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Balor

What is the true definition of black metal?

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What are its essential features?

On 17/10/2017 at 12:10 AM, dilatedmind said:

Without getting philosophical: Fast tempos, shrieking vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, blast beat drumming and raw recording. The name "black metal" was coined by the English band Venom with their second album Black Metal . It's often as thrash metal rather than black metal by today's standards.

But...

On 17/10/2017 at 1:37 AM, FatherAlabaster said:

This is really only true for a subset of second-wave bands. There are a lot of BM bands that don't share those stylistic traits. Rather than boil the sound down to a simple set of exclusive characteristics, which you can't really do with bands as diverse as (say) Hellhammer, Dawn, and Deathspell Omega, I think it's better to listen to a bunch of early first wave BM, as well as early thrash and DM - to hear commonalities as well as differences -and then follow various threads to understand how they developed. One can certainly find or write black metal that sounds like what you've described, but that leaves out too much in the way of history and recent developments.

And...

On 17/10/2017 at 12:40 AM, Will said:

I would add a tendency towards minor and diminished chords and intervals.

What makes it what it is?

On 17/10/2017 at 11:09 AM, Requiem said:

Black metal is the snow-covered forest at sunset; the full moon glimpsed through jagged trees; the candle that flickers in ghost winds; the indelible emptiness of the lonely human soul that cries out to empty skies.

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Without getting philosophical: Fast tempos, shrieking vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, blast beat drumming and raw recording. The name "black metal" was coined by the English band Venom with their second album Black Metal . It's often as thrash metal rather than black metal by today's standards.

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51 minutes ago, dilatedmind said:

Without getting philosophical: Fast tempos, shrieking vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, blast beat drumming and raw recording. 

This is really only true for a subset of second-wave bands. There are a lot of BM bands that don't share those stylistic traits. Rather than boil the sound down to a simple set of exclusive characteristics, which you can't really do with bands as diverse as (say) Hellhammer, Dawn, and Deathspell Omega, I think it's better to listen to a bunch of early first wave BM, as well as early thrash and DM - to hear commonalities as well as differences -and then follow various threads to understand how they developed. One can certainly find or write black metal that sounds like what you've described, but that leaves out too much in the way of history and recent developments.

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10 minutes ago, natassja7 said:

Black Metal ..the feeling..you either get it or you don't...nothing better.

This is exactly what I am trying to avoid, but I understand what you are talking about.  What gives you the feeling, and what does not?

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See..BM is a very emotional thing for me and has been for years. I think you would be hard pressed to ask the definition of BM and not have someone respond about their emotion towards it..to be honest it is very hard to answer what gives the feeling and what does not..off the top of my head 'Key to the Gate' never fails.

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1 hour ago, Requiem said:

Black metal is the snow-covered forest at sunset; the full moon glimpsed through jagged trees; the candle that flickers in ghost winds; the indelible emptiness of the lonely human soul that cries out to empty skies.

This one. Yes!!!! 😂😎

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16 hours ago, natassja7 said:

See..BM is a very emotional thing for me and has been for years. I think you would be hard pressed to ask the definition of BM and not have someone respond about their emotion towards it..to be honest it is very hard to answer what gives the feeling and what does not..off the top of my head 'Key to the Gate' never fails.

I understand what you are saying, but I am looking for a clear and unambiguous definition.  There is no reason why a certain emotional response could not be part of it, if fact, that could make it even better.

5 hours ago, Requiem said:

Black metal is the snow-covered forest at sunset; the full moon glimpsed through jagged trees; the candle that flickers in ghost winds; the indelible emptiness of the lonely human soul that cries out to empty skies.

What about Drudkh?  They are definitely black metal, but they have a warmth in a lot of their music.

14 hours ago, FatherAlabaster said:

 

This is really only true for a subset of second-wave bands. There are a lot of BM bands that don't share those stylistic traits. Rather than boil the sound down to a simple set of exclusive characteristics, which you can't really do with bands as diverse as (say) Hellhammer, Dawn, and Deathspell Omega, I think it's better to listen to a bunch of early first wave BM, as well as early thrash and DM - to hear commonalities as well as differences -and then follow various threads to understand how they developed. One can certainly find or write black metal that sounds like what you've described, but that leaves out too much in the way of history and recent developments.

With a genre as diverse as black metal, how would you distinguish what belongs in it from what does not?  For instance, to me, a lot of the first wave bands (except Bathory) sound closer to thrash and death metal than most black metal.  Would you include a historical connection to/inspiration from earlier black metal bands as part of a definition of what makes a particular piece of music black metal?

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On 18/10/2017 at 2:29 AM, Balor said:

 

What about Drudkh?  They are definitely black metal, but they have a warmth in a lot of their music.

 

In relation to my comment, their first four albums certainly conjure up images of forests/nature ('Wind of the Night Forest', 'The First Snow', 'Forests in Fire and Gold') and the lonely human soul ('Solitude', 'Eternity', 'Fate'). Drudkh definitely applies to my definition. 

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7 hours ago, Requiem said:

In relation to my comment, their first four albums certainly conjure up images of forests/nature ('Wind of the Night Forest', 'The First Snow', 'Forests in Fire and Gold') and the lonely human soul ('Solitude', 'Eternity', 'Fate'). Drudkh definitely applies to my definition. 

What about "Autumn Aurora?"  Drudkh definitely conjures images of nature, but not solely "the snow-covered forest at sunset."

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1 hour ago, Balor said:

What about "Autumn Aurora?"  Drudkh definitely conjures images of nature, but not solely "the snow-covered forest at sunset."

I never said black metal was solely about snow-covered forests. 'Autumn Aurora' reflects the "lonely cry of the human soul", as played out in the vast pristine Eastern European forests, ancient Slavic rites ('Sunwheel') and the sorrow and blood of recent Ukranian history. It's basically the perfect example of humankind's soul crying out. 

Besides, are you seriously just going to trawl around and name bands and albums until you've proven my obviously tongue-in-cheek comment inadequate in capturing the essence of a global genre that spans scores of different playing styles, images, technologies and subject matter? 

Sorry dude, but this whole question of yours is starting to feel like you're trolling, especially when you keep using Drudkh examples that actually conform to my, admittedly, ludicrous statement. My advice:

a. Listen more closely to Drudkh

b. Read my whole comment and not just the snow-forests part. In fact, get it tattooed across your chest. 

c. Stop searching for a definition that to fit must be so vague and open as to become devoid of real meaning. 

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