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The Official Black Metal Recommendations Thread

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Re: recommendations?

I have to listen to more Necromantia' date=' I've had my head stuck up Varathron's ass since I ripped a copy of His majesty the swamp :idea:[/quote'] Well, as I just advised Murph, start with Scarlet Evil Witching Black, and then Crossing the Fiery Path and Malice. Their later stuff is still pretty good, but not as good as the first 3, so I'm not as motivated to grab it right away.

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Re: recommendations? I haven't done one of these in a while and actually have time today, so black metal it is:

 

Nifelheim - Nifelheim:

Nifelheim are a raw and fantastically riffy black/thrash metal band from Sweden, owing much to Bathory, Sodom, Destruction, and old Mayhem. It's pretty intense and evil sounding stuff, but should be right up your alley.

 

Nocturnal Breed - Aggressor:

Nocturnal Breed are a Norwegian band not unlike Nifelheim, playing black/thrash owing a great deal to the same bands, but this is not to say that those bands sound the same, they definitely are both doing it their own way. Either way, it's awesome black thrashing madness.

 

Poison - Into the Abyss:

Their name is the only thing this early German black/thrash metal band has in common with the faggy glam band. These guys wrote songs that were actually pretty far ahead of their time, long epic tracks with lots of variation, and pretty much everything they vary between is great. They didn't make it past the demo stage, but their demo compilation is essential.

 

Primordial - Storm Before Calm:

Primordial are a fantastic Celtic folk/black metal band, with alternating clean and heavy passages, and also clean and harsh vocals. Their songs tend to be quite atmospheric and grandiose, a good comparison would be to Ulver on their debut, though more developed. One of my favorite bands, I love everything they've ever done, though their debut is not quite up to the level of their other albums.

 

Ragnarok - Arising Realm:

Raw, but extremely well written Norwegian black metal. These guys have been pretty consistent throughout their career, but this album Arising Realm is my favorite.

 

Rotting Christ - Thy Mighty Contract:

Rotting Christ are the most well known Greek black metal band, and released some of the best black metal albums of the time. This album, Thy Mighty Contract is my favorite, and though I don't like it as much as Necromantia's Scarlet Evil Witching Black, it's probably my second favorite Greek black metal album, and for good reason. They have a great sense of melody, atmosphere, and songwriting, proving that Greek black metal is truly underrated.

 

Sacramentum - The Coming of Chaos:

Sacramentum were a great Swedish black/death metal band not unlike Dissection, but Sacramentum were a bit more extreme and atmospheric, while Dissection was more riff based. Their first album is regarded by many to be one of the best black metal albums ever, but as I've never seen one for less than $40, I haven't purchased it myself, but their 2nd album The Coming of Chaos is still pretty awesome.

 

Samael - Ceremony of Opposites:

Samael were one of the earliest 2nd wave black metal bands, and were initially heavily inspired by Hellhammer. Their next album, Blood Ritual showed a great deal of evolution, but I feel their 3rd album Ceremony of Opposites was their pinnacle. They retain the heavy riffing style from their early days, but progressed their songwriting and started experimenting with some different techniques that set them apart from the pack. This is not to say that they were bizarre at this stage (that came later), but just perfectly written and executed.

 

Sarcofago - Rotting (EP):

Sarcofago were unquestionably one of the most extreme Brazilian bands of the 80's, and I'm not sure if this will be too raw for you or not. They were one of the bands that helped push black metal from the 1st wave to the 2nd, wearing their influences on their sleeves, but playing them at insane speeds. Their debut is legendary, but is pretty poorly played and difficult to make out, so I didn't think that would be the best starting point for you, see what you think about their Rotting EP.

 

Satyricon - Dark Medieval Times:

Satyricon is a band that have certainly gone through some changes, but their debut is where I'll start. They were fairly raw, but folky black metal on their debut, with many acoustic sections that they wouldn't use on future releases, coming across a bit like a nastier Ulver. Satyr has always had a pretty distinctive pattern to his riffs, combine that with his guitar tone that gets more polished but still sounds eerily similar with each release, and it's pretty easy to identify Satyricon just by hearing the guitar.

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Re: recommendations?

alright the only one there I probably wouldn't listen to again is Burzum' date=' the music was cool and all but the way he delivers the vocals (and the fact that I couldn't really pick out any words) put me off (I'm guessing from what little I could make out that he's speaking German but could be wrong), I've been listening to Celtic Frost for years but never really thought of them as black metal for some reason, everything else was enjoyable for different reasons, Bathory I found particularly enjoyable so I'll be starting with them[/quote'] Check out Burzum's "From the Depths of Darkness." Re-recorded versions of old songs, sounds way better. I could never get into the originals because of the vocals as well, they were just awful and ruined the atmosphere of the songs, IMO.
Recommending this is pretty much blasphemy to the Kvlt black metallers.

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Re: recommendations? That Mörk Gryning album is fantastic, but I didn't like what I heard of Burzum's re-recordings. It was faster, more polished, and with much less soul than on the original recordings, and was also lacking much of the atmosphere that made Burzum so special. I wasn't as put off by it as the re-recording of Under the Sign of Hell, but I don't see a reason for me to pick it up.

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Re: recommendations?

Lol' date=' revisit them in a few years. I know a great many people that took a long time to grow into his vocals, but now love the band.[/quote'] Varg's vocals on the older stuff just seem comical to me. It's not a matter of production, because I like Darkthrone. But his tortured screams just seem goofy to me and detract from the music. I've tried numerous times over the years to like it, but I just don't get it, I guess.

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Re: recommendations? I can understand that, his vocal delivery is pretty extreme and passionate, but I can see how it could be grating to many people. I really enjoy over the top vocals, some of my favorite metal vocalists are people like Antti Boman, Martin Van Drunen, Attila Csihar, Kvarforth, Rainer Landfermann, Lori Bravo, etc..., so I'm definitely partial to Varg's vocals delivery.

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Re: recommendations? Bored at work, here goes some more of these:

 

Shining - Halmstad:

Shining started as a pretty standard Burzum influenced suicidal black metal band, but have slowly incorporated more doom and progressive elements into their sound. I feel that this album is their pinnacle, it's one of the few albums that has the power to launch me into depression upon listening to it, regardless of how my mood was before. Intense, heavy, dark, and with some great twisted vocals.

 

Sigh - Hail Horror Hail

Sigh are definitely one of the best and most interesting black metal acts out there. Early on they were pretty raw black metal with ties to both the first and second waves, but they've become more progressive and avant-garde as time has gone on. This song is from their mid-period, just as they were starting to adopt some weirder elements, and it's one of my favorites of theirs. Still black and nasty, but unique, bizarre, and intriguing. EDIT: The original song that I had posted is no longer available on Youtube, so I have substituted it with this one. Everything on this album (and pretty much all of their others) rules, so it should still satisfy.

 

Sodom - In the Sign of Evil:

Most people know Sodom as a thrash metal band, and starting with Persecution Mania, that's the road that they took. However, before that album, they were a filthy sounding, Venom worshiping first wave black metal band. They were particularly influential to the nastier sides of black metal, with bands like Sarcofago, Blasphemy, Mortuary Drape, etc... owing to Sodom's pioneering brand of black metal. Sloppy, raw, and awesome.

 

Summoning - Dol Guldur:

Summoning are an Austrian band that take epic black metal and make it sound like it came from a Tolkien book. Lots of medieval keyboards, folk influenced passages, and an overall feeling of epic grandeur that makes you feel like you're surrounded by elves in a forest. It seems a bit cheesy at first, but actually makes for a very engrossing listening experience, highly enjoyable and consistent band.

 

Taake - Nattestid Ser Porten Vid:

Taake were a bit later to the Norwegian scene than many of the more well known bands, but Taake are every bit as good as (if not better than) any other Norwegian black metal band. They do a great job at combining the many different sides of the black metal sound that the scene embodies, rawness, a bit of folk influence, a few first wave riffs here and there, atmosphere, and totally epic and compelling songwriting. This band basically sums up the Norwegian black metal sound, but is better than just about everything else in the scene. If you like Norwegian black metal at all, you CAN NOT miss out on this band.

 

Thou Art Lord - Diabolou archaeus legeones (EP):

Thou Art Lord was a side project of Necromantia and Rotting Christ members, with this debut album not sounding too far removed from either band (though definitely leaning more towards Rotting Christ). This band is a bit more brutal on average than the member's main bands, with a bit of death metal character in some of the riffs and songwriting, but it's nonetheless a great addition to your collection if you dig early Greek black metal.

 

Tormentor - Anno Domini:

Tormentor were one of the main bands that helped to usher in black metal's second wave. Along with Sarcofago, they took the style pioneered by legends like Bathory, Sodom, Mercyful Fate, etc... and took it to the next level in terms of speed, darkness, and atmosphere. They're also most well known for being Attila Csihar's first band before he recorded De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas for Mayhem. He's much more raw and less experimental sounding here, but still excellent. This is easily one of my favorite black metal releases of all time, one that any fan of the genre should own.

 

Tsjuder - Demonic Possession:

Tsjuder are a newer Norwegian band taking large cues from the more raw and aggressive bands from the earlier Norwegian scene and upping the speed. Certain aspects of this are a bit more modern sounding than old Mayhem, Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Immortal, etc..., but the spirit is much the same, and I found these guys to be extremely enjoyable.

 

Usurper - Cryptobeast:

Usurper started out as a Celtic Frost worshiping black/thrash band, and while the influence is still present on their last album, it's influences range quite a bit wider and it's more epic and catchy. That's not to take away from their older albums, but I feel like they're a bit more memorable and vicious here.

 

Varathron - His Majesty At The Swamp:

More awesome Greek black metal from Varathron. Pretty similar sonically to Rotting Christ, though maybe a bit slower and more epic sounding. Excellent usage of melody, heavy riffs, and low powerful vocals, they write memorable and engrossing songs that any fan of the style should love.

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I think I had gone through them all but it's been a while since I've listened through them' date=' and with the youtube bbcode having changed copying and pasting each link doesn't really sound like much fun[/quote'] I might go back and edit those for the sake of posterity, but that's if I get time, which it's not looking like right now. The delivery business during this time of year sucks.

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Surprisingly received a bit of a reprieve today. It's still busy as fuck, but stuff is going smoothly and I haven't had many problems. I just went back through and edited all of my video posts, so they're all working now in this thread, which I'll try to do to my other video threads at some point as well. I did see some black/thrash in there though, and I know you've been digging Aura Noir and Absu, but I haven't seen any posts regarding Nifelheim, Nocturnal Breed, Usurper, etc..., so I'm not sure if you've listened to those or not. Either way, I'll do a black/thrash post when I get some more time (hopefully today) to put some focus on that side of things.

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Black/thrash time:

 

Bestial Mockery - Christcrushing Hammerchainsaw

Bestial Mockery are a vicious and ruthless Swedish black/thrash metal band. Most of their songs are faster than this one, but they do drop down to this speed sometimes for a catchier tune. There's not a ton of variation in their music, but the albums are short, sharp, and to the point, not needed to stay around for long to slay your unworthy ass.

 

Bewitched - Rise of the Antichrist:

I posted Bewitched a while back in the heavy/power metal recs section, but that was for their At the Gates of Hell album. Most of their albums fit this formula a bit better, and while there's still some old-school heavy metal here, it's mostly black speed/thrash on the rest of the band's albums. They're one of the more accessible black/thrash bands out there because of the heightened sense of melody, slower overall tempo, and clean production, but the lyrics are still every bit as evil as the subgenre tends to require.

 

December Wolves - Completely Dehumanized:

 

 

Destroyer 666 - Cold Steel...for an Iron Age:

I can't remember if I've posted these guys before or not, but they're one of the best known bands playing black/thrash. Some of their other albums have a bit more of a death metal element to them, but Cold Steel... For an Iron Age is pretty much all black/thrash. Savage, sharp, and not without a sense of melody.

 

Dødheimsgard - Monumental Possession:

Dødheimsgard are a Norwegian black metal band that have gone through a few changes since setting out in the mid 90's. Their first album was a typical 2nd wave black metal album owing much to Darkthrone, but not without their own unique take on it. On their second album, they upped the ante with some punishing black/thrash, before going into avant-garde and industrial metal territory later on. It's too bad this was the only album they did like this, as it's pretty great.

 

Evil Angel - Unholy Fight For Metal

Evil Angel are a newer band that have so far only produced one album, but it's wonderfully filthy black/thrash and I do hope that there is a follow up. They're one of the few bands I've heard that genuinely remind me of Deathcrush, and gives me a similar feel to the one that Mayhem's early masterpiece does. Cool, dark, and nasty stuff.

 

Flame - March Into the Firelands:

Flame are a newer black/thrash band that aren't really doing anything new or out of the ordinary, but they're definitely doing it the right way. Dark atmosphere, great riffs, varied drumming and pacing, and savage vocals.

 

Sabbat - The Dwelling:

Sabbat are Japan's oldest black metal band, and are up there with Sigh as one of the best. Their sound is pretty old school and is still rooted in old school black metal with some thrashy sounds, though not without a great deal of variety and originality. This album is actually just one 60 minute song, so I've only posted the first part, but it's absolutely brilliant.

 

Witchery - Witchburner:

Witchery are a Swedish band that straddle the line between black/heavy metal and black/thrash metal. This track that I've posted is one of the more thrashy tracks, as are the rest of the non-cover songs on the Witchburner EP. Their first and second full lengths are a bit less dark and more like catchy blackened heavy metal, but still have their thrashy moments. Don't bother with their stuff after those albums though, they basically became a pretty mediocre melodeath band starting with Symphony for the Devil.

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I guess since Murph's last request was for more black metal, I'll get some more going here. The first round of these were meant for someone like Murph who was more into heavy and thrash metal as easier transitions for someone who favors riffs over blast beats, but now I won't restrict anything.

 

1349 - Beyond the Apocalypse:

1349 are a newer Norwegian black metal band, taking the old formula laid out by bands like Darkthrone and Immortal to new extremes of speed and technicality. With the mighty Frost of Satyricon behind the drum kit, they are definitely among the faster black metal bands out there, but still remember that they are a black METAL band and keep the riffs coming. These guys get unfairly grouped into the "blast first, think later" category, but that's only one of the techniques that they employ, despite not really ever slowing down all that much.

 

Abigor - Nachthymnen:

Abigor were one of the earliest Austrian black metal bands, with a notably chaotic style, which is contrasted nicely with medieval sounding melodies. Overall it culminates into an experience that's equal parts savage, epic, and memorable, and their early albums rank among my favorite second wave black metal albums. A great middle ground if you want something that is as relentless as it is melodic.

 

Aborym - With No Human Intervention:

Aborym are an Italian industrial black metal band. While it's not weird to hear bands pull off this mix, these guys do use more electronic elements than most bands trying to spice up their music with some industrial influence. There are a couple of songs on this album that are 100% electronic and actually fit the atmosphere in a way that I like, despite not being a fan of most electronic music. Add to this the fact that Attila Csihar does the vocals on a few of their albums (including this one) and you've got a winner in my book.

 

Aeternus - Beyond the Wandering Moon:

Aeternus were a bit of a late comer to the Norwegian black metal boom of the 90's, but are no less awesome for it. Their sound is a bit more aggressive than most of their peers, with some more metallish passages mixed with more familiar Norwegian black metal styled riffs. They're great at alternating pacing between blasting fury and more epic and relaxed chord progressions. Their melodies are folky and memorable, and the vocals are much lower than the typical 2nd wave black metal vocals you're used to hearing. They're original and feature excellent compositions, and would a great addition to the collection of any Norwegian black metal fan.

 

...And Oceans - The Symmetry of I - the Circle of O:

Finland are known for featuring many bands of a weirder persuasion, with ...And Oceans being no exception. Musically, they didn't start out too bizarre, symphonic black metal with high speed drumming and a bit more aggression than say, Dimmu Borgir. However, their lyrics and song titles should stand out as more than a little odd, and their vocalist for the early albums was listed as "You", which is the name given to the singer's ventriloquist dummy. Anyway, their first two albums fit this bill, but with their 3rd album they integrated a great deal of techno influence, which is actually a really good and original album. Their final album was more like straight electronic/industrial metal, which I don't favor as much, but neither of those are as relevant to black metal as these early albums.

 

Altar of Plagues - Mammal:

Altar of Plagues are an Irish black metal band with a very modern and post-rock influenced spin on the genre. There are clean guitars and moody arrangements, and most of the songs have a great deal of restraint, build, climax, and eventual decrescendo. I was initially not too impressed with this album after hearing recommendations for this band, but it has grown on me upon subsequent listens. This is definitely more about the atmosphere than the riffs, with the drums and tremolo picked guitars creating a repetition that lures you in to hear what's beneath, and the tormented sounding vocals help with this atmosphere.

 

Ancient - Svartalvheim:

Ancient started out as a good melodic/symphonic Norwegian black metal band. Their riffs were their own and they had a good grasp of songwriting, but started going downhill sharply after this album. The album following this one is alright, but the female vocals were poorly done, and it brought in some goth elements that would foreshadow what would come later. Following that album you can write them off completely, very poorly executed gothic metal with some black metal elements, like a badly performed poor man's Cradle of Filth. At least this one is good.

 

Ancient Wisdom - ...For Snow Covered the Northlands:

Ancient Wisdom were a Swedish black metal band, with a strong sense for melody and a great deal of doom metal in their sound. They remind me a bit of Katatonia in places, but obviously much farther on the black metal side of the black/doom spectrum than them, with a similarly frosty atmosphere, if not as bleak. The compositions are lush and great at transporting your mind to a space not unlike the one depicted in the artwork, the melodies are wonderful, and everyone knows by now that I'm a sucker for bands that splice in Celtic Frost riffs.

 

Anorexia Nervosa - Drudenhaus:

Anorexia Nervosa were a French band that started out making some extremely disturbed sounding industrial metal, some of the weirdest and nastiest stuff I've heard. With this, their 2nd album, the acquired a new vocalist and started making symphonic black metal. Sonically, I've always felt that they resembled Cradle of Filth, but are a great deal more aggressive, with a more relentless songwriting approach and riffs that don't move into melodic territory as much as CoF. The quality level of their albums in this style is pretty even throughout, so any of them are a good starting point, I just picked this one as it was the earliest.

 

Antaeus - Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan:

Antaeus were a French black metal band of a particularly filthy variety. Their songs are extremely dark, frenzied, and evil sounding, most of which are pretty fast without letting up. This is the kind of shit that ruins your day and puts you in a homicidal mood, such is the immense amount of hate coming through your speakers when this album plays. Brutal, nihilistic, and totally depraved.

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Any progress on these? I'm running out of accounting and returns to do here at work, so I may be bored in the upcoming days and am wondering if I should pick back up the video recs in this section or another one. I should be ready to do thrash and heavy metal here soon too, and I've kind of been in an "anything goes" listening mood lately, so I'm up for whatever.

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last BM purchase ticked off Necrodeath' date=' Necromantia and NME, I won't be paying attention to these lists until I've replaced all the cds that were wrongly disposed of, three down so far and a fucking shitload left[/quote'] Yeah, that's a bummer. I'll probably still work on some if I've got time, just because I never know when I won't have time to do them again, I guess it's better to be on top of these than fall behind. The CDs that your folks disposed of should all be fairly easy to find, and might even be available used, which would be a cheaper way to go than buying them all knew, might not be a bad thing to look in to.

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