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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black metal Music Reviews

SHINING Submit To Selfdestruction

EP · 1998 · Depressive Black Metal
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UMUR
"Submit to Selfdestruction" is a 7" EP release by Swedish black metal act Shining. The EP was originally released through Selbstmord Services and limited to 300 hand-numbered vinyl copies but the material from the EP have since been released as part of the "Through Years of Oppression (2004)" compilation album which is easier to find. Needless to say that the original version is a rare collector´s item. The two tracks on the EP were recorded in 1996 by the trio of Wraith aka Niklas Kvarforth (guitars, bass), Robert Ayddan (vocals), and Impaler aka Ted Wedebrand (drums). The former (who was born in 1983), was only 13 years old at the time of recording the material...

...which is not audible when listening to the music, as both tracks are very well developed and cleverly composed. It´s a heavy and predominantly mid-paced (although occasionally a little faster-paced, but there are no blast beats or anything like that here) atmospheric type of black metal. The mood is bleak and depressing as are the lyrics. The vocals are screaming and desperate. The sound production is raw and primitive yet still effectful and powerful. While it´s not the most clear sounding production job, you still get a good idea of the band´s vision, and it´s not one of those lo-fi "recorded in the bedroom" type black metal productions, where the artist have made every effort to make it sound as noisy, murky, and raw as possible. On the other hand it´s not a production I´d call professional either, but it suits the music well, and that´s the important part.

Shining weren´t the most technically skilled musicians at this point, and considering their age, that´s not really a surprise, but the music is generally well performed and upon conclusion "Submit To Selfdestruction" is a promising first release by Shining. Featuring a playing time of 13:32 minutes the EP also allows the listener to get aquainted with the sound of Shining and in that respect it´s certainly a successful release. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

BATHORY Bathory

Album · 1984 · Black Metal
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UMUR
"Bathory" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by Swedish speed/heavy metal act Bathory. The album was released through Tyfon Grammofon in October 1984. Lead vocalist/guitarist Quorthon formed Bathory in 1983. The band´s first recordings where done in January 1984. It was the tracks "Sacrifice" and "The Return of the Darkness and Evil". Both appeared on the "Scandinavian Metal Attack" compilation (a split compilation with other Swedish and Finnish heavy metal artists), which was released in March 1984 through the Tyfon Grammofon label. The label received a lot of positive feedback from fans over the two Bathory tracks, and decided to offer the band to record a full-length studio album. When the offer came up Quorthon had to find a new drummer and a new bassist though because both Freddan (bass) and Jonas Åkerlund (drums) were no longer in the band. Therefore Rickard Bergman (bass) and Stefan Larsson (drums) were added to the lineup instead. The new three-piece lineup had one rehearsal in May 1984 before entering Heavenshore Studio in Stockholm in June 1984 to record their debut album. The album was recorded and mixed in 2 days.

Stylistically the music on the album is a blackened speed/heavy metal style, which sounds like it´s heavily influenced by early Venom. An act like Motörhead also often comes to mind. The sound is a bit darker and the vocals are snarling and pretty extreme for the time too though, and there is a gloomy occult atmosphere to the material. Bathory are often credited as one of the pioneers of black metal, and it´s abundantly clear why that is when listening to this album. It´s arguably an incredibly influential album in the genre, but it´s not what most people think of, when they think of black metal today. So no blast beats or anything else too extreme, other than the vocals. The music is both raw and pretty filthy too though, and the vocals are definitely of the blackened sort.

The tracks are pretty basic vers/chorus structured material featuring energetic and organic playing/singing. It´s not the most tight performance I´ve ever heard, but the guys in the band deliver their music with both passion and conviction, which is always far more important. The sound production is pretty lo-fi and raw, but it suits the music and there´s definitely a primal charm to it, that you won´t find on many more professionally produced releases. This is as "straight from the rehearsal room/live in the studio" as it gets.

The influential nature of the release earns it some points, but it is for the most part also a pretty enjoyable listen, although it is a slightly one-dimensional release. Most tracks are similarly structured and features about the same mid-to fast paced tempo, but there are moments when Bathory play a little slower and add some heaviness. It´s an album which is a bit hard to rate, because it speaks to a pretty specific audience of black/speed/thrash metal fans, who worship it like it´s the unholy grail. My opinion is probably a bit more objective and a bit more biased too, as I find it an interesting and adventurous release (for the time), but it´s also a bit immature and rough around the edges. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

SHIT WIZARD Semonic Death Brew Chugfuxion Sewer Beeritual of Doomhell​.​.​.

Demo · 2012 · War Metal
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siLLy puPPy
SHIT WIZARD! A band name that just rolls off the tongue like a dog turd that Divine just ate in a 70s hi camp film. This band originated in San Clemente, CA in 2006 and adopted one of those DIY lo-fi approaches. Consisting of drummer / vocalist Shaytanic and vocalist / guitarist / bassist Shit Wizard, this duo has summoned four spawns from hell in the form of two EPs and two albums but all are classified as demos to evoke that garage band approach.

SEMONIC DEATH BREW CHUGFUXION SEWER BEERITUAL OF DOOMHELL… came out the same year as “Shit Metal” in 2012 and i’m not entirely sure which is considered the debut but when music is this shitty, i don’t really care to investigate that deeply. SHIT WIZARD music is basically a hybrid of war metal aesthetics and thrash metal riffing. While pretending to fit into the same leagues of war metal bands like Blasphemy, Teitanblood, Archgoat and other death / black metal hybrids, SHIT WIZARD is basically a one-trick pony.

As evidenced by the ridiculous release title, this project relies on ridiculous and irony to get your attention but in the end has no talent to actually entertain you. With track titles like “Goat Anus,” “Satan’s Pussy,” “Vomit Possessed” and “Communion of Cum,” you’d expect this to be some kind of parody metal but the listening experience is more painful than hilarious. With ten tracks that race past the 14 minute mark, these cookie cutter sewage bombs all reek of sheer stupidity.

These guys have no talent basically. Simple thrash metal riffs and uninspired drumbeats are recorded in as lo-fi production as is possible. Vocals are grunts and echoey screams from beyond the din. The longest tracks are just barely over two minutes long so they are mercifully short. This is just basically a band that uses silly titles to masquerade the pointless noise that it churns out. All i can say is don’t drop out of wizard’s school. This is what you become if you don’t learn how to cast proper spells. SHIT. At least there is truth in advertising for this one.

ASCETICK Ascetick

EP · 2016 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Metal bands have really been on the increase in India in the last decade with various subgenera emerging from all over the country. One of the more unlikely places for a metal artist to come into existence is the extreme eastern region of the Indian state of Assam. ASCETICK is one of many one-man black metal bands that has popped up in the world and this project is the baby of AvsHKHzrA who plays all instruments.

So far the ASCETICK project has only yielded two EP releases. This first self-titled EP that came out in 2016 and “Hypnagogia” which was released the following year in 2017. This is a short little sucker with only three tracks that just misses the 16 minute mark. While unusual for the geography from whence it came, ASCETICK doesn’t really offer anything new under the sun as it as wholeheartedly adopted a wintery frigid style of Norwegian atmospheric black metal with chunky guitar riffs and stormy atmospheres. The bass provides a separate groove and is audible and the drums are mostly on lazy mode.

Basically the emphasis is on the atmospheric elements. The black metal consists of repetitive guitar riffs which start out slow and build up thrash metal intensity but the melodic flow is fairly simple. The most interesting aspect is the tortured vocals and guitar tones. The production is actually pretty good and the balance between the raw grittiness of kvlt black metal sounds with a polished mixing job is perfect however overall the musicianship is a bit on the mediocre side. This could probably be counted as a demo as it sounds like a rough draft of something bigger down the line. The best track is by far the eight and a half minute closing “Beyond Misty Mountains” which chugs along with murky gloom and doom in blackened bleakness.

Despite coming from India there is absolutely nothing here to indicate as such. If i were to guess i would totally peg this as a black metal release emerging from some Nordic nation or even Germany. While metal has grown in popularity in India, black metal is still a bit of a rarity however with bands like Tetragrammacide, Demonic Resurrection, Cry, Diabolus Arcanium and Toxoid emerging from the land of Ravi Shankar, it’s safe to predict that more bands will jump on the bandwagon as time goes by. As for ASCETICK, this is a decent black metal release but definitely not anything to get wildly excited about either.

ORDER FROM CHAOS Will to Power

EP · 1990 · Black Metal
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UMUR
"Will to Power" is an EP release by US, Missouri based black/death metal act Order From Chaos. The EP was released through Putrefaction Records in 1990. "Will to Power" is the band´s first label release, after releasing three demos. Order From Chaos formed in 1987 and are often mentioned among the earliest and most influential US black/death metal acts.

Stylistically the music on "Will to Power" is not black metal though, but more a blackened death metal style. Lead vocalist/bassist Pete Helmkamp has a very convincing snarling/raspy vocal style, which is the blackened element in the music, while the instrumental part of the sound is more death metal oriented. Actually the instrumental part of the music is death metal through and through. The musicianship is decent but obviously a bit immature at this point.

The sound production on the 3 track, 9:17 minutes long EP is of a pretty low quality. It sounds like the material was recorded in one take at a rehearsal room. That of course provides the release with a very raw and authentic "live in the studio" type of quality, and it´s probably a very subjective opinion if that´s a good or a bad thing. Personally I think the lo-fi sound production drags the EP down, and as a consequence a 2.5 star (50%) rating isn´t all wrong, despite the otherwise pretty decent quality music. There´s promise here though and especially Helmkamp´s vocals deserves a special mention. But considering that this is a 1990 release, the music is actually also pretty well developed death metal.

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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