By King_Bonzo 82 Comments
Black Metal. Arguably the most sub, sub-genre and the most sub of all "main" genres: Heavy Metal. Black Metal is quickly becoming my favourite genre of music.
Right now 3 of my favourite bands reside within the confines of this genre (Wodensthrone, Drudkh and Wolves in The Throne Room) plus a litany of other bands that I personally class as some of the best I've ever heard. EVER! I'm serious here to me, to my ears, Drudkh's debut LP 'Forgotten Legends' stands up there with Led Zeppelin IV and Black Sabbath's Paranoid is terms of sheer musical brilliance. Black Metal band Enslaved are quickly becoming the heir's to Pink Floyd's throne and Darkthrone are one of the most punk bands currently producing music.
How the fuck did this happen?! I always thought Black Metal was what Immortal did in their videos.... ya kno.... stupid! But today as I was in the gym listening to Diadem of 12 Stars by Wolves In The Throne Room it struck me that I wasn't doing a manly thing like kicking a heavy bag or lifting something heavy and stuff... I was lost in the music. There is something about this genre that scratches every itch I have. If I'm pissed off I have Anaal Nathrakh. You want to zone out? I have Alcest or Enslaved for that. Want to feel all patriotic and stuff I pop on Wodensthrone, or Winterfylleth or Forefather! Want to hear something full of sorrow and passion? Ireland's Primordial have you covered there. Wanna punk out? Venom! Darkthrone! (early) Bathory! Wanna have your mind blown by crazy mind blowing melodies and proggy licks? Taake! Arckanum! Woe!
It's crazy to me that so many attitudes, philosophies and sounds are all found within this extremely niche genre to the point where I feel I could do away with all music that does not fit here and still feel musically fulfilled. Hell even 'I' and channelling Motorhead and Black Sabbath! If you want to find a band that reflects your tastes or outlook on life, chances are they'll be one within Black Metal:
Misanthrope: Anaal Nathrakh.
Self Harmer: Shining.
Patriot: Wodensthrone/Primordial et al
Drug Addict: Blut Aus Nord
Nursery Rhymes: Ulver
Prog Head: Enslaved
Nazi Scum Bag: Fuck right off but you can find plenty of nazi or NSBM bands too.... unfortunately.
Folk fan: Drudkh
Drone fan: (new) Mayhem
Rock Fan: I
Monty Python fan: The Meads of Asphodel
Shit music fan: Dimmu Borgir
Here's the thing about this genre. ANYTHING is welcome! It's all about rebellion at heart and the latest batch of bands over the last 10 years or so have spent their time REBELLING AGAINST WHAT BLACK METAL MEANS! Have you ever heard of this in any other genre? Band's intentionally going in a direction that the KNOW will alienate fans because they only care about their own opinion? Many bands have a attitude of "fuck the fans!" THIS IS A GOD SEND! True artists do not care about what anyone thinks of their art. Not the label, and certainly not the general public. True Black Metal* is True Art. You may hate it, but these bands could not care less, because they produce art and art by definition has to be self serving. Black Metal is the realm of true art. Music for music's sake and nothing more. It also happens to be the most diverse and rich genre in existence today.
Black Metal is ugly, beautiful, good and evil. It's a sledgehammer and a rapier. It's an embrace and it's a kick in the teeth.
I love Black Metal. You should too.
* Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir do not fall into this category. Because they are fucking atrocious.