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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NAGELFAR Hünengrab im Herbst Album Cover Hünengrab im Herbst
NAGELFAR
4.74 | 12 ratings
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MARE COGNITUM Phobos Monolith Album Cover Phobos Monolith
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DISSECTION Storm of the Light's Bane Album Cover Storm of the Light's Bane
DISSECTION
4.43 | 39 ratings
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DEATHSPELL OMEGA Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon Album Cover Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon
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4.58 | 11 ratings
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SATYRICON Nemesis Divina Album Cover Nemesis Divina
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SIGH Hail Horror Hail Album Cover Hail Horror Hail
SIGH
4.62 | 8 ratings
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black metal Music Reviews

TODESSTOß Ebne Graun

Album · 2017 · Depressive Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Todesstoß's Ebne Graun offers perhaps the most bizarre album cover I've seen for a while - it's your standard depressive black metal imagery of Death standing over a shrouded corpse in a coffin in a wasteland, except Death is wearing a galaxy-spangled glam rock jumpsuit and RAWKIN' OUT on a day-glo guitar, and a mystery glow is kindled within the shrouded form. The music you get here is similarly bizarre - a mashup of the glum atmosphere of depressive black metal, the epic track lengths and slow movements of funeral doom, and a slice of weird synthesiser tinklings for spice. Like the cover, it's a weird mixture of elements, but it kind of works.

BLASPHEMY Gods of War

Album · 1993 · War Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
BLASPHEMY may have been one of the more influential bands of the early years of extreme metal by crafting the first example of what would be called war metal, war black metal or bestial black metal but they were hardly the most prolific band around. The band formed all the way back in 1984 in Vancouver, BC, Canada but didn’t even release the first demo until 1989 and the debut album “Fallen Angel Of Doom” until 1990. It took three years to record the followup GODS OF WAR and then it was only slightly over 20 minutes long. All re-releases have included the demo “Blood Upon The Altar” tagged to the end to make it a full-album’s length.

GODS OF WAR doesn’t deviate too much from what was laid down on the debut but did find a new bassist joining Satan’s team with Ace Gustapo Necrosleezer and Vaginal Commands. As far as i know i think BLASPHEMY initiated this trend of ridiculous stage names within black metal and the core metal subs that would catch on. One of the main reasons for a delay in a sophomore release was the souring of relations with the Wild Records label which despite “Fallen Angel Of Doom” selling fairly well, failed to pay any royalties to the band for it. The band sought out a new label and ended up on the well established Osmose that had already found success with bands like Samuel, Massacre, Immortal and Pan.Thy.Monium.

Focusing more on the grindcore influences of Repulsion and the hardcore punk of Discharge, BLASPHEMY crank out an even more intense slap in the face of aggression with GODS OF WAR. As succinct as the playing time is the album runs on full throttle for its brief 20 mintute tirade. The guitar riffs are on fire as they whiz up and down the scales with Morbid Angel inspired squealing solos and heavier percussive drive that makes GODS OF WAR sound like a true soundtrack for the battle field. Nocturnal Grave Desecrator and Black Winds’ guttural growls are more diverse this time around despite never approaching intelligible and the overall song structures are more varied with slow churning doom riffs finding a place amongst the buzzsaw down tuned chugging riffs.

Just as they were getting started, BLASPHEMY took a hiatus in 1994 and wouldn’t regroup until 1999. The band has always been a bit unusual but remained so for even as they got back together have still never released another studio album to date, however they have released a few live albums as well as a couple more demos. GODS OF WAR takes BLASPHEMY to the next step but it’s rather disappointing that it was cut off in the middle of the album and then never has found resolution. Perhaps it all lends an air of mystery around the band that debuted the wonderful world of war metal, which i guess is fitting since the music is just as unstable and ready to collapse under its own weight. Nevertheless, GODS OF WAR is the perfect followup even if it’s way too short.

BLASPHEMY Fallen Angel of Doom....

Album · 1990 · War Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
The fiery pits where the earliest black metal bands were forged were sparing in their early yields of fledgling bands developing the style that didn’t quite scratch the itch on Venom’s earliest recordings. While Scandinavia was the hotbed of second wave black metal taking the world by storm with Bathory and Mayhem crafting the earliest known sounds to be called true black metal, half the world away in Vancouver, BC, Canada another band had its hand in crafting its own cacophonous sonic terror. BLASPHEMY formed all the way back in 1984 but wouldn’t release the first demo “Blood Upon The Altar” until 1989. While Bathory and Mayhem were responsible for unleashing the first black metal recordings onto an unsuspecting world, BLASPHEMY was still in its embryonic stage gestating the most brutal and aggressive noisefest possible.

The wait was worth it since BLASPHEMY crafted the earliest sounds that would be deemed war metal (also known as war black metal or bestial black metal). This band took the aggressive, the cacophonous and the chaotic to even more extreme levels by following in the footsteps of some of the 80s most intense metal bands like Sodom and Possessed along with early grindcore like Repulsion as well as the death metal sounds of Autopsy, Sarcófago and early Sepultura. After the demo was released BLASPHEMY followed up with the debut FALLEN ANGEL OF DOOM the next year with cover art so vile and blasphemous that the style of a war metal bands to come would copy the tricolor schematic of black, white and red with monstrous depictions of Satanic beasts and anti-Christian themes. And according to Terrorizer magazine, this album is heavier than the entire forests of Canada falling on your big toe.

BLASPHEMY was a quartet and donned unusual Gwar-like personas with terrifying stage names like Black Hearts of Damnation and Impurity (drums), Nocturnal Grave Desecrator and Black Winds (bass, lead vocals), Traditional Sodomizer of the Goddess of Perversity (rhythm guitars, backing vocals) and the crazed lead guitarist Caller Of The Storms who happened to be one of the very few black guitarists who would forsake the world of funk and hip hop and join the ranks of the noisiest legion of sonic terrorists the early 90s had to offer in the world of black metal. With subject matter steeped in Satanism and demonology, BLASPHEMY became one of the most revered bands in the underground extreme metal scene and was signed to the Wild Rags label while touring the US.

FALLEN ANGEL OF DOOM is a short blast in the hellfire pits of early war metal with surreal intro effects that lead into down-tuned hellish fury that finds frenetic power chords, blastbeat percussion and low guttural growls coalescing into distorted monstrous dinfests with punk infused brevity. Breaking out the squealing solos, Caller Of The Storms displays how the war metal segment at the black metal store has much more in common with old school death metal than Scandinavian contemporaries that utilized trebly lo-fi tremolo picking as the primary means of expression. At the time this debut album was released, BLASPHEMY had no competition in the war metal but soon their influence would spread far and wide with bands like Beherit, Archgoat and Impaled Nazarene quickly joining the deathened black metal pits from whence this vile din of perversity found life.

Like many other artists who develop a new style, BLASPHEMY’s debut FALLEN ANGEL OF DOOM has become a classic for its infidel influences on the entire extreme metal scene that would follow. Despite its classic status the album wasn’t rereleased for over a decade and finally found new life in 2007 on the Nuclear War Now! label. While not the best example that black metal has to offer, the incessant deathened core influences that BLASPHEMY mashed into the second wave black metal sounds are staggering and about as extreme and sacrilegious as music could get in 1990, a year when both black metal and death metal were barely out of the cradle. Not my favorite but still a classic.

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.

SULPHUR Cursed Madness

Album · 2007 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Cursed Madness" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian black/death metal act Sulphur. The album was released through Osmose Productions in January 2007. Sulphur were formed in 1999 out of the ashes of the Bergen based black metal act Taakeriket. An act who existed from 1996 to 1999. Sulphur released the "A Relic for the Damned" demo in 2000, but then disappeared for a while before returning in 2005 with the "Outburst of Desecration" demo, which earned them a label deal with Osmose Productions for the release of "Cursed Madness".

The 9 tracks on the 37:23 minutes long album are a combination of freshly written material and re-recorded demo tracks. "A Relic For The Damned" also appeared on the "A Relic for the Damned (2000)" demo, and "The Summoning", "Realms Of Darkness", and "Great Shadow Rising" also appeared on the "Outburst of Desecration (2005)" demo.

The relatively long timespan between writing the tracks is heard in the stylistic diversity of the music. While the overall sound is a technical (even progressive at times) black/death metal style, some tracks are more black metal oriented while others are more death metal oriented. The vocals are raspy black metal styled vocals though. Although there is some variation between tracks, I still think "Cursed Madness" is fairly consistent in quality and there is a decent flow to the proceedings too. If I have to mention references I´d mention artists like Enslaved and maybe a bit of Satyricon.

"Cursed Madness" is well performed by skilled musicians (tempo changes, stylistic changes, and other musical features are handled with ease), and the sound production is raw, powerful, and detailed too, which suits the music perfectly. So upon conclusion "Cursed Madness" is a good quality debut album by Sulphur. It maybe lacks that last piece of originality and musical red thread to reach the excellent mark, but it´s still an enjoyable listen and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

black metal movie reviews

ENSLAVED Live Retaliation

Movie · 2003 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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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