War Metal

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War Metal, also known as Bestial Black Metal, is a style of metal music that fuses elements of black metal and death metal, but is considered district from more traditional black/death metal fusions and blackened death metal sounds. Though considered a sub-genre of black metal, the genre does draw extensively from death metal as well, with death metal style growling being a prominent feature of the style, compared to other types of black metal which favour a more raspy style. This can often lead to misidentification of war metal bands, especially since the style also eschews many of the black metal genre's other typical traits, such as trebly tremolo picked guitar playing, which is often replaced by fast, down-tuned power crowds. The production sound of war metal tends to come across as muddy and chaotic, rather than cold and atmospheric.

Canada's Blasphemy are commonly considered to be the first band to truly play the genre known as war metal. Other reasonably known names in the field include Archgoat and Morbosidad. The genre remains, however, a very niche style that few play and even fewer can claim familiarity with.

War metal can also draw on grindcore, especially in regard to playing speed and the tendency for artists to write short songs, with many war metal albums clocking in at under forty or even thirty minutes. Though not as associated with grindcore as it is death metal, some artists have been credited for fusing war metal and grindcore together, such as Revenge from Canada.

The name of the genre comes from the prevalent themes of war and nuclear holocaust that artists of the genre use, though like with any style of metal war metal bands can cover any kind of subject matter and in this respect the more accurate name for the style is actually Bestial Black Metal. However War Metal is the name more commonly used and as such is the name displayed on Metal Music Archives.

- Style definition written by adg211288.

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BLASPHEMY Gods of War Album Cover Gods of War
BLASPHEMY
4.28 | 5 ratings
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ARCHGOAT The Light-Devouring Darkness Album Cover The Light-Devouring Darkness
ARCHGOAT
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ARCHGOAT Whore of Bethlehem Album Cover Whore of Bethlehem
ARCHGOAT
4.14 | 8 ratings
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TEITANBLOOD Death Album Cover Death
TEITANBLOOD
4.17 | 3 ratings
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WEREGOAT Pestilential Rites Of Infernal Fornification Album Cover Pestilential Rites Of Infernal Fornification
WEREGOAT
4.14 | 3 ratings
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REVENGE Scum.Collapse.Eradication Album Cover Scum.Collapse.Eradication
REVENGE
3.92 | 4 ratings
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ARCHGOAT The Apocalyptic Triumphator Album Cover The Apocalyptic Triumphator
ARCHGOAT
3.83 | 3 ratings
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war metal Music Reviews

FORNICATADOR Nuclear Rape

EP · 2018 · War Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Coming from the remote Australian city of Darwin which sits all the way at the top of Aussie territory and a vital link with Indonesia to the north, the bestial black war metal act FORNICATADOR is lurking in the shadows of Australia’s most tropical metropolis and creating unfathomable evil sounds. Like many bands in this darkened fusion of death metal brutality cross-pollinated with the black metal underground, not much is known about this one-man band whose identity is Guy Watson aka Masokist who performs all instruments and vocals. But mystery is all a part of the image i suppose.

In the war metal world, there’s a tendency to eschew the modern trends of making “pretty” black metal with hi-fi production effects or symphonic sophistication. On this second EP titled NUCLEAR RAPE, the focus is firmly placed on sounding as lo-fi fucked up as possible which makes this EP sound a lot like a demo would have in the old days and in fact some sources claim that this is indeed a demo but the fact that this is for sale on Bandcamp as an official release, i’d have to dispute those charges.

One look at the blasphemous cover art and you’ll know you’re getting a musical style that wants to push all the buttons by blending sexual perversions with anti-Christian rhetoric. While the lyrics are indecipherable (as usual) there’s no missing the fact that with track titles like “Defecated Christ” or “Penis Of Christ,” that this is music designed to piss of the religious folk but personally it’s only the music i care about so let’s move on. This is basically a typical lo-fi war metal release with emphasis on noisy and murky distorted guitar riffs that offer plenty of feedback and reverb from hell.

This is basically the sonic equivalent of a nuclear holocaust which is why the EP is called NUCLEAR RAPE as you feel you’re being assaulted for the entire time you are listening to this. The EQ is tweaked for maximum irritation, the war metal march is either slow and distorted beyond imagination or rampaging like the Hulk on a bad day. This EP successfully delivers the disturbing underground feel that its going for however like most of these types of acts, the brevity is welcome due to the fact that the one-dimensional nature is like throwing a fire log into the volcano and watching it incinerate in a microsecond. The effect wears off quickly but is quite exhilarating while it is on fire.

In all honesty, these four tracks probably feature the most feedback and noisy mess of sound that i’ve ever experienced on a metal album. While this style of music has always seemed like a musical cul-de-sac where there’s nowhere left to go, it’s amazing that this only came out in 2018 and seems to have taken the evil mind fuck to an even more disturbing level. Sub-level that is. This hypnotic dark music seems like it is designed to accompany an intense gazing session at the cover art and therefore really does evoke the very essence of black magic unlike other black metal styles. For that i’ll have to admire its sheer determination to go as black and light-free as possible. In a short duration i actually enjoy this quite a bit but this is like a ridiculously sweet dessert where after a few bites, i’m quite satisfied and ready to move on.

TEITANBLOOD The Baneful Choir

Album · 2019 · War Metal
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siLLy puPPy
TEITANBLOOD has forged its own unique sound in the world of extreme metal over the years since its formation in Madrid, Spain all the way back in 2003 but hasn’t been the most prolific band out there since then. While it took six years for the debut “Seven Chalices” to hit the world in 2009, the band has only released three full-length albums since its inception. It has however filled in the cracks with several EPs and a split.

The band has undergone a few lineup changes with drummer J and vocalist / bassist / guitarist N.S.K. remaining the only original members. Emerging from the depths of hell once again to deliver a sonic slice of impending doom and destruction, the band has just unleashed the ferocious third album THE BANEFUL CHOIR onto the metal universe and like a megaton of a nuclear arsenal has made an impact crater in the psyche of a receptive audience.

While not substantially different than the band’s other two albums, TEITANBLOOD continues to defy genre classification by crafting its own brand of blackened death metal. The death metal ferocity still delivers an incessant attack of energetic dissonance and rabid riff magic with the darkened black metal gloom that bleeds into the war metal category. While war metal can come across as a bit one dimensional, THE BANEFUL CHOIR is a magnificent display of not only rampaging speedy attacks of sound but also implements slower elements such as doomy passages as well as dark ambient intros which provided the much needed contrast.

THE BANEFUL CHOIR joins a host of newer extreme metal artists that have mastered the art of metal production in the context of the ugliest brutality the music world has to offer. TEITANBLOOD exercises the segregation of sounds and hierarchy of tones and timbres to create a surreal and hellish soundtrack for the underworld and beyond. While keeping the guitar sounds in a somewhat lo-fi compression zone, this allows the thundering bass and drum bombast to emerge from the cacophonous din without affecting the murderous war march of the riffing which evokes a primeval 80s thrash attack in the vein of early Kreator or Sodom.

The vocals are steeped in black metal overtones and are set back in the mix to evoke a trapped soul trying to escape the blackened forces that imprison him in some lower vibrational prison complex. The mixing job is perfect for this kind of music and the dark ambient passages seamlessly flow and blend in with the triumphant metal bombast that constitutes the ultimate damnation in musical form. The album is strangely hypnotic as the receptive riffs pummel the senses with a smooth atmospheric backdrop which is barely audible subliminally strangles the light.

War metal is a moody beast and takes the listener into the darkest recesses that the metal world can conjure up and while many such bands come off as mere amateurs despite displaying excellent musicianship, TEITANBLOOD shows a true mastery of not only the extreme metal technicalities but also of the subtle nuances that can make or break an album of this style. Add to that the tracks are varied with some existing more in the black metal world and others like “Sunken Stars” evoking an early Morbid Angel style of death metal attack. Just when i think war metal has run its course, i’m pleasantly surprised and TEITANBLOOD has delivered some of the darkest most rampaging examples of metal so far this year.

GOATKRAFT Sulphurous Northern Beastiality

Album · 2019 · War Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The war metal section of black metal seems to be growing by leaps and bounds in 2019 with not only new releases by classic bands such as Diocletian and Seges Findere but finds a whole new cast of beastial noise bringers to the mix! New releases from Esoteric Order of the Red Goat, Mothersuperior, Savage Necromancy, Ygarokk, Death Worship, Pig’s Blood, Warbrother, Morbital, Sankara, Eggs of Gomorrh, Abysmal Lord and Tetragrammacide just to name a few DEMON-strate that this little loud and obnoxious subgenre is in no danger of falling into oblivion any time soon. Add to the list is the debut album by one of Norway’s newest noisemakers - GOATKRAFT and it’s also clear that the frigid darkness of the Scandinavian northlands continues to generate angsty youths who love to take out steam through the most vile and horrific sounds possible!

Emerging from Bergen, the city of Immortal, Burzum, Gorgoroth and Taake also clearly shows that this little city on Norway’s west coast is also in no danger of losing its touch for delivering the black metal goods. GOATKRAFT formed in 2017 and quietly released its debut EP in the form of “Angel Slaughter” the following year. Now one year later in 2019 comes the band’s debut full-length affectionally titled SULPHUROUS NORTHERN BESTIALITY, a true northern brutal slice of bestial black war metal in the vein of the most aggressive and energetic miscreants this little nook in the black metal universe can muster up. Living up to the standard of the war metal world, GOATKRAFT delivers a crude slice of lo-fi black metal fortified with the rampage of death metal drenched in pure eeeeeee-vile! Steeped in the blood of the pioneers such as Blasphemy, Archgoat and Beherit, GOATKRAFT don’t reinvent the wheel but rather blow it to smithereens.

Falling into the same camp as newer bands like Weregoat, GOATKRAFT exudes a purely Satanic saturation of which the hellish album cover art is what attracted me to sample SULPHUROUS out of the many war metal albums releases as of late. While the album cover gets a full five stars for its perfecting the mysterious nature of the evil underground, musically GOATKRAFT don’t exactly top my list for epic black metal releases. While gazing towards the past to tritone based Darkthrone in its earliest second wave black metal compositional flair, GOATKRAFT does strike the perfect retro pose while adding new layers of aggression to their 21st century angst but unfortunately the album (as do many in the war metal zone) comes off as a one-trick pony with incessant power chords with tremolo picking and incessant blastbeat drumming that blurs into a continuous headache inducing machine at full speed for almost the entirety of the album’s playing time.

With a running time of just under 29 minutes, the album buzzes along on a relentless rampage with only the opening “Yawns From The Abyss” and the intermission “Invocation Of The Lord Of Huracan” providing some dark ambient ritualistic noise to demarcate some sort of contrast. Other than those two short snippets of sound, SULPHUROUS NORTHERN BESTIALITY tends to sound like a typical lashing out by a drug overdosed schizoid who screams and snarls until blood gushes out of every orifice. While the grim riffing and brutal bombast are certainly up to snuff in generating the proper degrees of musical violence and lupine savagery, the lack of any sort of deviation from the overall plan does tend to create a bit of monotony on this nihilistic journey. In the end a decent war metal album but not in the top ranks of the sub and certainly doesn’t match the majesty presented by the album cover art but nevertheless, GOATKRAFT provides a distinctly morbid brutal sound and a band to look out for in the future.

ARCHGOAT Whore of Bethlehem

Album · 2006 · War Metal
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Warthur
Go down that dark alleyway at the intersection of brutal death metal and lo-fi black metal and you'll get coshed over the head by the gutteral hybrid style known as war metal. Archgoat's Whore of Bethlehem is a short, sharp burst of fury, adeptly deploying the most brutal weapons in the war metal arsenal. From the subgenre's black metal heritage, you have a filthy, murky production sound which evokes a deliciously evil atmosphere; from the brutal death metal side of the family tree, you have the gutteral grunts of Lord Angelslayer and a tendency to stick to the lower end of the sonic spectrum. This is metal you might hear coming from an enemy warlord's bunker on the battlefields of World War IV.

I'm not sure I'd want much more than 35 minutes of Archgoat in one sitting, or many more albums in a similar vein, but as far as comprehensive explorations of a very niche musical style goes Whore of Bethlehem is pretty decent.

BLASPHEMY Gods of War

Album · 1993 · War Metal
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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.

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