Black Metal

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Black Metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It often employs fast tempos, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, double-kick drumming, and unconventional song structure.

During the 1980s, certain thrash metal bands established a prototype for black metal. This so-called "first wave" included bands such as Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. A "second wave" emerged in the early 1990s, which consisted primarily of Norwegian bands such as Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal and Emperor. This scene developed the black metal style into a distinct genre.

Black metal has been met with considerable hostility from mainstream culture, mainly due to the misanthropic and anti-Christian ideology of many artists. Additionally, some musicians have been associated with church burnings, murder or National Socialism. For these reasons and others, black metal is often viewed as an underground form of music.

Black Metal Sub-Genres

Atmospheric Black Metal

Depressive Black Metal

Melodic Black Metal

Pagan Black Metal

Symphonic Black Metal

War Metal

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_metal

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • adg211288 (leader)
  • 666sharon666
  • TheHeavyMetalCat

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PROGENIE TERRESTRE PURA
4.82 | 10 ratings
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THE RUINS OF BEVERAST Rain Upon the Impure Album Cover Rain Upon the Impure
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HORNA
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black metal Music Reviews

HELLVETO Autumnal Night

Album · 2002 · Pagan Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
HELLVETTO is just one of the many projects of the one-man act Filip Mrowiński better known as L.O.N (Light of Night) who operates out of Ostrołęka, Poland. Although HELLVATTO is his most famous alter ego, L.O.N. single-handedly also releases music under the monikers Blakagir, Neoheresy, Sarkel and Winds of Garden. Trouble getting along with others perhaps? The HELLVETO world began in 1995 followed by several demos and a split with Herrgorn before this debut AUTUMNAL NIGHT was released in 2002 on the Sanguinae Maremagnum label.

One of the most prolific artists in black metal, as HELLVETTO, L.O.N. released sixteen albums from 2002 to 2012 before dropping the name and changing it to Neoheresy. AUTUMNAL NIGHT set the stage for HELVETTO’s dramatic sound that mixed classical symphonic / orchestral elements with Pagan black metal. This debut features 10 tracks that add up to 52 1/2 minutes of playing time. HELLVETO handles all instruments including guitars, bass, drums, synthesizers as well as the orchestral arrangements with both raspy growls and clean vocal styles.

In many ways HELVETTO sounds like Summoning where the black metal is not the dominant feature but rather on an equal playing field with other elements in this case being the dramatic opera singing that often sounds like HELLVETO is being joined by a liturgical choir. The raspy vocals also remind a lot of Summoning’s Silenius however the orchestral classical segments make it sound like a black metal band ambushed an opera and then joined in. Other similarities can be made with Norway’s Limbonic Art as well as moments that remind me of early Nokturnal Mortem especially with the overlong “Intro / Switez” that is right out of the “Goat Horns” playbook.

I have mixed feelings about AUTUMNAL NIGHT. On the one hand it’s a very unique album that takes the classical orchestral sounds to levels most black metal bands wouldn’t even consider but to the point where they often dominate the album for too long. The compositions are well thought out and the dynamic flow of the album is quite intriguing but on the other hand the production and mixing is crap. Sure lo-fi works well for the more raw and brutal forms of metal but on AUTUMNAL NIGHT the black metal parts are set too low in the mix while the oft cheesy keyboards are set too high. Overall it’s an interesting release with lots of choral vocal styles offering a beauty and the beast effect with the raspy outrage.

While Ihsahn is getting a lot of praise for his 2024 release that mixes orchestral elements with black metal, many are unaware that HELLVETO was doing the same thing long ago however AUTUMNAL NIGHT was pretty much finding L.O.N. lingering in demo mode and his mastery of production and mixing would improve as time goes on. Musically i love this but the production is so wrong it hurts. Still though L.O.N. has proven to be a musical mastermind of both black metal and dark ambient styles for several decades now and seems he is in no danger of burning out any time soon. Sometimes the drifting into opera can be a bit too much but overall the orchestral classical moments are pleasant.

MARE COGNITUM Solar Paroxysm

Album · 2021 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Warthur
Jacob Buczarski's one-man atmospheric black metal project takes off into deep space yet again. "Solar Paroxysm" as a title suggests intense heat, searing light, and violent fits, and those are all concepts which the sound of the album seems to fit. It's perhaps a few steps closer to the centre of gravity of the atmospheric black metal scene than, say, the output of Darkspace, but it's still a compelling set of long, sprawling soundscapes. I'm not as immediately gripped and thrilled by it as I was by Phobos Monolith, which I think is Buczarski's magnum opus, but I'm certainly keen to continue exploring its mysteries.

GONTYNA KRY Krew naszych ojców

Album · 2001 · Pagan Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
GONTYNA KRY is a Polish NSBM (National Socialist Black Metal aka Nazi) band that formed in the coastal city of Koszalin in 1993 by Bard Neur (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Komes Lupul Kurhan (drums). This region of Poland was once the German state of Prussia from 1871 to 1932 and was basically the birthplace of the Nazi idealism that really took hold in the 1930s. Given the history of this region there’s no doubt that it has attracted followers of the NSBM ethos and GONTYNA KRY (Old Slavonic term meaning “Temple of Blood”) has joined the musical movement within the greater Pagan black metal scene to espouse its viewpoints.

This band released a few demos during the 1990s but didn’t unleash its official debut album KREW NASZYCH OJCÓW (Blood of our Fathers) until 2001. The style of GONTYNA KRY mixes raw lo-fi black metal with melancholic symphonic atmospheric backing along with tons of sound effects that depict going to war including the tedious 12-minute intro that features a lengthy marching procession and dungeon synth minimalism before finally getting to the black metal. The symphonic dungeon synth and percussive marching effects are recurring and reprise between tracks with overlong segments that quickly outstay their welcome.

While the subject matter is steeped in the idealism of the NSBM scene, luckily the lyrics are entirely in Polish and since my Polish language skills are minimal, i gratefully am oblivious to the actual lyrical content. The album features nine tracks with a 51 1/2 minute playing time. The album is designed to be epic in scope with the introductory battle preparations and mid-section ambience providing a context for the brutal black metal tracks in between. While noble in intent, the actual execution is fairly poor with a shoddy production that makes the synthesized parts sound rather cheesy and the black metal moments sound hollow and monotonic. Lo-fi is one thing but this sounds totally cheap as if it was recorded on some super primitive equipment.

Production and lyrical content aside, GONTYNA KRY aren’t exactly skilled musicians either as the composiitons are fairly generic and the lineup that features four members don’t really excel at any particular aspect of crafting unique black metal for the 21st century. There are no technical workouts to wow the listener and the atmospheric minimalism is just too cheesy to take seriously. At times the black metal and the symphonic parts play together and really don’t jive too well together. As far as the black metal itself goes, the vocal style is decent and the drummer delivers some nice blastbeating but usually fairly tame and the guitar parts are fairly uninspiring as they are generally set too low in the mix especially when the cheesy synthesizer parts are playing over them.

I’m certainly not against free speech and really don’t care about subject matter when rating music although i do not condone anything hateful in general however this album is just not that great mostly due to the fact the premise of the album makes you expect so much more than it delivers. There are many NSBM acts out there particularly and many in Eastern European nations such as Poland and Ukraine. I judge a band by its talent alone and the music without any reference to lyrical content and in this case KREW NASZYCH OJCÓW is simply not that good on many levels. Nokturnal Mortem who espoused the same NSBM tendencies in the past at least showcased a high level of musical competence. In this case this band only uses black metal as a means for espousing their viewpoints. A fairly generic and waste of time really this one.

SETHERIAL Nord...

Album · 1996 · Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
SETHERIAL is a second wave black metal band formed in Sundsvall, Sweden in 1993 and has gone through numerous lineup changes over its existence but founded by Mysteriis (guitar), Devothan (bass), Cheeroth (vocals) and Zathanel (drums). Sweden was following in the footsteps of Norway in the world of black metal and SETHERAL was one of a handful of metal bands that chose to not follow the melo-death scene. Other bands included Marduk, Sacramentum, Vinterland and of course Dissection. While those bands have become fairly well known in the world of black metal, SETHERIAL still remains a bit on the unknown side despite delivering a competent second wave furor that captures the spirit of raging evil black metal from Scandinavia.

The band released the two track EP “För dem mitt blod” in 1995 and then followed in 1996 with its frenetic debut NORD… which captured all the essential ingredients of the 90s black metal scene including raspy possessed vocals, buzzsaw guitar sustain and thundering riffs, blurred bass galloping and of course all those excellent free radical blastbeats. While unintelligible, lyrics were delivered in both Swedish and English. The album featured six tracks at over 45 minutes with the opening “In the Still of a Northern Fullmoon” swallowing up 12 minutes of playing time. This introductory track pretty much sets the tone of what to expect for the entire album’s run with the expected crushing second wave black metal parts fortified with moments of acoustic guitar, folk melodies and constructs a frigid anguished atmospheric presence.

NORD delivers a style of melodic black metal in the vein of Dissection which is more on the brutal side of the spectrum with excellent musicianship delivered by the lineup of vocalist Kraath, bassist Thorn and guitarists Lord Mysterii and Devothan. Guest drummer Anders delivers the ferocity on percussion and Peter Tägtgren adds some additional vocal contributions. This is the raw and evil as fuck black metal that your mother warned you about and it has all the hallmarks of rotting your soul and turning you into a church burning Satanic war master if you don’t mind you p’s and q’s. While steeped in the familiarity of Scandinavian black metal of the 90s, the compositions are also a bit more complex than the average Darkthrone wannabe and careful listening will reveal a few atmospheric keyboards peeking through the incessant din of the rampaging procession throughout NORD.

Graced with a menacingly beautiful album cover, NORD delivers what the bleakness portends with an incessantly quickened even manic delivery of second wave black metal splendor. It took a few listens for this to sink in otherwise a single exposure may insinuate the album as a tad generic but attentiveness reveals tricks up these black metal masters’ sleeves and ultimately this does have all the hallmarks of a black metal classic unfortunately got buried down the heap due to a glut of talented artists vying for the rights to write Satan’s soundtrack. NORD delivers everything you could possibly want from a no nonsense second wave black metal album with an uncompromising thunderous roar of cacophonous excellence. The variations within tracks helps set this apart from the generic followers of the day so it’s just a matter of time before SETHERIAL finds its way into the upper echelons of black metal royalty.

BEWITCHED My Death for You on a Night of Cursed Fullmoon

Split · 1993 · Black Metal
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UMUR
"My Death for You on a Night of Cursed Full Moon / Pronimo" is a split release between Bewitched from Chile and F from Finland. The split was released through Warmaster Records in June 1993. Bewitched recorded and mixed their five tracks in 4 hours. They consists of an intro, and outro, and three regular tracks. The three regular tracks are re-recordings of songs which had appeared in demo versions on their 1992 "Nemesis" and "Doomed" demos. F is only represented here with the "Pronimo" track, but it´s a 21 minutes long track, so there´s enough quantity here to warrant a purchase of the split. "Pronimo" was recorded during several studio sessions from February 1993 to March 1993. "Pronimo" is exclusive to this split and does not appear on any other F release (or any release from their pre-F band Funcunt).

It´s an interesting idea to pair two artists like Bewitched and F, as they have very little in common. Usually when you purchase a split you´ll expect that the artists featured on the split have some sort of musical connection, but that´s certainly not the case here. Bewitched deliver a lo-fi blackened doom metal attack, which sounds like a very primitive and not very professional version of early Katatonia. The vocals are doubled with both growling, high pitched screams, and clean vocals. The material features a dark and occult sound, which is pretty much what it has going for it, because the performances are pretty amaturish and the songwriting simple and not very interesting.

The F part of the split is a completely different beast, as the listener is now exposed to over 20 minutes of avantgarde and experimental music. F (and before they changed their name Funcunt) are one of the most odd and experimental acts from the late 80s/early 90s Finnish extreme metal scene, and "Pronimo" is just as crazy and weird as the material which came before it. F produce an incredibly eclectic, ever shifting, and busy avantgarde sound, which features elements from mathcore, fusion, psychedelic music, alien atmospheres, and just a complete disregard of regular song structures. If you enjoyed the 1993 "I-III" debut album from F, you´ll surely appreciate the "Pronimo" track too, as it´s in a similar style.

Upon conclusion "My Death for You on a Night of Cursed Full Moon / Pronimo" is an almost impossible split to evalute as the two artists move in such different directions and the skills and professionalism of the two artists almost couldn´t be further apart. I´ll go with a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating as a compromise. The Bewitched part of the split is probably around a 2.5 star (50%) rating and the F part is a 4 star (80%) rating, so a compromise is only fair.

black metal movie reviews

ENSLAVED Live Retaliation

Movie · 2003 · Black Metal
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FMOTP
No reviews yet & only 3 ratings for the great ENSLAVED's 1st video production? To quote Will Smith, "That...is unacceptable." Live Retaliation is a very worthy representation of ENSLAVED live. The concert itself is a bit short, but the band shows its skill in playing their varied and fairly complex music. They play a good mix of their oldest songs and more recent ones; Monumension was the band's most recent album at the time.

The audio tracks are a very nice addition, for folks who don't own a lot of their records. Grutle doesn't interact extensively with the audience in concert, beyond introducing the songs & band members. However, that's a problem I have with the great majority of live concerts. The audio quality could be clearer at times, but I'm quibbling. If you love some progressive rock along with your extreme metal, nobody does it better than ENSLAVED. This is well worth your time and money!

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