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

black metal top albums

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PROGENIE TERRESTRE PURA
4.80 | 10 ratings
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black metal Music Reviews

MASTER'S HAMMER Rituál

Album · 1990 · Black Metal
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SilentScream213
Master’s Hammer’s debut is a surprisingly melodic package of classic Black Metal material. Somewhat similar to Bathory’s transitioning stages as they add elements of “epic” sound with synthed choirs, but always stay strictly in first wave Black Metal territory. The band really lean into simple melodic leads, and they work the hell out of it. Every track has got some really memorable riffs despite them being quite simple and containing just a few notes. The drumming is actually a few levels above the other instruments, containing a nice variety of groovy Heavy Metal beats and classic Black Metal blast beating.

The band had plenty of time to perfect their craft with multiple demos and EPs, but this is still technically a debut, and a great one at that. Ritual isn’t the most unique album in the scene, but everything about it is executed extremely well, and the album is a fun, epic, evil ride. Not mind-blowing, but there are really no weaknesses to this thing, a classic example of melodic first wave Black Metal.

YMIR Ymir

Album · 2020 · Pagan Black Metal
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Time Signature
Winterblasting...

Genre: black metal

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that, while I appreciate black metal as a genre, I am by no means a black metal afficionado, and I'll also be the first to admit that there are some genres of black metal that I simply just don't understand. However, every now and then, I happen across a black metal release that just clicks with me.

Ymir's eponymous 2020-release is one such release. It's not totally lo-fi in production (which might be a reason why I like it), but not polished either. It has a lot of the black metal tropes that so many know and love like the blastbeats, the tremolo picking, the dark atmosphere, and the harsh vocals. One thing that I like is that, while we are not dealing with super complex compositions, there is a nice balance between variation and repetition, so the listener is treated to both the trance-inducing effect of repetition and the excitement of changes and transitions. Another thing that I appreciate is how darkly melodic the entire effort is. Oftentimes, the melody emerges from the tremolo-picked parts themselves, but there are also the occasional melodic leads, which are often simple and melancholic. It all makes for a type of black metal that I feel I can appreciate.

Fans of early 90s black metal as well as of more melodic black metal should find this release appealing. It could also be a gateway for 'noobies' from the more polished contemporary black metal scene into the darker and rougher style of the 90s.

SJODOGG Vanskapning

Album · 2020 · Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The medical term SJODOGG denotes a variant of the disease Anaplasmosis in sheep and goats. It is also called Granulocyte Ehrlichiosis and is a disease transmitted by the tick Ixodes ricinus. Anaplasmosis also attacks humans, cattle, horses, dogs, cats, deer and small rodents. And if that wasn’t wickedly freaky enough, happens to be the name adopted by a Norwegian progressive black metal band that has borrowed every trick in the book from France’s Deathspell Omega.

Formed as far back as 2003 in Oslo, SJODOGG released a series of demos from 2004-06 before launching its debut “Landscapes of Disease and Decadence” in 2008 followed by three more albums. This fourth full-length VANSKAPNING (malnutrition) was released in June 2020 and is the most progressive yet as the album features a single near 45-minute track that really makes you believe that this is the latest Deathspell Omega album as SJODOGG pretty much nails that band’s sound perfectly while adding few creative idiosyncrasies to make you believe otherwise.

Unlike France’s most famous Satanic theology band, SJODOGG remains an obscurity in the modern world existing deep in the extreme metal underground however this album has been incorporated into the Duplicate Records catalogue with a vinyl, CD and digital release. This band consists of four members: Vulnus (vocals), Dracunculus (guitars), Tetrapus (bass) and Hordeolum (drums). Norway was of course the leader for bringing the extreme shock values of second wave black metal to the world’s attention in the early 90s but somehow lost ground a bit in the 2000s when French bands seemed to take the black metal genre into more sophisticated arenas.

If SJODOGG is an indicator, it sounds as if Norway is now playing catchup as it has lost ground in the world of black metal as many of its pioneering acts have long moved on to other musical genres or hybrids of black metal. VANSKAPPING is uncanny in how perfectly it sounds like one of the Satanic Trilogy albums from Deathspell Omega. Bantering jangle guitars, atonal dissonance, long progressive sprawling motifs that drift and shift without warning, however it is the dead ringer vocal style of lead singer Vulnus that really makes this the ultimate clone band as he sounds EXACTLY like Mikka Aspa with that distinct raspiness and irresolute stylistic approach of semi-reciting / semi-screaming independent of the instrumentation. Even the creepy atmospheres take you into that DOS special place.

Like all such bands, i have mixed feelings about this one. From a delivery standpoint this album is flawless and had it come out some 20 years ago would have surely been catapulted to the top of the heap as a bonafide masterpiece but given that Deathspell Omega has already claimed the throne as top black metal dog in that respective world, this comes off as a cheap desperate attempt to cash in on an already taken stylistic approach. However make no doubt about it, even copying this brand of sophisticated extreme metal is an achievement all in its own so it’s hardly something that doesn’t have any redeeming value. In fact this album is quite excellent and does offer scant deviations from the DOS playbook even if they are minor (small electronica details and detours in motifs come to mind.)

When all is said and done, SJODOGG crafted a very intense and complex album with VANSKAPNING which is highly recommended for those who can’t get enough of Deathspell Omega and don’t mind an album that sounds like it came directly from their own demented minds. The too close for comfort derivative nature of SJODOGG is its weakest attribute however the performances here are extraordinary! If only this band could simply tweak the sound a bit to find their own sound it would go a long ways. True that black metal is a world of subtle differences where fans are forgiving and not overly concerned with creativity much of the time but even so this one is the black metal equivalent of Starcastle is you would consider DOS the black metal version of Yes. Oh well, still a great listen.

VARATHRON Glorification Under The Latin Moon

Live album · 2020 · Melodic Black Metal
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Kev Rowland
Co-founded in 1988 by Stefan Necroabyssious, the band's vocalist and sole original member, Greek black metal band Varathron has been on a steady release schedule since 2004's ‘Crowsreign’, but for some reason have never put out a live album until now. Recorded on August 4th , 2019 in São Paulo during the final show of their "30 Years Of Darkness Tour", the setlist includes songs from throughout their career, including the entirety of the 1993 album ‘His Majesty At The Swamp’, to more recent songs, taken from 2018’s ‘Patriarchs Of Evil’. Alongside Rotting Christ and Necromantia, Varathron are seen as one of the founding fathers of the Hellenic Black Metal scene, and with 30 years already behind them there is no sign whatsoever of them mellowing out just yet.

This is classic black metal, and they utilise backing tracks with vocals and the odd keyboards to provide additional emotion and atmosphere, and if one were to remove that and the vocal style, one would possibly describe the music as being quite different as it is highly complex, technical and (dare I say it) melodic. This shows just how easy it is for genres to become confused as there are plenty of people who will say they do not like black metal who could very easily get into this album which crosses over many different styles from tech into power. They know how to use dynamics, and switch styles throughout so there is a great deal of contrast, which means that all aspects of their music come across with real power. Black metal live albums can somewhat suffer through lack of depth, as it loses some of that intensity, and while that is also the case here that can be somewhat mitigated by just turning it up. Yet another really solid release from the Greeks.

MIRRORTHRONE Gangrene

Album · 2008 · Symphonic Black Metal
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UMUR
"Gangrene" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swiss symphonic/progressive black metal act Mirrorthrone. The album was released through Red Stream, Inc. in April 2008. It´s the successor to "Carriers of Dust" from 2006. Mirrorthrone is a one-man act featuring Vladimir Cochet on bass, drum programming, guitars, keyboards, and vocals. Cochet formed Mirrorthrone in 2000 and released the debut full-length studio album "Of Wind and Weeping" in 2003. Cochet also releases albums under the Weeping Birth and Unholy Matrimony monickers.

Stylistically the material on the 6 track, 64:42 minutes long album continue the symphonic/progressive black metal style of "Carriers of Dust (2006)". Cochet is obviously classically trained and the compositions feature an omnipresence of classical piano and keyboard parts. Not completely unlike what some of the last Emperor albums sounded like. The drums are programmed and while they do feature an artificial digital sound, the actual drum programming is well done, and the programmed drums drive the music forward with the needed power. A human drummer would have been preferable but this is decent enough and doesn´t distract too much from the overall impression of the music. The vocals vary from snarling black metal type vocals, to clean vocals, to choirs, and there is generally good variation in the vocal department.

The tracks are generally very long, the shortest being 6:40 minutes long and the longest being 15:02 minutes long. They are structurally pretty complex and contain many different sections, atmospheres, and changes. A few more hooks to help tell the tracks apart would have been great, but it´s hard not to be impressed by the compositional skills at display here. The black metal parts are of the more polished kind, but that part of the music is perfectly designed to work with the many classical parts. So while I find "Gangrene" a more fascinating/intriguing release than an effectful and listenable ditto, my conclusive opinion is one of being mighty impressed by what I´m listening to. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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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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