Black metal. Some know it as evil, dirty satanic music. Others, like myself, see it as beautiful; majestic, hell even magical at times. Black metal is an extreme form of heavy metal. Some say it was spawned in retaliation to death metal, and lets face it, black metal does seem to be it's doppelganger. The 1980s seemed to be the spawn of a hellish age for metal when bands like Bathory, Celtic Frost and Sarcafago rose from out of nowhere it would seem. Only locals would know about them before hand as I'm sure many of the bands would constantly be selling mixes in their respected neighbourhoods.
Then came a huge second wave of what are now extremely famous bands in the black metal community. These were bands such as Emperor, Burzum, Mayhem and Immortal. These guys paved the way for all black metal to come. So even though the first wave of black metal already was starting to establish a name for the sub-genre, the second wave was pushing the style to new heights. The mid 90s became crazed with black metal bands popping up everywhere with names from Summoning to Marduk.
There was of course some bad blood starting to arise within this community as everyone knows that is within this social/musical circle. Everything from Euronymous' murder by Varg Vikernes to the famous mid 90s church burning to the great Norwegian black metal scene vs. the Swedish death metal scene. (If you would like to know more about these feuds/churches/Mayhem's bad luck, google it. There's a lot.)
The late 90s started seeing some more intricate types of black metal come on to the scene. There was the symphonic black metal wave with bands such as Dimmu Borgir. There was Viking metal (which I personally don't see coming from black metal.) which had already been played around with by bands like Falkenbach and Bathory. There was even a sub-genre called "Unblack" black metal, which was pretty much praising god instead of tearing him down. Bands in attendance to this sub-genre were Sanctifica for example.
Now, for the past decade, more black metal bands have been popping up all over the world to acknowledge the style and embrace it. Bands such as Abominator of Australia, Anorexia Nervosa of France, Behemoth of Poland, even Axis of Advance and Gallhammer of Canada and Japan. This just goes to show how appreciated the style is by the world. Sometimes the most evil can be the most beautiful. All these bands putting their own little twist on the style for their own sound, you sure get a lot of different kinds of black metal!
Even I have seemed to have gotten all caught up in this black metal storm of addiction that is their music. I've gone as far now to start my own band, learn black metal-styled vocals, and the look as well.
The look of black metal has always been portrayed as evil, dark and mysterious. The association with "corpse-paint" begins to show a tale of demons. blood and guts. This was also used to distinguish themselves from any other form of music out there.
I have now started a black metal band thanks to all these bands, and the black metal genre. I would never have it any other way now. Personally I will never wear corpse-paint though. Seems like it's a tradition best kept alone with non-canadians! This music is what I also started learning on guitar in the first place, which has improved my speed and dexterity much faster than many others. I now leave you with a list of bands you MUST give a listen to if you haven't already.
Blut Aus Nord
That should do you for now. Thanks for reading all! Enjoy!