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
4.28 | 5 ratings
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ARCHGOAT The Light-Devouring Darkness Album Cover The Light-Devouring Darkness
4.25 | 4 ratings
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ARCHGOAT Whore of Bethlehem Album Cover Whore of Bethlehem
4.14 | 8 ratings
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TEITANBLOOD Death Album Cover Death
4.17 | 3 ratings
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WEREGOAT Pestilential Rites Of Infernal Fornification Album Cover Pestilential Rites Of Infernal Fornification
4.14 | 3 ratings
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REVENGE Scum.Collapse.Eradication Album Cover Scum.Collapse.Eradication
3.92 | 4 ratings
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ARCHGOAT The Apocalyptic Triumphator Album Cover The Apocalyptic Triumphator
3.83 | 3 ratings
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The Baneful Choir
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TEITANBLOOD The Baneful Choir

Album · 2019 · War Metal
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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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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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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.


Album · 1993 · War Metal
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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.

BLASPHEMY Fallen Angel of Doom....

Album · 1990 · War Metal
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The fiery pits where the earliest black metal bands were forged were sparing in their early yields of fledgling bands developing the style that didn’t quite scratch the itch on Venom’s earliest recordings. While Scandinavia was the hotbed of second wave black metal taking the world by storm with Bathory and Mayhem crafting the earliest known sounds to be called true black metal, half the world away in Vancouver, BC, Canada another band had its hand in crafting its own cacophonous sonic terror. BLASPHEMY formed all the way back in 1984 but wouldn’t release the first demo “Blood Upon The Altar” until 1989. While Bathory and Mayhem were responsible for unleashing the first black metal recordings onto an unsuspecting world, BLASPHEMY was still in its embryonic stage gestating the most brutal and aggressive noisefest possible.

The wait was worth it since BLASPHEMY crafted the earliest sounds that would be deemed war metal (also known as war black metal or bestial black metal). This band took the aggressive, the cacophonous and the chaotic to even more extreme levels by following in the footsteps of some of the 80s most intense metal bands like Sodom and Possessed along with early grindcore like Repulsion as well as the death metal sounds of Autopsy, Sarcófago and early Sepultura. After the demo was released BLASPHEMY followed up with the debut FALLEN ANGEL OF DOOM the next year with cover art so vile and blasphemous that the style of a war metal bands to come would copy the tricolor schematic of black, white and red with monstrous depictions of Satanic beasts and anti-Christian themes. And according to Terrorizer magazine, this album is heavier than the entire forests of Canada falling on your big toe.

BLASPHEMY was a quartet and donned unusual Gwar-like personas with terrifying stage names like Black Hearts of Damnation and Impurity (drums), Nocturnal Grave Desecrator and Black Winds (bass, lead vocals), Traditional Sodomizer of the Goddess of Perversity (rhythm guitars, backing vocals) and the crazed lead guitarist Caller Of The Storms who happened to be one of the very few black guitarists who would forsake the world of funk and hip hop and join the ranks of the noisiest legion of sonic terrorists the early 90s had to offer in the world of black metal. With subject matter steeped in Satanism and demonology, BLASPHEMY became one of the most revered bands in the underground extreme metal scene and was signed to the Wild Rags label while touring the US.

FALLEN ANGEL OF DOOM is a short blast in the hellfire pits of early war metal with surreal intro effects that lead into down-tuned hellish fury that finds frenetic power chords, blastbeat percussion and low guttural growls coalescing into distorted monstrous dinfests with punk infused brevity. Breaking out the squealing solos, Caller Of The Storms displays how the war metal segment at the black metal store has much more in common with old school death metal than Scandinavian contemporaries that utilized trebly lo-fi tremolo picking as the primary means of expression. At the time this debut album was released, BLASPHEMY had no competition in the war metal but soon their influence would spread far and wide with bands like Beherit, Archgoat and Impaled Nazarene quickly joining the deathened black metal pits from whence this vile din of perversity found life.

Like many other artists who develop a new style, BLASPHEMY’s debut FALLEN ANGEL OF DOOM has become a classic for its infidel influences on the entire extreme metal scene that would follow. Despite its classic status the album wasn’t rereleased for over a decade and finally found new life in 2007 on the Nuclear War Now! label. While not the best example that black metal has to offer, the incessant deathened core influences that BLASPHEMY mashed into the second wave black metal sounds are staggering and about as extreme and sacrilegious as music could get in 1990, a year when both black metal and death metal were barely out of the cradle. Not my favorite but still a classic.

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