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

Symphonic Black Metal

War Metal, also known as Bestial Black Metal, is a black metal sub-genre that eschews many of the genre's usual techniques such as trebly tremolo picked guitar playing and raspy growled vocals in favour of down-tuned power chords played as faster speeds compared to other black metal sub-genres in general, even up to grindcore levels, and vocals that are more in line with those used in death metal. Another relation to grindcore that war metal shares is the tendency towards shorter songs. Production values are also different, exchanging the raw cold of typical black metal for a muddy, bass heavy sound that overall, is aimed to come across as sounding chaotic. The war metal name comes from the common themes of war and nuclear holocaust that artists of the genre use though like with any genre, themes are not a strict requirement of war metal. Canada's Blasphemy are commonly considered to be the first band to truly play war metal.

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

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • adg211288 (leader)
  • The T 666
  • Dobbie03
  • 666sharon666
  • TheHeavyMetalCat

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Withering
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Monolith
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Downfall
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Agonal Mask
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Mists of Eternity
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Rehearsals
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Agony
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Towards the Great Dissolution
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INSANITY CULT
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Isolert
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The False Existence
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Doctrine of Winter
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NECRO FOREST
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На острие
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À l'ombre des pendus
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Bürde
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Alpha
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Ulvinde
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Måneblôt
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Colossal Destruction
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Symbiose
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Iron Hands of Domination
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Endinghent
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Visions of Retribution
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Insensible Gloom
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The Bottomless Pit
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Night
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Bleak Passage
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From the Bastard Winds
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A Small Death: Sessions 2003
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Ye Canariae Abezan
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Malediction
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Den förstfödde
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Temple of the Impure
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Potestas Magicum Diaboli
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Conscious Darkness
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Still Innocence
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Deus Salutis Meæ
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Farvegir fyrndar
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Là où les Hommes se perdent
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Heartbreak and Seance
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CRADLE OF FILTH
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Ornuthi Thalassa
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Death Ordinance
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Détruire
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Promo
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Into the Blue
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Vemod
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Diaspora
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Selbst
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To the Elements
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Live 2017
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Song of Solitude
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No God Land
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Dawn of Morbid Sorcery
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Triptolemus
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Silvery Grey
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Ceneri
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Lost
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Era 1
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Die ewige Trauer
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Schlectnacht
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Antumbra
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Begin Hate
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A LIE NATION
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Lycan Twilight Sorcery
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CULT OF EIBON
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Gravskrift
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Quantum Noose of Usurpation
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Pvtrefactio
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Les fleurs du mal
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Regnum-Phobos
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CAULDRON
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Deviant Castigation Liturgy
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Beyond This World's Illusion
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THE SARCOPHAGUS
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Ritual Severance
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CONSUMMATION
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Terra Inanis
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Irwell
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Human Dirt
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One Last Howling
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Black Whigs and Goat Feet
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ZAXXON
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Un niente
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Zăul moș
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SYN ZE ŞASE TRI
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Deep Calleth upon Deep
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Deep Calleth upon Deep
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Thrice Woven
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Riflesso
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LDL
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Den Svartne Spökerii
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Deum de Infernum
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Imperium Malum
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Shattered
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VATURE
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Misery's to Regret
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Demo MMXVII
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Kaos Rites ov 9 Angled Darkness
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Saturated Pain
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Somme
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The Summer (Instrumental version)
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NO POINT IN LIVING
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End of My Life
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The Summer
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Depression
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Dagon
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Rise ov the Shoah
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Distance
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Black Mass Ritual
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FORMICARIUS
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Morning Star Resplendent
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The Sachem's Tales
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Void
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Bunker Ritual Rehearsal
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Merihim
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Kopfjagd
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Who Is Ruler...?
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Demo I
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Seelenwinter
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A Castle Under a Curse
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A Call to Arms
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Degesch
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Withering Shades of Pale
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Symbolet Satan
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SEKT
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Demo '17
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MMXVII
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A Curse Was Born
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DRACIR
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Gratzug / Kalmankantaja
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KALMANKANTAJA
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Alpha And Omega
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ORTHROS
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Rain
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South Away
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SOJOURNER
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Impossible Orbits
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Mareridt
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MYRKUR
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The Endless Forest
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Sacrilegious Crown
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The Forest Wail
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Infernal
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Lulumoy
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Cill Dara
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DRUID
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Caves
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EYE OF OMAN
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Vampyric Bvrial
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Ritus Mortuus Est
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The Colours Fade
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Apocrypha Condemno
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NOCEUR
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Пыль, атомы..
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Mental Patient
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True North
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LOOK THE PART BE THE PART MOTHERFUCKER
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In My Absence
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KINTSUKUROI
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Bersereast
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Ipse Faciet
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FELON WIND
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Bringer of Light & Holy Holocaust
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THE THIRD EYE
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Sons of the Lone Wolf
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ENELIXI
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Sons of the Lone Wolf
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DIATREKHON ASTER
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Sons of the Lone Wolf
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UNDER THE BRIDGE
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Promo 2017
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AKHERON
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I Can See the Dead Trees
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House of the Dying Self Terminating Sun
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Blood and Chaos
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PLAGIS
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Hung High, Weapons Drawn
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PLAGIS
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UK Black Metal Assault
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PLAGIS
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Blood & Chaos
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PLAGIS
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Mercy
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PLAGIS
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No Future
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PLAGIS
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Plagis - Demo
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The Black Mass Covenant
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FUNERAL OF GOD
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Von Licht zu Schatten
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Demo IV
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Aikojen takaa 2
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Aikojen takaa 1
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KALMANKANTAJA
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Finisterre
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Disciples of Venomous Death
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Valle Crucis
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VALLE CRUCIS
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Eschaton
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Semper Patriae Servire Praesto
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VII BATALLÓN DE LA MUERTE
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Taste of Infinity
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Дисбаланс
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Touch of Eternity
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Прыгнуть в небо
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Evening Sun, Reincarnation
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METALBLACK
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Certitude
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Lethean Lament
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Through Lunar Gateways
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ARS MAGNA UMBRAE
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Snæfellsjökull
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IGNIS INTERNUM
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Old White Tree
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OLD WHITE TREE
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Time
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Thought
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Despair
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Shadow
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Fate
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Anima
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Heritage
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Celestial Malefactor
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Fellwarden
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Smaragd
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Triumph of the Undying
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Beyond the Threshold of Twilight
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The Ritualist
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LONELY STAR
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Morke
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Ulfven
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Spectre Abysm
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Ruumistähdet
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Imperfect
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SADNESS
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Otro
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Leave
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Strike Mortal Soil
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Lvcifer Es
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Emën Etan
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Forestpaths
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Le Démoniaque
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Orm
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Apotheosis
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Antikult
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FÄULNIS
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IV
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Sabbat of Behezaël
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Upon My Cremation Pyre
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Domus Mysterium
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Book of Desire
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About the Fire
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I blodets kamp...
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Blood War
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Ingrats
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Efference
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Time Lurker
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Sol Nox
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Tando Ashanti
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In Âgez
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Elenion Ancalima
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The Abyss of Ancient Forest
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Ruhonkantaja
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Seasons of Desolation
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Exorkizein
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Satanic Slavery
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The Shackles of Mammon
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End of Chapter
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A Return To The Shadows
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Death Worship
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HELLFIRE DEATHCULT
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Homecoming
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My Personal Heaven
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Futility Report
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landawarijaR
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Kelle surut soi
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Holókauston
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Live in Sarpsborg
Live album
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Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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Anointing
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$cam
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In Death
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Discography Box Part II
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iscography Box Part I
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Lupaus
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4 Way Split from Hell
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4 Way Split from Hell
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PLEASANT END
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4 Way Split from Hell
Split
THERRIONS CROWN
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4 Way Split from Hell
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VAMPAHUYUHR
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Deceso
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Furz Blut
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Ainward
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Uppland
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Hate Antipathy and Deathcvlt
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Hallways / Rage of Enlil
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Triumvirat
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Another Realm
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V
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Hush Now, the Reaper Is Near
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The Apparition
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Beast of the Moor
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Breathe
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Barren Land
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INFERNAL BODY
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A Grey Dawn Rises
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Nachtvrucht
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Твоя война
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Vision IV: Illumination
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Visions
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Kevät / Värimyrsky
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Farmakologinen
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oltreLuna
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Presence
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The Great Cold Steppe
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Verlies
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Tabernaculum
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For the Damned
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Construct
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The End
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Join the Wind
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black metal Music Reviews

BLAZE OF PERDITION Conscious Darkness

Album · 2017 · Black Metal
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adg211288
Here's a story about me, your humble reviewer: black metal is my favourite genre of metal music. That means that more than any other genre I spend a lot of time checking out black metal acts, both old and new, to the point where buying used job lots of black metal albums on ebay is a thing that's happened several times now, all of them more or less blind. It's through this habit that I've greatly expanded my experience of the genre. I now believe I can safely say that I've heard most if not all facets of this diverse musical style, everything from the traditional to the melodic, atmospheric to the depressive, symphonic to the pagan and even a bit of the obscure war metal style and stuff that is so avant-garde that is sounds mentally unhinged.

This is not a boast, but the build up to this following statement: through listening to so much black metal music I've discovered it to be the genre of metal that, in my experience at least, is continually showing the most innovation, certainly more than most so called progressive metal bands do, which played a big part in it becoming my favourite. This year (2017) alone has served up the likes of oltreLuna by Progenie Terrestre Pura, which packs all kinds of unusual elements into it, from tribal beats to even dupstep. Then there is Futility Report by White Ward, which melds the blackgaze sub-genre with saxophone led jazz sounds. This is not to mention Ebne Graun by Todesstoß, an exceptionally creepy release that effectively melds depressive black metal, funeral doom metal and dungeon synth into a single 46:23 long song. So when Conscious Darkness, the fourth full-length by Polish black metal act Blaze of Perdition comes along and immediately makes a similar splash in the black metal waters to the above albums it should go without saying that my interest would be piqued and I'd make it a priority to check the release out to see what the fuss is about.

The fairy tale ending to this story would be that Conscious Darkness turned out to be just as much of, if not an even more creative release as those examples I highlighted in the previous paragraph. But this is where we've hit a major plot twist in our tale. In a year with both highly innovative albums such as those listed above and also exceptionally strong if less 'out there' ones like Wode's Servants of the Countercosmos and Fen's Winter, titles it's also mentioned in the same breath as, Conscious Darkness surprises by its sheer mediocrity. Maybe it has simply fallen victim to its own hype train; the phenomenon where an album is talked about by so many or is simply gushed over so much by a more niche audience that by the time you, who are a little late to the party, get to hear it, you subconsciously go into it with high and potentially unrealistic expectations that even the average 'very good' album isn't going to meet.

I have to say I do think that's what has happen here with Blaze of Perdition's Conscious Darkness, since I certainly don't mean to imply that I hear this as a terrible record. Not by any means. It even has some great moments, but they're counterbalanced by equally poor ones. Overall it's more like a listenable record that despite being able to hold my attention ultimately underwhelms by the time I've got through the four track, 43:03 long duration. For a while I couldn't put my finger on why that could be, because listening to it I couldn't honestly say I was hearing the kind of by the numbers generic black metal release that are all too common these days. The band's music though instantly recognisable as black metal doesn't have a typical sound. Their instrumentation sounds more, for want of a better description, chaotic, sometimes to the point of dissonance. It also seems apparent that the guys in the band were influenced by more than a single avenue of music when writing it and it's not hard to imagine that they've put a lot of thought into creating this release. So what exactly is the problem?

After a few listens waiting to see if the album would open up as familiarity set in (which it did to a point), it finally hit me. For all intents and purposes Conscious Darkness actually was a fairly typical black metal record, more so after you've scratched the surface of it. While this isn't a barrier to enjoyment – I noted a couple of fairly typical albums for their styles earlier on in this review that I have personally given high scores this year – there's an inescapable feeling when listening to this one that somewhere in the gears of this well oiled machine someone has left a wrench.

This is less evident in the opening track A Glimpse of God, which I'd say is the best on offer, but it certainly becomes apparent during the next one, Ashes Remain, which is the album's longest song. For a time it serves up much the same as the previous – nothing unusual for a black metal release there – but then the band dial back the metallic parts and throw in an extended softer section – again, nothing unusual for a black metal release there – but this is where that pesky wrench near grinds everything to a halt: this section is really not very good at all and serves to really highlight the problems with the rest of the release. Though softer and more atmospheric, things are still incredibly muddy during this section, not really allowing much detail to stand out. It's easy to backtrack then and realise that the album was much the same before this part kicked in. The real kicker during this soft section though are the vocals. Switched from the usual growl to a clean voice, they're delivered in little more than a drawling spoken word.

Even with this realisation Conscious Darkness does, overall, still manage to be a listenable black metal release. But it never transcends beyond that, it's most memorable parts being memorable for all the wrong reasons. Additionally with the longest two tracks lined up first over half if it is done and dusted by the time you've got through that non-metal section and to say that the album is derailed by that point is an understatement. The next two tracks Weight of the Shadow and Detachment Brings Serenity are better, but even though both are still pretty long it's just not enough time and material for the release to recover much in my regards. Ultimately what's left is an album that is neither worthless nor worthwhile, just something that exists slap-bang in the middle of the road, adrift within the seas of the mundane.

SATANIC BLOOD Satan Boven Alles

Album · 2004 · Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Almost two decades into the 21st century black metal has taken a wild ride into many disparate channels of creative outlets with some merging with other genres such as Oranssi Pazuzu effectively becoming psychedelic black metal while others are intent on never leaving the second wave of the 90s and insist on remaining kvlter than kvlt and in the dungeon for eternity. Such is the case with the Dutch underground black metal outfit SATANIC BLOOD which exists in the same demo ridden dungeons that pretty much every other 90s act emerged from, however in the case of this band, they seem to never want to leave. In 2003 they released one 2-track demo and then this one so-called full release SATAN BOVEN ALLES in 2004 before releasing another live album and then breaking up and fading into the abyss from whence they emerged.

While the music itself is a fairly familiar romp through the extreme cauldrons of vileness and dark arts mythos, what really helps them stand out from the crowd are the ridiculously long band member names as well as the titles of the tracks that look more like entire paragraphs in a murder mystery novel. Just check out THESE monstrously long band member names: Radiant Death Bringer of the Serpent Daily (bass), Destroyer of Souls Who Fell Into the Yawning Abyss of Eternal Chaos (drums), Unholy Sodomizer of the Virgin Lambs (guitars) and Masturbating God on the Stench of Burning Death on vocals. Well, ok now!

Also check out the song tracks such as “When Betraying Those Travelling on the Infernal Paths of Devil Worship and Satanic Dogmatism, Be Prepared to Bleed for Their Hatred as Its Consequence.” And who says kvlter-than-thou-ism is dead? LOL. Stylistically this is some fairly wicked stuff and probably reminds me most of Deathspell Omega only utilizing only the lowest of fidelity techniques for that truly sickened maggot crawling feel of hellish dungeon pit black metal. Musically the band churns along a rather monotonous guitar and bass driven riffing that serves as the main freneticism to the mix while the drums are actually more subdued with only the cymbals emerging from the din. There are lots of beastly noises that emerge from the pits of hell only to prove that they are suffering in eternal agony as the band provides the soundtrack to their utter fiery dismay.

Masturbating God’s vocal style is more of a narrative one as he utters indecipherable prose over the musical madness but not in sync which is where the Deathspell Omega comparisons come in. The entire musical section is nothing more than a backdrop to his angry rants about who know’s what. What i like about this one is that the tracks all have a steady flow but are distinct from each other and the drumming style is totally unlike what’s usually heard in black metal. There are only sporadic blastbeats and hyperactively fueled hate. Instead the percussion churns along in a mesmerizing fashion as if there is a sense of surrender to the dark forces that the band members have been inured to however there are periodic episodes of heavy percussive attack that do emerge from the muddy murk, it’s just that they are usually subdued while the cymbal action is more pronounced. While this style has been done to death, i really love it when it’s done well and SATANIC BLOOD provides a flawless falling from the heaven’s into the eternal bloodbath’s of hell by checking off all the extreme second wave checklists and then adding an extra dose of SATAN. Love the beastly moans and groans as well!

BLAZE OF PERDITION Conscious Darkness

Album · 2017 · Black Metal
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Kev Rowland
Blaze of Perdition were formed back in 2007, and had already released two albums by the time they suffered a tragedy while on tour in 2013, when a road accident took the life of bassist Ikaroz and left vocalist Sonneillo. and drummer Vizun severely injured. The band regrouped, and in 2015 released ‘Near Death Revelations’ and are now back with their latest album, ‘Conscious Darkness’. Unfortunately, I can’t say who is in the band these days as different sites list different members (no bassist) but it looks like the band are probably a four-piece, while the press release doesn’t say anything and the photos I’ve seen show only two people!

That is a shame, as the guys involved in this deserve plenty of credit. There are only four songs, but the shortest of these is eight minutes in length and the album as a whole, clocks in at more than forty-three. There were many who felt that the band were too influenced by Watain in the early days, and certainly the consensus is that the last album was easily the best they had completed to date, spurred on by what they had suffered and a determination to channel the emotion. But, reviews this time around are saying that they have managed to surpass even that, and certainly I can see why. The emotion coming through is palpable, while the atmospherics are perfect. What I find particularly interesting is the way that the mood shifts and changes, and even the vocal stylings are amended and altered depending on what is required – there are even times when they are being sung in a quite plain manner, but still dripping with pain and passion. It is a powerful album in so many ways, with stunning drums and rhythms that drag the listener in, yet at all times I imagine them playing deep in a cave that is lit only by candles, with cowls over their heads so that no-one can see their faces.

This is essential listening for anyone into black metal: it rarely gets any better than this

THE ELYSIAN FIELDS We... The Enlightened

Album · 1999 · Melodic Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
THE ELYSIAN FIELDS took an extraordinarily long time to follow up their debut album “Adelain” with a four year gap between their first offering and their sophomore release WE… THE ENLIGHTENED which came out in 1999, but it makes a lot more sense when you realize that this was not a normal type of band in any way whatsoever. This was a band that was initially composed of two music nerds who only wanted to make music in their spare time and never even once performed their creations in a live setting. Mostly this was due to the ambitious nature of the music itself and the unwillingness to collaborate with any sort of label in order to increase the band’s membership required for such live events to suit the sounds heard on the albums.

This was a passion and a hobby that only happened when the music allowed and in this case it took four long years to unleash the next chapter of the band which this time around found the addition of the third member Marinos A. who joined the Greek extreme metal band to add more guitars and keyboard skills to the mix which was an excellent idea because WE… THE ENLIGHTENED took all the signature sounds of the debut album and takes every several levels further. He would also help in the composition department which also saw many positive turns for the better.

While “Adelain” introduced the burgeoning 90s extreme metal scene to a totally new way of hybridizing not only metal genres but disparate influences ranging from new wave, classical and electronica (well, for those who were paying attention), WE… THE ENLIGHTENED further expands all those boundary crossing adventures and expands its tentacles even further all the while creating more sophisticated compositions, more intricate melodic developments and a much broader range of dynamic shifts, expansive soundscape horizons and metal hybridization possibilities. As with the debut THE ELYSIAN FIELDS deliver melodic based tracks that generally speaking utilize the melodic hook of a Pagan folk based keyboard riff as the main anchoring and then infinitely expand the dynamics and textures of the music around it.

The other constants making a reprise is the mix of death and black metal influences with other meanderings into thrash, doom and gothic metal territories. While the band did a great job at expanding the typical role of keyboards in an extreme metal band on “Adelain,” some of the antics on this one were just plain unprecedented at the time. The closest comparison would probably be early Emperor with biting caustic metal riffing accompanied by the pacifying effect of melodic keyboards however THE ELYSIAN FIELDS make the keyboards much more of an acrobatic player in their sound with key riffing so intense that it makes Keith Emerson wankery seem obsolete.

I’ll explain in detail the progressions of my two favorite tracks in order to demonstrate how sophisticated the band’s sound has become at this point. “Until The Cries Rise In The Heart” begins with a rather doomy sludge riffing pattern with a melancholic keyboard riff as a counterpoint but quickly picks up the tempo with the raspy vocals ushering in the black metal riffing and blastbeats. The keys increasingly display a more classical feel but drop out as the tremolo guitars, bantering bass and blastbeats are joined by Bill A.’s frantic angry vocals. After a couple of minutes the metal drops and the track morphs into a melodic yet high tempo piano run with thrash metal guitar riffs. The vocals exhibit a wide range of semi-spoken and shouted lyrics before the keys go fuckin’ crazy and sound like they’re ready for take off on a Philip Glass field trip before being joined in by the extreme metal riffing and vocal bantering. The interchange between melodic counterpoints is quite sophisticated as well as addictive.

“Arcana Caelestia” begins with howling wolves and then a thrash metal guitar attack with black metal vocals before morphing into a tremolo picked power metal type of riff that alternates with a more black metal oriented sequence. The vocals remain wickedly raspy and evil as the metal bounces back and forth between the stylistic shifts. The real surprise comes in as the metal turns into an epic soundtrack theme with military march style drumming and then finally a slow and melancholic organ and acoustic guitar passage. The interplay of tremolo guitar picking and keys returns and goes through a series of melodic repetitions before the earlier thrash metal riffs make a reprise but the track picks up speed on the last minutes with the intensity ratcheted up with the guitar, bass and drums and the keys go insane all the while Bill A. is coughing blood.

While those 2 are the most extreme and varied tracks, the others are carefully crafted and exhibit many stylistic shifts as well like a restless chameleon parading down a psychedelic street fair. While speed and aggression often rule the roost, they never usurp the throne of the melodic development but on the other hand always keep it intense and edgy. Add with that plenty of tempo drifting into doom, goth and even what sounds like early porto-metal chord changing domination and you’re in for one brilliantly composed album. While the comparisons to other Hellenic black metal acts such as Rotting Christ are valid in certain areas especially in the vocals, at this point THE ELYSIAN FIELDS delivered some of the most unique sounding metal in all of Europe.

Needless to say, this band has been woefully underrated, tearfully under the radar and utterly forgotten as time has marched on throughout the ensuing decades. While this lack of recognition is somewhat understandable since this is a band that has never played live and existed in a small European country far away from where most of the action was taking place, it is still dismaying that it has never seen the just dessert of its fruitful labor and quite sad that in this modern era that this unique band hasn’t seen some sort of resurrection in popularity for its most unique contributions that could possibly give it the subgenre tag of “chameleon metal.” Personally, THE ELYSIAN FIELDS has become an unexpected favorite band in my world with WE… THE ENLIGHTENED finding its way to not only the top of their four album canon but also ranks fairly high on my absolute favorite melodic extreme metal album list. This is one that should not be missed. Don’t let the melodic tag fool you. This is brutal and gentle at the same time in ways you’d never expect.

THE ELYSIAN FIELDS Adelain

Album · 1995 · Melodic Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
While the Scandinavian second wave of black metal was in its full glory, the lesser areas of Europe were busy gestating their own version of musical misanthropy in the form of extreme metal ranging from the death and doom dirges of maximum distortion to the blackened pits of fiery hellish metal that served as the soundtrack for Hades. Eastern European black metal bands may have been few in number in comparison to their northern neighbors but nonetheless some persistent aficionados of the style churned out some memorable albums. Greece has never really been on the forefront of any musical movement perhaps since the homegrown folk styles such as rebetika, however lurking in the shadows arose a few well known extreme metal bands such as Septicflesh and Rotting Christ. One of the lesser known but no less worthy of recommendations were THE ELYSIAN FIELDS who may have taken their namesake from the conception of the afterlife in Greek religious philosophies but were very much a part of the here and now of the 90s when they released their debut album ADELAIN in 1994 after a couple of attention getting demos.

THE ELYSIAN FIELDS created one of the most unique forms of melodic black metal in the 90s despite sounding somewhat familiar in comparison to its Hellenic counterparts of the scene but yet somehow drifted into its own unique arenas that took disparate sounds and made them their own. The band very much developed their sound in conjunct with bands such as Rotting Christ and Varathron but somehow fell off the radar while the others rose to the ascending throne of the world’s attentive ears. THE ELYSIAN FIELDS gained a loyal following in the early 90s as they released a few demos and demonstrated a unique interpretation of the black metal scene. Dominated by heavy aggressive guitar riffs and blastbeats that offer a backdrop for the angry raspy vocals to lash out against, this melodic black metal band’s sound was actually centered around a melodic keyboard riff that served as the anchor for the full fueled fury to dance around. In this regard THE ELYSIAN FIELDS took the same approach as the Ukrainian band Nokturnal Mortem did on their debut demo turned EP “Lunar Poetry” which uses a simple melodic hook on the keys to generate a never ending stream of aggressive riff changes and second wave black metal fury.

Also unique to the band were its exemplary ability to utilize aspects of death, gothic and doom metal in their musical cauldron to create a larger than life experience that mixed the typical blackened metal aggression with piano laden spoken word segments and more moody slower parts that created a unique contrast. At times during the slower parts the band can bring a doom metal band like My Dying Bride to mind but during the heavier parts the vocalist known only as “Bill A” is a dead ringer for Sakis Tolis of fellow Greek band Rotting Christ as do their crunchy guitar riff attacks mimic periodically throughout the album. THE ELYSIAN FIELDS also had a knack for a poetic prowess like few others of the day and created a more epic feel with their lyrics rather than simply blasphemous or misanthropic passages. Having been well steeped in the traditions of the Ancient Greek mythologies, this band utilized their exposure to these hidden worlds quite effectively and likewise utilized the proper mood setting musical principles to amplify their power. While the following album “We.. The Enlightened” expanded the overall sound manyfold, ADELAIN remains a typical melodic black metal 90s album that while not quite as frenetic as what Emperor or Cradle of Filth were pulling off back then, maintained a heavy sound with only certain moments where the full speed of their fury was uncaged.

THE ELYSIAN FIELDS remains one of the forgotten obscure Hellenic black metal bands that has fallen through the cracks to the point of true obscurity but more than deserves a resurrection from the vaults as the band crafted some excellent melodic black metal with death, doom and gothic touches. The piano and keyboard accompaniments are purely evil in their minor key hauntings and usher in the perfect storm of extreme metal savagery with devilish guitar distortion that alternate between tremolo picking and doomy sustained chords that linger on to infinity. This is an excellent taste of extreme Greek metal from the 90s and in my opinion much more sophisticated than what Rotting Christ was cranking out at the time with their early releases. THE ELYSIAN FIELDS knew just how to craft their compositions with the proper ingredients to create something not too far removed from the overall second wave black metal scene but yet with enough touches to make it sound totally original at the same time. Highly recommended.

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