Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Black Metal

Lyrical Content - The lyrical content of black metal music is generally misanthropic, aimed towards other religions coming from the point of view from the paganistic roots. The lyrics are sung with high pitched screaming vocals, contrast to the low, guttural vocals of death metal. Personally i prefer the death metal vocal style, however i find the black metal style almost chilling and i can appreciate talent it would take to pull off such a harsh vocal technique.

Significant Artists - Black metal's first influence was from newcastle "extreme metal" band Venom, who went on to influence the german thrash scene with bands such as, Sodom, Kreator and Destruction, also Celtic Frost and Bathory. Tomas Forsberg (Quorthon)

of Bathory was the first to use the high pitched shriek on the vocals, which would later on define the genre. (1)

The "Second Wave" of black metal arose from the Norwegian area with bands such as Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, and Immortal.

Black metal has went on to influence some sub genre's, such as "Melodic black metal" and "Blackened Death Metal". In my opinion the second wave of black metal is more to my taste, as venom in my opinion weren't really black metal, they just influenced it.

Important Albums/Singles -

Venom - Black Metal (1982)

Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales (1984)

Burzum - Burzum (1992)

Darkthrone - Transylvanian Hunger (1994)

Immortal - Battles In The North (1995)

Some of my favourite black metal tracks -

Fashion/Image Of Black Metal - Black metal artists would commonly wear dark/black clothing with boots, generally accessorized with spiked belts/wristbands. The most defining fashion with black metal was the corpse paint, this is black and white make-up sometimes with real/fake blood. It is said that this can be related to the "Oskorei" part of old Norse Mythology.

Music and Society At the Time - At the time Scandanavia was a christian area, however norway had its religious roots in paganism. Black metal was a kind of statement of anti-chrisitanity, this lead in some extreme casses to the burning of wooden churches. Other acts of violence that came from the black metal genre were several murders, one of the main murders in my opinion would've been when Varg Vikernes (Count Grishnackh - Burzum) murdered Oystein Aerseth (Euronymous - Mayhem), Oystein was found murdered outside his apartment with 23 cut wounds, 16 to the back, 5 to the neck and 2 to the head. Varg is currently serving his 21 year prison sentence for his crime. Another important death i think would be Jon Nodtveidt's suicide in 2006, he was the lead guitarist and vocalist in swedish black metal band "Dissection", i think this is important as Dissection are one of my favourite black metal bands.
References - I researched my material from
Also from the notes i took in the lecture on Black metal.
Other useful websites would be -

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