Black Metal Bands--The Dark Side of Music

A Norwegian Invention

Black metal is a sub genre of heavy metal which is generally considered to be extreme and noncommercial. The genre is often shrouded in myths and cliches , most often based on Satanism and the occult , but also about nature and philosophy . Genre's origins stem from around 1980, but it was at the end of the decade that modern black metal was designed by Norwegian band.


During the 1980s, formed early "satanic extreme metal" band a future sketch of how the modern black metal would look like. This so-called "first wave" of black metal band that included Venom , Bathory , Hellhammer , Celtic Frost and Sarcófago . The "second wave" occurred at the beginning of the 1990s, Norwegian bands such as Mayhem , Burzum , Darkthrone , Immortal and Emperor .


The Norwegian black metal wave received in the period 1992-1994 a lot of attention because of the unusual image and the serious crimes that were committed. Norwegian and international media blew on the allegations surrounding members' ideological and political point of view. There were, respectively, two counts of murder and more than two dozen cases of arson . "The Black Circle" was a small group of young people in late teens to mid twenties who lived in the basement to the record shop Helvete in Oslo, owned by Øystein Aarseth . It is from this environment that "second wave" of black metal emerged in Norway, and made the country known worldwide as the export of "Satan Rock".

Instrumentation of Black Metal


Black metal guitarists usually use distorted guitar tones. Usually, the guitar played with a lot of fast tremolo picking. The writing process is much influenced by the guitarist uses a wide range of scales , intervals and chord progressions that give dissonant, anxious and ominous sounds. Guitar solos and low guitar tunings are rare in black metal. This creates the eccentric and atmospheric sound that separates black metal genre for the benefit of many other extreme metal genres.


Bass are not very used to perform independent melodies . It is not uncommon for bass players to be audible or solo and the other instruments follow the bass lines of the electric guitar rather than have the bass simply 'accompany' the other instruments.


Typically, drumming fast-paced and often use the double-bass and / or blast beat techniques, although the basic drumming is not uncommon. Many black metal bands have fast drum beats and " blast beats "that requires a quick and enduring drummer .


Black metal music is often away from conventional song structure, and often lack clear verse-chorus sections. Instead, often black metal music, long and repetitive instrumental sections.

Lyrics and vocal use


Traditionally, black metal band lyrics that deal with anti- Christianity, Satanism , occultism , åsatro , paganism , war , philosophy and nature . Other typical topics include nihilism , misanthropy , depression and death . While death metal musicians that originated in the United States, often had religiøsfientlige texts around 1990, had black metal bands often focused on kristendomfientlige texts, and often using religious motifs as Norse mythology and satanic lyrics. This is in many ways related to the Christianization of Norway in 1000 AD, where traditional Norwegian values ​​were replaced with Christians under duress.


Traditional black metal vocals takes the form of loud screaming vocals. This is in stark contrast to the low-pitched " growling "in death metal .

The low-cost production

The low-cost production was a must for former black metal artists with low budgets.

It was not unusual for the production of music took place in the homes of musicians, including band Mayhem, who released the music on the record label Deathlike Silence Productions, which took place in the record shop Helvete, both owned by Øystein Aarseth . Even then it was possible to increase production quality, many artists chose to continue to proceed with the budget indices of recordings. The reason for this was to be faithful to the genre's roots and non-commercial to make the music more "raw" and "cold". One of the more famous examples of this is the album Transilvanian Hunger from the band Darkthrone. Johnathan Selzer of Terrorizer Magazine claimed that Darkthrone represent the "do it yourself" aspect of black metal.

Black Metal Provocative Image Use


Unlike many artists of other extreme metal genres, many black metal acts occur through the use of props and authentic materials.

Mayhem and Gorgoroth are two bands that are known for their controversial effects, which spits animal heads, simulated crucifixion , medieval weapons, and band members doused in animal blood. The band Taake completed in March 2007 in Essen in Germany , a controversial stunt, which involved the vocalist Hoest painted a swastika on the chest.This led to considerable media attention, and the band was accused of being sympathizers with National Socialism. Taake was also removed from all the gigs in Germany, in addition to being removed from Karmøygeddon in Norway the following year. Vocalist Hoest claimed afterwards that the stunt had only intended to provoke, and not promote a political message.

Black Metal Uses Shock to Provoke

Viking Metal

Per Yngve Ohlin played a big role in what kind of image black metal band should have, in the form of a stage show and lyrics. He was the first in the environment that began with the corpse decrease and self-harm, and wanted to do something more out of the stage shows. King Diamond from Mercyful Fate and the members of Sarcófago were allegedly the first musicians who used corpse decrease in concert.


Black metal artists often appear dressed in black clothes and combat boots, cartridge belts, studded bracelets, and pentagrams , to portray their anti-Christian or anti-religious attitude. Another distinguishing features are many, the use of equal-makeup , sometimes mixed with real or fake blood.


Traditionally, many bands in black metal used simple black and white photos, as opposed to death metal, where artists often used colorful album cover. Covrene the black metal band was often true images of the band member with liks decrease the like, while death metal album like the character. Bands that do not use this style usually have album covers that are either atmospheric, provocative, or naturalistic. Others use fantasy landscapes (such as Burzum Filosofem and Emperor In the Nightside Eclipse ) while others are violent, perverse and iconoclastic

Viking metal

Viking metal , developed at the end of the 1980s by Swedish Bathory , the first full Viking metal album is considered to be Hammer Heart from 1990. Later Norwegian Enslaved on the track and took over as the foremost Viking metal band, then with some Norwegian black metal and progressive build-merged. Two other famous viking metal bands are Einherjer . Viking metal has often been played as a hybrid of both black metal and folk metal . Some of the more famous bands here include Windir , Falkenbach , Thyrfing , Ásmegin , Moonsorrow , Ensiferum , Grave Land and Nachtfalke .

Symphonic black metal

" Shagrath "from Dimmu Borgir .

The part of the symphonic black metal has its principal origins in the late 1990's, where the orchestral and symphonic elements were enmeshed in the music picture.

Symphonic black metal is in many ways an evolution from a melodic standpoint, and the Norwegian Dimmu Borgir in the main seat of this development. This may include the use of melodic instruments contained in the parts of a symphony orchestra (strings, brass, woodwinds and keys). The voices can be "clean" or operatic style, song structures more defined, or is inspired by clean symphonies. The symphonic black metal movement is still somewhat limited, in part because of its epic ambitions, and partly because it is traditional with black metal wave. Bands in this genre is, as previously mentioned, Dimmu Borgir, but other bands like Emperor , Cradle of Filth , Graveworm and Limbonic Art employ strong elements of this development.


Melodic Black Metal

The melodic form of black metal is a popular development which is characterized to be more "listening friendly" to the listener. This is especially in the form of a more melodic guitar riffs and guitar solos. In the 1990s it was common to include the use of keyboards and synthesizers, to create a more atmospheric sound in the form of several melodies. Many believe that the melodic black metal is somewhat less brutal than the usual black metal, making it more open to the listener.


Ambient black metal

Ambient black metal is a style that combines elements of black metal and traditional ambient music. The electric guitar and / or synthesizer player so far simple, ambient-based riff through a black metal style, often accompanied by heavy drums and screaming vocals. The Norwegian singer Varg Vikernes of Burzum's project, is considered a pioneer in this genre, and has created and influenced a lot of work in the ambient black metal field, and this is particularly evident on the album Filosofem. Other prominent artists who have performed in this style include Velvet Cacoon , Xasthur , Leviathan , Paysage d'Hiver , Blut aus Nord , Dark Space , Cold World , and Stringer Borg .


Avant-garde black metal

Arcturus in 2005

Avant-garde, combined with metal was long a separate genre, and later got into black metal. Rather did this genre of symphonic black metal, but it has a stamp as a cleaner style of high technical and artistic level. It is in many ways experimental, compared with many other sub-genres of black metal. It is often affected by other non-metal genres like neofolk , ambient , shoegaze but most of all, free jazz . Over time, the genre has become increasingly detached from the black metal roots, however, production techniques and many influences are still rooted in an extreme music genre. Bands like Borknagar , In the Woods ... , Arcturus , Deathspell Omega , Code , Diabolical Masquerade are examples of this.

Two Black Metal Fans in the Suburbs

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Comments 3 comments

TheHeavyReview profile image

TheHeavyReview 4 years ago

Great job! I think my favorite BM band is Enslaved, especially for their first two albums. Immortal is a good runner up- they've done nothing bad in their whole career. :)

Lately I've been into the post rock/black metal fusion stuff like Lantlos or Agalloch.

Voted up and awesome!


Buzzbee profile image

Buzzbee 4 years ago from The County of the Winkies in Oz Author

the Heavy: I am appreciative of your consummate approval!


Keiffer 20 months ago

Great hammer of Thor, that is powfreully helpful!

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