Welcome to Hell, allbeit welcome to black metal
. On contrasting evidence whilst looking into the origins of black metal, and indeed why this has taken me two years to come up with, it is clear the black metal scene is a divided colossus of minor artists.
Black Metal, to me, is about performance more than the music. I will go into detail with this and explain myself as I am sure kvlt black metal fans will hate what I just said. What defines a genre in a review journalistic way of view are certian facts. In Thrash Metal it is the fact that the riffs are played extremely fast, in death metal it's the fact that you have blast beats (gravity blasts) and death 'growls' and this is also true to black metal. Black Metal is defined as having Snarls, low-recording sounds, keyboards, screams and most importantly it's about satan. However, lyrics being a big theme for this genre and mostly the wrong interpretation of heavy metal by the general public is always that it's about "hell and satan". People, friends and fiends come to me and say what are you into, I say I am into heavy metal - mainly death metal and thrash metal, of which they say "oh all that screaming and devil imagery" which, yes metal has elements of but it is just plain rude to base your facts on little pockets of media coverage.
Lyrical themes here, in black metal, can range from satan, mythology, evil stuff to spiritual awakening, death, stories or just fantasy...So why is black metal so deemed as the deformed brother of death metal
? Well in the past, i would have said "Becuase it is". And it's meant to be. I have made bands in this genre and it was all about the showmanship of wearing the capes, the black leather trousers, the snarl to the camera, the corpse paint and making your audience think your the devilspawn...And it is exactly that why I like black metal. Take it with a pinch of salt and your fine.
So to the origins, black metal was believed by many as starting in Norway and I think this was spread by Norwegians, don't get me wrong a lovely country and wouldn't it be nice (a fantasy tale) to have black metal start in a black, cold, wet enviroment like Norway? However, I think this is just Mayhem
spreading that their country started at least something. In fact, it was started, but not named in that country, and cannot stop making things then continue making them but not being the best at it's own creation. Yes, the United Kingdom. It was the band Venom
, in 1979, laying the foundations of black metal, placing the evilness and showmanship to come. And rather like what America does to everything (makes it bigger and quote-on-quote "Better") Norway did to black metal. They slapped a name on it, they created a Newspaper world
, a definition and a lyricial themed obituary of performanced enhanced music.
This was later called the 'First Wave' with acts such as nwobhm
Venom, the swiss giants Celtic Frost
, the greatest feud band Hellhammer
and the pure wonderful talented Bathory
. These bands had their different media highlights and activities (ploys) to get them in headline news reels. The start of something that makes black metal, for me, a huge farce but a wonderful spectical aswell.
Here, the second wave, as mentioned above, from the blackened lands of Norway and bands you will have heard of (unless you have been living under the rock since 1989). Mayhem
, all came out of the greatest scene known in heavy metal to put on various events to make it the best 'story making' genre in history. To name a few; church burnings, murders, antichrist pagan rituals, burning animals in real life shows, self harm on stage, reinacting slavery in chackles, women 'doing sexual things' on stage to the vocalist and so on. It is great to read, but is this music?
Several commnetators on the heavy metal scene disagreed with death metal, thrash metal and black metal for the fact it was just 'kids playing instruments by bashing them together and strumming them to pieces.'. And in a word, that is a fair enough statement of extreme metal. However, you need the ears for this kind of music like you need the audacity to watch all those sobbing reality tv shows.
It isn't for everyone but one things for sure black metal is a wide variety of cultures, themes, musical excellances and pure imagination. Pure brillance.Notable Sub-Genres of Black Metalatmospheric black metaldepressive black metalpagan black metal
(viking black metal
/ epic black metal
a.k.a)nsbmorthodox black metalraw black metalsymphonic black metal
(melodic black metal
)The List of Notable ArtistsThe Norwegian SceneUnited Kingdom and Irish SceneThe Italian Scene
Rest of Europe
The African Scene
The Middle East Scene
The Asian Scene
The Americas Scene
Oceania SceneNotable LinksA Brief History of Black MetalWikipedia of Black MetalOrder Your Fix of Black MetalThe Black Metal CommunityVersion 4