mountains in 1959 Soviet, where 9 hikers led by Igor Dyatlov mysteriously died. There are quite a few theories regarding the incident, and everything from murder, to a compelling natural force (which was the official Soviet statement), to UFOs, to nuclear missile testing have been suggested (the group´s tent was tore open from the inside, and all 9 hikers left the tent without their shoes/boots in the freezing cold, and were found dead in odd positions on the mountain side).

So four years down the road and Ellorsith release another EP instead of giving us a full-length album...I´m not happy. But of course that should be read as a positive, as my sour mood is just due to me wanting more than an EPs worth of material (4 tracks and a playing time of 21:32 minutes). Ellorsith again deliver an intriguing combination of atmospheric black metal and death metal. The vocals are firmly placed in death metal growling territory, but the riffs, the occasional blast beats, and the cold and dark atmosphere of the music points in a more black metal oriented direction. It´s a powerful and clever combination, which works really well for the band. One other feature they use often are open chord dissonance, not completely unlike the riff style of artists like Ved Buens Ende, Virus, Void, and Code. It creates a dark mystique which is quite charming.

"Orbhàis" features a raw organic sound production, which suits the material perfectly. It´s not a lo-fi sound production, but definitely not in the clean end either. Ellorsith are obviously a well playing band too, so upon conclusion it´s another high quality release by the band. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved. Now give us that full-length...

NEGURĂ BUNGET Maiastru sfetnic

Album · 2000 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
After the ho hum debut album “Zîrnindu-să,” the Romanian extreme metal band NEGURĂ BUNGET found the stars aligning on the following EP "Sala Molksa” with the addition of Sol Faur (Cristian Popescu) as the second guitarist which really lifted the band’s sound up several notches. Add to that the more sophisticated progressive songwriting techniques as well as a better integrated strain of local folk music elements finding their way into the mix and the band had successfully strayed from mediocrity to becoming one of Eastern Europe’s most innovative atmospheric black metal bands. This trend continued on the second full-length album MăIASTRU SFETNIC (“Masterful Guide”).

This album shows an even more progressive development in the songwriting with six long tracks that stretch out over the 9 minute mark with the only exception being the 6 minute “A-vînt în abis.” Once again Hupogrammos (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Negru (drums) and Sol Faur (bass, guitars) conjure up an aggressive mystical experience that uses aggressive black metal as the template to create lengthy progressive workouts that result in a creepy journey through the Transylvanian forests with spooky atmospheric embellishments coinciding with buzzsaw guitar riffs and pummeling bass and drum rhythmic sections. The experience is augmented with connections to antiquity through the use of Romanian folklore and traditional sounds that would continue to increase up to the band’s most famous offering “Om.”

At this point the band exists in a rawer form of adrenalized second wave black metal however the music is enshrouded in a mystical brume of symphonic and artistic touches and overall comes off as rather hypnotic despite the orotundity and rage seeping out of every cadence ready to go in for the kill. The opener “Vremea Locului Sortit” sets the stage for the lengthy black metal workouts but tracks such as the idiosyncratic “In-Zvicnirea Apusului” add surprisingly incongruent extras, in this case the inclusion of theremin sounds which as far as i know had never been used in a black metal context up to this point. Despite the second wave black metal template, the compositions are carefully thought out with the atmospheric elements not simply playing in tandem with the aggressive guitar, bass and drums but rather playing together as partners with a greater focus in mind.

While many an extreme metal band with its eye on the progressive prize were implementing more elements of avant-prog and jazzy dissonance, NEGURĂ BUNGET was taking a different route altogether. This band was opting to retain the melodic and aggressive aspects of bands like Emperor and simply tease them out into much more epic runs, therefore the playing times were lengthening and the compositional sophistication came through the variations between the nooks and crannies. The production while filthy and raw, still feels frosted over by a fresh falling of icy cold snow but also portends that monsters are at large and awaiting any unsuspecting passers-by to succumb to their predatory nature. The music all in all is ominous and creepy but maintains an easily accessible stylistic approach. The vocals while exclusively in the raspy shouted camp are buried beneath the din and emerge from the pits of hell to deliver an anguished torturous frenzy.

There are many atmospheric metal albums that can sound cheesy but not the case with MăIASTRU SFETNIC which successfully integrates the elements into the filthy rawness without ruining their menacing effect. This is a great album to get lost in as the repetitive tracks meander on but change things up just enough as to prevent tedium from setting in. This is actually a really great black metal album that paved the way for the 21st century scene and single handedly put Romanian black metal on the map. While not as masterful and mind-blowingly beautiful as the band’s magnum opus “Om,” MăIASTRU SFETNIC is an excellent slice of amazingly consistent black metal that cops an Eastern European epic flair and displays the vast improvement of musicianship since the band’s 90s output.

YAKUT Fractal

Album · 2012 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
YAKUT is the one-man project of Kentforth (of 6 Degrees and Eastwood) from the frigid Siberian remoteness of Tomsk, Russia. This project was started in 2002 and technically still active however to date YAKUT has only seen two releases. The 2008 EP “Длиною в жизнь…” and this 2012 full-length release FRACTAL.

This DIY project takes liberties in mixing up a few genres. The sounds heard mix everything from atmospheric black metal and post-rock to trip hop and even some jazz but is pretty much simply referred to as avant-garde black metal. While the majority of the music is is a mix of instrumental meandering and heavier parts that include ferocious screamed raspy vocals. A few clean vocals sneak in.

For black metal this is extraordinarily melodic with a constant atmospheric background. The guitars are the buzzsaw type but set back in the mix so that the atmospheric elements have qual billing. Unlike much black metal, the bass is independent and fully audible. The drums are merely lazy beat keepers with a few notable exceptions.

While as unintelligible as many black metal lyrics, the themes focus on the cosmos, despair, pain and egocentrism and share the similar characteristics of many regions of that world that create this music where winter is long and the sunlight is limited.

The production is not bad but the project does have a DIY home recording sort of feel to it but that’s not a bad thing because it keeps a lo-fi veneer to the heavy distortion of the guitars. The tracks actually vary quite a bit making this an interesting listening experience which is an accomplishment considering how many DIY black metal projects can result in tedium.

While the atmospheric black metal parts can resemble early Burzum, the non-metal parts can sound very avant-garde, even jazzy at times. Also some alternative metal riffing styles pop up but generally speaking the guitar riffing is the standard tremolo picking at high speeds. While i don’t mind the trip hop bits, sometimes such as the intro on the title track they sound a little out of place as if Portishead suddenly joined in but then was interrupted by an angry outburst of bombastic black metal!

Overall this is a decent album although the electronica sounds at odds with the black metal at times but is saved by a keen sense of melodic drive and the metal bombast comes through especially in the angry vocals. While FRACTAL won’t go down in history as one of the best examples of the atmospheric black metal style, it’s much more interesting than i expected and deserving of more than a single listen for sure.

DELIRIA Nausea

Album · 2017 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Known as the Industrial City and a huge Hollywood sign spelling out its name on the mountain that lurks over it, South San Francisco is usually just drive through territory from the city of San Francisco to the SFO International Airport without much going on or much to speak of but as it turns out, there has been black metal being made somewhere within its spindly city limits that slink and wriggle all over the most northern reaches of the Santa Cruz mountain range. Nestled somewhere deep in this city unknown to the rest of the world is the atmospheric black metal band DELIRIA who mysteriously formed in 2017 and then released their only album so far NAUSEA.

While the band has recently expanded to five members, it started out as the trio of David Scanlon (guitars and various instruments), Adam Rupp (vocals) and Jared Klein (drums). This album only contains these three musicians delivering four tracks, three of which are normal length extending up to seven minutes with a fourth that goes on for over seventeen. Scanlon appears to be the bandleader on this on as he writes all the tracks. This album received a professional production touch at the Fang studios and came out the same year as the band’s official formation.

What we have here is a rather interesting if not remarkable style of atmospheric black metal. The tone is set up right on the very first track “Bad Faith” which begins with an arpeggiated clean guitar series of chords that delivers what sounds more like one of those 80s acoustic intros for thrash metal songs. It follows with a richer sound of a 12-string acoustic repeating the same exactly melodic sequence and it takes a few minutes before you actually realize that this is a black metal album and not an indie folk rock act. The lazy drumming joins in and at least it sounds like it’s in the rock genre but this introduction becomes tedious even as spoken words emerge from below but just as they do the black metal finally kicks in after three minutes of build up.

All four tracks basically follow the same pattern as the first. Soft clean buildups on acoustic guitars with atmospheric touches that erupt into an over-produced black metal guitar sound. The usual black metal traits are all present. The tremolo picking, the blast beatdrumming style, buried bass line and a thick cloudy atmospheric background. The second track “No Exit” starts with what almost sounds like a country rock type of groove it is grungy and accompanied by a lazy drumming style, the vocals are quite subdued in the mix and quite unintelligible. While the first track sounding OKish, this one sounds a little silly. Hmmm. Not a good sign is it? Carry on now.

The title track sounds like a reworking of “No Exit” with a different melodic tinkering. Yeah, it has some outbursts of heavier guitar work and some blasts of drum rolls but basically the same. It’s all quite clear at this point that this album isn’t anywhere close to being as colorful as the album cover suggests. Best for last? Not quite. The seventeen and a half minute closer “Hell Is Other People” pretty much begins like the first track with a clean guitar sequence and then begins to sum up the preceding tracks as if it were to remind us what we just heard. The only break from the monotony comes toward the end as the black metal fades out and an Italian pop song of the 60s perhaps closes the album. Now THAT was unexpected.

This album is fairly standard atmospheric black metal but really lacks any original touches. Add to that the production just doesn’t work and neither does the way the clean parts merge into the more aggressive. The juxtaposition of cheery melodies belies the fact that black metal is supposed to be scary and when it comes right down to it, the compositions are fairly bland as they are mere marches that don’t implement enough musical mojo to make this an interesting listen . It’s the kind of music that makes good background music as nothing is particularly bad per se but it’s certainly in the second decade of the 21st century, neither is it something that blows me away in any way whatsoever.

NEGURĂ BUNGET Sala Molksa

EP · 1998 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
After the debut album “Zîrnindu-să” was released in 1996, NEGURĂ BUNGET went from a duo to a trio after guitarist Sol Faur (Cristian Popescu) joined the group and offered his own sensibilities which heightened the Romanian folklore and creativity clearly absent from the debut. The new lineup released their first material in 1998 in the form of the EP titled SALA MOLKSA which found not only a better production job that allowed the atmospheric possibilities to match the creepiness of the darkened Carpathian fog from which the band took its name but also found the band incorporating the wealth of Romanian folk music into the compositions that teased the synthesizers into emulating traditional flutes as well as adding more diverse dynamics, tempos and variation.

SALA MOLKSA consisted of five tracks each titled in the impenetrable Romanian language which makes it all the more mysterious and as nebulous as the cloud covered forest that surround the band’s native city of Timişoara. With a second guitarist, NEGURĂ BUNGET took the extreme metal to new heights. The guitar fury was turned up to the max, the bass lines were now separated as to be heard under the buzzsaw guitar feedback and the drumming became more ferocious with a new found purpose rather than just keeping the beat. Most importantly the compositions were more nuanced with more progressive developments and most importantly the keyboards were balanced as to provide an eerie sonic haze and evolving light years beyond the cheesy kid stuff from the debut album.

Not only had NEGURĂ BUNGET turned up the black metal riffage to Bathory level but achieved a balance with the atmospheric touches that would make Emperor proud as the symphonic orchestration mix harmoniously with nary a flaw. Best of all the tracks were no longer predictable second wave black metal and each track stood proud on its own as it ferociously fused the fury of the Scandinavian northlands with the dark and macabre folklore of the Carpathian occult world. On SALA MOLKSA, NEGURĂ BUNGET displayed their potential well and were finally hinting at the magical musical mojo was lurking beneath the surface and awaiting a more refined approach that would result in albums like “OM.” Add to that a huge leap in technical proficiency that showed the musicianship hitting their stride.

SALA MOLKSA is a frenetic beast that no longer feels like the ugly stepchild of the bigger, badder and better produced black metal leaders of the north but rather a declaration that a new brand of black metal has stepped into the ring and taking the roller coaster ride in a new direction. This EP was that statement that launched NEGURĂ BUNGET into the position as Romania’s best musical output Timişoara’s other claim to fame, the 70s progressive rock band Phoenix. While “Zîrnindu-să” showed a fledgling band getting its feet wet, SALA MOLKSA shows a band coming of age and although not creating the magnum opus of their career, nevertheless conjured up an excellent slab of atmospherically fueled black metal fury that crafted four strong ferocious tracks and a short ending track that pointed listeners into the direction of where things were going.

Everything about SALA MOLSKA is a step up from its predecessor. The melodies are more hauntingly beautiful, the black metal ferociousness is unhinged and electrified manyfold and the pacing of the tracks keeps this one interesting for its entire run. The EP was released initially on cassette in Romania and the following year found a release on CD. It also was included on the 2004 Box Set in its entirety and after NEGURĂ BUNGET rise to success was re-recorded and released once again in 2008. The EP appears on the band’s Bandcamp page and both versions are presented side by side for comparison. Frankly i’m not too keen on re-recordings but whatever. This original is just fine by me. Black metal doesn’t need to be and on the contrary actually works better in a lo-fi setting. Musically this one is brilliant and sonically the textures meld together perfectly. A huge leap forward indeed.

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

Damned In Endless Night Death Metal
WARCRAB
Buy this album from MMA partners
Extreme Graveyard Tornado Grindcore
BIRDFLESH
Buy this album from MMA partners
Kintsukuroi Sludge Metal
DEATHBED CONFESSIONS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Obliteration Of Humanity Deathcore
CHOLERA
Buy this album from MMA partners
Hell From Here Metalcore
DISTINGUISHER
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Helmet - Unsung
HELMET
Tupan· 13 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