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

WORMWITCH Heaven That Dwells Within

Album · 2019 · Melodic Black Metal
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voila_la_scorie
When it comes to black metal, I find there's the type that makes me think, "Sweet! I can totally immerse myself in this," and then there's the type that makes me think, "A bit too much slicing on the ol' tympanic membrane. Ease up a bit on the over-driven lo-fi treble tone."

Wormwitch's second album, "Heaven That Dwells Within" is of the first type. Right from the bursting intro of the drums, the Celtic Frostian "ough!", and the wash of guitar distortion, the music is like a swiftly hurtling cozy blanket that whisks me away. The production is warm and comfortable, not squeaky clean or living room lo-fi. The drums blast away. The vocals do what black metal vocals do. The guitar sounds and the riffs sweep you away across the frosts and snows of... Vancouver? Alright. It's a bit unusual to hear black metal performed so well from a city that's known more for rust than frost. But Wormwitch sure have a handle on what they're doing.

In general, the album is a sweet listening experience, but there are enough moments that pop out that have me checking the track list and what song is playing at the moment. That folky bit in "Vernal Womb". The pause and sudden drop downs in "Two Wolves". The changing riffs of "Midnight Sun" and the acoustic and clean vocal intro to "Dancing in the Ashes". It doesn't take long to pick out what makes each song different from most of the others. That's a good point for me. I appreciate an album that sounds great from start to finish, but it's the little highlights here and there that make individual tracks memorable.

I'm a bit surprised to see "crust" mentioned in Wormwitch's description. I don't hear any on this album. But I like it enough that I am interested in hearing their first album. Black metal experts might have more critical words to say about this record but I think it's really a well-done piece of work that I'll come back to.

BATHORY Blood Fire Death

Album · 1988 · Black Metal
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SilentScream213
Blood Fire Death marks one of the most clear improvements in a band I’ve seen. Bathory’s first album spawned true first wave Black Metal, and the two that followed delivered more quality yet samey material. All were very consistent packages of thrashy Black Metal with amateurish musicianship, horrible production and yet some sort of incredibly alluring interest factor that made it all sound right. On Blood Fire Death, Bathory opted to stop delivering more of the same and put the bar way higher.

Here, they abandon all their weaknesses. The music, while still simple oftentimes, is played fast and sharp; gone are the messy notes and offbeat drums, and in addition there are moments of great skill displayed as well. More importantly, the band continues to focus on mood and use their greater skill to craft awesomely aggressive and sinister soundscapes rather than showing off. The production is also much better here, and somehow they manage to hit a fantastic sweet spot between keeping the raw grit of true Black Metal and keeping all the instruments audible and sounding great. The riffs switch between moody Black and aggressive Thrash riffing and both play off each other perfectly, and despite liking previous Bathory albums, I find the riffs here to be all around much better and more memorable, maybe no small thanks to the guitars being clearly audible.

The band also capitalizes on their strengths. I said their previous albums were consistently good yet samey; this album delivers 7 consistently amazing songs that all have very distinct sounds to them. Opting for a more epic sound (but no less evil and thankfully no less serious), the band adds some keys and synths (usually choirs) here and there, and it works fantastically. They never overdo it, adding just enough to accentuate the songs and add to the individuality of each composition. The obviously synthed sounds might sound cheesy in other cases, but here the synths being not so high quality actually matches the raw mixing and ends up creating this sound that is just somehow off in the best way.

The last thing I’ll say is Quarthon finally perfected his voice. My god that hollow, raspy call is amazing. He even manages to add a lot of variety to the way he screams, switching it up to serve each song individually, and adding a ton of passion to it when he tries. Simply one of the best voices I’ve heard in metal. The lyrics are great too, ranging from the first signs of the Viking themes, to old school Satanic madness, all with peak delivery.

AGVIRRE Silence

EP · 2020 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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UMUR
"Silence" is an EP release by UK, Manchester based post-black metal act Agvirre. The EP was released in January 2020 on CD through Trepanation Recordings and on cassette tape through Surviving Sounds. It´s the band´s first (longer) release and they have chosen to write about living with mental illness, and they interviewed people struggling with mental illness for inspiration, and have used voice samples (I assume with permission) from some of the interviews on this release.

"Silence" consists of three tracks and a total playing time of 26:29. "Radio Silence (Fill In the ______)" is a shorter intro track, while both "Muzzle & Mask" and "Abandonment" clock in at around 12 minutes. Stylistically the material is melancholic/depressive and atmospheric black metal. Agvirre play both fast and mid-paced and in addition to guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, the music features omnipresent use of violin and keyboards, which provide the music with an occasional symphonic edge. Symphonic in this case should not be understood as if this is symphonic black metal like Dimmu Borgir or anything like that though, just that there are epic moments and classical music influences featured on the EP. The vocals are predominantly desperate shouting/screaming, and a little one-dimensional in nature, and it´s nice to hear the clean vocal sections which closes "Abandonment" , because it´s not only well performed, it also provides the vocal part of the music with some needed variation (a little bit of shoegaze influence is heard there).

"Radio Silence (Fill In the ______)" is an eerie "white" noise track with voice samples, which creates the right opening to the mood of the two longer tracks which follow. "Muzzle & Mask" is to my ears the most interesting composition on this release, and "Abandonment" struggles a little more in terms of featuring an equal number of interesting compositional ideas. It´s still a great track, but I prefer the style and quality of "Muzzle & Mask".

"Silence" was mostly recorded at home by the involved musicians, but they have still managed to make the EP a well produced release (with the help of producer Chris Taylor). So upon conclusion "Silence" is a promising first release by Agvirre. It´s a very creative release and it´s obvious the band have poured a lot of time and heart into the making of it. I could maybe have wished for the tracks to have been a little shorter and more concise, and thereby ultimately also more effective, but it´s details and overall "Silence" is a quality release and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

BATHORY The Return......

Album · 1985 · Black Metal
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SilentScream213
Bathory is back at it again with more of the same for their sophomore album. The differences between this and the debut are minimal; same terrible production quality, same evil riffs and lyrics, same snarling screams. Which is good, because the first album succeeded in all these aspects. The songs stay almost exclusively fast tempo, and the drumming definitely sounds more controlled. The good stuff isn’t really better than their debut, but it definitely sounds like the album is more consistent, with almost no weak moments throughout. Bathory would later go on to pioneer new genres of metal, but here they stick to their original style, and there’s not much else to say about it.

BATHORY Bathory

Album · 1984 · Black Metal
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SilentScream213
Venom planted the seeds of Black Metal with their simple, Satanic, and raw style that aimed to be as fast and abrasive as possible. Bathory was the plant that grew from those seeds. Although not an astounding effort on it’s own, Bathory was an album that was indisputably Black Metal, and – whether purposefully or due to lack of money – set the standard for the use of terrible production as a tool to create atmosphere. Indeed, the album sounds like you’re listening to some cultists play in the middle of the woods from inside your bedroom. However, it works – the album sounds very dark, and very evil, and it’s convincing in that darkness, unlike Venom which were rather humorous in the end. Imperfect, but a brilliant first child for the genre of Black Metal.

black metal movie reviews

ENSLAVED Live Retaliation

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

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

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