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When I listen black metal music for the first time I was awestruck by the guitars and the agressive / innovative vocals. I'm a metal fan for many years and I listen for different genres of metal music, but the extreme genres of metal is now what I'm interested. When it comes to extreme metal geners, I'm not interested in crimes and other actions such as burning churches... It's all about the music !
Back in 2004 when I listen for my first extreme metal album I started to search more information about the bands and musicians involved in this scene. I was in a music store in my town specializing in rare records and I bought the album "Battles in the North" from Immortal (one of my preferred bands). Since then, my search for news and curiosities in this area is a priority.
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If you want more information about Black Metal, continue reading below.
If you are new in this subject, here you can read more about the Blackmetal music style. Actually, Black Metal, Trash metal and Death Metal are very similar and the difference can be verified in the lyrics.
Black Metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music and it's known by the vocal style and highly distorted guitars. The more technical guitarrists are usually play with dissonance and flat-fifth to provide an unique atmosphere in the song. The bass guitar is often muted by the power and intensity of guitars.
Shrieking, screaming and snarling is something usual in the vocals and these aspects is what distinguishes a black metal vocalist from a Death and Trash metal artists.
In the lyrics you will constantly find themes about winter, forests, storms, winter storms, blizzards, mountains and more. The distant past is usually mentioned in lyrics as well, including mythology and folklore of Norway.
First wave of Black Metal bands
The history of Black Metal is marked following a classification of Bathory, Hellhammer and Venom as part of the "first wave" while the Norwegian Black Metal scene began with the band Mayhem and the suicide of its vocalist, "Dead". Euronymous, after the vocalist suicide, and the album "A Blaze in the Northern Sky" from Darkthrone was the founders of Norwegian scene.
In 1980 the "first wave
" of Black Metal bands was formed from speed, death and trash metal projects and we can name Hellhammer, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate and Venom. The subgenre name was originated by the second album of the band Venom, called "Black Metal" launched in 1982. The members of the band Venom adopted pseudonyms, the vocals was raspy and the music very fast. The band Bathory from Sweden was also an influence as Thomas Forsberg (Quorthon) was the first to adopt shrieked vocals in their dark, heavy and fast musics.
The band from Switzerland Hellhammer also plays an important role on later Black Metal bands. Their brutal style and guitar riffs was shifted to more orchestral territories in 1984, when the band members formed the band Celtic Frost which was one of the most extreme bands in 1990's.
In Denmark, the band Mercyful Fate, led by King Dimond has also influenced Norwegian bands with the facepaint in black and white, lyrics and imagery.
- Other bands in the "first wave": Destruction, Kreator, Bulldozer, Sodom and Death SS.
The end of the "first wave" was marked with bands from United States (Morbid Angel), Great Britain, Sweden (Tiamat), Japan (Sabbat), Israel (Salem), Canada (Blasphemy), Greece (Rotting Christ), Switzerland (Samael), Hungary (Tormentor), Italy (Mortuary Drape).
Some bands (Marduk, Dissection, Nifelheim, Abruptum, Beherit, Archogoat and Impaled Nazarene
) from Northern Europe start launching its musics inspired in these bands from the first wave.
Black Metal - Immortal gig in 2007 - Wacken
Second wave of Black Metal bands
The "second wave
" of BlackMetal bands emerged in 1990 making Norway the country to dominate this music style with bands such as Mayhem, Emperor, Burzum, Darkthrone and Immortal. Nowadays, it's easy to recognize a Norwegian band due its unique style and atmosphere.
The Norwegian bands Mayhem, Gorgoroth, Darkthrone, Enslaved, Burzum, Immortal, Emperor, Satyricon
, Thorns and Carpathian Forest began releasing a new kind of music in early 1990s. The corpse painting on face is the way of the artists distinguishes from other metal bands in that era.
Helvete - record shop and meeting point
The members of the bands Mayhem, Burzum, Emperor and Thorns along with fans and enthusiasts was often present in a record shop opened by Euronymous, from Mayhem. This place was an important meeting point for the emerging scene when musicians and fans meet up to talk and spend some time debating.
Helvete was a venue that played an important role to the Black Metal scene in early days
Helvete now is rebuild and you can be part of BlackMetal history supporting the store or visiting them
--->>> Helvete Store official - facebook page
The suicide of the vocalist "Dead"
The Mayhem vocalist was found dead in a house where the band shared. Depressed, introverted was what her friends described him. While performing live singing on stage, "Dead" uses to cut his arm. He was the first to use "corpse paint" which became very usual in the scene.
His band mate, Euronymous, before call the police, took some pictures of "Dead" dead and use those images to promote the band with the fact they are really extreme. Some of these images was used in a Bootleg album cover.
Satyricon is one of the best Black Metal bands
There are too many speculations about the Churches that were burned from 1992 to 1996. Some people think some fans and musicians took part on it, while other think that most of the arsons were made by a group of young thrilled by the media coverage. So, they believe that a few Churches was attacked by real fans and musicians while the other wide variety was attacked by teenagers.
The first case to start all other criminal arsons was at Fantoft Stave Church. Varg Vikernes
(Burzum) tolds in a documentary that the Fantoft Church was built in a traditional place in Norway, where Norwegians uses to meet up to mull. He thought the Church didn't respect the Norwegian cultures and ponder why Norwegians should respect them ? Varg Vikernes launched an EP named ASKE (ashes) which the cover is the picture of the Fantoft Stave Church destroyed.
Burzum - ASKE (ep) - Fantoft Stave Church destroyed on cover
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